Have you ever known someone who is a zealous reforming advocate for some cause that they were once part of themselves, like alcoholism or drug addiction? In their newly found zeal they are often overbearing. I was that person in the early days of my Christian experience. I had a hard case of Christian idiocy. It is a relationally toxic and unsafe mix of sincerity, ignorance, zeal, and self-righteousness.
Every year about this time, social media is saturated with naïve and manipulative Christian “blessings” and “predictions” like this: “In 2019 God is going to take you to new levels!”
That kind of language is not just associated with New Year promises, but it is also stock and trade language in many churches. Well it is 2019, and here is my prediction: God is not going to take you to new levels. Why? Because there is no such thing.
Along with my video production partner, Loren Rosser, we are excited to announce this upcoming video series. It will be available–for free— on Youtube starting in early 2019.
Over the past two years, men and women from diverse cultural and theological backgrounds and perspectives (who do not all agree with each other “doctrinally”) have come together in a display of unity, to talk about the importance of understanding, and living in, the privileges, blessings, AND responsibilities of the glorious new covenant. Each participant is uniquely graced and gifted by God in a facet of theology and practice and share his/her insights on this all important matter.
Topics in the series that will be touched upon include our understanding and expression in areas such as these:
- social justice
- local church life
- spiritual authority
- praise and worship
- service to the community and city
- unity and oneness in the Body of Christ
- cross cultural ministry
- marriage and relationships
- “apostolic” missions
- community life
- inner healing and psychological well being
- the love of God
- justice and judgment
- the new creation
- sonship – God as our loving Heavenly Father
- business and the marketplace
- biblical interpretation
- the singularity, supremacy, and excellence of Christ
- making disciples
- the pastoral ministry
- biblical interpretation issues . . .
The participants include: Michael Rose, John Armstrong, Brad Jersak, Jose Bosque, Lisa Koons, Bryon Wiebold, Mark Drake, Mary and Andrew Allen, Bindi and Aaron Tilbury, Paul Wedaa, David Fredrickson, Vince Coakley, Daryl McCray, Darrin Hufford, Wayne Jacobsen, Michael Hardin, Samuel Genus, Jon Zens, myself and others.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the release of the first session!
Copyright 2018, Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.stevecrosby.org. Would you like to partner with us in distributing our materials and perhaps generate some income for yourself? Please go to www.stevecrosby.com for details of our Affiliate program. 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
Ecumenism is usually low on the spiritual hierarchy of values for most. Passive indifference to passionate disdain—the equivalent of dancing with the devil—parenthetically enclose a wide spectrum of perspectives. If not the alleged compromising work of the devil, ecumenism is often viewed as something reserved for the academy. There, grizzled and gray theologians parse and probe the subtlest of theological nuances trying to come up with “unifying statements of faith.” Its value-relevance to ground-level realities of parish or local church life is simply not recognized. What follows is a true story of the human pain that can occur when ecumenism is not valued.
Grace is costly. It may accrue to us freely, but it cost Jesus dearly. Love is costly, as is peace-making reconciliation. It is not enough to understand these things as abstractions. We must grow in grace-ness (graciousness) toward others—even those with whom we may disagree or those who may have hurt us. Jesus was wounded in the house of his friends and betrayed by one of his most intimate friends. The disciple is not above the Master. We have been given a ministry of reconciliation to, and for, the world and it is a tall order. Would it not make sense that it actually work among those who call upon Jesus as Lord, before we try to export our convictions to others?
Really? Another seminar on Revelation? God spare us. Normally, that’s how I would feel about this topic. The fixation on the Revelation in Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism is a manic money-making machine. However, this live-stream will be unlike anything I experienced growing up in Evangelicalism: we will not be trying to predict the future! Rather, we will endeavor to look at the Revelation through the lens of first century, Second Temple era metaphors and cosmology. What would a Mediterranean-basin, Jew/Gentile audience understand from the imagery in a letter full of Jewish apocalyptic themes?
Propitiation—few Pauline words have generated more fountains of theological ink than this (hilasterion). Debates about what Paul intended go back as far as Origen. Post-Reformation, it has pretty much been five hundred years of ambiguity and theological hair-splitting.
In the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) Movement, there is a strong emphasis on identifying, submitting to, and naming individuals your spiritual father (mother). How does this stand up in the light of Matthew 23:9?
I have learned that when on spiritual and theological “adventures and excursions” it is often relationally best to say little, or nothing. The deeper the plow of the cross goes into our lives, the less one usually has to say about it. Eternal jaw-jacking and yammering about this and that spiritual thing is neither spiritually wise nor relationally mature. It is lacking in relational wisdom. It is a form of self-centeredness: what I think and what I have to say is so important that . . . blah, blah, blah. No one is listening.
Our dominant Christian culture rewards beauty, fame, and success rather than wisdom, fruitfulness, and faithfulness. The following is a true story from someone who learned the hard way and too late that “successful Christian ministry,” based on money, size, acclaim, and fame is a dead-end illusion. Jesus said we should beware when everyone speaks well of us because the false prophets were popular in Israel. I pray young women and men reading this will heed and spare themselves unnecessary sorrow and heartache.