Plumbline Faith

Simple Faith, Simple Virtue, Simple Church

Simple Church — September 3, 2018

Simple Church

Church in the New Testament is never about gathering to experience God’s presence …

But about expressing His presence – hopefully already in you – one to another to encourage and strengthen each other.

Nor is it about having a “worship service” …

But about including congregational singing of God’s praises to encourage one another so we can live daily lives of reverant obedience to Him, which is true worship.

It also is never about a monologue sermon by the one …

But about all ministering one to another to motivate each other to love and good works.

So why do Christians accept anything less …

Each Sunday morning?

Simple Discipleship — August 30, 2018
Simple Church — August 26, 2018

Simple Church

Don’t be bashful:

We need to publicly ask those who publicly tell everyone how to do or be the church (whether organic, missional, traditional or whatever) …

If they themselves are part of one – in their own lives and hometowns – like they keep promoting to others.

You may be shocked at how often they aren’t.

But hey, that shouldn’t stop them from peddling their ear-tickling ideas, books, blogs and conferences to unsuspecting audiences.

Right?

🤔


Simple Church — August 23, 2018
Simple Faith — August 21, 2018
Simple Church — August 20, 2018

Simple Church

On Sunday, many go hear their pastor as part of his congregation.

In contrast, I am part of a participatory congregation that ministers – pastorally and otherwise – one to another …

Without the distraction of those solo and monologue “pastor” things others do.

Interestingly, churches in the New Testament did fine without them also.

Simple Faith — August 19, 2018

Simple Faith

There’s nothing entertaining …

About authentic worship as the New Testament actually defines it.

Because worship in the New Testament means serving God with lives of humble obeisance and steadfast obedience.

Which is why authentic worship among many “churches” and “believers” …

Is so rare today.

Simple Church — August 18, 2018
Simple Love — August 16, 2018

Simple Love

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

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

It’s just a meeting, not a church.

Simple Virtue — August 15, 2018

Simple Virtue

When people say “worship” today …

They mean reverent singing.

When the New Testament says “worship” …

It means reverent obedience.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the former.

It has its place, when done as the New Testament actually says …

But not as a substitute or new definition for the latter.

That was never God’s intent.

Simple Church — August 14, 2018
Simple Church — August 13, 2018
Simple Faith — August 12, 2018
Simple Truth — August 9, 2018
Simple Church — August 7, 2018

Simple Church

How we measure “church” success:

Ministry by one gifted man who attracts fifty others to his “service” each Sunday morning …

That’s nice.

Ministry by one gifted man who attracts hundreds …

Now you’re talkin’!

Ministry by one gifted man who attracts thousands …

Mega success!!

How the New Testament measures church success:

Believers who gather together as a community, with each using their gifts …

For ministry one to another.

Simple Discipleship — August 6, 2018

Simple Discipleship

The me-centered, contrived intensity that many call “worship” these days …

Is an affront to God’s holiness.

True worship is living lives of obeisance and obedience to Him on His terms …

Rather than pursuing our own concepts of Him to feed our own insecurities.

Simple Church — July 31, 2018

Simple Church

There are no “worship leaders” in the New Testament.

Nope, not, nada.

In fact, the very concept is utterly missing from “church” and “worship” as actually taught in the New Testament.

Why is that?

Could it be that our notions of “church” and “worship” are more about post-Biblical presumptions …

Than what God actually says in His written Word?

Simple Church — July 30, 2018

Simple Church

Functional, sustainable ekklesia is impossible …

Among those who reject God’s plenary authority of Scripture as His revealed, transcendent and propositional truth.

It’s like cats trying to herd themselves.

Simple Church — July 29, 2018

Simple Church

Someone asked if I believe in women clergy.

No way, no how!

But then again, I don’t believe in men clergy either. 😉

Seriously, there is no clergy/laity divide in the New Testament.

Instead, we are ALL commanded to submit one to another as we minister to each other …

No matter the level of grace, differing function or diverse gifts we’ve been given.

Simple Church — July 25, 2018

Simple Church

Three things not found in the New Testament:

– Current prevailing concepts of “pastor”;

– Current prevailing concepts of “worship”; and

– Current prevailing concepts of “church”.

My God bring forth those with the courage to pursue the authentic as He defines it …

Rather than remain stuck in post-biblical human traditions.

Simple Church — July 23, 2018
Simple Church — July 18, 2018

Simple Church

“Assembly” is probably the closest English word to “ekklesia”, which is the original ancient Greek word 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.

Although it operated in submission to the Emperor’s authority, it nonetheless functioned internally as a democratic and fully participatory assembly.

The idea of Christ building His ekklesia, therefore, was 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.

Christ’s ekklesia would be an assembly of those called by Him to gather and participate together…

In representing and advancing His Kingdom in their local community.

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 Church — July 10, 2018

Simple Church

There are only four verses in the entire New Testament which mention singing God’s praises together when we gather as the church.

And in those verses, there is just one reason given for that congregational singing:

To encourage one another.

That’s it.

Nothing else.

In contrast, the New Testament never refers to congregational singing as what we now call “worship”.

The popular idea these days that “worship” is singing, or that we do it to invoke, experience or encounter God’s presence among us …

Just isn’t 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 and among us.

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

And we do it congregationally for the purpose of encouraging one another.

Nothing more, nothing less.

So let’s stop distorting Scripture by putting on staged performances designed to manipulate intense reactions which we think signify “God’s presence” …

And calling that “worship”.

It’s not. It’s just carnality masquerading as spirituality.

Instead, let’s return to what the New Testament actually says:

By congregationally singing God’s praises with voices joyfully joined together …

For the simple purpose of encouraging one another as an expression of His presence already in us.

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, however, 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 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.