Plumbline Faith

Simple Faith, Simple Virtue, Simple Church

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 Discipleship — August 30, 2018
Simple Faith — August 27, 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 19, 2018
Simple Truth — August 17, 2018
Simple Virtue — August 15, 2018
Simple Faith — August 12, 2018
Simple Faith — August 10, 2018
Simple Faith — August 8, 2018

Simple Faith

Jesus never told people they were saved by asking him into their heart …

But by repenting and submitting to his Father’s will and Kingdom.

If Jesus is truly in your heart, it’s because of the latter, not the former.

Those who proclaim otherwise …

Are preaching a lie.

Simple Church — August 7, 2018

Simple Church

How we measure “church” success:

Ministry by one gifted man to fifty others each Sunday morning …

That’s nice.

Ministry by one gifted man to hundreds …

Now you’re talkin’!

Ministry by one gifted man to thousands …

Mega success!!

How the New Testament measures church success:

Each using their gifts …

For ministry one to another.

Simple Discipleship — August 6, 2018

Simple Discipleship

The me-centered, overly subjective, need-a-high addiction to contrived intensity that many call “worship” these days …

Is an affront to God and His true holiness.

Fortunately, God is calling out those who want to serve Him on His terms, which is true worship …

Rather than feed their insecurities.

Simple Faith — August 3, 2018
Simple Faith — August 2, 2018

Simple Faith

A purely subjective Jesus without the plenary authority of Scripture as His written Word …

Leads to an inauthentic Jesus who is just Being and relationship but not Word and truth.

Likewise, the plenary authority of Scripture without Jesus alive in us …

Leads to an inauthentic Jesus who is just Word and truth but not Being and relationship.

Each extreme – born of an endless cycle of reaction to the other – chronicles two tragic trends of Church history.

Unfortunately, we still see these extremes all too evident today.

Maturity embraces the fulness of Christ – both His Person and what He has revealed in His written Word of Scripture.

Yet where my subjective perception of Him parts with His written self-disclosure and objective precepts, my perception must yield to Scripture.

There can be no maturity in Christ apart from these essentials of the faith.

Simple Faith — August 1, 2018

Simple Faith

Salvation isn’t about “asking Jesus into your heart”.

There’s nothing in the New Testament which says that.

Rather, it’s about repenting and submitting to His Kingdom …

On His terms, not ours.

In the final day …

That’s the only Gospel that counts.

Simple Church — July 30, 2018
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 Discipleship — July 22, 2018
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 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 Discipleship — July 17, 2018