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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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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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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Why Stephanos Ministries is Not a 501-C-3

Why Stephanos Ministries is Not a 501-C-3 Tax Exempt Corporation: 'Legalities and Spiritual Convictions'

In this blog I explain (for those interested) why as of July 2015, Stephanos Ministries ceased to be a 501-C-3 corporation with IRS pre-approval of donations. For decades we were a 501-C-3, so what follows is surely not a judgment or condemnation on anyone who currently maintains that status. For years I believed being a 501-C-3 was a benign and mutually beneficial exercise of Christian liberty. I do not judge those who maintain that conviction today.  However, in the light of recent political and legal trends in the world, I thought an explanation for our conviction and action in terminating our status might be helpful. Most believers I have met are very naïve and ill-informed on the “legal” aspects of operating a “church” or “ministry.” This is my attempt to inform and educate.

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Servanthood – The Highest Calling: 'Guest Blog by David Fredrickson'

The Highest Calling

Servanthood – The Highest Calling

Professional Christian “ministry” attracts insecure people looking for validation and significance like flies to manure. In this guest blog by my friend David Fredrickson, he shares what real servanthood is about and where real validation and significance come from.

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Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part One: 'What is Happening to Us?'

Next to death of a loved one or a divorce, fewer things are more emotionally and psychologically challenging than changing a “church” association. Often when people begin to question their church experience and consider “leaving,” they feel alone, misunderstood, accused, disoriented, and perhaps even crazy or thinking they are losing their mind. They often feel unloved and unsupported.  In this first session of an  eleven-part series called the Church Refugee Sanity Guide, I introduce the topic and provide a frame of reference for understanding that you are not alone.

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Where Should I go to Church?: 'You are asking the wrong question'

Where should I go to church? You are asking the wrong question.

Where should I go to church? You are asking the wrong question.

I often get asked: “Where should I go to church?” It is the wrong question to ask. Lurking in it are likely inappropriate and unrecognized presuppositions and motives. We need to ask a “who” question, not a what and where question. The correct answer to that question will be found in understanding God-assigned relationships. Relational reality in God-assignments is where you will find your “church,” no other way.

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Coming Out of the Institutional Religious System – The “IRS”: 'Hierarchical, institutional religion is already under a sentence of death.'

A guest blog by John and Katherine Matthews.

Leaving Institutional Religion

Leaving Institutional Religion

Unfortunately we missed National Coming Out day on Sunday, October 11.  Better late than never though, so in honor of that special day, it’s time to officially confirm that we are out of the IRS, aka the Institutional Religious System.  Yes, it’s true.

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The Nones and Dones – Part Two: 'A Tidal Wave of Change'

The Nones and Dones - Frustrated with Church and Gone

The Nones and Dones – Frustrated with Church and Gone

My friend, Greg Albrecht, provided the following. It’s a fascinating, and sobering, postscript to my previous blog on “Nones and Dones: “The number of unchurched people in America would make the 8th most populous country in the world!”

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The Nones and Dones: '65,000,000 Believers in the USA Are De-churched'

The Nones and Dones - Frustrated with Church and Gone

The Nones and Dones – Frustrated with Church and Gone

According to sociologist, Josh Packard, in his scrupulously researched book, Church Refugees, there are currently 65,000,000 individuals in the USA who are “done” with church, 30.5 MM of those, retaining their “faith,” the balance having no “faith affiliation.”

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