Jesus is simple. The Bible isn’t. Jesus is deeply, profoundly, unknowably, unfathomably, costly, and painfully–simple.
The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls . . . So wrote Simon and Garfunkel in their 1966 hit song, The Sound of Silence. If we pay close attention, we will find that the secular artists (poets, musicians, authors, etc.) of a culture often speak kingdom values and insights to the people of God with a clarity not found among the people of God.
John’s epistles are sometimes over-shadowed by Paul’s doctrinal epistles. John’s first epistle at first glance seems simple, repetitive, and to the English eye and ear, not well written. Nothing can be further from the truth. John’s structure and style are laden with purpose and his message is practical and profound: if you do not love one another, you do not know God. We know we have passed from life to death, not because of our doctrinal convictions (as some would present Paul), but by our love for the brethren. Failing here has far reaching consequences.
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.
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.
It has been my experience within Protestantism that for many, the Eucharist is a meaningless ritual. It is often done in a perfunctory way out of sheer obedience, if at all. Teaching, if there is any, can be pretty stale–perennial rehashing of 16th century metaphysical arguments is normal fare. What has it been like for you? What if there is more to it than many of us have been taught in our traditions? This seminar is designed to provoke primarily those from Protestant backgrounds to reconsider some things regarding the Eucharist, communion, or the so-called “Lord’s Supper” as it relates to being “In Adam” and “In Christ.”
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
- local church life
- spiritual authority
- praise and worship
- 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
- the new creation
- sonship – God as our loving Heavenly Father
- business and the marketplace
- biblical interpretation
- the singularity, supremacy, and excellence of Christ
- making disciples
- the pastoral ministry
- biblical interpretation issues . . .
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!
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
This installment of the Church Refugee Sanity Guide deconstructs religious values regarding our children in “church.” It provides hopeful alternatives to meet the socialization and spiritual needs of our children and youth outside of traditional church constructs. Not attending a traditional church, Sunday school, or youth ministry program is not a liability. It is an opportunity.
In this blog I explain (for those interested) why as of July 2015, Stephanos Ministries ceased to be a 501-C-3 corporation with IRS pre-approval of donations. For decades we were a 501-C-3, so what follows is surely not a judgment or condemnation on anyone who currently maintains that status. For years I believed being a 501-C-3 was a benign and mutually beneficial exercise of Christian liberty. I do not judge those who maintain that conviction today. However, in the light of recent political and legal trends in the world, I thought an explanation for our conviction and action in terminating our status might be helpful. Most believers I have met are very naïve and ill-informed on the “legal” aspects of operating a “church” or “ministry.” This is my attempt to inform and educate.
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.
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.