Plumbline Faith

Simple Faith, Simple Virtue, Simple Church

Simple Faith — July 20, 2018

Simple Faith

What is existentialism, and why does it matter?

Existentialist is a worldly philosophy which believes that each individual can define – on their own terms – what is true, right and real based on their own perceptions and personal sensibilities.

Many “Christians” do this, whether consciously or not.

They often claim to have a “high view” of Scripture, but then discount anything in it which contradicts their own perceptions and sensibilities.

Whether they call themselves “Emergent”, “Progressive”, “Red Letter”, “Beyond Evangelical”, “Neo-orthodox” Christians or whatever …

They set themselves over God’s plenary authority of Scripture by defining truth, reality and morality on their own terms to suit their own purposes.

Inevitably, this leads them to project their own perceptions and sensibilities onto Jesus Himself …

To create a “Christ” after their own likeness and image.

In essence, they end up worshipping themselves by deceiving themselves through their false Christ …

Who is nothing more than a representation of themselves.

Like any idol, this “Jesus” of their own creation then justifies their religion of self …

Both to themselves (whether knowingly or not) and to those they seek to deceive (again, whether knowingly or not).

Unfortunately, our “churches” today are filled with such people …

Because many “churches” find it’s easier to cater to such narcissism than call for true repentance.

Existential deception is a defining issue of our times because the real Jesus didn’t choose to leave everything up to our personal foibles and follies …

But chose to authoritatively define Himself – and what is ultimately true, real and right – through Scripture as His written Word.

Anything less is a lie.

Simple Truth — July 11, 2018

Simple Truth

The irony of hard core “Calvinism” is that it diminishes God’s sovereignty …

By claiming He can’t delegate to others the option to reject Him.

Can a God who is so limited truly have absolute sovereignty?

This is the inherent contradiction in their reformed theology.

They have great insight on many things, but can not reconcile their philosophic concept of God’s “sovereignty” …

With His right to delegate, as He chooses, the option to reject His sovereignty.

They are thus trapped in a fundamental internal contradiction …

Of defining God as so sovereign, He can’t actually be sovereign.

Simple Faith — July 7, 2018

Simple Faith

We don’t truly believe because we perceive …

But truly perceive because we believe.

The former is all about us …

As we start with ourselves, only to remain trapped in ourselves.

The latter is all about God …

Who gives faith to believe.

Only then can we repent of ourselves to become more than ourselves.

Simple Church — July 5, 2018

Simple Church

Did you know that the English word “church” does not come from the New Testament …

And is a mistranslation of the original New Testament Greek word “ekklesia”?

Instead, “church” derives from an old German word “circe”, denoting gatherings of those engaged in occult practices related to pagan gods …

From which our word “circus” also comes.

Maybe that explains why “church” today looks nothing like the New Testament concept of “ekklesia”.

In contrast, “ekklesua” referred – during the time the New Testament was written – to local governing assemblies of citizens appointed to deliberate, represent and advance the interests of the ruling king and his kingdom in their own communities.

Maybe it’s time to take a second look at Scripture through the lens of the actual words originally used …

And what they actually meant when selected by the Holy Spirit to become the New Testament.

Otherwise, we distort the orginal intent of Scripture with contrary, post-New Testament meanings.

Simple Church — July 2, 2018
Simple Discipleship — July 1, 2018
Simple Discipleship — June 15, 2017
Simple Truth — June 14, 2017
Simple Truth — June 10, 2017
Simple Truth — June 8, 2017
Simple Discipleship — March 13, 2017
Simple Church — October 23, 2016

Simple Church

​A local pastor introduced himself to me and asked about “my” church.

I shared how we don’t follow the traditional model of a sole-proprietor “pastor” who preaches and runs the “service” every Sunday.

Rather, my role is to be an elder who – with others – unassumingly insures a safe environment so everyone feels free to minister one to another, each according to their own gifts as prompted by the Holy Spirit  …

Just like it says in the New Testament.

He thought for a while, then said he guessed that was OK – after all, “God spoke once through a jackass.”

Seriously, he said that!

Simple Love — September 2, 2018

Simple Love

Being an adult means fully bearing the cost, and the consequences, of our own choices.

Unfortunately, many parents today don’t let that happen …

While wondering why their “grown” kids are then such failures at life.

Tragically, I frequently see this as I go into our local jail, mostly among twenty-something white boys from middle class families.

Even more tragically, the parents often continued – out of guilt – to enable their immaturity even when they get out.

It never turns out well.

Do them a favor:

Let ’em fail!

Stop enabling them and let them begin to experience the full, unmitigated consequences of their choices …

Even if it means they go homeless and end up destitute until they begin making mature decisions and start to grow up.

As a local church elder involved in discipleship, I’ve actually helped facilitate this with several young men over the years who came to Christ in the jail …

But still carried a sense of entitlement when they got out.

Although being allowed to become homeless and destitute was a great shock to them – and they would initially stumbled badly – in the long run it always turned out to be the best thing for them.

Some of those young men are now the most mature, strong and stable men in our fellowships.

Tough love may be the best love you can give.

Simple Love — September 1, 2018
Simple Truth — August 31, 2018
Simple Discipleship — August 30, 2018
Simple Truth — August 29, 2018
Simple Truth — August 28, 2018

Simple Truth

Misplaced Loyalties:

Getting more upset about abuse, lies and cover-up being exposed in your beloved “church” and its leaders …

Than about the impact of that abuse on the victims.

God will not hold you blameless.

Simple Faith — August 27, 2018
Simple Church — August 26, 2018

Simple Church

Don’t be bashful.

If someone insists on publicly telling everyone how to do church or be the church – whether organic, missional, traditional or whatever …

You can publicly ask why they are not part of one.


Simple Truth — August 25, 2018
Simple Truth — August 24, 2018
Simple Church — August 23, 2018
Simple Faith — August 22, 2018

Simple Faith

If we’re not about redemption, then what hope do any of us have?

This is my passion.

This is my cause.

But it ain’t neat, and it ain’t tiddy. It’s raw and sometimes ugly …

Because if Jesus doesn’t work for the worse of us, then He works for none of us.

Simple Faith — August 21, 2018
Simple Church — August 20, 2018

Simple Church

On Sunday, many will go hear their pastor and be part of his congregation.

In contrast, we gather as participatory congregations that include elders …

Without being distracted by those solo or monologue “pastor” things others do.

Interestingly, New Testament churches did fine without them also.

Simple Faith — August 19, 2018
Simple Church — August 18, 2018
Simple Truth — August 17, 2018
Simple Love — August 16, 2018

Simple Love

Guys in jail ask me how to find a good church when they get out.

I tell them that if they visit on Sunday and no one ever invites them home to share friendship and a meal after a couple of weeks, move on …

It’s just a meeting, not a church.

Simple Virtue — August 15, 2018
Simple Church — August 14, 2018
Simple Church — August 13, 2018
Simple Faith — August 12, 2018
Simple Truth — August 11, 2018
Simple Faith — August 10, 2018
Simple Truth — August 9, 2018