The Eucharist: In Adam and In Christ: 'Seminar: October 16-17, 2020: Wylie, Texas (Suburb of Dallas)'

Eucharist - An Anthropological perspective

How the Eucharist relates to our being in Adam and in Christ.

It has been my experience within Protestantism that for many, the Eucharist is a meaningless ritual. It is often done in a perfunctory way out of sheer obedience, if at all. Teaching, if there is any, can be pretty stale. Rehashing familiar views of the relevant scriptures and debating 16th century metaphysical arguments is normal fare.  Over the years when I pastored traditionally, we tried different things to bring more meaningful experience to folks. There were occasionally moments of wonder, but generally it was a wholly dissatisfying experience.  What has it been like for you?  What if there is more to it than many of us have been taught in our traditions? This seminar is designed to provoke primarily those from Protestant backgrounds to reconsider some things regarding the Eucharist, communion, or the so-called “Lord’s Supper.”

 

 

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That Dog Won’t Hunt: 'The Hypocrisy of Ethic-less Christianity'

The Dangers of Ethic-less Christianity

That Dog Won’t Hunt – The Dangers of Ethic-less “Christianity”

 

 

 

So, once upon a time you “asked Jesus into your heart.” You are good for heaven, but I am supposedly hell-bound if I haven’t done the same. 

Yet after years of “being a Christian”  you :

 

  • Cheat on your taxes.
  • Steal supplies from work.
  • Get to work late and leave early.
  • Do as little as possible at work and try to get paid as much as you can for it.
  • Lie, manipulate, gossip, and slander
  • Pursue more and more and more money. Making money is the center of your life.
  • Are stingy with your time, talents, and money. Your goal in life is the American dream, not Jesus’s kingdom.
  • Are not generous with your finances.
  • Oppress your employees by paying them as little as you can.
  • Don’t fulfill contractual obligations. You hire lawyers to get out of your commitments.
  • Are a racist or a misogynist or homophobe.
  • Do not keep your word. Your promises and commitments are meaningless.
  • Are hateful to those who are different.
  • Are exclusive, elitist, separatist.
  • Are indifferent toward the poor and the oppressed. You think they just need to “get over it” or “get a job.”
  • Are contentious, combative and discordant in the assembly of the saints.
  • Are contentious, combative and discordant on the job.
  • Are contentious, combative, discordant and self-centered in your marriage and in the home.
  • Are unmoved by others suffering.
  • Are angry, embittered, and unforgiving, quick to take offense.
  • Are vindictive and vengeful.
  • Are lazy, irresponsible, immature, and self-centered.
  • Are unloving toward people in your church and in the world (1 John says you do not know God if that is the case, regardless of whatever “saving prayer” you muttered years ago).
  • Justify the egregious behaviors of your self, your friends, and your political heroes, but demand behavioral consistency in others and your enemies. You want and expect grace for yourself, but dish out condemnation and performance expectations on others–thus, not understanding grace at all. 
  • Are confident in your Bible knowledge and are over-bearing with  others about it.
  • Rejoice at others pains and sorrows as “judgments from God.”
  • Do not ask for forgiveness nor repent for anything. It is always the other person’s fault. You are a victim.

. . .  but you are “saved” and “going to heaven when you die.”

Well, you are not doing much good for anyone but yourself while you are still here. 

The world and our culture are fed up with this kind of hypocritical “Christianity.” Ethic-less Christianity is a humanist myth.

If any one is in Christ, that person is a qualitatively new creation.

The new birth starts with a transformative act, the new creation. It continues in transformation every day, so that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal body (2 Cor. 4:11 – Note: not in heaven in the sweet by and by when we die. )

A typical gospel presentation in a Western Evangelical church today is so out of balance with over-emphasis on spiritual metaphysics of what happens in the invisible realm regarding salvation, that the matter of being a new kind of human while we are on this planet is not only ignored in some brands of hyper-Protestantism, but also taught against as “irrelevant.”

I have had scores of Evangelical and Fundamentalist  “believers” tell me that our behavior  is allegedly irrelevant because Jesus was “God in disguise” (an egregious and inaccurate cliché) and that we cannot expect to be like Him. He is  supposedly not our example in our behavior because “He was God and we are not.” In that line of thinking, He is only relevant for what He has done for us as “God.”  I have heard these type of things over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. 

Jesus said: You will know who is His by their behavior (fruit) . . . not by their faith confession. 

This is not about moralism and perfectionism. Both are bondages. This is not about works righteousness, earning favor with God by behavior, or policing each other.  Anathema on all that sort of thing. This is about living in relational reality and integrity with one another on planet earth.  The issue is one of authenticity before an observing world, not our “forensic status before God.” When our failures are evident–and they will be for all of us– God has made a way not only to be right with Him, but also with our fellow human beings. It is called contrition, repentance, sorrow, asking forgiveness . . . and moving on.

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Copyright 2020. Dr. Stephen R. Crosby. www.stevecrosby.org. For video and audio resources, sign up as a student here. You will find a mix of both free resources and those with cost. This ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those believe in the message of a radical grace in a new covenant understanding. If this blog article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a contribution through our Paypal button to help? Stephanos Ministries is NOT a 501-c-3 corporation Click here to understand why. Thank you and God bless you.

Dear Christians: Your Behavior Matters: 'The Perils of Christian Celebrity - Meditations on Living or Dead Faith'

Failure, Sorrow, and Redemption

Christian Celebrity and Our Responsibility

So, another Christian celebrity’s egregious behavior has made the national news.  He has “fallen” in sexual immorality. Sadly, there is no real news here. This will always happen in a “give us a king (celebrity)” culture that values fame and talent more than character. But it is not just an individual responsibility issue.

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So You Think You are an Apostle: 'Reflections on Modern Day Claims of Apostleship'

Apostle or Poser?

Reflections on being an apostle of Christ

Many today (especially in Charismatic and non-denomination circles) claim for themselves the title and ministry of apostle. Most I have met do not claim equivalency with the twelve disciples of the Lamb. Yet they seem to invariably claim for themselves rights, privileges, primacy of place, and “positional governmental authority in the church” to which others must yield. The phenomenon is sometimes couched in language of “spiritual covering.” What they espouse and claim for themselves as apostles has no biblical legitimacy.

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Gentleness, Humility, and Meekness: 'They're Not What You Might Think'

They’re Not What We Might Think They Are

When simple terms like gentleness, humility, and meekness take on modern cultural definitions rather than culturally sensitive biblical ones, we will end up creating God in our own image. We will also likely create faith communities that reflect cultural values rather than biblical ones. We do not have to become Jewish nor import their culture into our world. But neither should we export our culture into the text and think we are being “Biblically faithful.” Jesus and the apostles were not white Americans from Nebraska in 1954. Gentleness, humility, and meekness can become grossly distorted in our day if we do not at least understand what the terms meant to the people of the day, before we try to live out an ethic that may have no biblical foundation at all.

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The Enigma of Prayer

Restful Prayer

The Enigma of Prayer

Prayer is one of those topics where there is no limit to the number of ways people can be made to feel guilty about not measuring up to “what they ought to be doing.” As I enter the final quarter of the race of my mortality (starting to push fifty years a follower of Jesus) my life-long puzzlement over the matter of prayer just gets deeper. These days my prayers are less frequent, shorter in duration (A couple of orders of magnitude less from the days of my youth!) and I don’t say much (I use to think it was my job to inform God about all the things He should be doing). Yet my prayer life is richer and  deeper than ever. I think I may be on to something. 

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Life in the New Covenant Video Series – Episode One: 'Jesus: The Exact Representation of God'

Life in the New Covenant – Episode One

It’s finally here!

It is with great pleasure that Loren Rosser and I present Episode One of our Life in the New Covenant video series!

Jesus: The Exact Representation of God

https://youtu.be/xLiG1CcunV8

In this first episode, Brad Jersak, Michael Hardin, Bryon Wiebold, Mary Crews, Michael Rose, Mark Drake, Darrin Hufford, and myself talk about the importance of having a correct God image–that being Jesus as the Exact Representation of God—as the foundation of new creation living.

We hope to release episodes every three months and we estimate 6 to 8 more episodes covering different aspects of being a follower of Jesus in a grace-based, new creation paradigm. Men and women with diverse backgrounds and perspectives will be sharing their expertise on different themes of the new covenant life.  We plan to release a new episode approximately every three months.

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Copyright 2019,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.stevecrosby.org. This ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those believe in the message of a radical grace in a new covenant understanding. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a contribution through our Paypal button to help? Stephanos Ministries is NOT a 501-c-3 corporation Click here to understand why. Thank you and God bless you

Matthew 18: Misunderstanding and Misuse in Conflict Resolution

Misusing Matthew 18

The Misuse and Abuse of Matthew 18

The heavy-handed application of Matthew 18:15-20 leaves a trail of pain, broken relationships, and human carnage among God’s people. Controlling authoritarians use Matthew 18 to silence dissenting speech, prophetic criticism, and to label people as trouble makers–sources of contamination in the assembly that must be purged.

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Bros in a Basement Podcast – Bryon Wiebold and Steve Crosby

If you have not found us yet, my good friend Bryon Wiebold and I have been doing a podcast since February of this year called: Brothers in a Basement, also known as Bros in a Basement. We are approaching 9,000 listens downloads. Responses have been phenomenal. We enjoy doing it together. We currently have over 50 episodes there on a variety of topics. Give it a listen

https://www.spreaker.com/show/bros-in-a-basement

Steven J. Wylie Podcast Interview: Augustine’s Influence on Western Theology

For those who might be interested to listen, here’s an interview with Steve Wylie on his podcast. I talk a bit about the influence (mostly negative IMHO) of Augustine in the formation of western theologies, and the possibilities of legitimate perspectives other than his. If you are happy in your Evangelical Protestantism, don’t listen to this one. It will just upset you. If you have begun to ask questions about things not making sense for you any more, you might enjoy this, and the crazy humor in the beginning.  Steve interviews me about my migration out of mainstream Protestantism and we morph into some critique of Augustinian theology. 

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/5-dr-stephen-crosby-discusses-his-departure-from-mainstream/id1461732073?i=1000441163487