"No one can know ... unless someone comes down from heaven and marks the right road"
i must first thank Violet for her detailed answer which left me pondering at the immensity of the task. Christianity is so theologically fragmented and dogmatically divisive that it boggles the mind. There are literally hundreds of verses and more than 22,000 splintered sects to split hairs over an entire lifetime.
"Once there was a single Christian group, Jesus of Nazareth's tiny band of twelve apostles; now there are thousands. It has been estimated that there are some twenty-two thousand separate and distinct Christian groups around the world."
Charles Templeton, Farewell to God,
The Canadian Publishers, 1996 p. 130.
Can you imagine the utter chaos and confusion if all of them started a collective debate to ascertain who holds the truth?
This being the case, there is no way the religious herds are going to share their grazing grounds with those of different stripes and colors. So is there actually no hope for these religious herds that have been bitterly battling and defending their holy turf for centuries? i found an interesting blog:
Monday, August 01, 2005
Religion and Contradiction
Recently, I had a friend tell me that all religions are right in their own way.
Now, I'm no philosopher, but that didn't seem to make sense to me. Mainly because many religions are contradictory. For example, Buddhism denies the existence of sin. Judaism says sin is central to understanding humanity. Since they believe opposite things, the Buddhist and the Jew cannot both be right.
The Law of Non-Contradiction states that"A"And"Not A"cannot both be true. Christianity states that Jesus is God. Islam says Jesus is not God. They cannot both be true.
I know this isn't news to the sophisticated apologist or the worldview scholar. But I'm amazed how often I run into this line of thinking.
Recently, I climbed a mountain (Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado). As I climbed, I thought about the common claim that"All roads lead to the same destination." I thought of the paths on the mountain, and wondered if they all would lead me to the top. I didn't know. To claim that I did know would have been both foolish and arrogant. In fact, the only one who could know would be someone who had been to the summit. Fortunately, someone who had been to the summit had come down and marked the right trail for me.
The point is that no one can know whether or not all roads lead to heaven until they die. That is unless someone comes down from heaven and marks the right road. And if that someone also points out that all of the other roads lead to certain death, the kind thing would be to help out the other hikers. How intolerant of us.
posted by Jeff at 4:41 PM
"As a muslim i think not only there is no contradiction among religions, but also they confirm each other. It's the followeres and the leaders of religions who raise problems among people. Since the religions have taken an evolutionary way one after the other, and considering the time and cultural differences, the minor differences are inevitable. But according to our holy book (koran), god has created people with some differences, physically, culturally,... So i think all the problems between followers is because of incomplete and immature knowledge of human about religions and God."
i also think all the problems between followers is because of incomplete and immature knowledge of human about religions and God. But no one can know ..... unless someone comes down from heaven and marks the right road. And the incarnation of the Shakti/Spirit/Ruh has come down from heaven with the Divine Message to mark the right road for all humanity.
"The world is in turmoil today. People everywhere are anxious about the future. What they need is the soothing, uniting, elevating spiritual message of Sahaja Yoga. They have to be enabled to experience"Self Realization"And thereby attain inner transformation. Only then will they begin to regard all human beings as members of one global family regardless of their race, culture etc. Only then will they discard hatred and violence. Sahaja Yogis have a momentous responsibility at this crucial time in human history. They have to spread Sahaja Yoga in all the parts of the world by written and spoken word.... For this purpose, a well thought out approach is required."
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi proves beyond a shadow of doubt that these"Are the times described in the Holy Bible as the Last Judgment and in the Koran as Qiyamah, the Resurrection time. Astrologically it is also called the Age of Aquarius, the time of rebirth and of great spiritual development on the Earth."Every messenger of God upheld this Divine Message and hope for all humanity, but more than a millennium of scriptural distortion, misinterpretation, rivalry, animosity, hatred and wars among Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists have left them ignorant of this collective truth. What they need is the soothing, uniting, elevating spiritual message of Sahaja Yoga delivered by the incarnation of the Adi Shakti(Spirit/Ruh) Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi who has come down from the heavens and taken birth on this Earth for that very reason.
So instead of trying to get more than 22,000 splintered sects and religious regimes to agree on countless doctrinal differences we should just tell them the plain truth. All those who were great incarnations said it with such concern, with such force. In the same way, you have to say without any fear. We don't have to be begging of them but we have to honour them, we have to respect them, we have to be kind to them, but we have to give them what we have. After all, that open and joyous announcement to fellow beings has always been historically performed by the disciples when someone comes down from heaven and marks the right road for humans.
—- In email@example.com," jagbir
>"The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but
> don't know where it comes from and where it is going. So is
> everyone who is born of the Spirit."John 3.8
>"The Kundalini rises through a very thin line of Brahmanadi. In the
> beginning only a hair like thing rises, it pierces through; in some
> people ,of course, in a big way it rises also. And then it pierces
> this fontanel bone area which is a real baptism, real. Today only
> people felt the cool breeze coming out of their heads. Can you do
> that by jumping, or by paying money? They felt the cool breeze in
> the hand. It's written in the Bible, even in the Bible very
> clearly, that it's the cool breeze, cool breeze is the sign of the
> Holy Ghost. You start feeling the cool breeze in your hands and
> you start feeling the cool breeze on your head. This is the
> Of course, you people don't read other books which are very good,
> like Adi Shankaracharya, People don't even like the mention of his
> name who has really and clearly said that it is the cool breeze;
> the chaitanya is to be felt like cool breeze in the hands. They do
> not want that you should know the truth. And this is the truth
> that when you get your realization, you have to feel the cool
> breeze in your hands yourself. You have to judge yourself. I'm not
> going to tell you. It is you who has to see, it is you who has to
> feel, and then you have to grow and you have to know all and
> everything; all the secrets of Divine Science. You become the
> master then, you are the guru.
> You are the Spirit, and you should get it. It's your own which is
> given to you. I have nothing to do about it. I'm just a catalyst."
> Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
> Maccabean Hall, Australia on March 22, 1981
> —- In firstname.lastname@example.org," jagbir singh"
> > Dear Violet,
> > You told me that"Christians still do not know that they are
> > supposed to look for a Cool Breeze, because the Pentecostals
> > don't teach that. The Pentecostals teach about the Gifts of the
> > Spirit."
> > If you do not mind, can you elaborate/edit the same points and
> > post it on the forum? i think this is a major topic that needs
> > public discussion so that its manifestation and implications can
> > be compared viz a viz mainstream Christianity. The self-
> > verification of Cool Breeze experienced by those who get their
> > Second Birth from the Spirit within themselves is the force de
> > rigeur of Sahaja Yoga.
> > The Pentecostal churches do not teach about the Cool Breeze
> > because their pastors have absolute no power to give Second
> > Birth.
> > The Cool Breeze comes from within and this evidence must be self- > > verified by the seeker to know that he/she is truly born of the
> > Spirit. This Divine power lies within the person, a miracle of
> > God's direct action to fulfill His Promise to humanity.
> > There are tens of thousands of SYs who experience this Cool
> > Breeze daily. Let us not forget the hundreds of thousands of
> > seekers who did feel this Cool Breeze over countless numbers of
> > SY public programs and health fairs but left because, since they
> > were never told the Truth, found it no big deal as they could
> > not relate it to their religious upbringing. Perhaps in future
> > many of these seekers, and Pentecostal churchgoers too, may find > > out that the Wind that the Disciples of Jesus felt on the Day of
> > Pentecost is a daily experience for those taking part in the
> > Resurrection and Last Judgment.
> > with love and season's greetings,
> > jagbir
Dear Jagbir and All,
"You told me that"Christians still do not know that they are supposed to look for a Cool Breeze, because the Pentecostals don't teach that. The Pentecostals teach about the Gifts of the Spirit." (End Quote)
(Jagbir... that is correct. Christians still do not know that they are supposed to look for a Cool Breeze. Neither traditional christians nor pentecostal christians know that.)
"If you do not mind, can you elaborate/edit the same points and post it on the forum?" (End Quote)
(i will do my best, Jagbir. People from non-Christian spiritual backgrounds though... may need a bit of background information first. With discussion, spiritual understanding can perhaps be reached. There is much to clear up and simplify in Christianity, because it has become a complicated thing due to the misconceptions, misinterpretions and misunderstandings that have collected over the centuries since Shri Jesus was on Earth and gave His Pristine Divine Teachings.)
"I think this is a major topic that needs public discussion so that its manifestation and implications can be compared viz a viz mainstream Christianity. The self-verification of Cool Breeze experienced by those who get their Second Birth from the Spirit within themselves is the force de rigeur of Sahaja Yoga." (End Quote)
(i totally agree with you that this"Is"A major topic that needs public discussion. It is such a major topic that a person cannot write about it in one post (i don't think)... and discussion brings out many points for our collective spiritual understanding. i believe it is important that the varying spiritual traditions develop a 'common understanding of spirituality'... which i know you are working on 'day in day out'. After all... the original Teachers (Incarnations)... agreed on all the basic and essential principles. And if they are from God, why should they not agree? That which does not agree..."cannot therefore"be from God. This is just 'plain old logic'.
In fact, i am sure it will be quite surprising what will come out of such continuing discussion. i am sure it will go a long way to help reach a collective spiritual understanding and therefore more spiritual agreement among all people, regardless of which spiritual tradition they come from.
For example... Sahaja Yogis know"Without any doubt whatsoever" (and they have come from varying spiritual backgrounds too)... that they feel the Cool Breeze of the Holy Ghost as a sign that they have had their Second Birth. They actually feel it as a cool breeze, that is not an ordinary wind that blows when it is a windy day. This wind also blows"When it is not a windy day." This happened on the Day of Pentecost. It also happens today. It cannot be replicated or conjured or manufactured. It is the Living Spirit that produces the Divine Wind. It is written about in the Koran and in the Bible and mystics from various spiritual traditions also wrote about it in poetry.
However, this Truth has remained unknown by both traditional christians and pentecostal christians. Why is this so? What could be the reason? At least the pentecostal christians are trying to get some understanding on it, however, as they are following Apostle Paul's teachings instead of Shri Jesus, the Christ's teachings... they have somewhat gone 'off the straight and narrow' that leads to the Kingdom of God within. The shocking truth that Christians need to realise is that Pauline Christianity and Jesus the Christ's teachings actually do not agree in a lot of ways. For example, Shri Jesus said that the sign of the Holy Spirit is"like the Wind but you do not know where it comes from and where it is going.".. whereas the followers of Apostle Paul say that "speaking in tongues"Is the sign of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Apostle Paul, in fact says: "I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all." (I Corinthians 14:18 - KJV)
Jagbir... over time, we could take each individual teaching of Paul and compare it to each comparable individual teaching of Jesus, the Christ... and athat way' remove the 'smoke-and-mirrors' effect... so everyone can see plainly what theologians also now see. This is that Pauline Christianity and Jesus's teachings are different. The more a person researches into this... the more they will be dismayed at the differences. (This does not mean that everything is in disagreement; however, there should not be discrepancy on so many points.) Apostle Paul seems to misunderstand what Shri Jesus taught. It only takes a little misunderstanding to eventuate in a chasm of misunderstanding... over time.
The thing is..."Sahaja Yogis know.".. that a person cannot receive their Second Birth and subsequent spiritual gifts by a minister putting some 'power' into the person 's in the pentecostal way'. Apostle Paul was a pentecostal. As stated already, he said: "I speak in tongues more than you all." (I Corinthians 14:18) However, i have never once heard of Shri Jesus Christ even mentioning about"speaking in tongues." i have heard about the disciples of Jesus experiencing the Wind on the Day of Pentecost, and them seeing tongues of flames over their heads, and they spoke in different languages, which the Holy Spirit gave them utterance, so that they could give the message out in many languages. However, even at the Day of Pentecost, there is no mention of"speaking in tongues"As in the 'pentecostal glossolalia experience'. Apostle Paul was not an initiate of Shri Jesus. He was not even born while Shri Jesus was on Earth. So... where did Paul get initiated into"speaking in tongues"In the first place? None of this is mentioned by him in the bible. Maybe he wanted the Baptism of the Holy Spirit so badly that he ended up"speaking in tongues.".. if you know what i mean. However, Sahaja Yogis do not speak in tongues. There is something 'not quite right' about this 'speaking in tongues' business.
In fact... Sahaja Yogis"know.".. that the Holy Spirit Power is within the person, and located in their Sacrum Bone... until it awakens. This Holy Spirit Power is called the"Kundalini Power." It cannot be passed on from someone who does not have this kundalini power awakened in them. When this dormant energy awakens (usually through a catalyst, which is someone who already has it awakened within themselves)... the Kundalini Power (the Holy Spirit Herself) arises and baptises the person.
No external person can give another person the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit, Adi Shakti, Ruh of Allah, Shekinah, Great Mother, Aykaa Mayee, Maitreya (depending upon which Name you prefer to call Her)... CAN ALONE GIVE IT TO YOU. She is your Individual Spiritual Mother within you... that give you your Spiritual Birth... just as you have a physcial mother that gives you your physical birth. However, your Spiritual Mother incarnates with you from lifetime to lifetime. She knows you 'heaps better' than your physical mother can ever possibly know you... and that is not to disparage your physical mother. It is just a fact.)
"The Pentecostal churches do not teach about the Cool Breeze because their pastors have absolute no power to give Second Birth." (End Quote)
(This is the thing. Pentecostal pastors have not had their kundalini energy awakened themselves. Most probably do not even"know"About the kundalini energy within the sacrum bone (sacred bone) because all Hindu knowledge was rejected by christians. Now however, many pentecostals are looking at other spiritual traditions for knowledge they do not have, so things may be changing. However, in a lot of cases, it is just to find better answers that suit their own religious theories, which is not the same as just having an open heart and mind to find out what is the Absolute Truth... come what may.
That is also why Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi has incarnated... to give them (and others) the Absolute Truth on all these subjects... setting the record straight regarding all the misconceptions and misinterpretations... so they will not have to remain in spiritual ignorance and spiritual division between the different christian denominations and other spiritual traditions as well. After all... we are all part and parcel of one human family. After all... there is only ONE UNITED KINGDOM OF GOD. If you are 'for division' you cannot enter this kingdom. Only those who want to be united in Spirit, can enter this kingdom. There are not separate Kingdoms of God for the different christian denominations and/or different spiritual traditions. We are going to have to come to"some"Spiritual Unity therefore, first from within... and then this will manifest without.
No incarnation came to create religions which divide people according to man-made doctrines and dogmas. Study Shri Jesus Christ's teachings, and you will find no such doctrines and dogmas which Apostle Paul teaches. Once Christians realise the Absolute Truth... then they too will come to know the Cool Breeze of the Holy Ghost... as experienced by the disciples of Jesus on the Day of Pentecost.
Pentecostals stress the"Day of Pentecost"very much. They even take their 'name' from that 'Day of Pentecost'. It should be their spiritual birthright therefore, to have a correct understanding of these things. When pentecostals find out the Absolute Truth on this subject and live it, there will be no stopping them. The positive message of the Last Judgment and Resurrection will then spread like wildfire. There will be no hesitation on that major subject, as it is with WCASY and followers of WCASY.)
"The Cool Breeze comes from within and this evidence must be self- verified by the seeker to know that he/she is truly born of the Spirit. This Divine power lies within the person, a miracle of God's direct action to fulfill His Promise to humanity.
There are tens of thousands of SYs who experience this Cool Breeze daily. Let us not forget the hundreds of thousands of seekers who did feel this Cool Breeze over countless numbers of SY public programs and health fairs but left because, since they were never told the Truth, found it no big deal as they could not relate it to their religious upbringing. Perhaps in future many of these seekers, and Pentecostal churchgoers too, may find out that the Wind that the Disciples of Jesus felt on the Day of Pentecost is a daily experience for those taking part in the Resurrection and Last Judgment." (End Quote)
(That many seekers and pentecostal churchgoers will find out that the Wind that the Disciples of Jesus felt on the Day of Pentecost is a daily experience for those taking part in the Resurrection and Last Judgment... is the desired outcome and why we work hard at getting this most important message out. Shri Mataji has asked us no less than to declare that She is the Holy Ghost and that She has come for this special time, which is the Resurrection Time:
"Declare to all the nations now, that I am the Holy Ghost and I have come for this special time... that is the resurrection time."
(Birthday Puja - Sydney - 21 March 1983)
'Therefore'... taking account of all the above facts... 's stated'... i feel it is important to give some background information upon which to base an understanding of Christianity and the Second Birth. Facts which have already been stated above, may be repeated in going over this expansive subject that includes the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Second Birth, self-realisation, salvation (a.k.a. spiritual liberation)... and so forth. This will probably not be the only discussion on it either, because as Jagbir has said... many things need to be discussed. However... these are the really essential and pivotal subjects that need to be addressed... as everything else revolves around these basic essentials.
How many times did Shri Mataji repeat the very same things... over and over again in different ways? So... please bear with those who go into the "nitty gritty"of it all."Pauline Christianity is not a simple thing." It is quite complicated. This is because instead of following the Christ's teachings and applying those teachings to their lives, people started to follow Apostle Paul's (and other) man-made teachings instead. When this happens, things get complicated! You could compare it to how it is much easier to follow Shri Mataji's teachings of Truth because of their 'consistency' rather than trying to follow WCASY's truths because of their 'inconsistencies'. Absolute Truth is never inconsistent. That is why it is known as"Absolute Truth." Whenever their is some 'inconsistency'... you can be sure that man has put his edit on it in some way.
'The thing is'... whenever 'man' puts stress on something out of character with the way the Incarnation 'gave it'... great complications happen which increase in complexity over time. The complications may not be apparent 'early in the piece' but 'down the track'... a chasm of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Incarnation's teachings becomes apparent. atoday'... this is quite noticeable with regards to Apostle Paul's teachings, which is why theologians call his the"Pauline Christianity." It is not any more Jesus the Christ's Christianity... you see! And as stated, theologians are very aware of this already.
The important thing to remember about Paul, though... is that he was not there when Jesus, the Christ was on Earth. He was not a disciple of Jesus. 'Bluntly speaking'... Shri Mataji has called the Apostle Paul"An imposter"In fact. This might be shocking to some, however this is what the Incarnation of the Holy Spirit, Shri Mataji... has told Sahaja Yogis. Apostle Paul seems to have usurped Shri Jesus's teachings, and this will probably be revealed ever more clearly on detailed examination of Jesus's teachings in comparison with what Apostle Paul teaches. It is common sense to do this. It is a logical thing to do too. We have to be like scientists and compare what the Incarnations said... to what mere man says. When they do not tally, then something has gone amiss.
NOTE: Christians use and read different versions of the Bible. They don't generally confine themselves to the King James Version. They like to make comparative studies, using the different versions. This can be easily seen if a person searches the Christian Bible Study Websites where they will find all the comparative versions given. The reason for this is so that people can get the maximum of spiritual meaning and understanding from the scriptures. What a person may not grasp the full meaning of in one version... they may be able to ascertain from another version.
Also... depending on the particular passage or verse of the bible being studied, the best translation can also be found that best suits one's own spiritual and/or church worldview. i have noticed that in christendom in general... that certain versions of the Bible are sometimes considered to be more compatible than others. Often the scholars worked with particular denominational worldviews in mind. However, to the nominal christian... or reader from another spiritual tradition... this difference will not be picked up, because a person has to know what they are looking for. There are times when i have been disappointed with 'modern-day-version-rendering of the Bible' with regard to particular scriptural passages... and therefore have opted for the King James Version.
However, the King James Version contains many words that are not in common English usage anymore; after all its first publication was in 1611: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_James_Bible) This makes instant comprehension difficult at times... especially for the young people. So... although different congregations may recommend a particular version, they will most probably leave it to the individual to choose their preferred version. In my experience, i have not found any hard or fast rule about it. At the very least anyway... the King James Version is not touted the way it used to be. There is not this strict adherence to the King James Version of the Bible anymore like there used to be.
All in all, i don't think i would be too far wrong in saying that the KJV is mainly used as a 'backup-base-line-of-reference' and the 'church-accepted-and-preferred-version' or the 'minister's-preferred- version' will generally be used instead. As stated already, this tends to vary from denomination to denomination and even from church to church in some cases... in my experience. Ministers usually state what version they are reading from at a church service. Also... as already stated... having the young people understand the bible is of the"most vital importance"to christian churches today.
The difference between Traditional Christians and Pentecostal Christians.
To start with... in the 1960's and 70's, non-pentecostalism (traditional christianity) and pentecostalism were very clearly divided according to what chapter of Apostle Paul's teaching a congregation followed. In particular... if the congregation followed chapter 12 of his First Epistle to the Corinthians... which is about"The Gifts of the Spirit", then the congregation or church were"pentecostal." If you did not follow chapter 12 about"The Gifts of the Spirit.".. then you were"not"A pentecostal.
Traditional christians ignored chapter 12 in favour of chapter 13 which is about"Love." Traditional christians also followed what is called"The Fruits of the Spirit.".. which is comparable to"The Qualities of the Spirit"In Sahaja Yoga.
The best way to understand this difference is to read both chapters 12 and 13... keeping in mind that 'pentecostals particularly stress' chapter 12 (while also accepting chapter 13) and non-pentecostals mostly choose to ignore chapter 12, preferring to opt for chapter 13. Pentecostals stress"The Gifts of the Spirit", while non-pentecostals stress"Love"And"The Fruits of the Spirit." Whereas pentecostals believe that the Gifts of the Spirit are given today, non-pentecostals believe that they were given"Once-Off"In the earlier Spiritual Dispensation when Jesus was on Earth 'For them'... 'it does not happen today'. (At least... that is what their pastors and priests tell them.)
Here then is the biblical passage about"The Fruits of the Spirit.".. after which i have appended chapters 12 (The Gifts of the Spirit) and chapter 13 (Love):
"Fruits of the Spirit"
The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians (New International Version) -
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:22-26)
The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians (New International Version)-
1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says," Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say," Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say," Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand," I don't need you!"And the head cannot say to the feet," I don't need you!"22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But eagerly desire[e] the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way. (I Corinthians 12:1-31)
The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians (New International Version) -
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 13:1-13)
Jagbir... traditional christians follow chapter 13. They believe in the excellence of love and therefore choose to ignore or turn a blind eye to the spiritual gifts. Pentecostals, on the other hand... accept both chapters. They believe what Apostle Paul said, which is that the spiritual gifts are important to pursue. It is a well-known fact, therefore... that each generally disapproves of the other's stance. Traditional christians consider"speaking in tongues"to be a spiritual aberration and a sign of fanaticism. In other words, they consider pentecostals to be fanatical.
On the other hand, pentecostal christians tend to consider traditional christians 'not to be following the Full Gospel'. After all... Apostle Paul admitted to 'speaking in tongues'. He said: "I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all;" (I Corinthians 14:18) Apostle Paul was therefore ' pentecostal' and not a traditionalist. Apostle Paul also refers to the 'speaking in tongues' to be the lowliest spiritual gift... 'yet with special honour':
"And the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor" (I Corinthians 12:23)
This is why pentecostals believe that 'speaking in tongues' has the special honour to be the sign that someone has received their 'Baptism of the Holy Spirit'. That is why... if a pentecostal is not yet able to 'speak in tongues'... they will have another 'laying on of hands' by the minister to ensure this. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laying_on_of_hands)
Because it is an actual experience'... pentecostalism has grown in leaps and bounds. People believe in the pentecostal 'Baptism of the Holy Spirit' because they have had 'an experience' and because they can 'speak in tongues'. It is a powerful aberration over the human psychosomatic system. However, i 'have been there and done that' and i am a Sahaja Yogi now, and i know that this is not the real Baptism of the Holy Spirit at all. Just like traditional Christians believe... it is fanaticism. The sign of the real Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the Cool Breeze of the Holy Spirit... and this is according to Jesus. Nowhere have i read Shri Jesus saying that 'some sort of speaking in tongues' is a sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit!:
Words of Shri Jesus...
"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; SO IS EVERYONE WHO IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT" (John 3:8)
Therefore i challenge any pentecostal to find any teaching from Jesus, because it is not there. It is Apostle Paul's teaching. It is"Pauline Christianity.".. not the Incarnation's teachings. However, thousands of Sahaja Yogis have had their real Baptism of the Holy Spirit... as evidenced by a Cool Breeze of the Holy Ghost... just as Jesus describes in John 3:8. This is the real Baptism. The Cool Breeze is an experience too. It also cannot be faked. And not one Sahaja Yogi has 'spoken in tongues'.
However, unlike the 60's and 70's... from what i can see... pentecostalism seems to be in the ascendancy now. Many people are being 'taken in' by it. Many freelance pentecostal preachers are also teaching even further aberrations as they get deeper and deeper into the collective subconscious (past) and supraconscious (future). The place to be is in the collective superconsciousness, which is to be in the present or presence of Holy Spirit Power.
So... the dharma is in shambles, because with fanaticism comes psychosomatic imbalance. Looking back to my time in pentecostalism and being able to use Sahaj Understanding to describe it... i can say that it drained me. It was exhausting with highs and lows, like a drug that you filled up on each Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday. All you have to do is check out a pentecostal service, and you will see what i am talking about.
Nevertheless... this is what is preached:
"Speaking in other tongues was the first physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit baptism throughout the book of Acts (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6). Once you have asked for this baptism, ask God to anoint you. Then in praise and worship, wait for the anointing. This witness of tongues will come forth. Expect it! Rejoice in it! You are a unique individual, and your experiences will be your own.
God wants us to communicate with Him, learn about Him, hear His voice, do His will and be baptized with His Spirit. He also wants us to conform to the example given us by the Holy Spirit to help you accomplish all of the things that are important. The Holy Spirit contributes to your life every moment of every day. He helps you understand the Bible, He teaches you truth, and helps you to pray.
One of the principles of the Kingdom of God concerns being in agreement with Him and with another person as you pray. Be encouraged to ask a Spirit-filled Christian such as one of our prayer partners to pray with you." http://crossroads.ca/response/baptism.htm (End Quote)
i therefore agree with what you say Jagbir that"perhaps in future many of these seekers, and Pentecostal churchgoers too, may find out that the Wind that the Disciples of Jesus felt on the Day of Pentecost is a daily experience for those taking part in the Resurrection and Last Judgment."
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