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About Deborah_

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    Swansea, Wales
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    Fair trade

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  1. The gifts of the Spirit are given only to believers - people who have the Holy Spirit within them. However, the gifts can be faked. There are such things as fake miracles, fake tongues and fake (false) prophecies. Also, the devil can work miracles and inspire prophecies. This means that we have to exercise discernment! We are to test all prophecies (I Corinthians 14:29). And if someone claims to have a gift we should look not only at the gift itself but also at the rest of their life. Do they speak and act as if Jesus is their Lord? (I Corinthians 12:3; Matthew 7:22,23)
  2. I've met a lot of individual Christians who never read the Old Testament - because it's "too difficult", or "too gory", or "irrelevant". I've never come across a church that avoided it as a matter of policy - but I'm sure there are many preachers who don't preach on the OT because the NT just seems so much easier and more accessible.
  3. Yes, you can do that if you're having a private conversation. But when they come door-knocking they are always in pairs, so neither will tell you anything outside the official JW 'line', even if they don't believe it all. I don't ask the question; I just assume that they aren't Christians and talk about whatever subject comes up (but try to steer away from non-essential doctrines).
  4. The Jehovahs Witness movement is not Christian. However, there may be a few individuals within it who are. (I have heard that there are JWs who convert but are afraid to actually leave the organisation. I've also met one who alternated between the JWs and an 'ordinary' church). For that reason I would never tell a JW to their face that they are not a Christian - unless I knew them well. Because we know the Bible very well, when JWs knock on our door we always invite them in and offer them coffee. We've had a few good conversations over the years.
  5. Christian forums are not really representative of Christianity. There are plenty of Christians who do believe in evolution, an old earth and dinosaurs. These are matters of personal interpretation of Genesis, not essentials of the faith. You might like to check out the Biologos website as well as the 'creationist' ones.
  6. Deborah_

    Harry potter

    It's interesting that the English are more positive about the Harry Potter stories than the Americans. Even more interesting that when it comes to Halloween (also with occult associations) it tends to be the other way round. Is there a subtle culture difference here? And bearing in mind that J K Rowling is English, are we likely to understand her better on this side of the Atlantic?
  7. Deborah_

    Harry potter

    I read all the books as they came out and loved them. The 'witchcraft' in them is nothing like real witchcraft; it's pure fantasy. It's like a parallel universe, where the problems that we have can be looked at from a different angle, which can be quite enlightening. Good and evil are clearly defined, and the many different forms that evil can take are dramatised. And what leads to the happy ending is not some dark or even 'light' magic, but the good old-fashioned virtues of love, courage, loyalty and teamwork - and even faith! I've seen some of the films, and they aren't as good - darker and less thoughtful. Film directors these days do seem to enjoy their special effects so much, the storyline often suffers. When it comes to the other spin-offs, I have nothing to do with them. It's the witchcraft side that gets commercialised (no surprises there), and there are no redeeming features to it.
  8. Oh yes... how could anyone visit Jordan and not go to Petra? I personally wouldn't describe it as 'pretty' - but stunning, definitely.
  9. We went earlier this year, and enjoyed it immensely. It gives you a much better appreciation of the geography and landscape of the Bible. It's often forgotten that Jordan also contains a large number of Biblical places. We went there about 15 years ago.
  10. What do your parents think? Since you are underage, it will be their decision, not yours. But assuming that they will take your wishes into account, if you have been praying for something and God gives it to you, then accept it! He doesn't play mind games with us.
  11. Why? In the book of Acts, we find that the custom of the early church was to baptise people on the day they became Christians! At that time, of course, there was no New Testament for them to read (because it hadn't yet been written). Reading the NT is a very good thing to do, but why put off your baptism until you have done it? Baptism is an initiation into the way of Christ, and it's therefore done right at the beginning. Full understanding isn't required, only commitment. If you wait until you've attained "spiritual maturity", you'll be waiting far too long!
  12. That's something I've never heard of. Doesn't sound Biblical to me (because in God's eyes there's no longer any division between Jew and Gentile), but maybe it's a particular interpretation that only some people believe.
  13. This is getting things back to front. Jews (and Jewish Christians) are not special to God because they keep the Law. They keep the Law because they are special to God! Whether Jewish or Gentile, we have been chosen by God. And everyone who has been chosen by God is equally precious to Him (I Peter 2:4). The 'Law' that we keep as a result of being special is the law of Christ ("Love one another") "There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:22,23) "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession..." (I Peter 2:9) "You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of His household." (Ephesians 2:19)
  14. There are many Anglican churches that do stranger things than that! The Anglo-Catholic 'wing' of the Church of England is more Catholic than the Catholic Church! Before moving to Wales, my husband and I worshipped at a very evangelical Anglican church in Berkshire. My husband was the verger, and used to go to national verger conferences. Some of the things they did there (such as worshipping the leftover Communion wafers) amazed him. At one point our church 'took over' another Anglican church building in the parish next door. There was a life-size statue of Mary in the main hall - which we soon got rid of! If you're an Anglican you have to put up with this wide variation in practice, all under the same denominational 'umbrella'.
  15. We are given the Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus. We don't have to ask - it's automatic. And we can't possibly earn such a momentous gift! I think so. When I became a Christian I knew nothing about the work of the Holy Spirit. I didn't even realise that I had become a Christian! But I very soon noticed that things in my life were changing, although it was only a few months later that I understood why. The Holy Spirit was at work in me, but without my knowledge. I'm sure that it is. When the Holy Spirit departed from Samson (Judges 16:20,21), he only became aware of it when he tried to exercise his gift of strength and discovered that he didn't have it any more. Also, those people who take spiritual gifts (e.g. tongues) as being incontrovertible evidence of the presence of the Spirit don't always realise that many of the gifts can be faked.
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