Defining Orthodoxy Relationally: 'It Takes More Than Correct Doctrine to be Truly Orthodox'

Orthodoxy Relationally Defined

Defining Orthodoxy Relationally

“Objective historic theology is Reformation theology.  It is historical evangelicalism.  It is historical orthodoxy.”  So says John MacArthur (Charismatic Chaos: 32). If John’s lips are moving, there’s a good chance I don’t agree with much of what’s coming through them! The narrow and sectarian nature of that statement is appalling. But John is just following in the footsteps of his spiritual forefather, Martin Luther.  Luther said that in the history of the church no one–not Augustine, not any of the Church Fathers–NO ONE other than himself–ever understood “pure doctrine.” He called everything before himself “great darkness.” (Table Talk: §530)  

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Individualism and the Kingdom – A Clash of Cultures: 'Monday Morning Musings - November 16, 2020'

At the foundation of Western thought, political and religious, are certain presuppositions about the supposedly self-evident nature of human existence as “individuals.” Individualism as a belief system referring to the “autonomous self,” is not a value found in Christ’s kingdom. Ephesians 4:25 says: we are “of one another, members.” That is, our existence is social. The life of Christ and his kingdom is only fully experienced socially. This is threatening to deeply held Western cultural values, but none-the-less, Christianity 101.

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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 Evangelical Christianity: 'Monday Morning Musings - November 9, 2020'

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“You are a spirit, who has a soul, and lives in a body.” Have you ever heard that? ” Jesus was ‘”God in a zipper-suit.” Have you ever heard that? I have heard both, hundreds of times growing up in evangelical/Charismatic churches. They are 100% Gnostic; 100% mishandling of 1 Thess. 5:23 and in my experience, common beliefs among thousands of poorly taught Evangelical believers.

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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.

 

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.

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

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

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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Life in the New Covenant: 'Two Years in the Making!'

Along with my video production partner, Loren Rosser, we are excited to announce this upcoming video series. It will be available–for free— on Youtube starting in early 2019. 

Over the past two years, men and women from diverse cultural and theological backgrounds and perspectives (who do not all agree with each other “doctrinally”) have come together in a display of unity, to talk about the importance of understanding, and living in, the privileges, blessings, AND responsibilities of the glorious new covenant. Each participant is uniquely graced and gifted by God in a facet of theology and practice and share his/her insights on this all important matter.

Topics in the series that will be touched upon include our understanding and expression in areas such as these:

  • social justice
  • politics
  • local church life
  • spiritual authority
  • praise and worship
  • evangelism
  • service to the community and city
  • unity and oneness in the Body of Christ
  • cross cultural ministry
  • marriage and relationships
  • “apostolic” missions
  • community life
  • inner healing and psychological well being
  • the love of God
  • justice and judgment
  • peace
  • the new creation
  • sonship – God as our loving Heavenly Father
  • business and the marketplace
  • biblical interpretation
  • the singularity, supremacy, and excellence of Christ
  • legalism
  • making disciples
  • the pastoral ministry
  • eschatology
  • biblical interpretation issues . . . 

and more.

The participants include: Michael Rose, John Armstrong, Brad Jersak, Jose Bosque, Lisa Koons, Bryon Wiebold, Mark Drake, Mary and Andrew Allen, Bindi and Aaron Tilbury, Paul Wedaa, David Fredrickson, Vince Coakley, Daryl McCray, Darrin Hufford, Wayne Jacobsen, Michael Hardin, Samuel Genus, Jon Zens, myself and others.

Stay tuned for the announcement of the release of the first session!

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Copyright 2018,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.stevecrosby.org. 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 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 Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Nine – Evangelism: 'Taking the Dread Out of Evangelism'

Taking the terror out of evangelism. Church Refugee Sanity Guide Part Nine

Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Nine – Evangelism

In this installment of the Church Refugee Sanity Guide, I take a fresh look at the topic of evangelism and discipleship apart from traditional theology, mindsets, and methods.

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Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Eight: 'What About Praise and Worship?'

Praise and Worship - The Most Sacred, Sacred Cow

Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Eight – Praise and Worship: The Most Sacred, Sacred Cow

When it comes to the most sacred of sacred cows in the Christian herd, praise and worship is the lead steer. In this installment of the Church Refugee Sanity Guide, I take a look at the theology, methods, and values behind much evangelical worship expression.

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Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Six: 'Revisiting Authority and Submission Outside of Traditional Structures'

Authority and Submission

Revisiting Authority and Submission

When individuals decide not to attend a traditional church structure, they are often challenged by others as being “out from under authority or “not in submission” or “out from spiritual covering” or similar threats and warnings. Starting with a quick look at some church history, this lesson deconstructs some common teaching on these topics. These things should not be defined by church meetings, church activities, rank, hierarchy, and position in a system. Rather, in Christ’s kingdom authority and submission must be defined by relational trust, love,  and expressed in an ethos of family. Where love abounds, all these other things happen effortlessly and without a need for emphasis.

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Copyright 2016,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.stevecrosby.org. 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.

Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Five: 'Friends and Family: Navigating Relationships When Others Don't Understand'

When you and I decide to follow Christ outside of traditional church structures, one of the biggest challenges faced is navigating relationships with friends and family. The need of, and fear of losing our social relationships can very easily become our God. I hear statements like this all the time: “Well, I know what Christ is requiring of me, but if I do that, I will lose all my friends, and I won’t do that.” Even more relationally threatening is: “If we make this change our children will lose all their friendships, and I am unwilling to let that happen.”  This installment of the Church Refugee Sanity Guide presents some insights and suggestions on how we can navigate these difficult situations with friends and family–how to walk in your own convictions with love and charity toward others who do not understand and perhaps strongly disagree with you.

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Church Refugee Sanity Guide

Church Refugee Sanity Guide

Copyright 2016,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.stevecrosby.org. 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.