We Don’t Need to Know: 'How to Handle Personal Spiritual Experiences'

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How to Handle Spiritual Experiences

The Spirit of the Lord could subjectively instruct you to take all the pots and pans out of your kitchen and bang on them and make a joyful noise unto His Name. You could have a legitimate, transcendent, spiritual experience doing so. That does not mean:

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The Simplicity That is in Christ: 'Jesus is Simple. The Bible is Not.'

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Simplicity in Christ

Jesus is simple. The Bible isn’t. Jesus is deeply, profoundly, unknowably, unfathomably, costly, and painfully–simple.

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The Incarnation: 'God Dwells Among Humanity'

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The Incarnation

Without getting into all the technical language details, the Prologue to John’s Gospel makes some profound declarations concerning Jesus. Jesus is the localized presence of God in the earth and Jesus is the glory (shekinah) of God. Jesus has replaced the Temple as the localization of both. That’s a pretty gutsy declaration for a Jew to make. A few observations:

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Finding the Sweet Spot: 'Monday Morning Musings - November 30, 2020'

It is human nature to react to a reaction with a reaction, swinging from extreme to extreme. Because the Body of Christ, the Church, is made up or human beings, that tendency is common in the Church universal and local churches. One “new insight” [sic] that ends up being over-emphasized creates and equal and opposite reaction that is over emphasized!  What I call the “sweet spot” or the “radical middle” can be elusive. Viewing God, the Scriptures, and the Christian life in static categories rather than a living dynamism, is part of the problem. Even the mildest shift in emphasis to someone whose identity is at an extreme, is perceived as a threatening compromise. It doesn;t matter which ditch we end up in, we are neutralized in either.

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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.

Money Can’t Buy Me Love: 'We Can't Serve God and Money'

Money Can’t Buy Me Love

The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls . . .  So wrote Simon and Garfunkel in their 1966 hit song, The Sound of Silence. If we pay close attention, we will find that the secular artists (poets, musicians, authors, etc.) of a culture often speak kingdom values and insights to the people of God with a clarity not found among the people of God.

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The Power of Love in a Christian Community: 'What a Healthy Local Church Looks Like'

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The Power of Love in a Christian Community

If you have followed me any length of time, you know I am not shy about critiquing the corruption and short comings in institutional and organized forms of Christian religion. I know many of you, like myself, have experienced not just poor church experiences, but scarring and damaging ones. Many are wary, rightfully so. Many are in extreme forms of reaction, both theologically and emotionally to anything formally structured or organized  in terms of following Jesus with others–being the people of God together practically. Frankly, some have lost hope and given up.

That is why this post is so important. I have permission to share it and have blanked-out personal names to maintain privacy.  

I believe this real-life, real-time letter from a pastor I know personally embodies the values and the transformative power of what can happen in a local church REGARDLESS of how it is STRUCTURED, when Christ is exalted and central at all times, where the good news of the gospel is relentlessly preached in a simple yet powerful way, and where loving and serving each other is all that matters practically.

 I believe it will be worth your time to read. 

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Reality is in the Meal, Not the Menu: 'Monday Morning Musings - October 26, 2020'

Just because you have memorized a restaurant’s menu, does not mean you know anything about the reality of what the menu represents. The reality is in the meal, not the menu. Within Protestantism we have had 500+ years of “preaching the Word.” It is assumed that in so-doing we have faithfully discharged Christ’s mandate. If better or more preaching was necessary for the kingdom of Jesus to grow in Western cultures, we would be far better off spiritually and civically than we are today. The world is not waiting for another sermon. The world is waiting to see some people who resemble and act like, the Firstborn of many brethren (Romans 8:28 ff). The world does not need another lecture. It is high time that those who espouse a message and expect others to conform their lives to that message, bear a family resemblance to the One whom they preach. The essence of Christianity is incarnational, transformational, and manifestational, not informational.

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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.

It’s Just a Symbol . . .: 'What does "symbol" mean in the New Testament?'

In our world, the word “symbol” means something that represents or points to something else that is the real thing. This would be thought by many to be a self-evident no-brainer. We then proceed to bring that understanding to the Scriptures and we think “that’s that.” Well it’s not. “Symbol” does not mean that in Scripture. This has great importance when considering the matter of the Eucharist, or in some places called Communion or the “Lord’s Supper.” If someone is telling you: “It’s just a symbol, or just a that, or just a this . . .” your warning alarm needs to go off.  In many so-called “organic” church environments the centrality of the Eucharist in both Church history and practice is ignored. It is, at best, an afterthought. 

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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.

The Eucharist: In Adam and In Christ: 'Five- Hour Video Seminar is Now Available'

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–perennial rehashing of  16th century metaphysical arguments is normal fare.  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” as it relates to being “In Adam” and “In Christ.”

 

 

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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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