Witness – The Church, the Body of Christ: 'Monday morning Musings - October 12, 2021'

 

The Christian community, the church, the ekklesia, the Body of Christ is supposed to be the full-spectrum incarnation of the resurrected life of Christ, in the flesh, on earth.  The Church IS the witness.

______________________________________

Copyright 2021. Dr. Stephen R. Crosby. www.stevecrosby.org. For video and audio resources, sign up as a student hereYou 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.

Escape and Assurance: 'Monday Morning Musings - September 20, 2021'

In many common presentations of the Gospel in modern evangelicalism, the themes of escape and assurance have had a dominant presence. If we are pursuing Christian community with those two values as primary motivators, we will assure ourselves of unnecessary relationship difficulties. A local community is not something we should hope to escape at the first whiff of an unpleasant experience. A local community is the laboratory of relational life where the ethics of what we say we believe gets tested.  I am not saying there are never good reasons to leave a group. There are. But “I am not enjoying myself” or “it is too hard,” or “it hurts,” are not among the legitimate reasons. 

 

_________

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.

Photo by Rayson Tan on Unsplash

The Dream versus The Reality – Dealing with “Unpleasantness”: 'Monday Morning Musings - September 13, 2021'

 

“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.” – D. Bonhoeffer

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer coined the phrase the “Dream Wish” in the context of the search for Christian community. He makes the point that the Dream Wish will destroy any Christian Community because it is idealistic and unattainable. It is intolerant of weakness and defect. We must be open to the possibility that “God’s wonderful plan for our lives” might include an assignment to unpleasant people and places. Life can be hard. When it so, it does not mean we have missed God in any way.

_____________

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.

 

Photo by Jan Canty on Unsplash

Knit Together in Love: 'Monday Morning Musings - August 23, 2021'

Ask an average Evangelical or Charismatic about how to grow in grace and the knowledge of God and you will get answers like: study the Bible, listen to anointed preaching and teaching, get a “download” from the “Holy Ghost,” pray regularly. Few, if any would say “by being knit together in love.” Yet that is exactly what Paul itemizes as critical for unfolding the deep things of God.

 

_______________________

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.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

Relationship and Community: 'Monday Morning Musings August 16, 2021'

Many folks are yearning and looking for authentic community together in Christ. It is a great goal, but if we hold some “isms” emotionally or intellectually in our heart, we are headed for disappointment. The “isms” that need to go if we would experience a vibrant (not perfect) Christian community are: Romanticism, perfectionism, idealism, and individualism. 

________________________

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.

 

Photo by Gene Gallin on Unsplash

Ekklesia – Part Four – Leadership: Looking for Patterns that Don’t Exist: 'Monday Morning Musings - May 31, 2021'

 

Sometimes people look for a one-size-fits-all pattern in the New Testament about this or that, but especially how local churches are structured and led. This is particularly true regarding the Book of Acts. It is a serious mistake to try to make historical narrative scripture universally, eternally, and rigidly binding on all believers for all time. The church in Jerusalem, the church Antioch, and the church in Ephesus were all structured and “led” differently. There was a core message that was the same, and core ethics that were the same, but the expressions were different, including in how the communities were led.

__________________________________

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.

Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

Ekklesia – Part Three – Essence or Container?: 'Monday Morning Musings - May 24, 2021'

The value of a matter is not defined by the container. It is defined by the essence of what is in the container. Poison in a Swarovski crystal punch bowl is still poison. Gold coins buried in a 2,000 year old clay pot are still gold coins. When it comes to discussions about ekklesia, the emphasis is often arguing about the container, rather than what is supposed to be “inside” the container. 

 

_______________________________

 

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.

 

Photo by Melissa Walker on Unsplash

 

 

Ekklesia – Part One – Looking for The Church: 'Monday Morning Musing - May 10, 2021'

 

 

Being able to define a matter does not necessarily equate to possessing the reality of the matter. There is much discussion in social media about the ekklesia–the church–and attempts to “properly define it” so we can “correctly practice” it. Deeper, more foundational discussions need to occur first. It doesn’t matter how something is packaged and presented, if the content is toxic. The result will not be positive.

 

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.

 

 

 

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Ekklesia – Part Two – What’s Love Got to do With it? Everything.: 'Monday Morning Musings - May 17, 2021'

 

The venues in which we meet, have no spiritual significance. The values we hold in our heart, and express toward others, mean everything. Changing the “form” and “practices” of our meeting or gathering, without first having a heart transformation is not an advanced form of Christian spirituality. It is like rearranging the deck chairs and listening to the orchestra play while the Titanic continues to sink.

_____________________________

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.'

Photo by James on Unsplash

Simplicity in Christ

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

Continue reading