Humility – Part 3 – It is Not a Technique to Get People to Like You: 'Monday Morning Musing - January 18. 2021'

This episode briefly explains how the early church redefined the Greek idea of humility of “largeness of soul” or “magnanimity” to “littleness of soul” before a great God. Humility is not chronic self-awareness of one’s personal short-comings. Insecure and timid people are always intimidated by someone who is truly humble, biblically defined. Jesus was gentle, meek, and full of humility. Yet He was crucified by good, conservative, religious people (Roman and Jewish). If we think gentleness, meekness and humility are qualities that are going to make us well-liked or popular “Church-folk”, we are in for a shock. 

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Copyright 2021. 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 Simplicity That is in Christ: 'Jesus is Simple. The Bible is Not.'

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Simplicity in Christ

Jesus is simple. The Bible isn’t. Jesus is deeply, profoundly, unknowably, unfathomably, costly, and painfully–simple.

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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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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

 

 

 

Reconciliation: The Cruciform Cost of Relational Peace-Making

Josefina Alys Hermes de Vasconcellos - "Reconciliation"

Reconciliation by Josefina Alys Hermes de Vasconcellos

Grace is costly. It may accrue to us freely, but it cost Jesus dearly. Love is costly, as is peace-making reconciliation. It is not enough to  understand these things as abstractions. We must grow in grace-ness (graciousness) toward others—even those with whom we may disagree or those who may have hurt us. Jesus was wounded in the house of his friends and betrayed by one of his most intimate friends.[1]  The disciple is not above the Master. We have been given a ministry of reconciliation to, and for, the world and it is a tall order. Would it not make sense that it actually work among those who call upon Jesus as Lord, before we try to export our convictions to others?

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Christian Business Ethics – A Challenge to the Christian Business Person: 'Don't Slander the Lord in Your Business Dealings with Others'

Christian Business Ethics

Christian Business Ethics

I have been a follower of Christ for forty-two years. For thirty-four of those years I have been self-employed. Fewer things are more offensive to unbelievers, and more undermining to the Lord’s testimony in the earth, than vocally “Christian” business people whose true God is the love of money and whose business ethics resemble more of Bernie Madoff and Martin Shkreli than Jesus Christ. Being a Christian in business is more than having a fish sticker on the bumper of your business vehicle. It is having a Jesus stamp on your heart.

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The Cult of Success: 'Learning to Dream Small'

Dream Small: How to Have Success in Ministry

Dream Small: How to Have “Success” in Ministry

If you have spent any time at all in Western/Evangelical/Charismatic Christianity, you have heard things like these:

  • God is big, you need to dream big.
  • God has big dreams for you.
  • Your faith needs to be big.
  • You need to be a dream chaser.
  • Your faith is too small.
  • You are destined to be a world changer.
  • Overcome your ministry limitations.
  • Take your ministry to the “next level” . . . and so on. 

American cultural values of success: size (numbers in attendance), finances, and fame (sff) –bigger is better–more is “God,”  have spread through Western (American) popular Evangelicalism like a bad outbreak of athlete’s foot fungus in a men’s locker room.

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