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 Christians”, “Beyond Evangelical”, “Neo-orthodox” or whatever …

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

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

To then create their own “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 projection 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 19, 2018
Simple Church — July 18, 2018

Simple Church

“Assembly” is probably the closest English word to “ekklesia”, which is commonly mistranslated as “church” in our English Bibles.

But even “assembly” falls short.

In the common usage of the day when the New Testament was written, “ekklesia” almost always referred to the participatory governing authority in a city …

Made up of local citizens appointed by a larger empire.

In Israel during Jesus’ time on Earth, the local ekklesia under Roman rule was the Sanhedrin.

Each city or provence had their own local ekklesia, appointed by the conquering Roman empire to assemble and manage the affairs of the city through local citizens selected by the emperor.

It was democratic as to internal function, but not ultimate authority.

The idea of Christ building His ekklesia, therefore, was both subversive to Roman ears, but fully in line with His further teachings on His Kingdom.

Unfortunately, “church” today has little to do – either as to form or function – with what “ekklesia” actually meant when the New Testament was written.

To really understand the Bible, we need to learn what it actually said when written, based on the meaning and context of the words used …

Rather than reading back into those words our contrary post-New Testament meanings.

Simple Discipleship — July 17, 2018
Simple Faith — July 16, 2018

Simple Faith

The Bible doesn’t say to believe in yourself …

But to die to self.

Jesus never said to forgive yourself …

But to forgive others and then ask God to forgive you.

The Gospel isn’t about affirming you …

But about repenting and surrendering to Christ’s rule.

Only then will you find yourself, your freedom and your validation …

As defined by Him.

Simple Faith — July 15, 2018
Simple Faith — July 14, 2018
Simple Truth — July 13, 2018

Simple Truth

Reformed Theology says it’s impossible to reject God’s grace when offered …

Based on the philosophic concept that doing so would involve human autonomy against God’s sovereignty.

The flaw is that Reformed Theology does not see that there is a third option, which runs throughout Scripture.

The choice isn’t Calvinism = a Sovereign God …

While Arminianism = Human autonomy.

Rather, Biblical doctrine shows a God who is so sovereign …

He can offer grace to those who have no choice in and of themselves, while also granting them the choice to reject that grace.

Denying God’s sovereign right to delegate that choice is, at it’s core, a denial of His sovereignty.

Simple Faith — July 12, 2018

Simple Faith

We are bound by the limits of our fallen nature, which makes us “dead in our trespasses and sin”.

We are not sick, but dead.

Free will, therefore, is a myth apart from God’s grace giving us the option to choose life.

A dead man has no choice otherwise.

There is no human autonomy to choose anything apart from what God has chosen to delegate and enable.

He allowed Adam to choose sin. He now, through the Cross, enables us to choose life.

That’s what makes grace so amazing.

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 be considered to have absolute sovereignty?

This is the inherent contradiction in their systematic 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 Church — July 10, 2018

Simple Church

There are four verses in the New Testament which admonish Christians to sing together when we gather …

And the ONLY reason given is to encourage one another.

The idea of worship in the church as a way to experience, encounter or invoke God’s presence is not found in the New Testament.

Rather, it is from the Old Testament idea of the temple, where you went to encounter God.

In contrast, under the New Covenant, we have become God’s temple because He now dwells in us.

Thus, we sing to express God’s presence already in us, not to bring His presence to us.

And we are to do it congregationally for the purpose of encouraging one another …

Not as a staged performance to manipulate intense reactions which we then call “God”.

Simple Church — July 9, 2018

Simple Church

Most of what we call “worship” today …

Is so contrived and manipulative as to be an affront to God.

Most are so unwilling to submit their concept of “worship” to what the New Testament actually says is worship …

That they don’t even care.

Simple Faith — July 8, 2018
Simple Faith — July 7, 2018

Simple Faith

“Christian” existentialists get all wrong:

We don’t believe because we perceive …

But 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 Him …

Who gives faith to believe to those who repent of ourselves so we can become more than ourselves.

Simple Truth — July 6, 2018

Simple Truth

God’s raw, unmitigated written Word bears stark witness against those promoting existentialism, relativism, “progressive” liberalism …

Or any other competing post-modern “ism” of our day.

Which is why they all hate both the totality of Scripture …

And the God of Scripture.

Simple Church — July 5, 2018

Simple Church

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

But 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 …

Which may explain why “church” today looks nothing like the New Testament concept of “ekklesia” – which is mistranslated “church”.

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

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

Rather than using our contrary, post-New Testament words and meanings.

Simple Truth — July 4, 2018

Simple Truth

“Christian” nihilists who promote cultural shame and national distain in the name of Christ …

Know not Christ.

True disciples can speak truth to power …

While still giving honor where honor is due.

Simple Faith — July 3, 2018

Simple Faith

In the Trinity, God is perfectly one and complete in and of Himself.

But unlike Islam or other “Oneness” heresies, His complete internal unity also includes internal diversity.

Because of His intrinsic diversity, He can internally relate, love and speak …

And thus do so externally as well.

Which explains the main difference between the true God of the Bible …

And the detached, uncaring and mute “God” of Islam.

Simple Church — July 2, 2018

Simple Church

Don’t be deceived by cries of “unity” by those who reject God’s plenary authority of Scripture …

And then have the hubris to expect fellowship around a Jesus of their own creation and perception.

Simple Discipleship — July 1, 2018
Simple Truth — June 30, 2018

Simple Truth

There’s the hard Gospel of Godly repentance and Kingdom surrender.

Then there’s the easy “Gospel” of individual decision and optional lifestyle …

Especially among “churches” that preach cheap grace and easy believism.

Where are the men of God these days, who preach hard truth under the conviction of the Holy Spirit?

May God deliver us from the easy “Gospel” of false hope and deceptive charm …

As we proclaim true salvation and redemption once again.

Simple Faith — June 29, 2018

Simple Faith

What if you actually studied the New Testament and the original, actual meanings of the words it contains?

What if you studied it a second time and then a third time?

And, after all that, what if you discovered that what you call “worship” …

Isn’t?

What if …

Simple Virtue — June 28, 2018
Simple Church — June 27, 2018

Simple Church

Jesus is our Lord who loves us …

Not our lover.

Unfortunately, the words and mood of too many songs that pass for “worship” these days …

Seem to confuse this vital difference.

 

Simple Discipleship — June 26, 2018