Pizzeria or Library?: 'Monday Morning Musings - November 2, 2020'

If you are hungry, you look for a restaurant, not a library. Jesus said: Feed my sheep, not intellectually inform them. Paul describes the Church as the One Loaf for the world: a strong metaphor implying being “consumed” by others as foundational to our calling and mission. Paul speaks of an “aroma of Christ.”  It is not difficult to get people who are craving pizza into a pizzeria. The question for us as Christ-followers becomes: What are we? A pizzeria or a library. Too commonly it is the latter and then we wonder why no one is eating: we are not putting out any aroma, and what we are presenting isn’t food.  We just have strongly held convictions about “the Bible.” Many “evangelistic” modalities are like expecting people to find food in a library. The kingdom of Jesus does not operate that way.

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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.

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.

Gnostic Christianity: 'Monday Morning Musings October 19, 2020'

The incarnation of Jesus–him taking on the totality of what it means to be human-body, soul, and spirit–is a statement about the value of the realm of time and space–the created order. The incarnation has given value to and sanctified ALL of the created order. There are some prevalent strains of Western Protestantism that are more Gnostic in their belief systems than biblical, though they might aggressively deny it. Over-emphasis on the “spirit realm” and defining “spiritual reality” by denigrating or devaluing the material realm, including or mortal bodies, is 100% Gnostic, no matter how much Bible veneer it may have.

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.

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Doing Truth: 'Monday Morning Musing - October 5, 2020'

In our worldview truth is a noun, describing our convictions and beliefs about abstract principles (or convictions about “what the Bible says.”In the worldview of Jesus and Paul, truth is a verb of relational fidelity and truth is incarnational, not abstract. These profound differences will affect the way we approach, understand, apply, and live out both What and Who we see in the Scriptures.

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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 Long War Against Thinking in Pentecostalism/Charismatic Churches: 'Monday Morning Musings 9-21-2020 - "What . . . . IF?"'

There is a prevalent strain of anti-intellectualism that has infected some forms of Western Protestantism for one hundred years, particularly some Pentecostal and Charismatic brands. It goes like this: “I don’t need any one to teach me what the Bible says. The Holy Spirit gives me ‘downloads.” All that education just gets in the way of the ‘anointing’ and ‘revelation'”. In this episode, I use the simple English word “if” to demonstrate how foolish that paradigm truly is.

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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.

 

Monday Morning Musings – Wrath, Anger, and Our God Image: 'Sept. 14, 2020'

Beginning today, the weekly Monday Morning Musings will be posted here as well as at Stephanos Ministries on Youtube. If yo are interested in the previous two-month’s worth of installments, you can find them on Youtube.

In this MMM installment I take a quick look at the problems that arise when we hold on to a vindictive, vengeful, wrathful, and angry God-image. Why is it people always quote “God’s ways are not our ways” when this topic comes up, and the end result is their God-image is more vindictive, vengeful and angry than human beings? Their God is a magnified human, only worse, on a larger scale, with more passions, and eternal.

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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.

 

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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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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