A Change of Priorities: Witness

Written by A K Whitehead

Continued from page 1

It was an amazing event, but it was not my own personal experience and did not change my agnosticism. But it did something, and we continued going down to this church every Friday evenings (as it turned out, forrepparttar next five years or so without missing once).

A few weeks later I saw a five day conference advertised for August onrepparttar 126948 church notice board. Much against her better judgement, because she felt we were not ready for a full five days of praise and tongues and all that went along with it, I persuaded Iris that we should book.

The conference turned out to be interesting and entertaining but by Wednesday we were both somewhat disappointed. We had both gone with our own very specific questions. Iris was askingrepparttar 126949 Lord whatrepparttar 126950 meaning and relevance of this outpouring of spiritual gifts was about; and I was still asking if there was a God. Halfway through, neither of us seemed to be getting any answers.

But that afternoon was given over torepparttar 126951 youth - a prospect which did not exactly fill me with enthusiasm. So I groaned inwardly and slid down in my seat when one ofrepparttar 126952 two youths who were to speak fell uprepparttar 126953 steps torepparttar 126954 stage. Which of a thousand better places could I have been at?

Butrepparttar 126955 answer to that was soon apparent: no better place existed for me at that time.

I was completely stunned atrepparttar 126956 witness these two lads gave as to how God worked in their lives. It had never occurred to me that God would ever use any "ordinary" person in this kind of way. Then, towardsrepparttar 126957 end of their witness, I felt something almost physical sweep over me fromrepparttar 126958 two young men onrepparttar 126959 stage. I can only describe it as waves of sanctity, washing over me again and again. I went out ofrepparttar 126960 hall in tears, hanging on to Iris' arm because I could not see where I was going.

The period from there up torepparttar 126961 healing Mass on Thursday evening passed pleasantly enough. Whenrepparttar 126962 prayers for healing began, there was an immense sense ofrepparttar 126963 power ofrepparttar 126964 Spirit present and some people were "falling inrepparttar 126965 Spirit" even before they got to be prayed with. I joinedrepparttar 126966 queue inrepparttar 126967 isle and when I was prayed over... experienced absolutely nothing! I felt deeply disappointed, but it was some years before I could admit to myself that I also felt jealous of what these others were receiving and I was not. And that let Satan in, albeit without my realising it, for I went to bed with just a sense of unease, yet sure it would be gone by morning. But it was not.

When I arose, it was still there and quickly became a deep, black despair. It was so black that, as I realised afterwards,repparttar 126968 depression could not be natural. It stayed all throughrepparttar 126969 two hours of praise during which I sat likerepparttar 126970 proverbial lump of stone. We then went intorepparttar 126971 chapel forrepparttar 126972 final mass. I remained in utter dejection. I had gone there looking for God and was now, so it seemed, further away from him than ever. I felt that I had to do something, make some effort at entering intorepparttar 126973 praise whenrepparttar 126974 Mass began.

I steeled myself for a superhuman attempt and as soon asrepparttar 126975 entrance hymn began, maderepparttar 126976 effort. Butrepparttar 126977 effort was taken from me as soon as I made it, for it was as if someone lifted me onto my feet and my hands went up in repparttar 126978 air. The great weight of depression fell away, just like a cloak falling from my shoulders, and I was praising God.

Then, it was as if I stood before God. Though without seeing him, he was, as it were, about twelve or so feet in front of me. The Holy Spirit. His love drenched and saturated me, quite literally, and it flowed out to others for days afterwards It was indescribable. All that everyone had ever said about repparttar 126979 purity of that love, its infinity, it all-encompassing nature, its complete endlessness was all so totally inadequate.

It changed my life completely, as it had changed so many lives before. And not one of those people could ever tell another what that love is actually like.

A K Whitehead Web Site: www.christianword.co.uk Experience: Over twenty years in Christian healing and teaching. Qualifications: B.A., M.Phil., Camb Univ Cert in Religious Studies Conditions of use: This article may be reproduced on condition that it is unaltered and that all this information is included.

Can Christians Be Capitalists

Written by A K Whitehead

Continued from page 1

Eliminating Christianity In The Market Eliminating competitors unavoidably means eliminating Christianity from repparttar market environment. Competitors are got rid of by driving them out of business before one's own organisation is driven out. And that isrepparttar 126947 major principle involved in long term survival. Historically it has frequently involved illegal means, but in any case it involves taking every advantage and using every possible means to outreach and eliminate competitors.

In The Wealth Of Nation published in 1776 at a very early stage inrepparttar 126948 development of market capitalism, Adam Smith, who coinedrepparttar 126949 phrase aboutrepparttar 126950 iron hand ofrepparttar 126951 market, pointed torepparttar 126952 essential characteristic of any market: that it works onrepparttar 126953 principle of selfishness. Markets deliverrepparttar 126954 goods only when participants operate in their own self interest.

Sorepparttar 126955 basic principle of market capitalism is diametrically opposed to repparttar 126956 fundamental teachings of Jesus. He taught a number of principles which are damming torepparttar 126957 market system. One could quote many scriptures fromrepparttar 126958 New Testament, but a major one comes in Luke 6. 27 - 36. To quote only verse 31: Do to other people what you would have them do to you. Space will not permit further quotations. This whole question at length is discussed at length in my book The Path To Freedom. But this passage is sufficient and is supported by many other teachings of Jesus.

And we do not have to be capital-owning entrepreneurs to be a culpable part of this system..Even those of us at work are in a market: a labour or jobs market, in which we all participate. And we get on primarily atrepparttar 126959 expense of others. We often do to others what we would certainly not want them to do to us.

The Consequences? Anyone who reflects onrepparttar 126960 extensive non-Christian aspects of markets must reachrepparttar 126961 conclusion that it is a system incompatible withrepparttar 126962 basic principles of Christianity. It even grabs Christian feast days for itself. Just considerrepparttar 126963 commercialisation of Christmas and Easter. In many respects, one would have to conclude that its principles are satanic - but we have all be bought byrepparttar 126964 system!

Markets do deliverrepparttar 126965 goods. More goods and vastly greater standard of living than ordinary people could ever have expected or dreamed of. But there has been a price. A spiritually horrendous price. It is expressed primarily inrepparttar 126966 way we treat others.

So what arerepparttar 126967 personal consequences and implications forrepparttar 126968 Christian?

About The Author: A K Whitehead Web Site: www.christianword.co.uk. Email: akw@christianword.co.uk Experience: Over twenty years in Christian healing, teaching and writing. Qualifications: B.A., M.Phil., Camb Univ Cert in Religious Studies This article may be reproduced on condition that it is unaltered and that all this information is included.

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