Christianity - Christianity 2
Christianity 4


People in general are equally horrified
at hearing the Christian religion
doubted, and at seeing it practiced.

Samuel Butler

Note:  Our pages on Christianity are not at all intended to try to convert
anyone to the religion; rather, they're presented with the intent of giving
people food for thought about the religion, its purposes, and the people
who follow it and who call themselves Christians.


Every praying Christian, every person who has an encounter with God, must have a passionate concern for his or her brother or sister, his or her neighbor.  To treat any one of these as if he were less than the child of God is to deny the validity of one's spiritual existence.

Desmond Tutu


Just as there comes a warm sunbeam into every cottage window, so comes a lovebeam of God's care and pity for every separate need.

Nathaniel Hawthorne


Lord of the springtime, Father of flower, field and fruit, smile on us in these earnest days when the work is heavy and the toil wearisome; lift up our hearts, O God, to the things worthwhile--sunshine and night, the dripping rain, the song of the birds, books and music, and the voices of our friends.  Lift up our hearts to these this night and grant us Thy peace.  Amen.

W.E.B. DuBois


Christ himself came down and took possession of me. . . I had never foreseen the possibility of that, of a real contact, person to person, here below, between a human being and God. . . in this sudden possession of me by Christ, neither my sense nor my imagination had any part:  I only felt in the midst of my suffering the presence of a love.

Simone Weil


The glory of the star, the glory of the sun--we must not lose either
in the other.  We must not be so full of the hope of heaven that
we cannot do our work on the earth; we must not be so lost in the work
of the earth that we shall not be inspired by the hope of heaven.

Phillips Brooks


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The root of the matter, if we want a stable world, is a very simple
and old-fashioned thing, a thing so simple that I am almost ashamed
to mention it for fear of the derisive smile with which wise cynics will
greet my words.  The thing I mean is love, Christian love, or compassion.
If you feel this, you have a motive for existence, a reason for courage,
an imperative necessity for intellectual honesty.

Bertrand Russell


God is bigger than any problem.  God in you is greater than any
difficulty that you have to meet.  God cares for you more than it
is possible for any human being to realize.  God can help you in
proportion to the degree in which you worship him.  You worship
God by really putting your trust in him instead of in outer conditions,
or in fear, or in depression, or in seeming dangers, and so forth.
You worship God by recognizing his presence everywhere, in all
people and conditions that you meet; and by praying regularly.
You pray well when you pray with joy.

Emmet Fox


When we're helping other people, we're nourishing our soul.  Depression
or unhappiness means we've got the wrong goal. We have forgotten that
peace of mind is our only goal.  By concentrating on helping another person,
we renew contact with our soul and with God.  We can feel peaceful again.
A sense of joy surrounds us and all the frustration, agitation,
and self-anger disappears.
   Peace of mind has nothing to do with the external world; it has only to do
with our connection with God. Love really is the answer. We're here only to
teach love.  When we're doing that, our souls are singing and dancing. When
we remind ourselves that we are spiritual beings, that life and love are the
flame eternal, that's when our soul is nourished.

Gerald Jampolsky

If someone were to ask me whether I believed in God, or saw God, or had
a particular relationship with God, I would reply that I don't separate God
from my world in my thinking.  I feel that God is everywhere.  That's why
I never feel separated from God or feel I must seek God, any more than
a fish in the ocean feels it must seek water.
In a sense, God is the "ocean" in which we live.

Robert Fulghum

God is right here, wherever you are. God is within you and everywhere
around you. God is omnipresent and omniscient. You never have to beg
or bargain with God for anything. The Holy Spirit knows your needs even
before you do.  And it is God's very nature to fulfill your needs, at the
time and in the manner that is best for you. There are many lessons we
must learn in our lifetime, but none is more essential to our happiness than
this one. We never have to entreat God to be more kind or benevolent.
God is kindness and benevolence.  The very substance of God is love--the
love that created you and me.  It is the love within the little acorn that
becomes the great oak tree, the love that protects the lilies of the field.
God is the love that is breathing for you, the love that is beating your heart.

Susan L. Taylor


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Most incredible, however, are the times we know Christ is with us
in the midst of our daily, routine lives. In the middle of cleaning the
house or driving somewhere in the pick-up, He stops us. . . in our
tracks and makes His presence known. Often it's in the middle of
the most mundane task that He lets us know He is there with us.
We realize, then, that there can be no "ordinary" moments
for people who live their lives with Jesus.

Michael Card

(ellipsis are from source)


Our fathers and mothers looked well to the root of the tree and were willing to wait with patience
for the fruit to appear.  We demand the fruit immediately even though the root may be weak
and knobby or missing altogether.  Impatient Christians today explain away the simple beliefs
of the saints of other days and smile off their serious-minded approach to God
and sacred things . . . . Much that passes for Christianity today is the brief bright effort of
the severed branch to bring forth its fruit in its season.  But the deep laws of life are against
it.  Preoccupation with appearances and a corresponding neglect of the out-of-sight root
of the true spiritual life are prophetic signs which go unheeded.  Immediate "results" are
all that matter, quick proofs of present success without a thought of next week or next
year. . . . Bear your cross, follow your Lord and pay no heed to the passing religious
vogue.  The masses are always wrong.  In every generation the number of righteous
is small.  Be sure you are among them.

A.W. Tozer


True Christianity is an entirely positive influence.  It comes into a person's life
to enlarge and enrich it, to make it fuller and wider and better; never to restrict
it.  You cannot lose anything that is worth having through acquiring a knowledge
of the Truth.  Sacrifice there has to be, but it is only sacrifice of the things that
one is much happier without--never of anything that is worth having.  Many people
have the idea that getting a better knowledge of God will mean giving up things
that they will regret losing.  One girl said:  "I mean to take up religion later on
when I am older, but I want to enjoy myself for a while first."  This, however, is
to miss the whole point.  The things one has to sacrifice are selfishness, fear,
and belief in necessary limitation of any kind.  Above all, one has to sacrifice
the belief that there is any power or endurance in evil apart from the power
that we ourselves give it by believing in it.

Emmet Fox


Though Christian charity sounds a very cold thing to people whose heads are
full of sentimentality, and though it is quite distinct from affection, yet it leads
to affection.  The difference between a Christian and a worldly person is not
that the worldly person has only affections or "likings" and the Christian has
only "charity."  The worldly person treats certain people kindly because he or
she "likes" them:  the Christians, trying to treat everyone kindly, find themselves
liking more and more people as they go on--including people they
could not even have imagined themselves liking at the beginning.

C.S. Lewis

Christianity - Christianity 2

According to Gallup surveys, confirmed by other polls taken over the past fifteen years,
33 percent of all Americans over age 18 indicate they are evangelical or "born again" Christians.
That translates into 59 million Christians, or one in every three adults, who experienced
a turning point in their lives as they made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.

This information should grip us with terror. It means that the greatest revival in history
has so far been impotent to change society. It's revival without reformation. It's a revival
which left the country floundering in spiritual ignorance. It's a change in belief
without a corresponding change in behavior. . . .

The American Gospel has evolved into a gospel of addition without subtraction.  It is
the belief that we can add Christ to our lives, but not subtract sin. It is a change in belief
without a change in behavior. It is a spiritual experience without any cultural impact.
It is revival without reformation, without repentance. . . .

The proof of religious conversion is to demonstrate that we have both added a relationship
with Christ and that we have subtracted sin (repentance).  And we multiply proof
to a weary world by what we do--our deeds, our obedience.  What we do must confirm
what we say.  Our deeds are the proof of our repentance.

Patrick Morley

Don't be fearful about the journey ahead; don't worry about where you
are going or how you are going to get there.  If you believe in the first
person of the Trinity, God the Father, also believe in the Second Person
of the Trinity, the One who came as the Light of the World, not only to
die for people, but to light the way. . . This One, Jesus Christ, is Himself
the Light and will guide your footsteps along the way.

Edith Schaeffer


In our whole life melody the music is broken off here and there by rests,
and we foolishly think we have come to the end of time.  God sends
a time of forced leisure, a time of sickness and disappointed plans, and makes
a sudden pause in the hymns of our lives, and we lament that our voice
must be silent and our part missing in the music which ever goes up
to the ear of our Creator.  Not without design does God write the music
of our lives.  Be it ours to learn the time and not be dismayed
at the rests.  If we look up, God will beat the time for us.

John Ruskin

isn't it funny how often we see the first 26 words of this passage, but almost never the rest?

To be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work
and to play and to look up to the stars; to be satisfied with your possessions,
but not contented with yourself until you have made the best of them;
to despise nothing in the world except falsehood and meanness, and to fear nothing
except cowardice; to be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgusts;
to covet nothing that is your neighbor's except his kindness of heart and gentleness
of manners; to think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends and every day
of Christ; and to spend as much time as you can with body and with spirit,
in God's out-of-doors--these are the little guideposts on the footpath of peace.

Henry van Dyke

Communication with God--prayer--is a two-way conversation!  It is not just the voice
of praise and petitions, but often communion.  Sitting in silence with God,
listening for whatever He may want to say.  Simply enjoy the fact that He is,
and you are, and you have a relationship with Him.  These special moments with God
are when His fresh breezes can enter your heart and refresh you.



The true significance of the word "meek" in the Bible is a mental attitude for
which there is no other single word available, and it is this mental attitude
which is the secret of "prosperity" or success in prayer.  It is a combination of
open-mindedness, faith in God, and the realization that the Will of God for us
is always something joyous and interesting and vital, and much better than
anything we could think of for ourselves.  This state of mind also includes a
perfect willingness to allow this Will of God to come about in whatever way
Divine Wisdom considers to be the best, rather than
in some particular way that we have chosen for ourselves.

Emmet Fox


Christianity - Christianity 2

There are two simple little words that are the very heart of the life of the spirit. The first word is "open."
Ralph Waldo Trine gave the secret of how to attune our lives to God. "The principal word to use is
the word 'open'," he wrote. "To be in tune with the Infinite you must simply open your heart and mind
to the divine inflow which is waiting for the opening of the gate that it may enter."
     To have an open self is to provide a free channel for the infinite goodness of God. To have an open self
is to keep yourself aware, alert and sensitive to the beauty and wonder of life. God's love will flow
through you into the world when you are open. You enlarge the dimensions of your life when
you keep yourself open to the highest and the best. The key to God's infinite riches is within you;
open yourself and you will receive.
     The second word is "one." Dr. Charles Eliot of Harvard declared that the chief characteristic
of the religion of the future will be man's recognition of his oneness with the great Creative Force of God,
which finds its outlet through man himself.
     "The life of the soul," said Emerson, "in conscious union with the Infinite shall be for thee
the only real existence."
     Beyond a conscious oneness with God you should also think of yourself as one with all people
and all living things. All the people you have ever met and known are a part of you and you are
a part of them forever. You cannot live separately and alone. You are one with the universe,
with the sun, the sea and the stars. You are a part of all life, plant, animal, human and divine.
     "To awaken into a vision of wholeness where we saw only fragments," wrote Horatio Dresser,
"is to begin to have a philosophy of the spirit."

Wilferd A. Peterson

Those who walk with Christ by faith know the meaning of wonder in
their daily lives.  Ordinary people experience extraordinary things
because of the wonder of Christ.  These wonders may not be obvious
to those outside the family of God, but they're clearly visible to
those inside the family.  His wonders are seen in so-called little
things, such as a flower, or bird, or a baby's smile.  And they're
seen in the big things as well, such as the courage to say "No" or the
strength to keep going when the road is difficult.  Little things
become big things when they're touched by the wonder of Christ.

Warren W. Wiersbe


"Clark, what in your honest opinion is the right standard for determining conduct?
Is the only right standard for everyone, the probable action of Jesus Christ?
Would you say that the highest, best law for a man to live by was contained in asking
the question 'What would Jesus do?' And then doing it regardless of results?
In other words, do you think men everywhere ought to follow Jesus' example
as closely as they can in their daily lives?"

Charles M. Sheldon


And so one may be without connection with any church, and even
without connection with any established religion, and yet be in spirit,
hence in reality, a much truer Christian than hosts of those who profess
to be His most ardent followers, as indeed Jesus Himself so many
times says.  “By their fruits ye shall know them,” said He.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth
the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

Ralph Waldo Trine



Yes, the Christian religion is an inspiring, health-giving activity.  Jesus said:
"I came that ye might have life and have it more abundantly."  Jesus denounced
and attacked the dry forms and dead rituals that passed for religion in his day.
He was a rebel.  He preached a new kind of religion--a religion that threatened
to upset the world.  That is why he was crucified.  He preached the religion should
exist for people--not people for religion; that the Sabbath was made for people--
not people for the Sabbath.  He talked more about fear than he did about sin.
The wrong kind of fear is a sin--a sin against your health, a sin against the richer,
fuller happier, courageous life that Jesus advocated.  Emerson spoke of himself as
a "Professor of the Science of Joy."  Jesus, too, was a teacher of "the Science of Joy."
He commanded his disciples to "rejoice and leap for joy."

Dale Carnegie


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He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside,
He came to those men who knew Him not.  He speaks to us the same word:
"Follow thou me!" and sets us to the tasks which He has to fulfill for our time.
He commands.  And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple,
He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall
pass through in His fellowship, and, as an ineffable mystery,
they shall learn in their own experience Who He is.

Albert Schweitzer

When you think of Jesus as "Prince of Peace," you immediately think of his
character.  Jesus was a man of peace.  You see this as you watch him in the
different circumstances of life.  He was able to fall asleep in the ship in the
midst of a storm so threatening that even his fishermen disciples were
terrified.  He looked at over five thousand hungry people and he knew what
he would do.  Our Lord's peace didn't come from the absence of trouble.
It came from the depths of his soul where he fellowshipped with the Father.
Peace and character go together.  What we do depends a great deal on what
we are.  The secret of our Lord's peace was his relationship to his Father.  He
loved the Father, and therefore he trusted the Father.  This gave him peace.

Warren W. Wiersbe


We have endless books about whether Jesus existed, or whether the
Jesus we have learned about is really accurate and historical or
mythical.  We have endless complicated tracts on fine technical
issues, but we don't explore Jesus' way to happiness and peace,
or try to understand his feelings about God and creation of how he
views our relationship with God, or his attitude toward human
weakness.  Understanding these things could help us immensely
in our own search for inner peace and a meaning to life.

Joseph F. Girzone
Never Alone

We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to
ourselves when the central message of Christianity
is actually about abandoning ourselves.

David Platt

God rewards those who seek Him.  Not those who seek doctrine of
religion or systems or creeds.  Many settle for these lesser passions,
but the reward goes to those who settle for nothing less than Jesus
himself.  And what is the reward?  What awaits those who seek Jesus?
Nothing short of the heart of Jesus.

Max Lucado
Just Like Jesus


Let mental culture go on advancing, let the natural sciences progress in
even greater extent and depth, and the human mind widen itself as much
as it desires: beyond the elevation and moral culture of Christianity,
as it shines forth in the Gospels, it will not go.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.