By Ian D’Souza
(Discourse with the Samaritan woman at the well)
(John 4:21-24) – “Jesus said to her, “Believe Me, woman, that a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. But a time is coming, and even now has arrived, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
This is a very powerful and revelatory text. It teaches us what is true worship and at the same time exposes what is false worship. Jesus is having a conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. The topic is worship. She seems blind and unaware of what true worship is all about. She thinks that true worship must be done in some special place – either on a mountain top or in the holy city of Jerusalem. But she was only revealing her ignorance in all this. Jesus exposed her ignorance completely so that it could be removed from her mind and replaced with the truth. He showed in effect, that she didn’t know WHO to worship, WHERE to worship nor HOW to worship. All spiritually blinded people fall into this category and hence worship wrongly. But let’s start at the beginning. Continue reading
By Ian D’Souza
The title suggests that this may be a Good Friday message. It is the crucifixion scene for sure and the words “come down from the cross” we know were spoken by the soldiers, pharisees and the crucified thieves to Jesus, mocking Him to come down, save Himself and them too. But, that is not what this message is about. There is someone else who was crucified on that day together with Jesus. That is the Christian believer. Paul says in Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Continue reading
By Ian D’Souza
Introduction: After King Solomon’s death, the United Kingdom of Israel split into two parts – the Northern and Southern Kingdom. The Northern Kingdom was called Israel and the Southern Kingdom was called Judah. Jeremiah served as a prophet to Judah from 627 BC to 586 BC, that is up to the exile of Judah to Babylon. He was the last of the pre-exile prophets and prophesied for 40 years in Judah. He preached during a time when the country was deteriorating economically, socially and spiritually. People had moved away from God and Jeremiah was urging them to repent as he was deeply grieved over the spiritual condition of the people. He grieved so much that he was called the “weeping prophet”. He preached not only sin and judgement, but also hope and restoration. He was also called the “prophet of loneliness” as he was commanded not to marry (Jer 16:2). This command – not to marry was specific to him and is not for everybody. Continue reading
AIN’T NO SUCH THING AS ‘CHRISTIAN YOGA’
compiled by Michael Jeshurun
“Christianity cannot be integrated with yoga and remain Christian. To think otherwise imperils the Christian truth and faith. As the managing editor of ‘Hinduism Today,’ Sannyasin Arumugaswami, remarks, ‘Hinduism is the soul of yoga ‘based as it is on Hindu Scripture and developed by Hindu sages. Yoga opens up new and more refined states of mind, and to understand them one needs to believe in and understand the Hindu way of looking at God. . . . A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs’.’ East is east, and west is west, and if Christianity is to remain Christian, ‘the twain’ should never be married. – Pastor Larry De Bruyn Continue reading
China is a Communist Country with atheist beliefs and has always been openly hostile and opposed to True Biblical Christianity. For the last 70 decades or so, till today, Chinese Christians (both Catholics and Protestants) have lived their faith largely in underground churches in fear of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Though the crack down on Christians have been relentless, the Chinese underground churches have survived and flourished solely by the Hand of the Lord. Chinese Catholics amount to nearly 12 million Catholics of which nearly half are underground. This phenomenon of Beijing appointing State-vetted Bishops into office in the Catholic Church is not new and has come up many times in the past but resisted. They anyway went ahead and appointed two illicit bishops in defiance of the Holy See. Even though a senior, retired, outspoken Cardinal – Joseph Zen Ze-Kium (86) personally opposed this recent move, he has been side-lined and labelled as an obstacle. Continue reading
By Ian D’Souza
The following is a reply I received from a friend to my Facebook post citing the sad case of an entire country (Ireland) voting for Abortion in May 2018.
Ian D’Souza, it’s ok to murder poultry animals? This should be a woman’s choice and we need to change our beliefs in the face of a growing world population. When the unborn is abnormal, it is better to abort it earlier on. It becomes easy for society to say do not abort but no one will help the mother with an abnormal child. That’s the reality. I believe we should keep aside our religious beliefs and understand nature and science better.
Nice to have your interaction here. I know this issue of abortion is a hot-button issue globally. While I certainly respect your opinion on this matter, allow me to share why I see things differently. Your response addresses five specific areas with respect to abortion: (1) Abortion & the Animal-killing connection (2) Woman’s Choice (3) Answer to Population Growth (4) The Abnormal Child & (5) The Religious Connection. Continue reading
By Ian D’Souza
It seems like everywhere you look, someone is urging you to “follow your heart”. TV, music, literature, internet-you name it. “Go with your gut.” “Trust your intuition.” “Do what’s right for you.” “Pursue your dreams.” “Believe in yourself.” It all amounts to pretty much the same thing:
“Follow your heart.” Anyone who faces an important decision can’t possibly go wrong, it seems, if only they’d just follow their heart. Inherent in this rhetoric is the instruction that the desires of the heart are the guide to fulfillment. Or, if you like something, then that’s your calling in life. “Follow your heart” is a creed embraced by billions of people. It’s a statement of faith in one of the great pop cultural myths of the Western world, a gospel proclaimed in many of our stories, movies, and songs.
It all seems very innocent and common sense-like and many have fallen prey to this advice. However, seen within the bigger picture, the unrelenting advice to “follow your heart” is part of our culture’s overarching perception of ‘the good life’: figure out what will make you happy, and pursue that. And whatever you do, don’t let anything or anyone (such as wows taken, financial obligations, stuffy old institutions, your own anatomy, religion, books, or logic) deter you. Continue reading