WORLD HOLY DAYS CALENDAR: 2002 - 2007
Baha'i - Buddhism - Christianity - Hindu - Islam - Judaism - Kwanzaa
 
 
 

Abundant Life Christian Fellowship
908-806-8604 - Raritan Twp

Amwell Church of the Brethren
Rev. Robert DiSalvio, Pastor Tel: 908-237-1454
40 Sandbrook Headquarters Road Sergeantsville, NJ 08557
http://members.christweb.com/amwell/

Amwell First Presbyterian Church
Rev. Monica Elvig Tel: 908-806-3522
167 Old York Road Reaville, NJ 08551

  Annandale Reformed Church
Pastor: Dr John Arnone
908-735-7218 West & Beaver Avenues - Annandale, NJ
Email: arc.newlife@worldnet.att.net
 - http://home.att.net/~arc.newlife




Bahá'ís of Hunterdon




FOSTER BAHA'I SCHOOL
(Sunday School located in Ewing, NJ)


American Baha'is: www.bahai.org/
1-800-22-UNITE

Baptistown Baptist Church
Rev. Richard Kollmar Tel: 908-996-4897
1040 County Road 519 Baptistown, NJ 08803

Body of Christ Ministries
Thomas & Lorraine Blum, Pastors
908-730-8831 / 80 Main Street Flemington, NJ 08822

Calvary Bible Church
Rev. Jay A. Quine Tel: 908-534-9445
144 Readington Road Readington, NJ 08889

Calvary Episcopal Church
Rev. Harry Mazujian
908-782-7227 - 44 Broad St. Flemington, NJ 08822

Calvary Baptist Church
908-782-6608 / 262 S.Main St. Flemington, NJ 08822

Centenary United Methodist Church
Rev. David Wilson Tel: 609-397-2468
108 North Union St Lambertville, NJ 08530

Central Hunterdon Baptist Church
Rev. Eddie Hatcher, Pastor
908-806-4673 / 325 Route 31 Flemington, NJ 08822

Cherryville Baptist Church
908-782-7831 Flemington, NJ 08822

Christ Church
Currently worshipping at:
Three Bridges Elementary School
Office: 9 Sutphin Road, Flemington, NJ 08822
Phone: 908-788-8266

Email: christchurchnj@earthlink.net

Christian Assembly Ministry
908-859-0490 - New Village

Church of the Holy Spirit
908-908-236-6301 - Lebanon

Clinton Assembly of God
Rev. Lawrence Frank, Pastor
908-730-7875 - 55 Leigh St. - Clinton

Clinton Baptist Church
7 Pittstown Road, Clinton, NJ 08809
(908)735-5252 - (908)735-6004 (FAX)
Sr. Pastor: Nathan Tuckey
Pastor of Family Ministries: Randy Hunt
Pastor of Youth: Pete Gatto

Email: info@clintonbaptist.org    www.clintonbaptist.org

Clinton Church of the Nazarene
Rev. Andrew Paton
908-735-4887 / 80 Beaver Avenue Annandale, NJ 08801

Cloverhill Reformed Church
Rev. Jack Cherry
908-360-3340 / 890 Amwell Road Flemington, NJ 08822

Congregation Bet Tikva of Raritan Township
Rabbi Brad Hoffman
908-782-7778 Sand Hill Road Flemington, NJ 08822

Embassy of Our Lord Jesus Christ
908-996-2877 / 460 Kingwood-Locktown Road Flemington, NJ 08822

Everittstown United Methodist Church
Rev. Harry DeKolf
908-996-4501 / 415 County Road 513 Everittstown, NJ 08867

First Church of Christ, Scientist
908-725-7389 - Somerville

First Presbyterian Church of Lambertville
Rev. Daryl R. Wilson
609-397-0650 / 31 North Union St Lambertville, NJ 08530

Flemington Assembly of God Church
Rev. K. M. Szierer
908-782-5232 / 434 Highway 202 North Flemington, NJ 08822

Flemington Baptist Church
Rev. B. Morgan & Rev. P. Reed
908-782-3721- Church St. Flemington, NJ 08822

Flemington Jewish Community Center
Rabbi Evan Jaffe
908-782-6410 / 40 East Main Street Flemington, NJ 08822

Flemington Seventh Day Adventist Church
Flemington, NJ 08822 Tel: 908-575-9786


Flemington United Methodist
Church
116 Main Street - Flemington, NJ 08822
908-782-1070
Email: FUMC2@earthlink.net
Pastor: Reverend Richard Dudinak
Youth Pastor: Geoff Stanley
http://www.geocities.com/FlemingtonUMC/

Frenchtown Baptist Church
908-996-2370
Second Street Frenchtown, NJ 08825

Frenchtown Presbyterian Church
Rev. William Culton
908-996-2227 / 20 Fourth Street Frenchtown, NJ 08825

Frenchtown United Methodist Church
Rev. BJ George
908-996-3117 - 16 Third Street Frenchtown, NJ 08825

Grace Covenant Baptist Church
Alan J. Dunn, Pastor - http://www.gcbcnj.org
(908) 996-7654 / 35 Court St. - P.O. Box 2288 - Flemington, NJ 08822

Grace Fellowship Evangelical Free Church
Rev. John Chestnut
908-735-0717 - 401 Milford Mt Pleasant Rd [Rt 519] Milford, NJ 08848

Heritage Baptist Church
Rev. Daniel B. Troutman, Pastor
908-788-2672 / 39 Mine St. Flemington, NJ 08822

Hunterdon Christian Church
908-788-1798 - Summer Rd. - 3 Bridges

Immaculate Conception Church of Clinton
Rev: Andrew Szarlette
908-735-7319 / 316 Old Allerton Road Clinton, NJ 08809

Living Waters Lutheran Church
Rev. D. Richard Garrison
908-284-9455 - Ringoes - Flemington, NJ 08822

Locktown Presbyterian Church
Keith Graham, Pastor (& webmaster)
908-996-7707 / 197 Locktown-Flemington Road - Flemington, NJ 08822
Email: lc9967707@aol.com - http://members.aol.com/lc9967707/

North Hunterdon Baptist Church
908-638-6208 - Rt. 313 - Glen Gardner

Or Chadash-Reform Temple of Hunterdon County
Rabbi Eric J. Siroka
908-735-6984 / 149 Foothill Rd Flemington, NJ 08822

Our Lady of Lourdes Church
908-534-2319 - Rt 523 - Whitehouse Station

Our Savior Lutheran Church, LCMS
908-735-2062 - Perryville - http://www.lsmnj.org/

Quakertown Friends Meeting
908-735-0535 / Route 579 Quakertown, NJ 08868

Email: DWMeaker@aol.com

Raritan Valley 7th Day Baptist Church
707 Rt.202 - Flemington, NJ 08822

Sandy Ridge Community Church
609-397-0371
/ 47 Sandy Ridge Road Stockton, NJ 08559

Shepherd of the Valley Assembly of God
Dennis T. Durasoff

908-995-1500 / 45 Spring Mills Rd Milford, NJ 08848

St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
908-996-4091 - Pittstown

St. Paul Lutheran Church
Rev. Otto Reinbacher, Pastor
908-782-5120 - 201 Rt.31 - Flemington, NJ 08822

Zion Lutheran Church of Oldwick
908-439-2421 - Oldwick

Spruce Run Lutheran Church
Rev. Gary V. Ettlemyer
908-5374824 - Glen Gardner http://www.vian.com/srlc  -   Email: gargin@eclipse.net

Whitehouse United Methodist Church
73 Old Highway P.O. Box 190 Whitehouse, New Jersey 08888
(908) 534-2064
Pastor Shawn Callender Hogan
Email: wumc2001@yahoo.com -  http://www.whitehouseumc.org/

 
 
DIVINE TEACHERS OF GOD TO MANKIND
One God - Many Teachers - One Spirit - One World - One Family
    
BAHA'I FAITH
Divine Teacher: Bahá'u'lláh, "The Glory Of God" (1817-1892 A.D.)
Seed Idea: UNIVERSALITY - UNITY
/ Foretold New Day / New Creation / New Light / Dawn of Cycle of Maturity / Beginning of World Transformation / Oneness Of All Prophets and Mankind / All Things Made New / New World Order / New Birth / Heroic Age / Formative Age / The World is One / Equality of Sexes / Universal Education / Foretold One To Come.
Civilization Progress:
Age Of Science, Atomic, Electronic, Supersonic, Nuclear, Space - Control of Natural Forces - Apocolyptic Upheavels - Swing World Material to Spiritual World - Rule-Dom of Man, Will-Dom of God - Civil War in USA 1861-1865 - World Wars - United Nations 1945 - USSR 1917 - Key to Archeology - Universal Peace, Law and Order of Baha'u'llah Established - Disintegration of Old Cycle - Unrolling of The Great Baha'i Cycle Of Light - Physical Progress - Unfolding Of Kingdom Of God Upon the Earth, Spiritual Progress, Expansion, Liberation, Awakening, Spiritual, Mental - "Worlds Unspeakably Glorious Will be Unrolled Before Your Eyes" - "This Is The Day That Shall Not Be Followed By Night" - Baha'u'llha

Origin:
Persia
 
The Bahá'í Faith is, the second most widespread of the world's independent religions. The religion came to North America in 1893. Bahá'í communities around the globe have been working to break down barriers of prejudice between peoples and have collaborated with other like-minded groups to promote the model of a global society. Bahá'í statements and views on peace, global prosperity, governance at the international level, and the future of humanity as one people. Bahá'í involvement around the globe in the areas of social and moral development, human rights, and the advancement of women. Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad (1819-1850 CE) assumed the title Bab which means the Gate. In 1844-MAY-23 He announced the "Declaration of the Bab." He explained that the purpose of His mission was to herald the arrival of "One greater than Himself", Who would fulfill the prophetic expectations of all the great religions. Mirza Husayn-'Ali-i-Nuri (1817-1892), a prominent follower of the Bab began proclaiming his station openly and publicly to the world at large. His assumed title, Baha'u'llah, by which He is generally known, was the title the Bab used to refer to Him. The last forty years of Baha'u'llah's life were spent in prison or in exile. The last 22 years were spent in or near Acre, then a prison city. The world headquarters of the Bahá'í Faith is located in the Holy Land today as a result. Bahá'u'lláh taught that there is one God whose successive revelations of His will to humanity have been the chief civilizing force in history. The agents of this process have been the Divine Messengers whom people have seen chiefly as the founders of separate religious systems but whose common purpose has been to bring the human race to spiritual and moral maturity. Humanity is now coming of age. It is this that makes possible the unification of the human family and the building of a peaceful, global society. Among the principles which the Baha'i Faith promotes as vital to the achievement of this goal are the abandonment of all forms of prejudice Bahá'u'lláh gave special attention to the problem of prejudice. At the heart of His message is a call for mutual understanding and fellowship among nations, cultures, and peoples. There is, Bahá'u'lláh insists, only one human race. Assertions that a particular group of people is in some way superior to the rest of humanity are without foundation. Prejudice--whether based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or class--is a baneful heritage that must be overcome if humanity is to create a peaceful and just global society. ; assurance to women of full equality of opportunity with men "The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality between the sexes, is one of the most important, though less acknowledged prerequisites of peace. The denial of such equality perpetrates an injustice against one half of the world's population and promotes in men harmful attitudes and habits that are carried from the family to the workplace, to political life, and ultimately to international relations. There are no grounds, moral, practical, or biological, upon which such denial can be justified. Only as women are welcomed into full partnership in all fields of human endeavor will the moral and psychological climate be created in which international peace can emerge." ; recognition of the unity and relativity of religious truth ; the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth ; the realization of universal education ; the responsibility of each person to independently search for truth Bahá'u'lláh emphasizes the fundamental obligation of human beings to acquire knowledge with their "own eyes and not through the eyes of others." ; the establishment of a global commonwealth of nations recognition that true religion is in harmony with reason and the pursuit of scientific knowledge. When religion, shorn of its superstitions, traditions, and unintelligent dogmas, shows its conformity with science, then will there be a great unifying, cleansing force in the world which will sweep before it all wars, disagreements, discords and struggles--and then will mankind be united in the power of the Love of God. Bahá'u'lláh's central message for humanity in this day is one of unity and justice. "The best beloved of all things in My sight is justice," He wrote, and "The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens" in two often-quoted passages. He also stated, "The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established." This is the prescription of God, the divine and all-knowing Physician, for our ailing world.
This is the Day in which God's most excellent favors have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness. It behoveth them to cleave to whatsoever will, in this Day, be conducive to the exaltation of their stations, and to the promotion of their best interests. Happy are those whom the all-glorious Pen was moved to remember, and blessed are those men whose names, by virtue of Our inscrutable decree, We have preferred to conceal. (The Promise of All Ages)

  
  
BUDDHISM
Divine Teacher: Siddhartha Gautama who became known as Buddha, "The Enlightened One." (568-488 B.C.)
Seed Idea: PEACE WITHIN
/ Brotherhood of Man / Mystical / Healing / Philosophy & Tradition / Foretold One To Come.
Civilization Progress:
Building of Great Wall of China - TajMahal Pearl Mosque - Persian wars - Decay of Persian Empire - Moslem Invasion of India - Individualism, Decrease in Idol Worship - Power of Caste System.
Origin:
India
 
Buddhism has no omnipotent, creator God who exists apart from this or any other universe. Belief in a God of that kind is not part of Buddhism. The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of the Sakya tribe of Nepal, in approximately 566 BC. When he was twentynine years old, he left the comforts of his home to seek the meaning of the suffering he saw around him. After six years of arduous yogic training, he abandoned the way of self-mortification and instead sat in mindful meditation beneath a bodhi tree. On the full moon of May, with the rising of the morning star, Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, the enlightened one. The Buddha wandered the plains of northeastern India for 45 years more, teaching the path or Dharma he had realized in that moment. Around him developed a community or Sangha of monks and, later, nuns, drawn from every tribe and caste, devoted to practicing this path. In approximately 486 BC, at the age of 80, the Buddha died. His last words are said to be... Impermanent are all created things; Strive on with awareness. Today, it is believed that there are more than 300 million Buddhists in the world, including at least a quarter million in Europe, and a half million each in North and South America. I say "at least" because other estimates go as high as three million in the U.S. alone! Whatever the numbers may be, Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world, after Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. And, although it has suffered considerable setbacks over the centuries, it seems to be attracting more and more people, as a religion or a philosophy of life. The Pancha Shila, or five moral precepts: 1. Avoid killing, or harming any living thing. 2. Avoid stealing -- taking what is not yours to take. 3. Avoid sexual irresponsibility, which for monks and nuns means celibacy. 4. Avoid lying, or any hurtful speech. 5. Avoid alcohol and drugs which diminish clarity of consciousness. To these, monks and nuns add... 6. One simple meal a day, before noon. 7. Avoid frivolous entertainments. 8. Avoid self-adornment. 9. Use a simple bed and seat. 10. Avoid the use of money. Full monastic life adds over two hundred more rules and regulations! - The Paramita The Perfections or Virtues -- noble qualities that we should all strive to achieve. Here are two versions: 1. Generosity (P: dana) 2. Moral discipline (P: sila) 3. Patience and tolerance (P: khanti) 4. Wisdom or (full-) consciousness (P: pañña) 5. Energy (P: viriya) 6. Renunciation (P: nekkhamma) 7. Truthfulness (P: sacca) 8. Determination (P: adhitthana) 9. Loving kindness (P: metta) 10. Equanimity (P: upekkha) 1. Generosity (dana) 2. Moral discipline (shila) 3. Patience and tolerance (kshanti) 4. Energy (virya) 5. Meditation (dhyana) 6. Wisdom or (full-) consciousness (prajña) 7. Skilled methods (upaya) 8. Vow or resolution (pranidhana) 9. The ten powers or special abilities (dashabala) 10. Knowledge (jñana) - The Brahma Vihara are the four "sublime states" to which we all should aspire. They are the great signs of the Bodhisattva, who vows to remain in samsara -- this world of pain and sorrow -- until all creation can be brought into the state of Nirvana together. 1. Maitri is caring, loving kindness displayed to all you meet. 2. Karuna is compassion or mercy, the kindness shown to those who suffer. 3. Mudita is sympathetic joy, being happy for others, without a trace of envy. 4. Upeksa is equanimity or peacefulness, the ability to accept the ups and downs of life with equal dispassion. - This Sutra is a record of the words of the Buddha to Sigalo, a young middle class man, who was on his way to worship the six directions, east, west, north, south, up, and down. His father had died and asked him to worship in this very ancient fashion in remembrance of him. The Buddha, wishing this ritual to have more meaning for the young man, advised him in detail about how to live a good life as a layman. He phrased himself, as he apparently so often did, using lists, and begins by warning him against many of the evils of the layman's life. The four vices: 1. The destruction of life 2. Stealing 3. Sexual misconduct 4. Lying The four things which lead to evil: 1. Desire, meaning greed, lust, clinging 2. Anger and hatred 3. Ignorance 4. Fear and anxiety The six ways one dissipates ones wealth: 1. Drinking and drugs 2. Carousing late at night 3. Wasting away your time at shows 4. Gambling 5. Keeping bad company 6. Laziness And he provides details regarding these last six that demonstrate the manners in which drink, etc., lead to one's downfall. Then he provides a lesson on friendship -- how to distinguish good friends from bad friends. There are four types that are not really your friends, but will make your life miserable in the long run: 1. The leech who appropriates your possessions 2. The bull-shitter who manipulates you 3. The boot-licker who flatters you 4. The party-animal who encourages you to do the same A good friend, on the other hand, is one who... 1. is always ready to help you 2. is steady and loyal 3. provides good advice 4. is sympathetic The Buddha even gives some advice regarding one's finances: 1. One quarter of your earnings should be used to cover your expenses. 2. Two quarters should be re-invested in your business. 3. One quarter should be put into savings for times of need.

    
   
HINDUISM
Divine Teacher: Lord Krishna, "The Blessed One" (1500 B.C.?)
Seed Idea: DETACHMENT / Foretold One To Come.
Civilization Progress: Huge Stone Temples - Early SuperstitionDegraded Womanhood - Ceremonial - Magic - Early Krishna taught low morals and later higher standards - Empires Slavery - Effects of Forced Labor - Blind Devotion - Beginning of Individual Spiritual Progress.
Origin: India

 
Hinduism differs from Christianity and other Western religions in that it does not have a single founder, a specific theological system, a single system of morality, or a central religious organization. It consists of "thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE." This religion is called: Sanatana Dharma, "eternal religion," and Vaidika Dharma, "religion of the Vedas," and Hinduism -- the most commonly used name in North America. Various origins for the word "Hinduism" have been suggested: It may be derived from an ancient inscription translated as: "The country lying between the Himalayan mountain and Bindu Sarovara is known as Hindusthan by combination of the first letter 'hi' of 'Himalaya' and the last compound letter 'ndu' of the word `Bindu.'" Bindu Sarovara is called the Cape Comorin sea in modern times. 5 It may be derived from the Persian word for Indian. It may be a Persian corruption of the word Sindhu (the river Indus) It was a name invented by the British administration in India during colonial times. The classical theory of the origins of Hinduism traces the religion's roots to the Indus valley civilization circa 4000 to 2200 BCE. Hinduism has commonly been viewed in the west as a polytheistic religion - one which worships multiple deities: gods and goddesses. Some have viewed it as a monotheistic religion, because it recognizes only one supreme God: the pantheistic principle of Brahman, that all reality is a unity. The entire universe is seen as one divine entity who is simultaneously at one with the universe and who transcends it as well. Hindus believe in the repetitious Transmigration of the Soul. This is the transfer of one's soul after death into another body. This produces a continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth through their many lifetimes. It is called samsara. Karma is the accumulated sum of ones good and bad deeds. Karma determines how you will live your next life. Through pure acts, thoughts and devotion, one can be reborn at a higher level. Eventually, one can escape samsara and achieve enlightenment. Bad deeds can cause a person to be reborn as a lower level, or even as an animal. The unequal distribution of wealth, prestige, suffering are thus seen as natural consequences for one's previous acts, both in this life and in previous lives. Hindus organize their lives around certain activities or "purusharthas." These are called the "four aims of Hinduism," or "the doctrine of the fourfold end of life." They are: The three goals of the "pravritti," those who are in the world, are: dharma: righteousness in their religious life. This is the most important of the three. artha: success in their economic life; material prosperity. kama: gratification of the senses; pleasure; sensual, sexual, and mental enjoyment. The main goal for the "nivritti," those who renounce the world. is: moksa: Liberation from "samsara," the This is considered the supreme end of mankind. Meditation is often practiced, with Yoga being the most common. Other activities include daily devotions, public rituals, and puja, a ceremonial dinner for a God. Hinduism has a deserved reputation of being highly tolerant of other religions. Hindus have a saying: "Ekam Sataha Vipraha Bahudha Vadanti," which may be translated: "The truth is One, but different Sages call it by Different Names"
.
 
SIKHISM
It was founded in the 15th Century by Guru Nanak. The word "Sikh" is Punjabi for "disciple" and Sikhs are disciples of the Gurus. Sikh men are particularly easy to identify because they all have a full beard, and wear their hair uncut and contained in a turban. The Sikh place of worship is called a Gurdwara or temple. Sikhism does not have priests, but most gurdwaras will have a Granthi. A Granthi is a learned Sikh who is skilled in reading the scriptures, however, a Granthi has no special religious status. The principle Sikh scripture is the Adi Granth, often called the Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhs believe that the words of these scriptures are the present day embodiment of the Sikh Guru and they treat the book with the respect and devotion that they would have given to a human Guru.
 
 
JUDAISM
Divine Teacher: Moses, "Interlocutor with God" (1571 B.C.?)
Seed Idea: JUSTICE
/ Ten Commandments / Golden Rule / Laws Punished by Death / Foretold One To Come.
Civilization Progress:
Intellectual Progress - Idolatry Prevalent - Mathematical Discoveries - Obedience to 10 Commandments began slowly to raise level of morality - Ten Plagues in Egypt - Influence of Davide and Solomon 1000 B.C. - Building of Carthage 800 B.C. - Slavery - Saul First King of Israel 1040 B.C. - Israel Promised To Be Preserved as a Nation - Progress in Goverment, Justice and Desire to Learn - Spiritual Values.
Origin:
Saudi Arabia?

Jews believe there is only one God. God created the universe, and continues to keep it going. God has always existed, and always will. God cannot be seen or touched. God can however, be known through worship, and one can get closer to God through study and through mystical practices. God chose the Jewish people as his own special people, to be an example to all human beings. God gave Torah to the Jews as a guide to the obedient and holy life he wanted them to live. "The Messiah", who is a person specially anointed by God (i.e. specially commissioned), will one day come to the world. The arrival of the Messiah will bring an era of peace.
On the first of Sivan, the first day of the third month after the exodus from Egypt, the children of Israel reached the desert of Sinai and camped near the mountain. During the few weeks of traveling in the desert under Divine protection, with daily miracles, such as the manna and the quail, the miraculous sweetening of the water, the defeat of Amalek, and the crossing of the Red Sea, the Jewish people had become more and more conscious of God. Their faith grew more intense daily, until they attained a standard of holiness, solidarity and unity, never achieved before or after by any other nation. Moses ascended Mount Sinai, and God spoke to him the following words: "Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 'Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now, therefore, if ye will hearken unto My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples; for all the earth is Mine; and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.'" Moses returned from Sinai and called for the elders of the people and put all these words of God before them. Unanimously, with one voice and one mind, the people answered: Naaseh Venishma, "Everything God has said, we shall do." Thus they accepted the Torah outright, with all its precepts, not even asking for a detailed enumeration of the obligations and duties it involved. The entire people heard the words of God, and they became frightened. They begged Moses to be the intermediary between God and them, for if God Himself would continue to give them the entire Torah, they would surely die. Moses told them not to be afraid, for God had revealed Himself to them so that they would fear Him and not sin. Finally, God gave Moses the two stone Tables of Testimony, containing the Ten Commandments, written by God Himself. The Torah contains 613 commandments, of which 248 are positive (what to do) and 365 are negative (what not to do). The precepts and commandments cover every phase of a Jew's life, both the duties to one's fellow man and the way to worship G-d, in order to attain the highest moral standards.
The Jewish people are taught to observe, and observe, the laws of the Torah (Pentateuch, the five books of Moses). The Torah's social laws and its social system provide the only known basis for a fair and equitable society: for the existence of communities in which people trust one another, co-operate with each other for the common good, have freedom from oppression, have spiritual and material independence, have a good life.
The books of the Prophets include: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Treassar (the 12 books of the Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zecharia, Malachi). In all they have 48 prophets and 7 prophetesses whose prophecies were recorded for their everlasting importance. In addition to them there have been prophets in Israel in every generation, but because of the fact that their prophecies were confined to their times alone, they were not recorded.
 
 
ZOROASTRIANISM
Divine Teacher: Zoroaster, "The Pure One"
(800 B.C.)
Seed Idea: PURITY OF MIND / Foretold One To Come.
Civilization Progress:
Struggle between the good spirit Ahura-Mazda and the evil spirit Angra-Mainya - Period of Empire Building - Spread of Culturs - Use of Metals.
Origin: Persia
(Iran, now)
 
The religion was founded by Zarathushtra
- Zorastrian Sacred Text: The Zorastrian holy book is called the Avesta. This includes the original words of their founder Zarathushtra, preserved in a series of five hymns, called the Gathas. The latter represent the core text of the religion. The Gathas are abstract sacred poetry, directed towards the worship of the One God, understanding of righteousness and cosmic order, promotion of social justice and individual choice between good and evil. The Gathas have a general and even universal vision. Their worship includes prayers and symbolic ceremonies. Members are dedicated to a three-fold path, as shown in their motto: "Good thoughts, good words, good deeds". The Ten Commandments start like this: You shall not commit adultery, kill, steal, covet," -The central theme which emerges is again that Torah law provides and ensures equality, independence, freedom from oppression and exploitation, and a good life of high quality. The Jewish establishment argued against such laws so as to expose the people to exploitation through need. The resulting struggle changed Judaism, determined the fate of the Jewish people and gave rise to Christianity and it is this struggle which is exposed here to the light of day. In the application of basic Jewish law, there are two sides, two policies. 'Power and wealth for a few at the expense of the many' on the one side, 'Freedom, independence and a good life for all' on the other.
 
  
ISLAM
Divine Teacher: Muhammad, "The Beloved" (570-632 A.D.) -
Seal of the Prophets ending the cycle of prophecies. 
Seed Idea: SUBMISSION TO THE WILL OF GOD -
Taught Immortality / Visions of Paradise / Warnings of Hell / Foretold One To Come.
Civilization Progress:
Moral and Dietary laws - Liquor abolished - Colapse of Holy Roman Empire 1804 - Dark Ages Decline Civilizatios - Decay of Values, Morals, Manners, Cultures - Reign of Terror 1793 - Inferiority of Women - Columbus Discovered America 1492 - Beginning of Russian Empire 900 - Religious Controversy - Great Persecution - Politics Corrupt around the world - Byzantine Architecture 700 A.D. - Beginning of Universities, Libraries - Mingling of Peoples, and Cultures - A New Spirit of Individualism and Anti-Orthodoxy.
Origin: Mecca
(Saudi Arabia)
 
Prophet Muhammad, 570--632 AD Reflect upon God's creation but not upon His nature or else you will perish. The oneness of Allah is the one most important theological principal in Islam. The first of the five pillars, the declaration of faith, which is the first act that one does to embark on Islam, reiterates the necessity of the belief in the oneness of Allah. It begins with the negation of any god other than Allah: "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammed is His messenger."
The Koran and the Sonna form the authoritative basis for the religion of Islam. The Koran consists of laws, histories, legends and precepts which Mohammed professed to receive directly from God or through the Angel Gabriel. Mohammed could neither read nor write; so the Koran in written form was unknown to him. It is divided into 114 chapters and it is composed absolutely without any system of arrangement. It has neither beginning, middle, nor end. The Sonna is a commentary on the Koran and consists of Mohammed's sayings and doings, as handed by tradition and reduced to writing about a century after the Hegira. The Koran opposes the polytheism of Greece and Rome, as well as the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The faith of Islam in this particular is embodied in this passage of the Koran: "There is no god but God." Abraham, Moses and Jesus are viewed by Islam as being lesser prophets than Mohammed who revealed the complete will of God to mankind. The Koran teaches that on the last day the bodies of all persons shall rise and they shall be judged according to their good or bad conduct while on earth. Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day. The Muslim fast is obligatory and is regarded as a means of gaining heaven. The Quran: O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. -- 49:13 - Allah, the god of all humanity, is perceived differently in other religions. Since man would be limiting Allah by creating a physical image of Him Muslims do not. Allah is as I said unique and superior to His creations. Thus the biblical statement that was mentioned in Genesis Ch1 v27 that God has created man in his own image is a view that is not shared by Muslims. Allah, the Almighty, is ideal. He is the 'Just' and the Judge, as well as the 'Avenger of Evil.' It follows that to test mankind one must judge fairly and punish those who do evil. An example of Allah's justness is that we are only accountable for our own actions, unlike the Christian concept of the original sin, for the Quran says that no bearer can bear a burden of another. To be a Muslim it is essential to believe in the destiny, whether good or bad, that Allah has set for us (known as Qadr in Arabic).
  
  
 
   
Quaker-Religious Society of Friend
The origins of the Society are found in the seventeenth century in England, a time when many were questioning the established beliefs of the age. George Fox (1625-1691) did not find answers to his questions in any of the churches of his day. Out of his searching came the spiritual message which swept a large part of the country and which resulted in the formation of the Religious Society of Friends. Friends witnessed to an Alternative Christianity quite distinct from the churches of the time. As a result they were persecuted both by Cromwell's Puritan government and by the restored government of Charles II. Fox did not intend to start a new sect. He wanted to persuade the church to return to what it had been in the days of the Apostles. He proclaimed the early preaching of Peter (Acts, chapter 2 and 3) that Jesus, who had been present in the flesh, had risen from the dead and was now come in the Spirit. That Jesus acted in the hearts of his followers purifying and empowering them. Pursuing Peter's teaching, Fox called for a radical, egalitarian, spirit-filled Christianity that would not be oppressive of people on account of race, sex, or class. He maintained that the message of the early church had been lost when the church became institutionalized and believed that he, and others with him, could stand in exactly the same state as Apostles, with the same power to teach, to heal, and to prophesy that the Apostles had.The Ministry of All Believers George Fox challenged the belief of the Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches in the necessity for, and the authority of, a hierarchical structure of Priests and Bishops. He claimed that everyone was able to have a personal relationship with the living Jesus without having to depend on the intercessions of a Priest or Minister. He taught that there is one, Jesus Christ, who can speak to each person's condition and the responsibility for ministry therefore rested upon all. The Place of the Bible Friends hold that the words of the Bible should not be taken as the final revelation of God. The Books had been written by men who were acting under the power of the Holy Spirit and it was necessary to read the words in the power of the same spirit and to listen to what the Spirit then spoke in your heart. The words were active agents in the sense that, when read in the Spirit at the appropriate time, they would spring to life for the reader and take the reader forward on his or her spiritual journey. The Light Within George Fox preached the Good News that we were all children of God and that, as children of God, we had inherited powers from God. Each of us was given a measure of this power or light and in accordance with how we used it, so more would be given to us. Jesus had possessed this power or light, without measure so that he became the Light and the Light within is Jesus Christ. The Inner Voice Friends believe that if they wait silently upon God there will be times when God will speak to them in the heart. The silent Meeting of Friends is therefore the sacrament of communion with God during which Friends lay themselves open to the leading of the Spirit. George Fox often wrote about his ``openings'', meaning revelations and it has been the experience of Quakers over the centuries that ``openings'' will occur in the mind of that ``a way will open''. Openings can come to individuals when they are alone or may come out of the silence of a gathered Meeting for Worship. It is a perennial question as to whether a leading comes from God, from one's own ego, or from another power and it is the practice in the Society of Friends to test a leading or a concern in a meeting with others. When they meet for business Friends strive to obtain the ``sense of the meeting'' from those present before taking action for they recognize the light as a force which creates unity among all who respond to it or who ``answer it in one another''. It does not follow that a majority is always right; a prophetic role is a lonely one and, if a concern is deeply felt and continues to be raised, the Meeting will continue to hear it and may later come to recognize its validity. Equality before God From the beginning Friends gave women and men equal status, for the fact that we are all children of God bestowed an equality upon all. This concept led to the testimony that one person should not set himself above others through human honors and distinctions which were meaningless in the sight of God. From this came the Quaker practices of simple living, plain dress and plain speech. The Inward and Outward Journeys One of the most important messages that Quakers have to offer is that religion, or belief, is experiential. It is not just a matter of accepting words or practices but of experiencing God for oneself. The fact that God is always present means that the whole of a person's life is sacramental; Friends affirm the need to practice the presence of God in all activity. It follows, therefore, that Friends emphasize the importance of combining the inward and outward journeys. To take the inward without the outward will lead to selfishness. You go inward to wait upon and receive the word and support of God and then take this out to action in the world. To take the outward journey without the inward leads to ``burn out'' because the essential support is not there to be called upon. The Inward/Outward Journey is the practical application of Jesus' summary of the Law: ``Love God and your neighbor as yourself.'' It is the inward/outward process that has led Friends into pioneering social action such as reforms of prisons, schools and mental institutions, improving conditions of employment, supporting refugees and others in need, providing an ambulance service in wartime and examining the consequences of proposed legislation. The Peace Testimony As a Peace Church, the Society of Friends has always played a leading part in opposing preparations for war. The Peace Testimony, which is a very important Quaker principle, arose out of the belief in the in-dwelling Light or ``that of God'' in people. If that of God was a reality within oneself it would be denying the inner Spirit to take up arms against another.
   

CHRISTIANITY
There are many different variations or "denominations". The major division is between Orthodox and Western Christianity (which itself is divided into Roman Catholicism and Protestantism). Protestant churches rose out of protest against Roman Catholicism in the 16th century.

Divine Teacher: Christ, "Messiah, Redeemer"

(4 B.C.? - 33 A.D.)
- Advent of Christ in Jesus.
Seed Idea: SALVATION - LOVE - SERVICE /
Crucifixion / Resurrection / Miracles / Parables / Symbols / Morals / Rituals / Redemption / Immortablity / Sacrifice / Foretold One To Come.
Civilization Progress:
Gothic Architecture 1200 AD - Slowly Awakening Spiritual Consciousness with Devotion and Reverence but Growing Confusion of Beliefs - Purity lost in rituals, creeds, materialism, desire for power. Wars in all the known world.
Origin: Palestine -
There are no traces of its roots in either Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Greece or Rome.
Note:
The first Christians were Jewish Christians. The Pentateuch was of great importance to them and they kept its laws, keeping the sabbath and performing circumcision. Christian beliefs were spreading largely among Jews, and Christianity was a group within Judaism. They were called Jewish Christians because their membership consisted largely of Jews who had joined them and followed their beliefs and teachings. They believed Jesus was a prophet who had tried to make people more aware of the intent of the Pentateuch and had tried to intensify the application of its laws. As Jews had in any case to follow and live according to the Pentateuch's laws, so what were Jews and Jewish Christians arguing about? .
 
Baptist church
The Baptist Church beliefs: I. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience. II. There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience. III. God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being. IV. God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures. V. Election is God's eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life -- not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ -- in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified. VI. God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors. VII. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the Law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose hand He ever liveth to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe. VIII. Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone. IX. Repentance. Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbleth himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things. X. Saving faith is the belief, on God's authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness. XI. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith. XII. Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified, by God's word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ's commands. XIII. Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. XIV. The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all his true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to his commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches he hath given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which he hath appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Bishops, or Elders, and Deacons. XV. Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord's Supper. XVI. The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by his churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their church fellowship. XVII. The Lord's Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted. XVIII. God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful thing commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. XIX. The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God -- the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised. XX. God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life. - God has not changed. God’s Word has not changed. - If we claim faithfulness to Him and His Word, we cannot change or compromise!
 
Catholic Church
The Catholic beliefs: I. To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world. Man must know, love and serve God in a supernatural manner in order to gain happiness of heaven. Man is raised to the supernatural order only by grace, a free gift of God. II. We learn to know, love, and serve God from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who teaches us through the Catholic Church. III. In order to be saved, all persons who have attained the use of reason must believe explicitly that God exist and that he rewards the good and punishes the wicked; in practice they must also believe in the mysteries of the Blessed Trinity and the Incarnation. IV. By the Blessed Trinity we mean one and the same God in three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. V. By the Incarnation is meant that the Son of God, retaining His divine nature, took to Himself a human nature, that is, a body and soul like ours. VI. The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him. VII. We find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church in the Apostles' Creed.
Catholics must follow THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD I am the Lord your God; you shall not have strange gods before me. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Remember to keep holy the Lord's day Honor your father and your mother. You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not covet you neighbor's goods. THE CHIEF COMMANDMENTS OR LAWS, OF THE CHURCH To assist at Mass on all Sundays and holy days of obligation. To fast and abstain on the days appointed. To confess our sins at least once a year. To receive Holy Communion during the Easter time. To contribute to the support of the Church. To observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage. Christians throughout history have always regarded sin not only as a transgression of divine law but also--though not always in a direct and evident way -- as contempt for or disregard of the friendship between God and man, just as they have regarded it as a real and unfathomable offense against God and indeed an ungrateful rejection of the love of God shown us through Jesus Christ, who called his disciples friends and not servants. They are 7 sacrements: BAPTISM is one of them. Baptism is the sacrament that frees man from original sin and from personal guilt, that makes him a member of Christ and His Church. It is thus the door to a new and supernatural life. Baptism is necessary for salvation. The genuine significance of Catholic devotion to Mary is to be seen in the light of the Incarnation itself. The Church cannot separate the Son and the Mother. Mary, who was empty of all egotism, free from all sin, was as pure as the glass of a very clean window that has no other function than to admit the light of the sun (Son). If we rejoice in that light, we implicitly praise the cleanness of the window. Prayer For Peace O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said to Your Apostles: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you," regard not my sins but the faith of Your Church, and deign to give her peace and unity according to Your Will: Who live and reign, God, world without end. Amen.
 
Christian Reformed Church
The beliefs and doctrine of the Christian Reformed Church are based on the Holy Bible, God's infallible written Word contained in the 66 books the Old and New Testaments. We believe that it was uniquely, verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it was written without error (inerrant) in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks. As followers of Jesus Christ, living in this world-- which some seek to control, but which others view with despair-- we declare with joy and trust: Our world belongs to God! --from the Preamble. Humanity is created in the image of God; all theorizing that minimizes this fact and all theories of evolution which deny the creative activity of God are rejected. The clear teaching of Scripture and the confessions rules out holding views that support the reality of evolutionary forebears of the human race. But further investigation or discussion regarding the origin of humanity should not be limited. Scripture teaches that beverages containing alcohol can be a blessing or a source of evil. Those who drink alcohol must consider its effects on themselves and on others. Abstinence from alcohol may be an appropriate moral response in particular situations, but it is not demanded by Scripture and therefore should not be demanded by the church. According to Scripture, all Christians must avoid drunkenness. Though abstinence from alcohol is a morally creditable choice, those who, in their freedom in Christ, choose to use alcohol moderately are not to be condemned. The church should provide pastoral care and guidance for alcoholic church members and their families, including intervention and discipline when necessary. In light of what has been learned about the risks involved in the use of beverages containing alcohol, congregations were asked to examine the traditional practice of using wine in the sacrament of holy communion. Many churches are choosing to use grape juice out of deference to those with alcohol problems. Scripture, the saving revelation of God in Jesus Christ, addresses us with full divine authority in its total extent and in all its parts, and therefore the CRC speaks of the Bible as the inspired and infallible Word of God. The authority of Scripture is inseparable from the historical reality of the events recorded in it. Interpreted historical events are presented in Scripture not simply as isolated events but for their revelational meaning. Scripture is self-authenticating; it is not dependent on the findings of science, but these findings may lead to a better understanding of Scripture and must be developed within a Christian community which is faithful to the authority of Scripture.
Christian because they belong to Jesus Christ and want to be his followers. We recognize as fellow-Christians all people who accept the teachings of the Bible as summarized in the Apostle’s Creed. Reformed because they're part of that historic branch of the Christian church that follows the teachings of 16th-century reformer John Calvin, who struggled to return Christianity to its biblical roots. Church because God has called them to be a fellowship of his people in the world.
 
The Episcopal Church
The official standard is the Book of Common Prayer, but some parts of that are more clearly doctrinal than others. Their beliefs are quite diverse: Of the going down of Christ into Hell. Of the Resurrection of Christ. Of the Holy Ghost. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation. Of the Old Testament. Of the Creeds. Of Original or Birth Sin. Of Free Will. Of the Justification of Man. Of Good Works. Of Works before Justification. Of Works of Supererogation. Of Christ alone without Sin. Of Sin after Baptism. Of Predestination and Election. Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ. Of the Church. Of the Authority of the Church. Of the Authority of General Councils. Of Purgatory. Of Ministering in the Congregation It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office. Of Speaking in the Congregation in such a Tongue as the people understandeth. Of the Sacraments. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments. Of Baptism Of the Lord's Supper. Of the Wicked, which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord's Supper.Of both Kinds. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross. Of the Marriage of Priests. Of excommunicate Persons, how they are to be avoided. Of the Traditions of the Church. Of the Homilies. Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers. Of the Power of the Civil Magistrates. Of Christian Men's Goods, which are not common. Of a Christian Man's Oath.
 
The Church of God
The Worldwide Church of God is a Christian denomination. The Worldwide Church of God has members in more than 120 countries and territories. As part of the body of Christ, our mission is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world and to help members grow spiritually (Matthew 28:19-20). As a Spirit-led body of believers, the church is exhorted, "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). The Spirit of God leads the church into all truth (John 16:13). Accordingly, this Statement of Beliefs is not a closed creed. The Worldwide Church of God constantly renews its commitment to truth and deeper understanding and responds to God's guidance in its beliefs and practices. Their beliefs are: In one holy, loving, all-powerful, and gracious Creator God who exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God, fully authoritative for all matters of faith and practice. That Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully human, is both Lord and Savior. That Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross for human sin, that he was raised bodily on the third day, and that he ascended to heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father. That Jesus Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead and to reign over all things. In the Holy Spirit, who brings sinners to repentance, who gives eternal life to believers, and who lives in them to conform them to the image of Jesus Christ. That Christians should gather in regular fellowship and live lives of faith that make evident the good news that humans enter the kingdom of God by putting their trust in Jesus Christ. In the spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. That salvation comes not by works, but only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. In the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Bible prophecy reveals God and his will and purpose for humanity. In Bible prophecy, God declares that human sinfulness is forgiven through repentance and faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. Prophecy proclaims God as Sovereign Creator and Judge of all, assures humanity of his love, mercy, and faithfulness, and motivates the believer to live a godly life in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, as he promised, will return to earth to judge and reign over all nations in the kingdom of God. His second coming will be visible, and in power and glory. This event inaugurates the resurrection and reward of the saints. (John 14:3; Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Revelation 22:12) - The Millennium is the time span described in the book of Revelation during which Christian martyrs reign with Jesus Christ. After the Millennium, when all enemies have been put under his feet, and all things made subject to him, Christ will deliver the kingdom to God the Father, and heaven and earth will be made new. Some Christian traditions interpret the Millennium as a literal 1000 years to precede or follow the return of Jesus, while others believe that the scriptural evidence points to a figurative interpretation: an indeterminate time span commencing with Jesus’ resurrection and concluding with his return. (Revelation 20:1-15; 21:1, 5; Acts 3:19-21; Revelation 11:15; 1 Corinthians 15:24-25)
 
The Evangilical Lutheran Church
The ELCA, along with other Lutheran churches, can trace its roots directly to the Protestant Reformation that took place in Europe in the 16th century. By the late 1500s the Reformation had spread throughout Europe. Followers of Martin Luther's teachings were labeled "Lutherans" by their enemies and adopted the name themselves. Strong belief in the inerrancy of the Bible. "A Brief Statement" had been adopted in 1932, stating: Since the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God, it goes without saying that they contain no errors or contradictions, but that they are in all their parts and words the infallible truth ...
 
The Roman Catholic Church
It is the largest of the Christian denominations. It believes in the primacy and authority of the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), who is traditionally regarded as Christ's representative on earth and the successor of St Peter (one of Jesus' disciples and the first Bishop of Rome).
Three important beliefs about Christian origins by the Roman Catholic church are: Jesus assigned to Peter the responsibility of creating the Christian church. Peter was the first pope. At his death, his work was continued by a continuous succession of popes. The 1st century CE popes were: St. Peter (30 to 67 CE, approximately) Linus ( 67 to 76) Cletus (76 to 88) Clement of Rome (88 to 97) St Evaristus (97 to 105) 1 The Roman Catholic church was a fully functioning organization with authority centered at Rome, as early as the middle of the 1st century. "History proves that from that time [of Peter] on, both in the East and the West, the successor of Peter was acknowledged to be the supreme head of the [Christian] Church." 2 Jesus' Apostles ordained bishops, who in turn ordained the next generation of bishops. This continuous line of ordination, called the apostolic succession, has continued down to the present day. Thus the authority for the ordination of a new bishop today could theoretically be traced back as far as the individual Apostles -- except that accurate records were not kept in the early decades of the Christian movements. These beliefs conflict with those of many liberal theologians and religious historians who maintain that: The Bible describes Jerusalem as being the initial center of Christianity, with James the brother of Jesus at its head. The book of Acts, Paul's epistles, and others describe Paul as being the main founder and supreme authority of the Gentile churches -- that is of Pauline Christianity. Meanwhile, Jesus' disciples formed the Jewish Christian movement centered in Jerusalem, under the leadership of James, the brother of Jesus. Peter probably did not write any part of the Christian Scriptures (New Testaments). 1 Peter was probably not written by Peter; 2 Peter certainly was not. The author of the 1 Peter claims that Peter was only an elder.(1 Peter 5:1) Although churches are mentioned in the Christian Scriptures (as in Revelation 1:4) they are described as independent groups, apparently not part of a religious organization that is centrally controlled from Rome. Siricius, who reigned at the end of the 4th century CE, was the first bishop of Rome to be called pope. Pope Leo I, who reigned from 440 to 461 CE was the first to claim that the bishop of Rome was highest ranking of the bishops of the church. It took many centuries before the pope could speak for the church. Before that, all decisions affecting Christendom had to be settled by all of the bishops meeting together, as at the Council of Nicea in 325 CE. The early Pauline congregations were informal faith communities. A formal, hierarchical organization only came much later.

Moravian
Moravians recognize the example of Christ's life and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord. Living the Christian life depends not only on our own effort, but upon God our Father, who in Jesus Christ accepts us as heirs of God and strengthens and sustains us. In baptism we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection, so we have died to sin and should walk in newness of life. We deem it a sacred responsibility and genuine opportunity to be faithful stewards of all God has entrusted to us: our time, our talents, and our financial resources. We view all of life as a sacred trust to be used wisely. Moravians support collegial experiences with children of God in other Christian churches, and carefully avoid all disputes, respecting opinions and ceremonies peculiar to one or another Church. We recognize that through the grace of Christ different denominations have received many gifts and that the Church of Christ may be enriched by these many and varied contributions. It is our desire that we may learn from one another and rejoice together in the riches of the love of Christ and the manifold wisdom of God. We welcome every step that brings us nearer the goal of unity in Him. In this fellowship we cooperate with other churches in the support of public charities or Christian enterprises, which have a just claim upon us as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. A basic motto: In accepting other creeds of the Christian Church (such as the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, the Augsburg Confession) and in its practice, the Moravian Church has always stood by its motto: "In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; and in all things, love."
 
Presbyterian Church
The Presbyterian Church in America has a strong commitment to evangelism, missionary work at home and abroad, and to Christian education. From its inception, the church has determined its purpose to be “faithful to the Scriptures, true to the reformed faith, and obedient to the Great Commission.” In this new century, the Presbyterian Church in America continues its commitment to evangelism world-wide and the building up of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Beliefs of the Presbyterian Church in America:1. The Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. 2. There is one God, eternal and self-existing in three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) who are to be equally loved, honored, and adored. 3. All mankind participated in Adam's fall from his original sinless state and is thus lost in sin and totally helpless. 4. The Sovereign God, for no other reason than His own unfathomable love and mercy, has chosen lost sinners from every nation to be redeemed by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit and through the atoning death and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ. 5. Those sinners whom the Spirit quickens, come to believe in Christ as Savior by the Word of God, are born again, become sons of God, and will persevere to the end. 6. Justification is by faith and through it the undeserving sinner is clothed with the righteousness of Christ. 7. The goal of God's salvation in the life of the Christian is holiness, good works, and service for the glory of God. 8. At death the Christian's soul passes immediately into the presence of God and the unbeliever's soul is eternally separated from God unto condemnation. 9. Baptism is a sign of God's covenant and is properly administered to children of believers in their infancy as well as to those who come as adults to trust in Christ. 10. Jesus Christ will return to earth, visibly and bodily, at a time when He is not expected, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. 11. The Gospel of God's salvation in Jesus Christ must be published to all the world as a witness before Jesus Christ returns. The Presbyterian Church in America is one of the fastest-growing denominations in the United States. "Reformed" defines the doctrinal beliefs of the PCA, which holds that the purist expressions of scriptural doctrine are found in the Calvinistic creeds, particularly the Westminster Confession of Faith. The PCA's representative form of church government is rooted in its name -- presbyterian. Local churches are governed by elders (presbyters) elected by the church members. This form of government extends through the regional presbyteries, which facilitate connectionalism, to the national General Assembly, which expresses PCA's connectionalism and the bond of union between/among all the churches.
 
 
United Methodist Church
With Christians of other communions we confess belief in the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This confession embraces the biblical witness to God’s activity in creation, encompasses God’s gracious self-involvement in the dramas of history, and anticipates the consummation of God’s reign. Although we recognize that God’s revelation and our experiences of God’s grace continually surpass the scope of human language and reason, we also believe that any disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason. By reason we read and interpret Scripture. By reason we determine whether our Christian witness is clear. By reason we ask questions of faith and seek to understand God’s action and will.We believe good works are the necessary fruits of faith and follow regeneration but they do not have the virtue to remove our sins or to avert divine judgment. They believe good works, pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, spring from a true and living faith, for through and by them faith is made evident.The Church in mission is a sign of God’s presence in the world. The United Methodist Church believes God’s love for the world is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty. We cannot just be observers. So we care enough about people’s lives to risk interpreting God’s love, to take a stand, to call each of us into a response, no matter how controversial or complex. The Church helps us think and act out a faith perspective, not just responding to all the other "mind-makers-up" that exist in our society. The Social Principles are a prayerful and thoughtful effort on the part of the General Conference to speak to the human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation as historically demonstrated in United Methodist traditions. They are intended to be instructive and persuasive in the best of the prophetic spirit. The Social Principles are a call to all members of The United Methodist Church to a prayerful, studied dialogue of faith and practice. (See ¶ 509.) We, the people called United Methodists, affirm our faith in God our Creator and Father, in Jesus Christ our Savior, and in the Holy Spirit, our Guide and Guard.
 

Mormons
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - The basic beliefs of the church are: We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon this the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. The Book of Mormon is another witness that Jesus Christ really lived, that He was and is God’s Son. It contains the writings of ancient prophets. One of these, Lehi, lived in Jerusalem around 600 B.C. God commanded Lehi to lead a small group of people to the American continent. There they became a great civilization. God continued to call prophets among these people. People are expected to pay 10 percent of their income to move forward the work of the Church. Through the ordinance of baptism, they make a promise, called a covenant, with God. They promise to accept Christ, to become His followers, and to keep His commandments to the end of our lives. In return, our Heavenly Father promises to forgive their sins and let them return to live with Him, provided they keep our covenants. The gift of the Holy Ghost is given by someone who has priesthood authority from God. It is given by the laying on of hands after a person is baptized.
   
 

 
 
Jehovah's Witness
THE modern history of Jehovah's Witnesses began more than a hundred years ago. In the early 1870's, a rather inconspicuous Bible study group began in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., which is now a part of Pittsburgh. Charles Taze Russell was the prime mover of the group. In July 1879, the first issue of the magazine Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence appeared. By 1880 scores of congregations had spread from that one small Bible study into nearby states. In 1881 Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was formed, and in 1884 it was incorporated, with Russell as president. The Society's name was later changed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Many were witnessing from house to house offering Bible literature. JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES believe in Almighty God, Jehovah, Creator of the heavens and the earth. Their belief is: Bible is God's Word and is truth; Bible is more reliable than tradition ; Christ is God's Son and is inferior to Him ; Christ was first of God's creations ; Christ died on a stake, not a cross ; Christ's human life was paid as a ransom for obedient humans ; Christ's one sacrifice was sufficient ; Christ was raised from the dead as an immortal spirit person ; Christ's presence is in spirit ; We are now in the 'time of the end' ; Kingdom under Christ will rule earth in righteousness and peace ; Kingdom will bring ideal living conditions to earth ; Earth will never be destroyed or depopulated ; God will eliminate present system of things in the battle at Har-Magedon ; Wicked will be eternally destroyed ; People God approves will receive everlasting life; There is only one road to life ; Human death is due to Adam's sin ; The human soul ceases to exist at death ; Hell is mankind's common grave ; Hope for dead is resurrection ; Adamic death will cease ; Only a little flock of 144,000 go to heaven and rule with Christ ; The 144,000 are born again as spiritual sons of God ; New covenant is made with spiritual Israel ; Christ's congregation is built upon himself ; Prayers are to be directed only to Jehovah through Christ ; Images should not be used in worship ; Spiritism must be shunned ; Satan is invisible ruler of world ; A Christian ought to have no part in interfaith movements ; A Christian should keep separate from world ; Obey human laws that do not conflict with God's laws ; Taking blood into body through mouth or veins violates God's laws ; Bible's laws on morals must be obeyed ; Sabbath observance was given only to Israel and ended with Mosaic Law ; A clergy class and special titles are improper ; Man did not evolve but was created ; Christ set example that must be followed in serving God ; Baptism by complete immersion symbolizes dedication ; Christians gladly give public testimony to Scriptural truth.

    
 

 
offered by different religious groups for
Tuesday, September 11, 2001's world tragedy.
 
 
SpiritWeb NJ Faith Directory SpiritWeb NJ Faith Directory
 
 
What is a Prophet?
Many people today think of a prophet is just a person who can read the future. While the gift of prophecy includes the ability to speak about the future, a true prophet is not just a person which such ability. Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, Mohammad, The Bab and Baha'u'llah are not just anyone reading the future. They are recognized as all Great Prophets of God speaking for God, Himself. They were people chosen by God to convey His messages and Teachings to mankind all all corners of the world when ever needed at the time. "...These Messengers of the Lord of creation have, one and all, directed their peoples to turn unto the same direction. In the eyes of God, the ideal King, all the places of the earth are one and the same, excepting that place which, in the days of His Manifestations, He doth appoint for a particular purpose.Even as He hath revealed: "The East and West are God's: therefore whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God." Another proof and evidence of the truth of a Revelation, which amongst all other proofs shineth as the sun, is the constancy of the eternal Beauty in proclaiming the Faith of God. The latest Divine Teacher for mankind is Baha'u'llah who's teachings will bring the Kingdom of God on earth.
 
Foundations of World Unity

"... I hope that the lights of the Sun of Reality will illumine the whole world so that no strife and warfare, no battles and bloodshed remain. May fanaticism and religious bigotry be unknown, all humanity enter the bond of brotherhood, souls consort in perfect agreement, the nations of earth at last hoist the banner of truth and the religions of the world enter the divine temple of oneness, for the foundations of the heavenly religions are one reality. Reality is not divisible; it does not admit multiplicity. All the holy Manifestations of God have proclaimed and promulgated the same reality. They have summoned mankind to reality itself and reality is one. The clouds and mists of imitations have obscured the Sun of Truth. We must forsake these imitations, dispel these clouds and mists and free the Sun from the darkness of superstition. Then will the Sun of Truth shine most gloriously; then all the inhabitants of the world will be united, the religions will be one, sects and denominations will reconcile, all nationalities will flow together in the recognition of one fatherhood and all degrees of humankind gather in the shelter of the same tabernacle, under the same banner. 6 Until the heavenly civilization is founded, no result will be forthcoming from material civilization, even as you observe. See what catastrophes overwhelm mankind. Consider the wars which disturb the world. Consider the enmity and hatred. The existence of these wars and conditions indicates and proves that the heavenly civilization has not yet been established. If the civilization of the Kingdom be spread to all the nations, this dust of disagreement will be dispelled, these clouds will pass away and the Sun of Reality in its greatest effulgence and glory will shine upon mankind...." "..Creation is the expression of motion. Motion is life. A moving object is a living object whereas that which is motionless and inert is as dead. All created forms are progressive in their planes or kingdoms of existence under the stimulus of the power or spirit of life. The universal energy is dynamic. Nothing is stationary in the material world of outer phenomena or in the inner world of intellect and consciousness. 2 Religion is the outer expression of the divine reality. Therefore it must be living, vitalized, moving and progressive. If it be without motion and non-progressive it is without the divine life; it is dead. The divine institutes are continuously active and evolutionary; therefore the revelation of them must be progressive and continuous. All things are subject to re-formation. This is a century of life and renewal. Sciences and arts, industry and invention have been reformed. Law and ethics have been reconstituted, reorganized. The world of thought has been regenerated. Sciences of former ages and philosophies of the past are useless today. Present exigencies demand new methods of solution; world problems are without precedent. Old ideas and modes of thought are fast becoming obsolete. Ancient laws and archaic ethical systems will not meet the requirements of modern conditions, for this is clearly the century of a new life, the century of the revelation of the reality and therefore the greatest of all centuries. ..." "...It is evident that the divine prophets have appeared in the world to establish love and agreement among mankind. They have been the shepherds and not the wolves. The shepherd comes forth to gather and lead his flock and not to disperse them by creating strife. Every divine shepherd has assembled a flock which had formerly been scattered. Among the shepherds was His Holiness Moses..." http://www.ibiblio.org/Bahai/Texts/EN/
  
 

©Photo by Annick Elziere
 
Clinton remarks on his One America initiative
09 March 2000 - White House Transcript HERE
(Meeting with diverse group of religious leaders at White House)
 
"The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world's Great Peace amongst men." ---Baha'u'llah
 
Boston Globe
THE SPIRITUAL LIFE
World religious leaders to met at the UN to promote peace
By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 8/26/2000

For as long as human beings have organized themselves into religious groups, those groups have found reasons to fight. Wars have been fought in the name of many major faiths, and there was even a series of wars in 16th-century France that are known as the Wars of Religion. Over just the past 50 years, 27 million people have been killed in armed conflicts of one form or another. And today, many conflicts throughout the world have religious roots, including in the Balkans, Chechnya, the Middle East, and Sudan. But now an affiliate of the United Nations is trying to harness the avowed commitment of religious leaders to peace. Starting Monday at the United Nations, more than 1,000 religious and spiritual leaders from about 100 countries will gather for four days of meetings about combating war, poverty and environmental degradation. Organizers hope that the result will be a permanent relationship between religious leaders and the United Nations so that religious leaders can become a force for change. ''What makes this meeting of religious leaders distinctive is it's an effort to also collaborate with the United Nations to see how religious leaders can bring the power of their own spiritual traditions to work with UN forces in the field to help reduce conflict,'' said Anne F. Glauber, communications director for the event, which organizers are calling the Millennium World Peace Summit. The event has thus far been overshadowed by criticism of organizers' decision not to invite the Dalai Lama, the Nobel Peace-prize winning Tibetan Buddhist, to the portion of the event that takes place at the United Nations, for fear of offending the Chinese delegation. The Dalai Lama instead is sending a delegation of six high-ranking Tibetan Buddhists. ''In any effort of this kind you try to make progress, take progress as you get it, and not hold out for the absolute best,'' UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said this week. ''And I personally believe that having a thousand religious leaders here next week talking about peace, talking about our world, and praying for all of us, and praying for peace is progress.'' The conference has also been criticized by the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization, for allegedly excluding conservative voices from the United States, but organizers reject that criticism, saying a broad swath of Protestantism will be present. The summit will bring together parties with vastly different interests, such as a chief rabbi from Israel and grand mufti from Syria, and religious leaders from warring Eritrea and Ethiopia. Attendees are also coming from the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, the Philippines, Rwanda and the Sudan, all current areas of conflict. The religious leaders will not be negotiating political disputes, but organizers hope they will form personal ties that can help lead to reconciliation. ''This is good for religious and spiritual leaders because it adds a note of realism to their endeavors,'' said David Little, a professor at Harvard Divinity School who is advising the summit. ''Religious leaders often talk in the air about peace, but they don't address with much concreteness the realities of how some of their traditions have evolved.'' Organizers are circulating a proposed Declaration for World Peace for religious leaders to sign that would state that the leaders condemn the use of violence in the name of religion. And they are hoping that the summit will create a permanent International Advisory Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders to advise the United Nations on regional crises. Among the more prominent attendees are Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria, a possible papal candidate, the secretary general of the Baha'i community, the patriarch of Tendai Buddhism, the faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation, the grand mufti of Bosnia, the archbishop of Capetown and the patriarch of the Armenian Orthodox Church. Among theAmericans attending are the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Coretta Scott King. The summit is funded by Ted Turner's UN Foundation and others. It is a prelude to the UN Millennium Summit, expected to draw about 150 world leaders to UN headquarters from Sept. 6-8. This story ran on page B02 of the Boston Globe on 8/26/2000.
 
 
DID YOU KNOW?
 
A Female Pope ?
For 1,100 years men have denied her existence. She is the legend that will not die--the woman who disguised herself as a man and sat for two years on the papal throne.
1666- The Rev. Abraham Pierson was the first recordeddoctor in New Jersey's history. Founded First Presbyterian Church, Newark.
1698- Anglican (Episcopal) faith established at Perth Amboy.
1703- The first and oldest Episcopal church building in the state was old St. Mary's Church in Burlington.
1747- The first Sunday school on record in New Jersey was started by a German resident.
1750- The first and oldest Lutheran church was built in Oldwick. It was the Zion Lutheran Church.
1814- The first Catholic church in New Jersey was known as Sacred Heart Church of Trenton.
The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (a French Gothic masterpiece) is the honored seat of Catholicism in New Jersey, the state's dominant religion, accounting for more than 40 percent, or 1.4 million, of the state's 2.8 million Catholic population. Sacred Heart is the home of the archbishop, the highest ranking Catholic priest in New Jersey.

Will the Next Pope be the Last Pope?     
Texe Marrs explains why the Pope who replaces the ailing Pope John Paul II will be the last Pope. Who will succeed John Paul II?—the top candidates are named and discussed, including a Jewish Cardinal and a Black African Cardinal.

New Jersey's origins as a wilderness settled by Quakers and Puritans, wanting only the freedom to express their religious beliefs, are manifested today in the nearly 4,000 houses of worship refecting a common faith in God. Almost 4 million of the state's residents belong to some denomination, be it Baptist, Budhist, Catholic, Episcopal, Jewish, Methodist or Presbyterian.

Quakertown (N.J.) Meeting was organized in 1729. It was first known as Bethlehem and later as Kingwood meeting. Declining attendance resulted in the meeting being discontinued in 1905, but it was reorganized in 1957 and has flourished since then.

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