Revising Revival – Part 1: '2 Chr. 7:14 in Context'

2 Chr. 7:14 in Context

Revising Revival – Part 1. 2 Chr. 7:14 in Context

“Revival” is a charged term. It can mean different things to different people. When egos, identities, money, and insecurity get into the “revival business,” things go unhealthy quickly. In this series we will look at 2 Chr. 7:14 in CONTEXT and from a NT perspective. It has nothing to do with “revival.”

Continue reading

Royal Priesthood – Part 4: The Importance of Psalm 2 and Psalm 110

[wpvideo 4bcYlceB]

0_61_geyser_old_faithfulUnderstanding Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 is critical to understanding all of the new testament and the genuine spiritual authority of a new covenant priesthood. These two Psalms are the scriptural base the apostles used to “justify” the existence of a new order of priesthood based on resurrection life! It is not an exaggeration to say, that the apostle’s interpretation and application of these two Psalms is the doctrinal foundation of the entire new testament, as they tried to explain the “Christ-event” to their generation.

Continue reading

Royal Priesthood Part 2 – The Authority of Being Least

[wpvideo idpMnPw5]

Abusive spiritual authority is epidemic. Reactionary responses to abusive authority are also epidemic. My friends Don Atkin, Greg Austin, and myself address what genuine kingdom authority looks like: a serving nation of priests, not chief executives and “visionaries” of an organization. In this installment, Greg Austin talks about the “descending priesthood” as a necessity for genuine NT kingdom authority.

Continue reading

Royal Priesthood Part 1 – The Authority of Universal Priesthood

[wpvideo gj4sVxEV]

Abusive spiritual authority is epidemic. Reactionary responses to abusive authority are also epidemic. In this four-part series, my friends Don Atkin, Greg Austin, and myself address what genuine kingdom authority looks like: a serving nation of priests, not chief executives and “visionaries” of an organization.

Continue reading

Matthew 18 – You Hurt My Feelings: 'Matthew 18 - Not a Protocol for Hurt Feelings'

Matthew 18 conflict resolution

Matthew 18 – Your Hurt My Feelings

In Matthew 18, the people asking the questions (and Jesus) were Semites/Jews. Their background, worldview, and psychology (self and other awareness) were not the same as ours.  The backdrop for trespass and “aught against” was the Mosaic Law, and their psychology was corporate/others-centered, not individualistic. If we import our western values and sensibilities into the text, we will misunderstand, and misapply it, with resulting great negative consequences.

Continue reading

Matthew 18 – A Speech and Behavior Protocol?: 'Matthew 18 Illegitimately Used to Control Speech, Behavior, and Thought'

Neither Jesus nor Paul, practiced Matthew 18 the way it is typically taught and implemented in many local churches.

Matthew 18 - Gossip Control?

Matthew 18 – Gossip Control?

Jesus publicly rebuked Peter and called him a name (satan). [1] According to typical understanding, this violates the alleged requirement of Mt. 18 of first speaking privately with a brother with whom you have an issue.  Jesus didn’t take Peter aside and gently try to “counsel him” so as not to hurt Peter’s “feelings” and “offend” him. It was . . . bam . . . there it is . . . an action that feel-good American Church culture is incapable of embracing as biblically legitimate, yet accurately reflects part of Christ’s nature. Christ is not conflicted in His own ethic.

Continue reading

Is Your God a Magician or a Trainer?

I have found that Magictrainermany Christians, especially those who come from a broadly defined charismatic background (like myself), can easily fall into a very unhealthy view of God. It is almost like He becomes a heavenly magician who exists to work for lazy and undisciplined believers, rather than a loving Father who empowers and trains us. We expect God to do things for us supernaturally and  “cathartically.” What He often intends, and designs, is a process of development in which He awakens and trains us to recognize the life-potential of the gift of the indwelling Spirit of Christ.

Continue reading

Hurt in Church? Get Past Your Past – Jesus Heals

SPiritual Abuse - How to Overcome It

Overcoming Spiritual Abuse

Folks with unhealed emotional damage from “church-world,'” will always view with suspicion the deep, healthy, and fulfilling mutual kingdom relationships others have one with another. They will see ill-motive, agenda, and dysfunction where none truly exists. They can’t get past their past. They assume that the present reality of others is the same as their past reality. It is unfortunate.

Perfectionistic, rationalistic, suspicious, skeptical, unbelief is not “discernment.” It is normally just people who have been badly hurt, trying to protect themselves from being hurt again, which is understandable, naturally speaking. Folks need space to process healing. Step-by step. You can’t rush someone past the stage of healing the Spirit is taking them through. But that does assume engagement in a process of healing, not bonding and forming an identity with one’s woundedness and eternally commiserating with those folks who are determined to not be healed.

If unhealed, that kind of person will end up in a church of one: themselves. Because, no one will ever be “right enough,” or no one “safe enough,” or no one “worthy enough” or “whole enough” for he/she to relationally invest in-LONG TERM. They will constantly separate, go from group to group, trying to find perfection only to live in cycles of chronic, reactionary, disappointment. Love involves risk, and risk involves the possibility of pain. Closed hearts cannot know love. Jesus is ready, willing, and able to do better than what we can do for ourselves by locking our selves down in a prison house of judgmental, isolationist, skepticism and calling it “safety” and “freedom from religion.” The only one we are fooling is ourselves.

God knows the unique circumstances of each of His children. There is no one-size-fits all “path” to healing. But healing is the prescription for us all.

____________________

Copyright 2014,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.stevecrosby.org. 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.

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.

Is It Necessary for Christians to Attend Church Meetings?

groupThe twitterverse and blogosphere is all abuzz with response and reaction to Donald Miller’s post about how he doesn’t attend church any more. Some time ago, I had the privilege of recording a podcast with my good friend, Steve Bremner of Fire on Your Head Ministries,  on the topic at hand. For the interested, you can listen to it here.

#www.badcurchexperience.com

It's Just a Bag of Beans

It’s Just a Bag of Beans: 'Bible Knowledge Without Application'

The individual goal in this life is transformation into the image of Christ so that the life of Christ might be manifest in the earth. The goal is not “doctrine and Bible study.” Few things are more inoculating against the manifestation of the life and ethics of Christ, than listening to sermon upon sermon without any correlated obedience to the one we heard last week. It is like collecting coffee beans and believing you have a cup of coffee. We don’t. We have a potential cup of coffee.

Continue reading