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by ralph jackson  
12/11/2018 / Church Life



They say that knowledge is the key to a better understanding?  I agree!  It is through the imparting of knowledge by our parents, school teachers and others in our adolescence that shapes the way we think.  As children we are like sponges, we absorb everything around us, unconsciously filtering out what doesn’t seem important at the time of hearing or seeing.  As we grow older our characters form into the person we are becoming in adulthood.  Our surroundings play a major part in who we become as well as the company we keep.  Habits are formed early in life and many if not most remain with us until we die.  Some are hereditary and others are learned.  The way we think and what we think about a particular subject is shaped by the reasoned arguments of others.  The more plausible to our mind, the more likely we are to accept what we have been told.  This is particularly true in our religious belief.  If we attend the same church as our parents, then it is likely (assuming we remain religious), to stay in the same church or denomination throughout our lives.  The saying: “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic” can also apply to many others who attend Protestant churches.  Of course there are some who buck this trend and move out of their childhood denomination and join another, or discard religion altogether.     Those that remain may do so because they feel comfortable in familiar surroundings with a familiar weekly service.  They have friends in the church or it’s because they like the Minister or Priest.  The church may be close to their home and it doesn’t demand much of their time on Sunday or Saturday or they like singing in church.  There are many other reasons as to why some never change denominations and it is not for anyone to judge their motivation.  God alone reads the heart, however, each person should look to his or her own heart and ask themselves the following questions:


  1. “Is my love for Jesus the main reason I go to church?”
  2. “What do I do with Jesus for the rest of the week?”
  3. “How many times do I open the Bible during the week?”
  4. “Is my faith in Jesus visible to others I meet?”
  5. “How do I respond when someone verbally hurts me?
  6. “Do I take every opportunity to share my faith?”
  7. “How often do I pray to God?”


Your answers will be between you and God.


Emotions.  Some who have left their childhood denomination have joined an evangelical charasmatic church because they believe the church receives the Holy Spirit every week to uplift their emotions.  Being in the presence of God should uplift us,  however, no human can control the Holy Spirit in an attempt to receive feelings of ecstasy or euphoria.  God cannot be brought down from heaven by human effort.  He will come only with fervent and righteous prayer and he will never be part of the show where ‘holy laughter’, ‘mass healings’ ‘ecstatic utterances’ ‘babblings’ or ‘shakings’ are taking place.  The spirit that attends these meetings is not from heaven because God is not found in the noise of confusion.    

It is my prayer that you will never blindly follow anyone who preaches or teaches religion. Be respectful to them and give ear to what they say, but study the Word for yourself, testing all doctrines whether they come from God or not.  If it does not conform to the Word then there is no truth in it.

God Bless.







Ralph Jackson
Acknowledgement to Pastor Stephen Bohr and Professor Walter Veith for the subject matter

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