Spiritual Covering: 'Stop the Nonsense'

stopsignSpiritual covering is a biblically illegitimate, bad idea, that just won’t go away.

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The Kingdom of Heaven and Violence – Matt. 11:12: 'Jesus' Kingdom is Not Forcibly Advancing'

The Kingdom of Heaven is Not Forcibly Advancing

The Kingdom of Heaven and Violence

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force. – Matt. 11:12, KJV.

All my Christian life I have found the idea that Jesus somehow endorses violent human effort for His cause as very odd. It contradicts the rest of His teaching, the life He lived, the example He set, and the rest of the New Testament. What does this passage about the kingdom of heaven and violence mean?

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Block Logic – Reading Scripture with Jesus and Paul: 'Guest Blog by Dr. John Armstrong'

Block Logic - Reading Scripture Like Jesus and Paul

Block Logic – Reading Scripture Like Jesus and Paul

Last week I presented a broad overview of how I believe the church has evolved in America during my lifetime. I now believe that there should be little doubt that the church is not only in rapid numerical decline but intellectually and spiritually we are almost powerless. A major reason for this condition lies in the loss of what I referred to as “the romance of orthodoxy.” When good orthodoxy is joined with a deep sense of mystery shaped by paradox I believe we see a better way to enter the next era of church history. I want to explore this idea today. 

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The Love of God and Your Behavior: 'John 15:10 - Is access to His love contingent upon your obedience?'

John 15:10 - the love of God and your behavior

The Love of God and Your Behavior

Many believers have been taught that the love of God toward them is conditional upon their behavior. Mix in psychological issues of shame, guilt, and unworthiness, the combination becomes a debilitating paralysis that can lead to despair, depression, and even suicide. Jesus’s words in John 15:10 are often used as a proof text by preachers to propagate this point of view. Let’s look at John 15:10 closely, paying attention to three important considerations: context, grammar, and culture. I will be covering some basic Greek, but I will try to keep it non-technical.

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The “Doctrine” versus “Love” Conundrum: 'Guest Blog by Aaron Tilbury'

The Doctrine Conundrum

The Doctrine Conundrum

Recently I have  been blessed with the expansion of relationship with brothers and sisters outside my direct church family. Like the gospel will do, and like Jesus will do, those lines become blurred and the family just becomes, well, more family: still the church–still the body–just more connected. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that doctrine can be a relational stumbling block in the “extended” family.

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The Gospel in Nonviolence: 'A True Story'

The Gospel in Nonviolence

The Gospel in Nonviolence

The following is a true story that clearly demonstrates the essence of the gospel in nonviolence. I wept in thankfulness the first time I read this. It is an incident cited by Kenneth Bailey[i] involving King Hussein of Jordan, and confirmed through high-ranking American intelligence officers stationed in Jordan at the time this event took place:

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Christian Anti-Intellectualism: A Work of the Flesh: 'Scholars Aren't the Enemy'

Anti-Intellectualism

Christian Anti-Intellectualism

Whenever I bring up the topic of the importance of culture and context in understanding the Scriptures, folks sometimes respond with: “What about new converts, or uneducated people?” Aren’t you putting the gospel out of reach of the “non-scholar masses?”

EMPHATICALLY, NO.

However, Christian anti-intellectualism is a work of the flesh just as much as sexual immorality. Only it is more dangerous as it has been given tacit approval under a form of perceived superior spirituality in large segments of the Body of Christ.

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The Son of God is the Message, Medium, and Method: 'Upgrade to the New Covenant!'

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they . . .  – Hebrews 1:1-4, KJV.

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Spiritual Covering: 'A Doctrine of Demons'

Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual Covering – A Doctrine of Demons

 

Like sequels to a lousy B-grade horror movie, bad ideas  often get recycled in the Body of Christ. It happened again for me this week in a painful phone conversation with a dear, damaged, soul.  The bad-penny doctrine I am referring to is the concept of absolute submission to an alleged “spiritual covering” as a necessity for your spiritual welfare and advance. The spiritual covering is allegedly embodied in your pastor/leader, etc. This issue has been hit hundreds if not thousands  of  times over the years by myself and other authors and bloggers. As confirmed by my phone conversation this week, like a zombie, it just won’t die.  For Jesus’ sake, and for the well being of His church, I am going to briefly hit it again here.

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