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BD 4707 07.08.1949
Traditional faith ....
It is extremely hard work to change people's traditional faith, the conventional faith, into a living faith, because they do not yet understand the word 'faith'. They have adopted the word traditionally without being aware of its actual deep meaning and rather adhere to external practices and customs than to the core which constitutes the teaching of Christ.
They may have indeed listened with their ears to everything in relation to Jesus Christ as the divine Redeemer and describe this knowledge with the word 'faith'. They only mean by this that they do not object to this knowledge or reject it as improbable. But they have neither explored the details of the Christian teaching nor are they at all aware of the significance of the act of Salvation. Hence they refrain from forming an opinion of what they are being taught which, however, is necessary in order to gain a living faith, i.e. to gain an inner conviction for every religious doctrine.
But only living faith can lead to eternal life, because all kinds of conventional faith are unsuitable to transform the soul.
And everything is a conventional faith as long as the person is not overcome by a deep desire for pure truth. Because only this desire prompts him to think about the imparted spiritual knowledge which is then followed by inner conviction or by conscious rejection if he cannot find inner conviction, or living faith.
And this elimination of wrong from right has to take place. Error has to be separated from truth otherwise people cannot find a correct concept of God, Whose essence is of such perfection that everything which testifies of Him also has to be perfect. However, false teachings will never reveal God's essence but forever mirror a distorted image of God. But as long as the people wanting to instruct other people .... do not know the difference between conventional and living faith themselves, as long as these people have not gained the knowledge of truth themselves, precisely by forming an opinion with divine help thus having achieved a living faith, they will not convey the right faith to the learners either. This explains why countless people may well call themselves religious yet are far removed from it .... why error is therefore widespread and truth is only of little interest, why human beings accept much as truth which, with sincere will, they certainly could recognise as error. But they keep to tradition, for generations they thoughtlessly and unreservedly continue to adopt the same distorted teachings which initially were given by Jesus Christ in their purest form to the people and which only became clouded and distorted due to a lack of own thinking and thus deviations were ignored. Moreover, people became duty bound to accept religious dogma unconditionally, so that they did not feel responsible and thus their faith became increasingly inflexible and a dead faith cannot result in spiritual progress.
People's attention should be drawn to their lifeless state, and thus living faith has to be preached all the time. They have to be advised that they may not call themselves believers as long as they only accept traditionally adopted spiritual knowledge without having made it their own, thus being able to uphold it with innermost conviction and not just with their mouth, and that this also necessitates intellectual contemplation. Then the veil will fall from their eyes, then heart and intellect will occasionally refuse to accept something, and only then will the truth be made known, which will then make the person joyful and turn him into a diligent supporter. And then the human being will be able to believe actively and have freed himself from formality, only then can his soul mature and only then can he be a member of the church which Jesus Christ founded on earth ....
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