That Dog Won’t Hunt: 'The Hypocrisy of Ethic-less Christianity'

The Dangers of Ethic-less Christianity

That Dog Won’t Hunt – The Dangers of Ethic-less “Christianity”

 

 

 

So, once upon a time you “asked Jesus into your heart.” You are good for heaven, but I am supposedly hell-bound if I haven’t done the same. 

Yet after years of “being a Christian”  you :

 

  • Cheat on your taxes.
  • Steal supplies from work.
  • Get to work late and leave early.
  • Do as little as possible at work and try to get paid as much as you can for it.
  • Lie, manipulate, gossip, and slander
  • Pursue more and more and more money. Making money is the center of your life.
  • Are stingy with your time, talents, and money. Your goal in life is the American dream, not Jesus’s kingdom.
  • Are not generous with your finances.
  • Oppress your employees by paying them as little as you can.
  • Don’t fulfill contractual obligations. You hire lawyers to get out of your commitments.
  • Are a racist or a misogynist or homophobe.
  • Do not keep your word. Your promises and commitments are meaningless.
  • Are hateful to those who are different.
  • Are exclusive, elitist, separatist.
  • Are indifferent toward the poor and the oppressed. You think they just need to “get over it” or “get a job.”
  • Are contentious, combative and discordant in the assembly of the saints.
  • Are contentious, combative and discordant on the job.
  • Are contentious, combative, discordant and self-centered in your marriage and in the home.
  • Are unmoved by others suffering.
  • Are angry, embittered, and unforgiving, quick to take offense.
  • Are vindictive and vengeful.
  • Are lazy, irresponsible, immature, and self-centered.
  • Are unloving toward people in your church and in the world (1 John says you do not know God if that is the case, regardless of whatever “saving prayer” you muttered years ago).
  • Justify the egregious behaviors of your self, your friends, and your political heroes, but demand behavioral consistency in others and your enemies. You want and expect grace for yourself, but dish out condemnation and performance expectations on others–thus, not understanding grace at all. 
  • Are confident in your Bible knowledge and are over-bearing with  others about it.
  • Rejoice at others pains and sorrows as “judgments from God.”
  • Do not ask for forgiveness nor repent for anything. It is always the other person’s fault. You are a victim.

. . .  but you are “saved” and “going to heaven when you die.”

Well, you are not doing much good for anyone but yourself while you are still here. 

The world and our culture are fed up with this kind of hypocritical “Christianity.” Ethic-less Christianity is a humanist myth.

If any one is in Christ, that person is a qualitatively new creation.

The new birth starts with a transformative act, the new creation. It continues in transformation every day, so that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal body (2 Cor. 4:11 – Note: not in heaven in the sweet by and by when we die. )

A typical gospel presentation in a Western Evangelical church today is so out of balance with over-emphasis on spiritual metaphysics of what happens in the invisible realm regarding salvation, that the matter of being a new kind of human while we are on this planet is not only ignored in some brands of hyper-Protestantism, but also taught against as “irrelevant.”

I have had scores of Evangelical and Fundamentalist  “believers” tell me that our behavior  is allegedly irrelevant because Jesus was “God in disguise” (an egregious and inaccurate cliché) and that we cannot expect to be like Him. He is  supposedly not our example in our behavior because “He was God and we are not.” In that line of thinking, He is only relevant for what He has done for us as “God.”  I have heard these type of things over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. 

Jesus said: You will know who is His by their behavior (fruit) . . . not by their faith confession. 

This is not about moralism and perfectionism. Both are bondages. This is not about works righteousness, earning favor with God by behavior, or policing each other.  Anathema on all that sort of thing. This is about living in relational reality and integrity with one another on planet earth.  The issue is one of authenticity before an observing world, not our “forensic status before God.” When our failures are evident–and they will be for all of us– God has made a way not only to be right with Him, but also with our fellow human beings. It is called contrition, repentance, sorrow, asking forgiveness . . . and moving on.

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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.

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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Apostolic Covering – Old Idea in a New Dress: 'Stop the Madness'

Apostolic Covering

Apostolic Covering – Stop the Madness

Within Charismatic circles, there is a widely influential subset group called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). One of their strongly held beliefs is the necessity of submitting to an alleged “apostolic covering” or maintaining what is called “governmental alignment” to a “covering apostle.”  It is alleged that failure to do so, cuts off heavenly blessing and opens the individual to spiritual dangers and demonic attacks. The Protestant forefathers must be rolling over in their graves. They gave their life’s blood to do away with the belief system that required a class of religious professionals to broker or mediate the blessings of heaven to the believer. It is beyond painful to see the resurrected form of this doctrine being espoused in so-called apostolic churches and foisted under the banner of “new revelation,” “restoring apostolic covering,” and “restoring apostolic authority.” It is not new revelation. It is old heresy in a new dress.

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Spiritual Covering: 'Stop the Nonsense'

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

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Love Never Fails – It’s Just Not Practiced Often: 'Love is the Context and Currency of the KIngdom'

Love

Love is the context and currency of the kingdom

I have been a lifelong charismatic believer. This is declarative, confessional, repentant, and pejorative all at once. I have given my life for the issue of continuation of all the gifts of the Spirit, and the Eph. 4:11 ministries. However, the adjective “charismatic” has a lot of unfortunate baggage because of the debris it has accumulated over forty years of use.

To my fellows: There is a reason 1 Cor. 13 is between 12 and 14. Love without power is impotent piety. Jehovah’s Witnesses can be “loving” after a sort. We are supposed to be able to deliver something of a foretaste of a quality of existence that others cannot.  Power without love is utilitarian. People become commodities for an expression of a phenomenon, rather than the phenomenon serving people. It does not have to be an either or matter, rather, both and: power contextualized and administered in, through, and by love.

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Opinions or Life? What Do We Value?

Would you listen to, or value the opinion, of someone who has memorized a restaurant’s menu, can explain it in flawless detail, can argue why their restaurant preference is better than the restaurant down the street, but who has actually never tasted the food on the menu they are talking about? We do it in Christianity all the time. We think accurate mastery of Bible stuff = life and substance. We think because we can explain the life of Jesus or Paul, that we possess the life of Jesus or Paul. Not necessarily. Just because someone has a strong opinion on a trendy topic based on the latest book they’ve read, or can debate this or that doctrine, or understands the Bible, etc., does not mean he or she is worth listening to . . . even if their stuff is “right.” It is those for whom the word has become flesh, those who are living it, not philosophizing about it, that are worth being listened to. Any fool can have an opinion on the restaurant. Only those who have paid the price to eat a meal there, are worth listening to.

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Copyright 2014,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.swordofthekingdom.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephrcrosby@gmail.com. #www.badchurchexperience.com

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 tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? Thank you and God bless you.

 

To Lead or Not to Lead? That is the Question

influenceA leader is not the chief visionary. A leader is not the chief executive. A leader is someone who accepts the stress and strain of the present inconvenience of service in order to bring the ones he/she serves to fullness of destiny.

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Deliverance? by Bryan Corbin

cryingThe following true story was so poignant, timely, necessary, and clearly illustrative of why I no longer partake of common expressions of organized charismatic religion, I asked my good friend, Bryan Corbin, to guest-blog for me.

A recent incident, involving a young woman that Corbins have known for years, served to reinforce Bryan’s and my belief that much of what we call “church” misses the heart of God completely.

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A Blind Man with a Chain Saw – “Good Intentions are Not Enough”

Train_wreck_at_Montparnasse_1895So much interpersonal human damage is done by highly gifted (“anointed’) but relationally dysfunctional people. You can be a water-walking, Bible encyclopedia, “super apostle-prophet” or whatever, full of good intentions, and not truly know God, yourself, or others. You can preach, bring forth “outstanding revelation and insights,” and do wonders and be blind to the trail of human carnage behind you. It need not be so.

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