That Dog Won’t Hunt: 'The Hypocrisy of Ethic-less Christianity'

The Dangers of Ethic-less Christianity

That Dog Won’t Hunt – The Dangers of Ethic-less “Christianity”

 

 

 

So, once upon a time you “asked Jesus into your heart.” You are good for heaven, but I am supposedly hell-bound if I haven’t done the same. 

Yet after years of “being a Christian”  you :

 

  • Cheat on your taxes.
  • Steal supplies from work.
  • Get to work late and leave early.
  • Do as little as possible at work and try to get paid as much as you can for it.
  • Lie, manipulate, gossip, and slander
  • Pursue more and more and more money. Making money is the center of your life.
  • Are stingy with your time, talents, and money. Your goal in life is the American dream, not Jesus’s kingdom.
  • Are not generous with your finances.
  • Oppress your employees by paying them as little as you can.
  • Don’t fulfill contractual obligations. You hire lawyers to get out of your commitments.
  • Are a racist or a misogynist or homophobe.
  • Do not keep your word. Your promises and commitments are meaningless.
  • Are hateful to those who are different.
  • Are exclusive, elitist, separatist.
  • Are indifferent toward the poor and the oppressed. You think they just need to “get over it” or “get a job.”
  • Are contentious, combative and discordant in the assembly of the saints.
  • Are contentious, combative and discordant on the job.
  • Are contentious, combative, discordant and self-centered in your marriage and in the home.
  • Are unmoved by others suffering.
  • Are angry, embittered, and unforgiving, quick to take offense.
  • Are vindictive and vengeful.
  • Are lazy, irresponsible, immature, and self-centered.
  • Are unloving toward people in your church and in the world (1 John says you do not know God if that is the case, regardless of whatever “saving prayer” you muttered years ago).
  • Justify the egregious behaviors of your self, your friends, and your political heroes, but demand behavioral consistency in others and your enemies. You want and expect grace for yourself, but dish out condemnation and performance expectations on others–thus, not understanding grace at all. 
  • Are confident in your Bible knowledge and are over-bearing with  others about it.
  • Rejoice at others pains and sorrows as “judgments from God.”
  • Do not ask for forgiveness nor repent for anything. It is always the other person’s fault. You are a victim.

. . .  but you are “saved” and “going to heaven when you die.”

Well, you are not doing much good for anyone but yourself while you are still here. 

The world and our culture are fed up with this kind of hypocritical “Christianity.” Ethic-less Christianity is a humanist myth.

If any one is in Christ, that person is a qualitatively new creation.

The new birth starts with a transformative act, the new creation. It continues in transformation every day, so that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal body (2 Cor. 4:11 – Note: not in heaven in the sweet by and by when we die. )

A typical gospel presentation in a Western Evangelical church today is so out of balance with over-emphasis on spiritual metaphysics of what happens in the invisible realm regarding salvation, that the matter of being a new kind of human while we are on this planet is not only ignored in some brands of hyper-Protestantism, but also taught against as “irrelevant.”

I have had scores of Evangelical and Fundamentalist  “believers” tell me that our behavior  is allegedly irrelevant because Jesus was “God in disguise” (an egregious and inaccurate cliché) and that we cannot expect to be like Him. He is  supposedly not our example in our behavior because “He was God and we are not.” In that line of thinking, He is only relevant for what He has done for us as “God.”  I have heard these type of things over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. 

Jesus said: You will know who is His by their behavior (fruit) . . . not by their faith confession. 

This is not about moralism and perfectionism. Both are bondages. This is not about works righteousness, earning favor with God by behavior, or policing each other.  Anathema on all that sort of thing. This is about living in relational reality and integrity with one another on planet earth.  The issue is one of authenticity before an observing world, not our “forensic status before God.” When our failures are evident–and they will be for all of us– God has made a way not only to be right with Him, but also with our fellow human beings. It is called contrition, repentance, sorrow, asking forgiveness . . . and moving on.

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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.

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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Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Six: 'Revisiting Authority and Submission Outside of Traditional Structures'

Authority and Submission

Revisiting Authority and Submission

When individuals decide not to attend a traditional church structure, they are often challenged by others as being “out from under authority or “not in submission” or “out from spiritual covering” or similar threats and warnings. Starting with a quick look at some church history, this lesson deconstructs some common teaching on these topics. These things should not be defined by church meetings, church activities, rank, hierarchy, and position in a system. Rather, in Christ’s kingdom authority and submission must be defined by relational trust, love,  and expressed in an ethos of family. Where love abounds, all these other things happen effortlessly and without a need for emphasis.

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Copyright 2016,  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 tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? Thank you and God bless you.

Church Refugee Sanity Guide – Part Five: 'Friends and Family: Navigating Relationships When Others Don't Understand'

When you and I decide to follow Christ outside of traditional church structures, one of the biggest challenges faced is navigating relationships with friends and family. The need of, and fear of losing our social relationships can very easily become our God. I hear statements like this all the time: “Well, I know what Christ is requiring of me, but if I do that, I will lose all my friends, and I won’t do that.” Even more relationally threatening is: “If we make this change our children will lose all their friendships, and I am unwilling to let that happen.”  This installment of the Church Refugee Sanity Guide presents some insights and suggestions on how we can navigate these difficult situations with friends and family–how to walk in your own convictions with love and charity toward others who do not understand and perhaps strongly disagree with you.

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Church Refugee Sanity Guide

Church Refugee Sanity Guide

Copyright 2016,  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 tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? Thank you and God bless you.

The Nones and Dones: '65,000,000 Believers in the USA Are De-churched'

The Nones and Dones - Frustrated with Church and Gone

The Nones and Dones – Frustrated with Church and Gone

According to sociologist, Josh Packard, in his scrupulously researched book, Church Refugees, there are currently 65,000,000 individuals in the USA who are “done” with church, 30.5 MM of those, retaining their “faith,” the balance having no “faith affiliation.”

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The Leadership Legitimacy Survey: 'When is it appropriate to confront your leadership?'

What does legitimate leadership look like? Not This!

What does legitimate leadership look like? Not This!

I am often asked: When is it appropriate to challenge or confront my church leadership? There is a full spectrum of opinions about the definition and expression of leadership in the church. There is also a broad spectrum of opinion on if, when, and how to confront church leadership. Jesus is our example in this matter, whether we like His example or not. Take my little “Leadership Legitimacy” survey and discover what Jesus would have you do.

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A “Culture of Honor?”: 'Legitimate or Controlling? You Decide'

An Honor Culture

A culture of honor

Building a culture of honor is a much bandied-about phrase these days in many non-denominational and “apostolic and prophetic” groups. On the one hand, you have our civic culture of rabid individualism and egalitarianism. It’s in the ditch of disregard and disdain for any concept of honor or respect. In the opposite ditch is a reactionary response to this cultural slide: honor that is non-relational, coerced, demanded, and required because of ungodly measures of rank and status. Both ditches are at work in the body of Christ, and both are wrong. The issue is not the legitimacy of honor. The problem is the values and ideals of what constitutes honor in a kingdom context, and why, how, and to whom it is due.

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Rat Park or Rat Cage?: 'Attending Church, Still Alone, and Living in Misery '

Rat Park or Rat Cage - Attending Church, But Still Alone

Rat Park or Rat Cage – Attending Church, But Still Alone

Dr. Bruce Alexander of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC reconsidered a famous lab experiment done in the 1970s involving addiction. He pondered that the presumptions behind the science could be flawed and incomplete. The scientific experiment in the 1970s involved a lone rat in a rat cage with two water bottles. One was laced with cocaine and the other just water.  In this well-known experiment, it was allegedly proven that nine out of ten rats in the rat cage will go back, again and again, to the cocaine bottle until they killed themselves. The conclusion taken from this experiment was that the rats were hopelessly chemically addicted to the point of suicide. Not so fast.

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The Bible and the Church: 'Truth Needs a Body'

Truth Needs a Body

The Bible and the Church: Truth Needs a Body

There was a Body before there was a Christian “Bible.” This is a threatening fact for many. It is none-the-less, an indisputable historical fact. The implications can, and have been, argued for centuries, but the fact cannot be.

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Church and Money

Money and the Church – Part 3: 'Patterns in Millennial Generation Giving'

The Church and Money - Part 3

Money and the Church – Part 3

It’s obvious that the long-term future belongs to the youngest current generations of adults, The Millennials. The beliefs, values, and giving habits of this generation must be understood if we are going to effectively speak their language, in incarnational love, on the topic of finances and giving.

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