The Role of Parents in Guiding Children’s Faith

The Role of Parents in Guiding Children's Faith
Maybe the phrase “the family is under attack” seems too bombastic and unrealistic, because some of us feel that their family is fine. However, if we know the true nature and purpose of the Catholic family, then we should see that the threat to Catholic families is something real happening all around us. What’s more, if we also realize the responsibility of parents in the education of children’s faith, then we will be more aware of this threat, and try our best so that we don’t fall and ‘give up’ to circumstances.

If we look at the world around us, we can honestly see that there are so many broken marriages. The breakdown of this marriage not only befell distant friends or relatives, but also friends and relatives who are close to us. How many of us have seen that the children of our friends or relatives whose lives are messy, trapped by drugs and free sex, have even been imprisoned. Maybe we also often see there are so many children born to Catholic families, but eventually convert to another church or maybe to another religion, or maybe become atheists. This is the condition experienced by parents today, the root of which is because parents do not sufficiently carry out Christian faith education to their children from an early age. It can be said that nowadays, raising children and instilling the Christian faith in them is even more difficult, because the current world conditions often conflict with Christian values. Even the dynamics of life in our own homes often add to the difficulty of applying Christian values. Traffic conditions, busy parents, the influence of mass media, consumptive lifestyle, mental ‘don’t want to be bothered’, are some examples, why parents face great challenges to carry out their role as primary educators for children in the family, especially in terms of faith.

Today there are many children who think of home only as a place to eat and sleep. Both parents are busy with their own business, so there is not enough time to communicate with the children. If communicating about everyday things is lacking, let alone talk about God and the Catholic faith. This lack of parental attention causes children to seek their own pleasure, to be engrossed in their own world, and to seek fulfillment of their need to be cared for and loved in their own way. Some may get it from playing games on the computer/internet, chatting on FB (Face book), BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), watching TV or going for a walk/shopping at the Mall. Today’s children develop into individuals who tend to be individualistic rather than communally oriented and interact directly with the people around them. Or, momentary pleasures and instantaneous rah-rah are the choices of many young people today. About faith? To them it seems like only a second priority, or not even a priority at all. About God? Maybe it doesn’t interest them. In this condition, the parents seemed helpless, and finally gave up saying, “Nowadays are indeed different from the past…. Now it’s up to the child, we parents can only pray…. ”

This phrase is ironic, but implies parental despair, or regret that things have already happened. We must try our best not to let our children grow up to be arbitrary and ‘uncontrollable’, and then we can only regret it. There is always something we can do to prevent bad things from happening to our children, and we can start with a simple step: by faithfully instilling faith in our children from an early age. The hope is that, after they grow up to be teenagers and adults, they can become complete, faithful and responsible individuals.

How to resist attacks from outside and build a Christian family from within?
Like a house, the family must also be built on a strong foundation. And that solid foundation is faith in God’s word and its application in our actions (cf. Matt. 7:24-27). The family is the first place for children to receive faith education and practice it. In this case parents take the main role, namely to show God’s love, and educate children to know and love God and because they love God, they can love others; starting with loving parents, brothers and sisters, friends at school, housemaids and drivers, and so on. So it is the duty of parents, to shape the character of their children to make them individuals who put God and His commandments first. To what extent is this done by parents, if their children spend most of their time in front of the computer/TV or other means of communication, with little or no communication with their parents? How can parents show God’s face to their children, if children rarely see their parents’ faces every day? Or if the parents are at home, do they pay special attention to the children, or are they busy with their own business? To what extent do parents direct their children, to remember God’s presence in their lives, so that children can spontaneously give thanks, ask Him for protection and help?

Presumably we need to remember together, why all these things are important and we must do it. Yes, because of all of us, both individually and as a family, we must remember that our ultimate goal in life is Heaven. We believe that God wants us to unite with Him in heaven, so we must strive together to achieve it, of course with the help of God’s grace.

The main goal of Christian education

With the ultimate goal of man is eternal life with God in Heaven, ((cf. Second Vatican Council, Gravissimum Educationis, 1: “The aim of education in its true sense is: to achieve the formation of the human person in the perspective of his ultimate goal and for the welfare of social groups, in the where he as a human being, is a member, and when he is an adult he will take part in carrying out his obligations in it.)) then the education of children in general must lead to the formation of the human person as a whole, both in terms of physical, moral, intellectual so that children can become human beings who are responsible in dealing with this life, so that one day they can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. So the task of parents is to send their children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Have parents realized this noble task?

Next, we may ask, if the goal of Christian education is heaven, how is it possible to achieve it? The Catholic Church, through the Second Vatican Council teaches that children can be led to reach heaven, if they are introduced to the mysteries of salvation, faith, holiness in order to be ready to bear witness to the hope of their faith. And in this case, the reception of the sacraments and the celebration of the liturgy becomes important, because it is there that we all receive the sanctifying grace of God:

“Christian education is not only aimed at the maturation of the human person as described, but above all it aims to achieve that those who have been baptized step by step deepen the mystery of salvation, and become more and more aware of the gift of faith they have received; so that they learn to worship God the Father in Spirit and in truth (cf. John 4:23), especially in Liturgical celebrations; so that they are trained to live their lives as new humans in truth and true holiness (Eph 4:22-24); so that they may thus reach full maturity, and the level of growth befitting the fullness of Christ (cf. Eph. 4:13), and share in working on the growth of the Mystical Body. In addition, the faithful should realize their vocation, and train themselves to bear witness to the hope that is within them (cf. 1Pe 3:15) and to support the changing of the world according to Christian values…” ((Ibid))

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In addition, parents must also educate their children to recognize and apply the most essential values ​​in human life, namely that every human being is valuable in the eyes of God, regardless of race, religion, or occupation. Thus, children are taught to respect the people around them, especially those who are less fortunate than them. Pope John Paul II taught thus:

“Even in the midst of the difficulties of educational work, the difficulties that are sometimes even greater today, parents must confidently and boldly educate their children about the essential values ​​in human life. Children must grow up with the right attitude about independence [freedom] towards material goods, adopting a simple and modest lifestyle, believing that “man is more valuable for what he is than for what he has.” ((Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio 37))

It is a reflection, to what extent do we as parents teach this to our children? Do not let our children only value people based on appearance, or children are so tempted by expensive things, that they are no longer able to appreciate simplicity and sincerity.

Parents are the first and foremost educators of children
Given the importance of the purpose of education, and how it should be carried out in a Christian manner, it is important to underline the role of parents as primary educators of children. The Catholic Church teaches thus:

“Because parents have channeled life to their children, parents have a very serious obligation to educate their children. So it is parents who must be recognized as the first and foremost educators of their children” ((Vatican Council II, Gravissimum Educationis 3, see also CCC 1653 and Familiaris Consortio 36)). Thus, parents must provide time for their children to mold them into individuals who know and love God. The obligation and right of parents to educate their children cannot be completely replaced or transferred to someone else ((see Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio 36, 40)).

Parents as the main educators in terms of faith in children mean that parents must actively educate their children and be involved in the process of educating their children’s faith. Parents themselves must practice their faith, strive to live holy lives, and continue to apply the teachings of faith in family life at home. This is very important, so that children see that faith is not only to be taught but to be practiced, and passed on again later, if the children themselves form a family in the future.

As primary educators, parents must be involved in the educational process carried out by schools, and parents are tasked with shaping their children. Parents must know what their children are learning at school, the books they are reading, how their children’s attitudes and behavior are at school, who their children’s friends are, and so on. These duties and responsibilities cannot be transferred or handed over to domestic helpers or tutors. Parents are unable to concentrate on their own business and work, and are less concerned or less willing to be involved in their children’s education. Sending children for tutoring, or sending children to national plus schools, does not guarantee the formation of children’s character well.

The same is true in matters of faith. Many parents think, as long as they have sent their children to Bina Iman, the task is complete. Such thinking is completely wrong. Teachers at schools, tutors or Bina Iman teachers only help parents, but parents still have to do their job as primary educators. Educating children in terms of faith is actually not difficult, because it can be started from simple things. However, it takes commitment and sacrifice on the part of the parents, for example: praying with the children and reading the Bible story to them every night, taking the children to Holy Mass and afterward explaining to the children its meaning, encouraging the children to practice a the teachings of the Word of God, giving correction if the child makes a mistake but after that still embraces it with love, and so on.

1. Pray with the family and accompany the children to receive the sacraments

Prayer is the breath of faith. So if we want to instill faith in children, we must first teach them to pray, and not just teach them, we need to pray together with them. In every situation, whether difficult or happy in the family, we need to pray. In a state of joy we give thanks to God; and in sorrow, trouble, pain, we ask for His help. God’s Word teaches, “… in all things express your desires to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.” (Phil 4:6) Furthermore, parents also need to prepare their children to receive the sacraments. Pope Paul VI taught:

“Mothers, do you teach children Christian prayers? Are you, with the priests, preparing the children for … the sacraments of Confession, Communion, and Confirmation? Do when they are sick you encourage them to contemplate the sufferings of Christ, to ask for help from Our Lady and the saints? Do families pray the rosary together? And you, fathers, do you pray with your children…? Your example of honesty in thought and deed, accompanied by prayer together, is a life lesson, and an act of worship of singular value. In this way you bring peace to your home… Remember that in this way you build the Church.” ((Pope Paul VI, General Audience, August 11, 1976, Familiaris Consortio, 60))

Besides being important for children’s faith growth, family prayer also plays an important role in uniting families. Pope John Paul II also called for the same thing, by encouraging families to read and meditate together on the Scriptures, prepare before receiving the sacraments, perform a prayer of consecration of the family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a prayer of homage to the Virgin Mary, a prayer before and after meals and other devotional prayers. ((cf. Familiaris Consortio 61)). Repeating the teachings of Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II also called for the importance of praying the rosary with the family to foster harmony and cultivate spiritual life in the family. Prayer with the family is very important, because by doing this, God’s word is fulfilled in the family, “If two of you on this earth agree to ask for anything, their request will be granted by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:19-20) Not surprisingly, Mother Teresa taught, “A family that prays together will remain together.” ((Mother Teresa’s Address to the United Nations, October 26, 1985)).

Unfortunately, the current trend is that families do not set aside a special time to pray let alone meditate on God’s word together. Whereas from an early age, children generally have a thirst to know God’s word. There are many children’s curiosity about many things, especially also about God and the stories in the Bible. As parents, we must respond to their soul’s longing to know God. Parents are the first evangelizers of their children. ((cf. Familiaris Consortio 39)) Neither school nor Faith Building can help, but cannot replace the role of parents in this.

Likewise, attention to the sacraments also needs to be increased in family life. Because there seems to be a tendency that parents do not pay special attention to preparing children’s minds before they receive the sacraments. How many parents guide their children to examine their minds before receiving the sacrament of Confession? Many parents celebrate their children’s birthdays, even in five-star hotels, but how many parents celebrate their children’s birthdays by offering thanksgiving at Holy Mass? Or celebrate their children’s Baptism, First Communion or Confirmation, even if it’s just a simple prayer at home? Whereas the meaning of Baptism is far more valuable and cannot even be compared with the meaning of birthday celebrations. Because Baptism leads to eternal heavenly life, it’s not just celebrating the number of years we live on this earth. Then, there are many parents who attach importance to the ‘going around eating’ event every week, from one restaurant to another, one mall to another, but are parents diligent in preparing their children’s minds, and themselves, to take part in the celebration? Eucharist? For example, by meditating on Sunday’s Gospel reading on Saturday night or Sunday morning before going to church?

In this case, the role of the father/father is quite important, namely as a priest in the family. Fathers are called to lead their families to remain in the Lord. This can be realized in simple ways, for example; fathers lead family prayer, whether in the morning or evening; the father blesses his children with the sign of the cross on the forehead before the child goes to school; fathers read Bible stories to children and explain them, fathers prepare children to receive the sacrament gratefully and so on. Of course, this requires that fathers (as well as mothers) live the Catholic faith in order for this experience to be shared with children.

2. Parents should strive for an atmosphere of love and togetherness at home

Parental love is the basic element and source that determines the quality of the role of parents as educators ((cf. Familiaris Consortio, 36)). The atmosphere of love must exist in our homes, so that we can educate our children well. So parents must create an atmosphere at home that is full of love and respect for God and others – in this case family members at home – so that comprehensive personal and social education for children can be fostered. ((cf. Second Vatican Council, Gravissimum Educationis 3))

Furthermore, the intention that parental love is the basis for children’s education, is that love must animate all the principles of children’s education, accompanied by the values ​​of kindness, service, not favoritism, loyalty and sacrifice. ((cf. Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 36)) This self-sacrificing love is the foundation that sustains the family, so that the family becomes an image of the Church that is lived by the sacrificial love of Christ on the cross. Among other things, this is what makes the family Ecclesia domestica (small church/household church). ((cf. Familiaris Consortio, 49)) On this principle, we as parents must think about what is best for children according to God’s will, and not just what children like. Because generally what is best for children requires sacrifice from parents. An example is that parents need to make time for their children, in order to listen and communicate with them heart to heart. Communication between children and parents is very important, because without communication it will be very difficult to create a loving atmosphere in the family. This time together is ideally done every day, for example every dinner, or before evening prayer. But also on weekends, on Sundays, or especially during school holidays, parents need to make time for their children, on vacation with their children. It doesn’t need to be in an expensive place, but it is necessary to make time together, where children can play with their parents, laugh together, vent and listen to each other.

In times like these generally, parents can little by little ‘enter’ in teaching, either by word or by example, about the goodness of God, about His presence in our lives, and about the importance of faith in this life. These are the times when parents can teach about God’s presence in simple things, through the creation around us and through the people we meet. This is an opportunity for parents to teach their children to give thanks, if they see a beautiful sight, if they can eat good food, if they can play fun with new friends, and so on. If children are able to experience God’s presence in simple things, then it is likely that they will have the sensitivity to always give thanks to God and desire to carry out His will.

3. The family must be the first school to inculcate Christian virtue

In this atmosphere of love, the family must be the first school to instill Christian values ​​and virtues, such as: forgiving other people’s mistakes, learning to apologize if they make mistakes, respecting each other, sharing, helping each other, comforting each other if someone is in trouble, caring for each other, especially for the weak, sick, and poor, acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of each family member, being willing to sacrifice for the good of others, and so on. Parents should set an example in these Christian values, and not only with words, but especially with actions. Children will learn more quickly from the example of their parents’ actions than from what they are taught by words alone.

It is to inculcate this Christian virtue that parents share in the authority of God the Father and Christ the Shepherd; and also in the motherly love of the Church. ((cf. Familiaris Consortio 38)) That is, parents should not be reluctant to give correction if the child makes a mistake, but of course the correction is given with the motivation of love. So in practice, parents may be firm, but don’t lose self-control when reprimanding our children. Furthermore, after giving a correction, and the child has realized his mistake; It is very important for the child to be embraced again and receive confirmation that we as parents still love him. So the purpose of the correction is, first of all, not so that they are afraid of our parents, but so that the children can know that their wrongdoing grieves God’s heart.

4. Parents are obliged to convey education in terms of essential values ​​in human life.
Furthermore, it is from parents that children learn the essential and most important values ​​in life. These essential values ​​according to Pope John Paul II are:

1) justice that respects the dignity of every human being, especially those who are the poorest and most in need of assistance;
2) the law of love: giving oneself to others and giving is joy,
3) sexuality education which concerns the whole human person, both body, emotion and soul;
4) education about chastity;
5) moral education that ensures children act responsibly. ((cf. Familiaris Consortio 37)).

So, first of all, parents need to teach about the principle of justice that respects everyone, especially those who need our special attention and help. For example, older children should be taught to protect their younger siblings or younger children. Or children should be taught to respect and pay attention to grandpa and grandma, especially if grandpa and grandma are old. Holding their hands, talking to them is a simple example. Children should also be taught to be polite to older people, including housemaids and drivers. Children also need to be taught to be sensitive to help people who need help, for example comforting if a family member is sick, praying for other people who are affected by disasters, giving alms to the poor and so on. Children also need to be taught to respect human life, and that humans are formed from the mother’s womb, so that later the children will understand that it is not their right to end human life, whether through abortion or euthanasia.

Second, parents need to set an example for their children, that ‘giving is joy’. This is very important, to shape the character of the child to be generous and not selfish. Children need to be reminded that they are not the ‘center of the world’, or the king or queen of the universe. Children need to be taught to be happy to share, because everything they have is a blessing from God’s ‘deposit’. Remind the children that: “…God ​​loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:7) ‘Giving’ here, has a broad meaning, not only material things, but also joy, love, and forgiveness. ((cf. CCC 1657))

Third, sexuality education in children also needs attention, which can be delivered according to the child’s age. Do not let sexuality be limited to sensuality; but must include the whole person, body, soul and emotions. This kind of appreciation sees that naturally there are differences between men and women, which are not only related to their gender, but also involve the whole person. So from a young age boys must be taught not to hit girls, for example, but to protect girls. Children should be taught to respect “privacy”, respecting the body by not playing with the sexual organs. Children need to be reminded that this body is the temple of God, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, as the Apostle Paul said, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you, the Holy Spirit which you have from God, -and that you are not your own? For you have been bought and the price has been paid: Therefore glorify God with your body!” (1Co 6:19-20, 3:16). In this case children need to be reminded that their bodies belong to God, so we must respect and use them according to God’s will. This reverence for the body leads to the next principle, which is about purity.

So the fourth principle of the education of chastity is related to sexuality. If the children have been taught that this body is the temple of God, then the children need to be reminded to keep the body holy as the temple of God; and furthermore also to respect the holiness of other people’s bodies. This can be started by giving simple instructions to children, especially girls to wear decent clothes, which do not necessarily follow fashions that do not support children to uphold chastity. In this case, it is important the approach of mothers to daughters, and fathers to sons, so that they can be directed to view their bodies as gifts from God that they must maintain chaste according to the will of God who created them. It becomes relevant here if we encourage them to follow the example of Our Lady and Saint Joseph, who kept their bodies pure, in order to offer the best to God.

Finally, parents need to provide direction on moral education to their children, so that children can become responsible individuals. The most practical grip is indeed the ten commandments of God, and parents can read the description in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2083-2557. But the most important thing is how to convey the point to children in a language that children can understand, so that children can understand it and make it a guide for their lives. Furthermore, about instilling responsibility in children, it can be started from simple things, such as making their own bed, bringing dirty dishes and dirty clothes to the washing place, tidying up books or toys that have just been used, and so on. Children also need to be trained to accept the consequences for their actions, especially if they make mistakes. This consequence is not merely to punish, but to realize that every decision we take and the actions we take have consequences, and we must bear them. This awareness will make children do everything with full responsibility, because since childhood children are accustomed to thinking far ahead before acting. The most common example of imposing consequences on children is temporarily withholding their ‘privilege’; for example, if they say they are rude/against their parents, then the consequence is, they don’t get pocket money/snack money reduced for a few days. However, before being sanctioned, parents must tell their children about the ‘rules of the game’, so they are not surprised and protested. When this rule is enforced, parents must continue to show love to their children, so that children know that this consequence is not done because parents hate their children, but because parents are shaping them to be better people.

5. Teaching about faith

can be done at every opportunity and can be packaged attractively Teaching about God and His commandments does not have to be given in the form of ‘lectures’ for children, which is certainly boring, but should be packaged in a more lively and interesting form, according to the age of the child. Quiz / guessing game, father or mother reading a picture of the Bible, or watching a spiritual DVD together and followed by a short discussion can be an option. In addition, it should not be forgotten that every even the simplest incident can be used as a moment for teaching about faith. For example, when a child falls while learning to ride a bicycle, it can be used as a moment to teach how we as humans can fall into mistakes and sins, but God can help us so that we can get up again, before we finally succeed. Or another example, when there are neighbors/relatives/relatives who need help, that’s when our family goes to visit and cheer them up. Or invite the children to play together, whether to play monopoly, play cards, or play badminton, but then teach the children to be sporty; recognize the strengths of others -if he loses-, and should not be arrogant and underestimate others, if he wins.

After the child has grown into a teenager, the possibility of teaching about faith can be done more deeply, for example, sharing about experiences that day, about certain virtue exercises that were agreed upon the day before, for example about patience. Listen to the child’s experience and share our experiences as parents throughout the day to be patient. It’s good if this sharing is closed with a prayer. If this is done consistently, both parents and children will grow in holiness.

6. Parents are responsible for fortifying their children against the bad influence of the surrounding environment

Recognizing the strong negative influence of mass media and the social environment around us, parents must have attention to participate in selecting these things for the sake of their children. Watching too much TV does not have a good effect on children, especially if children watch TV without assistance from their parents. Likewise, playing too many video games, especially if the game is sadistically violent, such as shooting, murder, etc., which indirectly stimulates aggressive traits in children, such as anger, violence, unwilling to give in, etc. . Parents also need to select readings/magazines at home; For example, fathers don’t buy men’s magazines/readings that seem to present a woman’s body as an ‘object’ of sensuality, and so on.

Perhaps also needing attention, is the habit of using Facebook (Facebook) among children and teenagers. If possible, parents should also use FB, not to spy on children, but to get a glimpse of the child’s social environment. There is a common risk that if a child ‘plays’ too much by himself with the computer, TV, or the like, over time he will become unfamiliar with interacting with other people. He becomes less flexible in society, less able to carry himself, and too self-centered. It doesn’t mean that TV, internet games and FB are all bad effects. The negative effect occurs if what is watched, or what is played is not in accordance with the teachings of faith and morals; or those who are invited to communicate are people who do not build faith, or even lead them astray; or if watching TV and playing on the computer takes up almost all of your free time. Why? Because if this happens, the child’s heart and mind will no longer be directed to God and His Kingdom.

7. Parents direct their children to dedicate themselves and their talents to building up the Church.

It is important for parents to recognize their children’s special talents and abilities and direct them to develop them for the glory of God. So if children are musically gifted, whether they sing or play an instrument, join them in a church choir group. If the child is good at sports, join him in a children’s and youth sports group; if it’s not already in your parish, start with a few other families. If the child is good at writing/composing, encourage the child to send his essay to the magazine editor in the parish. If children are interested in organizing, join them in the activities of parish organizations, such as altar boys/ SEKAMI (Union of Pontifical Children and Missionary Youth), Legio Mariae (mini), and so on. Children need to be taught to know and love the Catholic faith so that they can live according to their faith, defend their faith and proclaim it. ((cf. Familiaris Consortio, 54))

It is through the family that children are gradually led into fellowship with other brothers and sisters in the faith in the Church. Parents are obliged to bring their children to take part in the life of the Church, either in worship in the parish or in the community, or in spiritual activities in Church communities. Brotherhood of fellow Catholics in Christ, must also be introduced to children from an early age. As early as possible they should realize that apart from being a member of their own family, they are also a member of God’s larger family, the Church. So if he actively supports the Church, it means that he is also glorifying God who founded it.

8. Parents direct their children to find their calling in life to achieve true happiness

Finally, it is important for parents to help their children find their calling in life, whether it is a family life or a celibate life for the Kingdom of God. Although it seems that it is still ‘far’ ahead, parents need to prepare their children for this. Parents need to have the heart to introduce the vocation to the religious life to their children; and cultivate it, if the parents see the seed of the calling growing in the child. The Catechism clearly teaches thus, “…. In the bosom of the family “parents should by word and example be the first proclaimers of the faith to their children; parents are obliged to take care of their respective vocations, especially spiritual vocations.” ((CCC 1656, cf. Second Vatican Council on the Church, Lumen Gentium 11.2)). Of course, in this case, we parents need to have an attitude of generosity, and the awareness that children are a gift from God, so that we don’t think, “May God call many young people to become priests, but not my son…” Let us ask God so that we are enabled to see things from the point of view, which is the best for the glory of God and the safety of our family and all the faithful. Because then, we will have a more open attitude in directing children to find their calling in life; and with grace and joy, support their decisions, without imposing our will as parents. Happy are the parents who support their children when they are called to dedicate themselves completely to the Kingdom of God; because in this way, parents also offer the best, namely their children, to God. Believe that God will multiply true joy and happiness for these families, both in this world and in Heaven in the future.

Conclusion: Let’s ask God’s grace to carry out this noble task

How great is the role of parents in educating children, shaping their character and building their faith, and directing them to the Kingdom of Heaven. But we believe that God never leaves us. His grace is always poured out on us through His Church, which we especially receive in the sacraments, in prayer and meditation on His Word. It is with God’s grace that we are enabled to build our family on a solid foundation. By His grace, we are enabled to be firm in the faith and to exercise it with joy. This experience of God’s love and love for God is what binds the family together, so that any external attack will not shake it.

Mistakes In Reading The Bible

Mistakes In Reading The Bible

I don’t know why suddenly this morning I wanted to write about an activity that (should be) a routine for Christians (and Catholics); namely reading the Bible. Frankly, I am not a Christian who has a regular time to spend reading the Bible every day. For this matter, whether it is mandatory to read every day is a very important thing is still a question mark for me.

What is clear, today I think more and more people, from teenagers to adults, are reading the Bible the wrong way. even this mistake tends to be made by people who are used to taking the time to read the bible every day. irony. I’m not saying that I’ve also been very right.

actually I do not want to judge that it is wrong. but the fact is that the fruit produced is usually not as seranum when compared to the daily “fertilization” effort.

Here are some that I think are wrong:

Here are some that I think are wrong

1. Seek knowledge, not understanding

Read for information only. what’s the point of that! no personal effects. maybe this type of person will be able to clearly say “as it is written” but even that verse is not understood personally. the verse does not work personally in themselves.

Many people read the bible to know about something in the bible literally, history, culture, etc. but do not find out the concrete function of each word in each verse for personal application. I’m very familiar with Gideon’s heroic story, but what does that mean for me? other than being seen as having knowledge of the Bible by others?. Or maybe I really understand how habakkuk is very confused and questions God a lot. But will my knowledge of the condition of habakkuk affect my personal life?

Personal application is much more important. he needs investigation and reflection.

2. Wear horse glasses

many people read the bible too rigidly. perhaps he is looking for meaning in a passage for himself. but in reality it is not true. The old testament forbids pork. In the New Testament, Paul states that everything is lawful to eat. contradiction? where is the justification? what is the application of this kind of case to our spiritual life? which part of the case can grow our faith and make us feel warmer in God’s bosom? people tend to just find that the two things have reasons so that they are not contradictory, regardless of spiritual growth.

What is meant by horse glasses here is, sometimes people tend to read 1 passage, ponder its meaning, and look for other verses that have the same theme and think they are the same. this is not entirely wrong, but it would be better if we in reading the Bible also pay attention to:

– Who is the author of the book?

– What is the purpose of writing the book and verse?

– who is the object of the writing literally tulisan

etc.

so that in studying something, we can understand the situation and not just draw conclusions. For example, Paul had taught about wisdom to the church in Corinth. Learn also why Paul taught that. Notice also that Paul heard the issue of dissension among the Corinthians. etc

Don’t just stick to one passage or verse.

3. Stick to one version

The Bible is a book. exists in many translations at http://69.16.224.146/. then whether because of this, will reduce the validity of a book in a particular translation? certainly not! any translation, as long as with it we can understand better, become a better human being, and become a person who is getting closer to Allah then there is nothing wrong! because the main objective has been achieved; we enter into the presence of God. Don’t get hung up on one translation. also read a verse that (for example) is a little confusing in other translations.

4. It’s too feudal to think that the Bible only exists in the form of a book

We live in modern times. mobile phone, internet, software. all can be inserted bible. There is nothing wrong if we learn from there. Himat is given free of charge only to those who ask for it. we can learn at almost any time.

However, keep in mind. The Bible is our spiritual food. sometimes as I wrote at the beginning, consider this as a routine. there are those who read while listening to music, are close to friends, etc. The point is, everything that can reduce our concentration in reading the Bible a little bit, stay away. or for me, better not to read just yet.

Read too : Story Of Francis Xaverius That Spread Catholic In Indonesia

The Bible should be enjoyed personally, without needing anyone to know, quenches spiritual thirst, and is selfishly useful for ourselves. It is enough for people to know how serious we are in reading the Bible through our behavior, our speech, without them needing to know which verse we are reading.

Kunci Dalam Menerapkan Alkitab Dalam Hidup Kita

Kunci Dalam Menerapkan Alkitab Dalam Hidup Kita

Ketika saya memegang Alkitab baru di tangan saya, saya tidak tahu harus mulai dari mana. Saat itu tahun 2004, dan saya baru saja menyerahkan hidup saya kepada Tuhan. Segala sesuatu tentang Gereja, Tuhan, dan Alkitab terasa begitu menakjubkan, mengagumkan, dan baru. Saya tahu Alkitab adalah kunci kehidupan baru ini, tetapi saya tidak tahu bagaimana menerapkannya.

Pernahkah Anda mempertanyakan apa kunci untuk menerapkan Alkitab dalam hidup Anda? Yakinlah setiap orang percaya, baik yang baru maupun yang sudah berpengalaman, mempertanyakan hal ini.

Dasar dari pertanyaan ini adalah apa yang diajarkan kepada saya sebagai orang percaya baru: “mengasihi Tuhan, Allahmu, dengan segenap hati, jiwa, dan akal budimu” (Matius 22:37). Kita belajar apa artinya ini dan bagaimana melakukannya dengan membaca dan merenungkan Alkitab setiap hari.

Apa Itu Alkitab?

Kata Alkitab berasal dari kata Yunani dan Latin yang berarti, “Buku.” Menurut kamus Webster, istilah ini pertama kali digunakan pada abad ke-13 dan didefinisikan sebagai kitab suci umat Kristen yang terdiri dari Perjanjian Lama dan Perjanjian Baru.

Ini terdiri dari 66 buku dengan 40 penulis yang berbeda. Penulis-penulis ini adalah nelayan, pejabat pemerintah, petani, gembala, dokter, pendeta, dan raja yang ditulis selama 1.500 tahun. Setiap penulis menulis di bawah ilham Roh Kudus. 2 Timotius mengingatkan kita bahwa setiap kata dalam Alkitab relevan dan masih berlaku untuk kehidupan kita saat ini.

“Semua Kitab Suci diilhami oleh Tuhan dan berguna untuk mengajari kita apa yang benar dan membuat kita menyadari apa yang salah dalam hidup kita. Itu mengoreksi kita ketika kita salah dan mengajarkan kita untuk melakukan apa yang benar.” (2 Timotius 3:16, NLT).

Kasihilah Tuhan Allahmu dengan Hati, Jiwa, dan Pikiranmu
Ketika para pemimpin agama Yahudi bertanya kepada Yesus apa perintah yang paling penting, Yesus menjawab, ”Kasihilah Tuhan, Allahmu, dengan segenap hatimu dan dengan segenap jiwamu dan dengan segenap akal budimu. Ini adalah perintah yang pertama dan yang terbesar” (Matius 22:37). Kata-kata Yesus mencerminkan perikop dari Perjanjian Lama dalam Ulangan 6:5.

Bagian ini dijalin di seluruh Perjanjian Lama dan Baru sebagai dasar kita karena Tuhan tahu bahwa hubungan dengan-Nya adalah dari hati. (Ulangan 10:12, Ulangan 13:3, 1 Samuel 7:3, Markus 12:30, Lukas 10:27)

Karena Tuhan menciptakan kita, Dia sangat mengenal hati kita. Dan Dia mengingatkan kita dalam Amsal 4:23, “Dari hati terpancar kehidupan.”

Tanpa hati kita didasarkan pada Alkitab, nafsu, keinginan, pikiran, persepsi, dan kasih sayang kita tidak akan selaras dengan Tuhan. Kita diciptakan dengan kehendak kita, hati kita, keinginan kita, dan pikiran kita. Kebenaran dari perikop ini dalam Matius 22:37 berarti bahwa setiap bagian dari hidup kita perlu disaring dan dimurnikan melalui hubungan kita dengan Tuhan.

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Dengan kata lain, perlu ada cinta sejati kepada Tuhan yang dimulai dengan pikiran, perilaku, keinginan, dan kasih sayang yang berorientasi pada Tuhan. Kitab Yakobus menjelaskan alasannya:

“Tetapi jangan hanya mendengarkan firman Tuhan. Anda harus melakukan apa yang dikatakannya. Jika tidak, Anda hanya membodohi diri sendiri. Karena jika Anda mendengarkan firman dan tidakmenurut, itu seperti melirik wajah Anda di cermin. Anda melihat diri Anda sendiri, berjalan pergi, dan melupakan seperti apa penampilan Anda. Tetapi jika Anda melihat dengan cermat hukum sempurna yang membebaskan Anda, dan jika Anda melakukan apa yang dikatakannya dan tidak melupakan apa yang Anda dengar, maka Tuhan akan memberkati Anda karena melakukannya” (Yakobus 1:22-25).

Sepertinya banyak bukan? Tapi inilah masalahnya: Saat kita mencintai Tuhan, Firman-Nya mulai mengubah semangat kita, yang menciptakan efek riak di setiap area kehidupan kita.

Bagaimana Saya Menerapkan Alkitab dalam Kehidupan?
Untuk menerapkan Alkitab, kita harus mengetahui Alkitab. Ini berarti kita mendengarkannya, kita membacanya, merenungkan Kitab Suci siang dan malam.

Baru-baru ini, di sebuah konferensi penulis, saya mendengar bagaimana Billy Graham memasukkan Alkitab ke dalam kesehariannya. Di kantornya, Alkitabnya akan selalu terbuka di mejanya. Dan beberapa kali sehari, dia akan mengambilnya untuk dibaca.

Hellen Keller memiliki ide yang sama ketika dia berkata, “Kecuali kita membentuk kebiasaan membaca Alkitab di saat-saat cerah maupun dalam kesulitan, kita tidak dapat sepenuhnya menanggapi penghiburannya karena kita kekurangan keseimbangan antara terang dan gelap.”

1. Pelajari Jalan Tuhan

Tujuan kita membaca Alkitab adalah untuk mengenal jalan Allah dan memahami tujuan-Nya bagi dunia dan bagi diri kita sendiri. Saat kita membalik halaman, hati dan kasih-Nya bagi kita terungkap. Kita belajar mengapa Dia menciptakan dunia, interaksi masa lalunya dengan umat manusia, dan rencana-Nya untuk menebus kita. Yang terpenting, kita belajar tentang karakter dan hati-Nya.

2. Jalani Jalan Tuhan

Selanjutnya, kita mulai menyembunyikan firman Tuhan di dalam hati kita (Mazmur 119:11). Mengetahui firman Tuhan memungkinkan kita untuk menyaring hidup kita melalui Alkitab. Itu membuka mata kita tentang seperti apa kehidupan yang saleh itu. Roh Kudus akan membantu kita menerapkan Alkitab dalam kehidupan kita, saat Dia membisikkan kasih dan petunjuk-Nya bagi kita.

Bukannya mengutuk atau berbicara sembarangan (Matius 12:36), kita menemukan diri kita memilih kata-kata kita dengan hati-hati. Alih-alih menonton TV yang tidak sehat atau tidak suci (Matius 6:22, Matius 5:28), kita menemukan diri kita menavigasi ke acara yang lebih sehat (atau hanya mematikannya). Alih-alih membuat keputusan impulsif, kita mendapati diri kita bertanya kepada Tuhan apakah melamar pekerjaan itu atau berkencan dengan orang itu adalah apa yang Dia inginkan untuk kita.

Salah satu cara saya belajar menerapkan Alkitab dalam hidup saya adalah melalui S.O.A.P. metode. Ini membantu berinteraksi dengan firman Tuhan sehingga Anda dapat menemukan prinsip dan kebenaran hidup untuk perjalanan sehari-hari Anda dengan Tuhan.

  • S – Kitab Suci. Anda dapat menulis Kitab Suci di buku catatan.
  • O- Pengamatan. Langkah ini mendorong Anda untuk berinteraksi dengan Kitab Suci yang telah Anda tulis di buku catatan Anda. Selama langkah ini, pada dasarnya Anda bertanya pada diri sendiri: Apa yang saya lihat, dan apa artinya?
  • A-Aplikasi. Langkah ini mendorong Anda untuk menjadikan firman Tuhan pribadi dalam hidup Anda. Apa yang Tuhan katakan kepada saya hari ini? Apakah saya perlu melakukan perubahan? Apakah saya perlu mengambil tindakan?
  • P – Doa. Langkah ini melibatkan meminta Tuhan untuk bekerja dalam hidup Anda mengenai kebenaran yang baru saja Anda temukan.
    Roh Kudus Akan Membantu Anda Menerapkan Alkitab dalam Kehidupan Anda
    Ketika kita pertama kali memberikan hati kita kepada Tuhan, Dia memenuhi kita dengan Roh Kudus yang berbicara kepada kita dan memimpin kita dalam kebenaran—kebenaran Tuhan. Saat kita membaca Alkitab, Roh Kudus akan membimbing kita untuk memahaminya dan menjalani jalan Tuhan.

“Tetapi Penolong, Roh Kudus, yang akan diutus oleh Bapa dalam nama-Ku, akan mengajarkan segala sesuatu kepadamu dan akan mengingatkan kamu akan semua yang telah Kukatakan kepadamu” (Yohanes 14:26).

Menerapkan Alkitab ke dalam hidup Anda berarti menyembunyikan Firman Tuhan di dalam hati Anda (Mazmur 119:11) dan menaati Roh Kudus saat Dia membisikkan jalan dan kebenaran Tuhan kepada kita (Yohanes 14:26).

Countries With The Largest Christian Population

Countries With The Largest Christian Population

This article will discuss the countries in the world with the largest Christian / Catholic populations.

There are countries in the world with the largest / largest Christian / Catholic population.

The ountries in the world with the largest / largest Christian / Catholic population are based on data from the Pew Forum in 2020, a research institute in the United States.

If we read the research results of the Pew Forum in 2010, a world leading research institute headquartered in Washington, DC, United States, we can see that the total population of Christianity in the world is 2,173,180,000 or nearly 2.2 billion.

This means 31.5% or nearly one third of the earth’s total population of 6,895,890,000 people at that time (now the earth’s population is more than 7 billion).

Even though it is only a third of the world’s population, according to Pew Forum data, Christianity is the most populous religion in the world, more than the population of any religion in the world, such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.

The Christian religion referred to here includes all sects and denominations within the Christian church, such as the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and various Protestant denominations / schools (ecumenical, evangelical, charismatic, Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist, Adventist, etc.) .

The Christian population is spread throughout the countries of the world, although not evenly. Most of the world’s Christian population resides in Europe, North America, South America, the Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa.

Since this Pew Forum data was taken 7 years ago, then maybe this data has changed. Nevertheless, at least the Pew Forum data can provide us with an overview of the existence of Christianity in various countries in the world.

This article will discuss the countries in the world with the largest Christian / Catholic populations, which are based on data from the Pew Forum in 2020.

Which countries in the world are included in the countries with the largest or largest Christian / Catholic population? Here’s the list.

1. United States (Christians: 243,060,000)

United States

The United States of America is located in North America. The capital is Washington, DC, but the largest city is New York City.

The total population is 310,380,000.

The Christian population in the United States is 243,060,000 or 78.3% of the total population of the United States.

A large proportion of the Christian population in the United States are Protestant Christians, with the Baptist church as the largest denomination. Several sects and sects of churches were born in this country, such as Pentecostals, Charismatics, Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, etc.

The United States of America produces many of the best Christian pastors and theologians today. In addition, the United States is the largest contributor to missionaries and mission funds in the world.

2. Brazil (Christians: 173,300,000)

Brazil is located in South America / Latin America. The capital is Brasilia, but the largest city is Sao Paulo.

The total population is 194,950,000.

The Christian population in Brazil is 173.3 million or 88.9% of the total population of Brazil.

A large proportion of the Christian population in Brazil are Catholic Christians.

3.Mexico (107,910,000)

Mexico is located in Central America. The capital is Mexico City.

The total population is 113,420,000.

The Christian population in Mexico is 107,910,000 people or 95.1% of the total Mexican population.

A large proportion of the Christian population in Mexico are Catholic Christians.

However, Protestant churches, especially Pentecostals, are quite significant in this country, accounting for about 22% of the total population of Brazil.

4.Russia (Christians: 104,750,000)

Russia

Russia is located in Eastern Europe. The capital is Moscow.

The total population is 142,960,000.

From maxbet.website research said that the christian population in Russia is 104,750,000 or 73.3% of the total Russian population.

A large proportion of the Christian population in Russia are Russian Orthodox Christians.

5. Philippines (Christians: 86,370,000)

The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia. The capital is Manila.

The total population is 93,260,000 people.

The Christian population in the Philippines is 86,370,000 people or 92.6% of the total population of the Philippines.

Most of the Christian population in the Philippines are Catholic Christians.

Story Of Francis Xaverius That Spread Catholic In Indonesia

Story Of Francis Xaverius That Spread Catholic In Indonesia

It seems that the King of Portugal, Dom João III, in 1540, also hoped that the missionaries who participated in the Portuguese voyage would come from Asian bases, such as India, Malacca, and Maluku. Finally, a friend of the founder of the Jesuit Society, Ignatius Loyola, named Fransiskus Xaverius was appointed.

When the Santiago ship in which he was traveling left the mine from the port of Lisbon, Xaverius was almost 35 years old. He was born on 7 April 1506 and left Europe on the same date in 1541.

“He departed as deputy king [according to the Padroada system] and was appointed diplomatic representative of the Pope [Nuncio]. Its power is broad, and its vision is broad. Xaverius walked long distances, and rarely remained in any place for long, but served only as a pioneer sower whose work others would continue, writes Anne Ruck in Asian Church History (2005).

After months of traveling, the Santiago Ship arrived in Mozambique, Africa. Xaverius stayed there from August 1541 to March 1542. Then he sailed again for India. On 6 May he arrived in Goa which was the center of Portuguese activity in India. There, he spread Catholicism. After three years of traveling around India with unsatisfactory results, he headed east. He also headed for Malacca which had been a strategic Portuguese base since 1511.

Story Of Francis Xaverius

In October 1545, his ship arrived in Malacca. “He stayed in Malacca for several months, while learning the Malay language, then visited the Maluku islands, including Ambon, Ternate and Halmahera,” wrote Anne Ruck.

After the New Year, January 1, 1546 he boarded a ship from Malacca to Ambon. According to Leo Soekoto in the Indonesian Catholic Church Mengarungi Zaman (1995), Xaverius was not the first Catholic carrier in Maluku. Around 1538, there was already Catholic evangelism in Ambon.

“Throughout the years 1546-1547, Xaverius worked among the Ambonese, Ternate, and Morotai (Moro) people and laid the foundations for a mission that remained there,” wrote Marle Ricklefs in the book History of Modern Indonesia 1200-2008 (2008 ). The areas that Xaverius visited were areas that were in control or at least the areas of the Portuguese spice trade.

When he arrived at an area, “he first visited small groups of people who had been baptized, but afterward referred to many unbelievers in that area. He wrote a small Catechism in Malay, opened schools for indigenous people, and with his charming personality could influence thousands of people, teach and baptize them, “wrote Huub JWM Boelaars, in the book Indonesianisasi, from the Catholic Church in Indonesia to the Catholic Church. Indonesia (2005).

According to Anne Ruck, as deputy king of Portugal, “he was often invited by the kings, both because they wanted to learn the Catholic faith, and because they wanted to have a relationship with the Portuguese country.” According to Huub J. W. M. Boelaars, the King of Ternate received Xaverius well in his court.

Xaverius did not spread Catholicism by way of debate with ordinary people. After he learned the local language, he explored the local culture which is suitable for instilling Catholic values ​​in everyday life among the local community.

Xaverius realized that “not all elements of non-Christian culture should be despised or simply rejected, on the contrary there are many things that should be appreciated. Christianity must be conveyed in accordance with local education and culture, ”wrote Anne Ruck.

Because her religion teaches compassion, “in every place, her kindness and genuine concern draw people to believe in Christ,” Ann Ruck continues.

Xaverius is considered a success, “this success was mainly due to his affection for the local population. He always defended the local population when bullied by the Portuguese, ”wrote Ruck.

According from www.praktikmetropol.com to Huub J. W. M. Boelaars, “his attitude of risking himself selflessly was a stark contrast to the colonial greed of Portuguese traders and soldiers. Francis Xavier tried in vain to correct their attitude. “

After more than a year in Maluku, Xaverius returned to Malacca. The next target is Japan. In Malacca, Xaverius met a Japanese, named Yajira, who fled from Japan because he killed someone.

To him, Francis Xaverius asked about the state of Japan and the openness of the Japanese population to the Bible. In 1549, Xaverius went to Japan and stayed there until 1552. From Japan, he wanted to go to mainland China, but he could only arrive at the Portuguese base in China, Macao. Then, on December 2, 1552 he died on the island which is famous for its gambling.

The short period of stay in a country and language barriers prevented the congregation from getting maximum service so that other padri tried to continue it.

Even so, his influence continues to be remembered in Asia. Francis Xaverius, along with Ignatius Loyola, are recognized as saints by the Catholic and Anglican Churches. His name is the baptismal name used by many Catholic men in Indonesia.

The Church That Spread Christianity in Batavia

The Church That Spread Christianity in Batavia

Rows of hundreds of years old churches scattered in several points in the city of Jakarta hold a long history of the spread of Christianity in the colonial era.

These historic buildings are still standing strong and carry out their function as houses of worship.

Kompas.com summarizes a list of five historic churches in Jakarta that have contributed to the spread of Christianity in the archipelago.

Church of Santa Maria de Fatima

Church of Santa Maria de Fatima

Located in the Petak Sembilan area, Jalan Kemenangan III Number 47, Glodok Village, Taman Sari District, West Jakarta, the Santa Maria de Fatima Catholic Church has a typical Chinese architecture.

In the book Old Churches in Jakarta by Adolf Heuken SJ, built in the 19th century, this building was originally intended as a house complex for a captain in the Batavian era with the clan of Tjioe.

In 1953, the house of the captain of the Tjioe clan, said Yonas, was bought by the Parish of St. Petrus and Paulus Churches on Jalan Raya Mangga Besar Number 55, West Jakarta, because the number of people had increased.

Two years later, Stasi Maria de Fatima developed into its own parish, Parish Toasebio.

After it was turned into a church building, the open land between the outer gate and the front door of the main building was turned into a church building.

Schools and dormitories were built next to a church building designated for overseas Chinese or Hoakiauw (Overseas Chinese).

Because until now the Church of Santa Maria de Fatima still maintains the original structure of the building, people often think that this building is a temple.

The impression of luxury is still visible from the roof in the shape of a swallow tail, a pair of lion statues, dominant red doors and windows, and other ornaments that are still preserved.

Wooden construction, carvings, red and gold colors dominate every corner, including the altar of the Church.

Four red wooden pillars stood supporting the altar. On it is a carved wooden painting showing the events of Jesus being crucified on the Mount Golgotha.

Zion Church

Zion Church

The oldest church in Jakarta, a legacy from the Dutch colonial government, is thick with European nuances.

Built in 1693, this church has a characteristic Romanesque style, which is seen on the arched pillars at the entrance to the building.

The Zion Church is located at Jalan Pangeran Jayakarta 1, the meeting point of Jalan Pangeran Jayakarta and Mangga Dua Raya, West Jakarta.

The location is approximately 200 meters from the Jakarta Kota (Beos) Train Station. Currently the church building is included in the protected class A cultural heritage building.

The distinctive feature of this church is the ornament of the pulpit and the Baroque-style pipe organ which is known for its dramatic shapes and intensively decorated with carvings.
The building that was formerly a Catholic Church is now the Protestant Church of West Indonesia (GPIB) Sion Congregation.

The Zion Church with a total area of ​​6,275 square meters can accommodate up to 1,000 congregations.

The bell at infront of the church is still original from 1675 and to this day the golden bell is still in use.

Immanuel Church

Immanuel Church

The church, which is currently located at Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur Number 10, Kelurahan Gambir, Kecamatan Gambir, Central Jakarta, was originally a church that was built on the basis of an agreement between the Reformed people and the Lutheran community in Batavia.

The church, formerly known as Willemskerk, is a cultural heritage from the Netherlands.

Initially, the GPIB Immanuel Church was only for Dutch East Indies officials blog. This church was built to meet the spiritual needs of Protestants living in the Gambir area.

Towering trees, a serene atmosphere and majestic pillars in a classic European style welcome anyone visiting the GPIB Immanuel Church.

When entering this church, visitors seem to be transported back to the classic luxury era of the past.

Also read: Age of the congregation is limited, the distribution of Christmas gifts for children in the Cathedral Church is abolished

The Protestant place of worship has a dome-shaped roof. At the top is a short circular tower shaped like a cube, decorated with stucco lotus flowers with six leaves.

This building is equipped with large windows typical of Dutch buildings. On the second floor there are also circular wooden chairs and an old pipe organ made by Jonathan Batz in 1843.

Until now, the pipe organ is still used to accompany hymns.

Read too : Why is Jesus Christ Important in My Life?

Immanuel Church still serves its people by worshiping in the Dutch language, namely on Sunday services at 10:00 am and Christmas services.

This church keeps a lot of history about the development of Batavia City in the past.

Therefore, through the Decree of the Governor of DKI Jakarta Number 475 of 1993 dated March 29, 1993 and based on Law Number 11 of 2010, the GPIB Immanuel Church was designated as a cultural heritage building.

After Confessing Sin and Repentance, Why Do We Still do bad things?

After Confessing Sin and Repentance, Why Do We Still do bad things

The Lord Jesus said, “I certainly tell you that whoever sins is a slave to sin. And the slave does not live in the house forever: but the child remains forever” (John 8: 34-35). God’s Word tells us that if people cannot free themselves from slavery and chains of sin, and they are constantly drowning, they are slaves to sin and will never participate in God’s kingdom. When reading this Bible verse, many believing believers will think about how they sin during the day just to confess their sins at night, and they have to worry that they are living in sin and cannot enter the kingdom of God and they will suffer in pain. their hearts. They believe in God, so why can’t they free themselves from sin? In fact, how can we break free from the chains of sin? We will now relate to this aspect of truth.

Why can’t we get rid of sin in our belief in God?

When you come to the question why we believe in God, but are unable to free ourselves from sin, let’s first read this from God’s words: “Even if people have been redeemed and benefited from their sins, it can only be considered that God. do not remember human transgressions and do not deal with humans according to their transgressions. However, when man lives with the flesh and has not been freed from sin, he can only continue sinning, releasing his character to be corrupted by the devil in himself. without stopping sin. The majority of mankind have sinned by day, then claim sin by night. So even if the sinful chewing gum victim might be effective. For humans, he cannot save human humans. Only half of the relief work has been done because human nature is always corrupted “(Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in “Word is revealed to RI inside human form). God’s words show us that even if we have experienced the Lord Jesus’ redemption and our sins have been forgiven, however, after sin, we pray, claiming to be sinful and gradual to God and that God does not see us as sinners, Our sin nature last; We can always sin often, revealing our depraved character and living in sin during the day just to confess sin at night. For example, when other people say or do something that jeopardizes our own interests, we hate them; We know very well that Allah loves honestly, but we often and fault our own love; When blessed by God, we continually thank God; When crushed by disaster, we start complaining about God and we can even denounce God, making him public. And because of that we can see that even if our sins have been forgiven, the character that is corrupted in us is not married yet, because of what the Lord Jesus did the work of the crucifixion and redemption of mankind, there is no complete cleansing and economic work. According from some people who like gambling on, we have been corrupted by the devil for thousands of years and our evil character is rooted in our nature. Coming, pride, selfishness, humiliation, betrayal, cunning, lies, cheating, supply, men, evil, hatred for the truth and enmity for God – all of these are more difficult than sin and can turn people into opposition to God. If the first cause is not resolved, we will sin today as well as sin tomorrow, completely unable to renounce and remedy sins.

How Are Christians Free From Sin?

So how can we truly break free from the chains of sin? The Lord Jesus prophesied: “There are many other things I can say, but you cannot accept them all for now. However, when he, the spirit of truth, comes, he will guide him all in all truth: for he will not speak from him; but he will pass on all that he hears: and he will show you to come to you “(John 16: 12-13).” And if someone listens to my words, and I do not believe, I do not believe, I do not believe , I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe, I don’t believe. Believe. Believe me, I don’t think, I don’t think. have time to say: Because I came to judge the world, but to save two people. nia. He who rejects me and does not accept my words, someone has arrived: I said: I say that which shall judge at the end of the era “(John 12: 47-48).

The Word of God also says: “To completely save man from the influence of the devil is not only that Jesus should regard man’s sin as a chewing gum sacrifice, but also makes God have to do more work to be delivered for man from his character which has been destroyed by the devil. Then, after human sins are forgotten, God has become more and more human to bring mankind in the new era. God begins to make difficulties and judgments, and this work brings people to nature. All of them Submit to their strength will enjoy a higher righteousness and will receive more blessings. great. They actually live in the light and obtain truth, truth and life “(preface, words appearing in human form).

God’s Word tells us that God will return at the end of time to speak the word and evaluate, solve the problem of man’s utterly depraved character and save him from sin. Now, the Lord Jesus returned to the flesh as Almighty God incarnate. On the basis of the redemption of the Lord Jesus, Almighty God carried out a working stage, that is, an evaluation that began with God’s Chamber. Reveal all the truth to cleanse and save humanity, break our root nature and enable us to understand the truth, set free sin, stop sin and oppose Allah and become a person who obeys and respects Allah, where he truly fills God. It is only after we accept God’s appraisal work of the last days that we will have the opportunity to break free from our corruption and command.

The Covid-19 Pandemic Strengthens Faith

The Covid-19 Pandemic Strengthens Faith

As I prepare for the 2020 Easter Celebration in a situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, I imagine, Jesus Christ said this to me and us, “Don’t be afraid! Because we may feel alone and sad. I who support you, will comfort and strengthen you! “

I place this imaginary word of comfort on the basis of faith, hope, and love for Jesus Christ, who first loved mankind, without discrimination. Even those who blasphemed and crucified Him He prayed for and forgiven Him, didn’t He? More than anything else, his love has been proven through his passion, death, and resurrection which is remembered today by the universal Christian community.

I believe, the Lord Jesus Christ, who with his passion, death and resurrection, redeemed not only mankind but also the universe, blessed and served His people to the point of His tribulation. He has even become a victim and experienced the most painful situations. That is when those whom He loves betray, ignore, even reject and crucify Him.

His faithfulness does not change

His faithfulness does not change

Even though Jesus Christ was betrayed, He remained faithful. Because, He could not betray His love for the Father and man. Although Jesus suffered betrayal by Judas Iscariot, the disciple who sold Him, and by Simon Peter, the disciple who denied Him, His loyal love and mercy did not change.

Even Jesus Christ was betrayed by those who greeted Him and sang His hosanna upon entering the city of Jerusalem (on Palm Sunday) but only a few days later, on Friday, they shouted provocatively: “Crucify Him!” (Matthew 27:22). Jesus was also betrayed by the religious institutions of His countrymen who unjustly blasphemed Him and collaborated with the Roman political institutions of that time who washed their hands to crucify Him!

Remarkably, Jesus Christ remained faithful and unchanging towards them. Instead, Jesus Christ forgave them. So, Jesus Christ also prayed from His cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they have done!” (Luke 23:34).

His same faithfulness and mercy are upon us. So when we go to Worship or Mass online at , we can reflect on all the little or big betrayals we have committed against Him. We can also think of betrayals that we may experience or commit to others and the universe.

Maybe we can feel how terrible it is when our trust is betrayed. How often do we betray God, others and the universe? However, His mercy and faithfulness do not change, because the eternal love of God is eternal for us. If so, would we still have the heart to betray Him and those who love us?

It is time to be firm in faith and bear fruit

This is the time for us to live a new life and be firm in faith, and bear fruit in real life. Many have shared with me that when they attend Mass and / or worship online, they are moved blue with tears. I have experienced it too, even when I celebrate the Eucharist and receive His Body and Blood in real life on behalf of the people.

Hopefully this will be a wonderful opportunity for moments to return to normal later, worship and Mass will shape our attitude to live our faith. Do not come to Mass or worship during normal times, instead being busy online when the service is taking place.

Thus, faith also bears fruit in life, which is marked by mutual respect based on solidarity and compassion which these days are very strong in coloring our lives.

This is a wonderful abundant time with God reflecting on our lives. As Pope Francis offered in his Palm Sunday homily (5/4/2020): Let us look inside ourselves. If we are honest with ourselves, we can ask ourselves: How many lies, hypocrisy, and falsehoods in our life? How many good intentions do we betray ourselves? How many promises have we broken? How many of our good plans have not been fulfilled?

God knows our hearts better than we know ourselves. He knows how weak and fragile we are, how many times we fall, how hard it is to get up and how hard it is to heal certain wounds. We are invited to be strong in faith.

Unwavering faith makes us aware of His mercy which says, “I will heal their infidelity because I love them so much” (Hosea 14: 5).

Welcome to enter the holy days of saving God during the Covid-19 pandemic. God’s mercy and love strengthen our life of faith so that it produces fruit in solidarity and compassion for others and the universe. Happy Easter!

Find out also : 5 Facts About the Bible You Must Know.

Christian & Catholic Religion in Indonesia

Christian & Catholic Religion in Indonesia

Although Christianity is the second largest religion in Indonesia as recorded in , its people are only a minority in Indonesia. About 10% of Indonesia’s population is registered as Christian, a percentage in absolute terms of about 23.5 million people. Indonesian society has the habit of distinguishing Catholicism from Christianity.

For Indonesians, the term Christianity or Christianity usually refers to Protestant Christianity, while Catholicism is considered a different religion. In accordance with Western tradition, in this article we use the term Christianity (or Christianity or Christianity) to refer to Protestant Christianity and Catholicism because the core teachings of both are the same: belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

The majority of Indonesian Christians are Protestants. Of the 23.5 million total population of Indonesia who are Christians, about 16.5 million people follow Protestant teachings, while another 7 million people follow Catholic teachings. Christian communities are unequally distributed throughout the country. However, as can be seen from the map below, most of these communities live in eastern Indonesia which has a lower population density.

Locations with sizeable Christian communities:

  1. North Sumatera
  2. Kalimantan
  3. North Sulawesi
  4. West Sulawesi
  5. Maluku
  6. Papua
  7. Flores
  8. Sumba
  9. West Timor

Christianity in Indonesia Today

Although there are a number of areas in Indonesia that have a clearly Christian majority (see map above), overall, Christianity is only a minority religion in Indonesia. Therefore, Christians have a rather weak socio-political position in the country with the exception of some Christian-majority areas (in these areas Muslims sometimes have to face discriminatory actions).

This weak general position makes most Indonesian Christians realize their position as a minority and therefore they try to build good relations with Muslims. Even so, regarding the sense of Indonesian nationality, Christians are just as strong in nationalist pride as Muslims who make up the majority. Christians are also very supportive of maintaining Indonesian unity.

In the last few decades, there have been many case records of attacks by radical Muslim groups against churches and Christians. This created fear within the Indonesian Christian community. These incidents mainly took place on the island of Java where Christians are a minority. Unfortunately, this situation is likely to continue.

However, these attacks can be explained as expressions of fear and frustration from the perpetrators because Indonesia (considered by the perpetrators) to have undergone a process of ‘Christianization’ after the independence period.

In fact, the root of the problem lies in history which records that sizable Christian elites (who were better equipped with better education and economy) were treated better by the Dutch during the colonial era. After Indonesian independence, Christian elites became an influential force in politics (including within the military) and the Indonesian economy both during the Soekarno and Suharto administrations (in the first half of his regime).

The main reason for this paradoxical situation is that Christians – as a minority group – are not a big threat. In the 1950s and 1960s there were power struggles between nationalist, communist, and Islamic groups, while when Suharto took power in 1966 (and communist groups were abolished), there was still a big need for government efforts to reduce the role of political Islam in Indonesian society.

In decades of chaos and mistrust, Christians were seen as allies (because they had no hidden agendas) in the face of rival forces in society. This condition changed in the late 1980s and 1990s when not only hardline Islamic groups rejected the government but also moderate Islamic groups began to criticize the government and demanded democracy.

In order to gain more popular support, Suharto (a less religious traditional Muslim) decided to adopt more pro-Muslim policies, including placing more Muslims in top government positions (including in the military). This led to a decrease in the influence of Christians in national politics.

In Indonesian society, Muslims and Christians live in social harmony. Between 1997 and 2004 (during and after the fall of Suharto) a number of areas in Indonesia were attacked by gruesome incidents of violence labeled ‘religious conflict’. However, it is wrong to think of these conflicts as merely a matter of religion. Suharto’s fall opened fierce competition for political, economic and social powers in parts of Indonesia; and also between religious groups alike.

Combined with a weak and disorganized central government (including the national military) due to the Asian Financial Crisis, these conflicts had the opportunity to enlarge and prolong their period. There are also reports that claim the Indonesian military is encouraging the continuation of these conflicts in order to create chaos at home in order to gain more political power.

You may also like to read: Strong Faith In Christ.

Why is Jesus Christ Important in My Life?

Why is Jesus Christ Important in My Life

When we understand all that the Savior does for us, He becomes the most important person in our lives.

I recently read a post on a blog in which the author talks about how the Savior plays an important role in his daily life. I am glad she was willing to share her feelings, but I was saddened by a reader’s response: “She is not important in whatever my life is — never has and never will be.”

That reader couldn’t be more wrong. Sooner or later, we will all need a Savior. We all make mistakes we cannot fix, experiences we have lost and cannot recover, and face pain, persecution, tragedy, burdens, and disappointments that we cannot handle on our own.

The good news is that we don’t have to deal with it alone.

“In a moment of weakness we may cry out, ‘No one knows what it’s like. No one understands. “But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and carried our individual burdens,” said Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can stretch out His arms of mercy upon us.” 1

Jesus is important to us because through His Atonement, teachings, hope, peace, and example, He helps us change our lives, meet our challenges, and move forward in faith as we journey back to Him and the Father- His.

Jesus Makes Repentance Possible
One of the reasons Jesus is so important to those who sincerely strive to follow Him is that we are all weak and need the gift of repentance offered through the Atonement.

When we stumble and fall, Satan wants us to think we are not good enough to get up and get back on the right path. He also wants us to forget that the gospel is “the gospel of repentance” (D&C 13: 1; emphasis added). But we do know that “the grace of Christ is real, giving both forgiveness and cleansing to the repentant sinner.” 2

The Atonement power of Jesus Christ is available to each of us, but we must choose to allow it to work in our lives. Imagine giving a special gift to a friend –something your friend really needed and something you prepared through personal sacrifice. Imagine your friend responding, “Thanks, but I really don’t want your gift.” How do you feel?

When we don’t invite Jesus to help us become clean through repentance, it is as if we are rejecting His gift.

Jesus Teaches the Truth

On one occasion, after the crowd refused to walk any further with Him, Jesus asked the Twelve Apostles, “Will you also go away?” Peter answered, “Lord, to whom are we going? thy words are words of eternal life ”(John 6: 67–68).

You can find the Savior’s “sayings of everlasting life” in the scriptures, the teachings of the living prophets, and the promptings of the Holy Ghost. It offers the foundation for “happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come,” 3 and it guides us safely back to our Heavenly Father and our Savior.

What are some of the great truths the Savior taught? President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, listed four items in a recent general conference address:

“Our Father has given His children the great plan of happiness.”

“Through the Atonement …, we can live forever with our loved ones.”

“We will have glorified, perfect, immortal bodies, not burdened with disease or disability.”

“Our tears of sorrow and loss will be replaced by an abundance of happiness and joy.” 4

Jesus Offers Hope

When we face serious challenges, sometimes we find it difficult to believe in God. But trusting Him gives us the hope we need to meet our challenges.

That is the case with members of the Gatrell family, who live in Sister Jean A. Stevens’ ward. Sister Stevens, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, said that the family held fast to the gospel and to their temple covenants after Brother Gatrell was diagnosed with cancer. Doing so gives them hope in God’s promises that they will be reunited after this life.

Going through the hard days before her husband died, Sister Gatrell said, “I know God is watching over us. If you believe in God, truly you can overcome any challenge in life. ”5

The gift of Atonement gives us hope of eternal life –something we need when we experience difficulties or the death of our loved ones.

“Our loving Heavenly Father gave us the gift of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency. “The great gifts and blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ bring a universal heritage: the promise of the Resurrection and the possibility of eternal life to all who are born.” 6

Jesus Offers Peace

If you’ve ever faced a natural disaster, been the subject of harsh gossip, experienced a life-changing challenge, had a fight with a friend, or stood up for what’s right, you know you need God’s peace. “The Savior’s peace,” said Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “won over the storms of the world.” 7

During a recent general conference, Elder Andersen shared a story about a young Laurel who was made fun of and ridiculed for defending traditional marriage. To be mocked, he learned, sometimes that is the price of “being faithful to God and to the teachings of His living prophets.” 8

But defending does not mean standing alone. We can always turn to the Prince of Peace when we feel lonely or overwhelmed, sad or anxious, afraid or worthless. We do that by:

  • Pray to Heavenly Father for the Spirit to be with us.
  • Read the words of the Lord in the scriptures and as revealed by the living prophets.
  • Attend the temple.
  • Studying the Savior’s life in church and in seminary.
  • Apply His Atonement by repenting of our sins.
  • Share our testimonies of Him.

When we feel the Savior’s peace, our hearts need not be troubled or afraid (see John 14: 26–27).

“Only the Master knows the depths of our troubles, our pain, and our suffering,” said President Thomas S. Monson. “He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity. He alone touches our tormented souls with His comforting words. ”9

Jesus Set the Example

Throughout His ministry, Jesus did more than point the way to happiness — He led the way. Through His Atonement, He leads us to love. Through His teachings, He leads us to eternal truths. Through His perfect life, He leads us down the path of obedience.

“The greatest example who ever walked the earth is our Savior, Jesus Christ. His mortal ministry was filled with teaching, serving, and loving others, ”said Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The Savior, he added, “invites us to follow His perfect example.” 10

When we understand that the Savior makes repentance and resurrection possible, teaches important truths, offers hope and peace, and sets the perfect example, He becomes the center of our lives. And with Him as our friend, we have the courage to remove our fears and move on in faith.