Being versus Doing: 'Step Away From The Cliché'

Being versus Doing

Being versus Doing

Clichés lodge in our minds for a reason: they’re catchy, memorable. However, they’re frequently only capable of capturing a  partial truth . . .  or maybe no truth at all. A preacherism cliché that is often heard in teachings and especially among “de-churched” folks goes something like this: “I am a human being, not a human doing.” I know what that statement is trying to reach: we are more to, and for, God than what we can produce. I understand how a nagging sense of inadequacy before God can be paralyzing.  However, in Christ’s kingdom, being and doing are not in competition with each other and being is not superior to doing. They are incomplete without each other.

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Obedience: God’s Gift to Us, Not Our Gift to God

Beehive_geyserThe advice Job’s friends gave him typifies quid pro quo thinking: if you do well, you prosper; if you do evil, you suffer. If you are faithful to God and follow His precepts, only blessing follows; if you don’t follow His precepts, you are cursed—bad things happen to you. It is important to note that God personally appeared to rebuke Job’s counselors for thinking that way. Unfortunately, that is the way most teachers and preachers  (especially televangelists) present the gospel and the way most believers live it. It shows a deep lack of understanding of the realities or the new covenant.

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Reassessing Father-Son Ministry – Part 3

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The Scriptures refer to believers in churches as children in several passages such as: 2 Corinthians 6:13, 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:7, 2:11; Galatians 4:19; 1 Peter 1:14, and multiple times in John’s epistles. The Corinthian and Galatian passages that mention fathers and sons/children are metaphors for the state of spiritual infancy of those in the community. It’s not necessarily a compliment, a model of ministry, a protocol, or standard to be maintained for all time. It is a metaphor for a relational spiritual reality and a season of spiritual development that we all pass through on our way to realizing our maturity in Him. .[1] Continue reading

Is God a “Revival Genie?” : Rub with Prayer, Get Revival?

If prevalent teachings about revival are to be believed, our God is more like a reluctant genie in Arabian Nights than a gracious heavenly Father.

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New Covenant Grace: 'Grace Does Not Need to be "Balanced"'

New covenant grace doesn’t need to be “balanced.”  There is no alternative to grace.

Grace Does Not Need to Be Balanced

Grace Does Not Need to Be Balanced

Have you ever noticed that for many, suffocating bondage and death producing legalism is tolerated, encouraged, and even celebrated?  Yet when grace is mentioned, people go apoplectic with warnings about “going too far,” the “dangers” of the “grace message,” or the “need for balance,” and so forth. Why the dire warnings about supposed “hyper-grace” but no equal alarm about “hyper-legalism?”

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The Real Church Dilemma by Jose Bosque

Guest Blogger: Jose Bosque

MP900289918I have had this article on my heart for months. I am both intrigued and broken hearted as I contemplate this issue. Why do born again brothers and sisters that I am acquainted with come so close to dealing with the issues of organized church in their own Christian walk only to pull back and never truly engage? They claim to be hungry for a genuine Christ-centered walk, yet they seem incapable of escaping the trappings of a church-centered religion.

Now when I speak of the “real church” I am talking about the One Church of the Lord Jesus Christ – the Church He is building. I am not talking about a physical structure but of a people in whom the God of Love dwells. That is the true church – the ekklesia. Unfortunately, the counterfeit is well known. These counterfeits often look like glorified amusement parks and country clubs that masquerade as the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s not about the name game, either. I don’t care what an organization calls itself. They may be Independent, non-denominational, Pentecostal, Baptist or Catholic etc. These names are man-made labels used for identification and separation that will find no place in the Lord’s eternal redemptive plan. What I am talking about is a Bride for a King who is pressing in to break free of the bondages of human religion and embracing the freedoms and joy of a life in Christ.

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Spiritual Abuse: It Takes “Two to Tango”: 'How Does Spiritual Abuse Happen?'

SPiritual Abuse - How to Overcome It

Overcoming Spiritual Abuse

And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name;  take away our reproach.”  – Isa. 4:1, ESV

This is one of those obscure verses with lots of different opinions about what it might mean. I think it has application to the dynamics of spiritual abuse. Sometimes, we can be so broken in our soul, and struggling for identity and acceptance in the wrong places, that we allow those who promise those things for our compliance to their wishes, to spiritually abuse us.

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Doing Life Backwards Causes Us To Fail – by Edward Kurath

Rear view of a young woman holding a paint roller“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10 NKJV).

This is a typical English translation.  It implies that if we keep God’s commandments, we will abide in His love.

If this is correct, then this implies that God loves Jesus because Jesus keeps His commandments.  After all, Jesus is here making a parallel between His relationship with the Father and our relationship with the Father (“just as?). 

So then God’s love of Jesus is conditional? What an affront to God!

Fortunately, this translation of the Greek is in error.  It is backwards.  What the Greek really says is that if we abide in God’s love, we will keep His commandments.    Keeping His commandments is the result, not the cause.  In the Greek, keeping God’s commands is in the “accusative” case, what in English is referred to as the direct object.  The direct object (the effect) receives the action of the subject (the cause).

In the typical English translation, the cause and effect are reversed. 

What Jesus is really saying is that the reason He keeps God’s commandments is because of the presence of God’s love in Him.  He has a “good root” in Him which impels Him to live a Godly life.  Likewise (“just as”), if we have a “good root” (Jesus in us), then we will keep God’s commandments, not the other way around.

The horse is supposed to pull the cart.

Tragically, the typical English translation impels believers to strive to keep God’s commandments so that God will love them.  They are doomed to failure, because we can’t love God by trying hard.  If we could do it, Jesus died in vain.

How do we get Jesus “in us?”  That is what my book “I Will Give You Rest” explains.


Copyright 2012. This article is posted here by permission of Ed Kurath, Please contact for forward and reprint permissions.

The Offense of Radical Grace

Judge Shaking FingerGod uses very flawed, damaged, and “imperfect” people to accomplish great things for His kingdom interests.  After all, damaged, imperfect, and flawed people are all He has to work with to begin with, including you and I! The expansion of His kingdom is not held hostage to the development of our character. Faith works by love, not by holiness and this is offensive to all spiritual over-achievers.

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Fully Alive

Anyone who has ever seriously pondered the human condition for any length of time, normally ends up at a universal set of basic questions:  “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “Where do I belong?”

Everyone, if still at all for a moment in his or her thoughts, longs for these things: a sense of being, a sense of purpose, and a sense of belonging. Our secular culture does a poor job of addressing these questions, (In our individualistic culture, particularly the sense of belonging). Our education system is based on acquiring information, not soul-wellness and life-functionality skills.

The soul pain that can come from never answering these questions is the source of much substance abuse. We will either find answers to these questions or we will medicate the pain of their absence. Some forms of medication are culturally, socially, and legally more acceptable than others. Being a workaholic is more acceptable to us than being an alcoholic, and being addicted to religion is more acceptable than being addicted to heroin, but these are all just narcotics for the soul, because we don’t know who we are, why we are here, and where we belong.

Often people turn to “the church” or “religion” looking for these answers, only to be sadly disappointed. Hoping to find meaningful answers to the deepest questions of the human soul, honest inquirers are instead met with insipid moralism, institutional inertia, corruption, ambition, the love of money, organizational politics, and petty jealousies. In many cases, Christianity, as it is commonly known and expressed, is the poster-child for irrelevance to anything that matters to the human soul. This should not be so, and it is to our great shame that those who profess Christ are often so inept at sharing what really matters. For this, we ask forgiveness.

It can be difficult to understand that it is often necessary to separate what Jesus Christ offers from what the “church” offers. They are not the same. In Him, you will discover that you are loved, and your identity in Him is: “beloved son/daughter/child.” In Him, you will discover that you are graced from heaven with unique talents and abilities that only you can provide to a world that needs them and is waiting for them. In Him, you will discover that there is a family, a real family, not an organization, of other fellow pilgrims where you belong in loving relationship.

A friend of mine once counseled me with advice that changed my life. Knowing my own inclination to try to work hard to make life better for myself (and others) he told me: “Steve, the world is not waiting for you to be more perfect. The world is waiting for you to be fully alive.”

What does it mean to be fully alive? To know who I am, to know what I have to give, and to know where to give it. Jesus is alive from the dead, so I can be fully alive. You can be too.

Copyright 2012,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, 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