Plumbline Faith

Simple Faith, Simple Virtue, Simple Church

Simple Faith — April 27, 2017
Simple Church — April 26, 2017

Simple Church

We need more elders sharing lives among us …

And less “preachers” on podiums above us.

Unfortunately, few are willing to give up the recognition and privileges of the latter …

For the humility and sacrifices of the former.

Simple Love — April 23, 2017

Simple Love

God doesn’t define sin to condemn us but to warn us about what harms and destroys …

Because He loves us enough to want us to have abundant life.

When we reject that …

We condemn ourselves.

Simple Faith — April 22, 2017
Simple Church — April 20, 2017

Simple Church

“Church” too often means expecting others to fit our own molds, in order to support the sensibilities and biases of our own cultural perspectives.

In contrast, I have learned to allow “church” to emerge in all its splendid diversity by letting the life of Christ take root in the rich soil of different cultures and communities.

Could that be why the Great Commission says “go”, rather than “come”?

Simple Truth — April 19, 2017

Simple Truth

God’s authoritative Word is not some inspiration you feel when reading the Bible …

But the Bible itself because God inspired those who wrote it.

It takes great hubris to claim otherwise …

By those who elevate their own feelings over Scripture itself.

Simple Discipleship — April 18, 2017
Simple Truth — April 14, 2017

Simple Truth

What about those who peddle an appealing Christ of their own perception through enticing books, blogs, seminars and posts …

While dismissing His plenary authority of Scripture as His written Word?

Even broken clocks are right twice each day …

But you wouldn’t want to use ’em to tell time.

Simple Church — April 12, 2017

Simple Church

Slowly but surely, God is shifting the paradigm of church and leadership. 

It is becoming organic, simple and participatory, with healthy fellowships beginning to emerge. 

All I can say is forget the buzz words by past advocates like Viola, Dale, Zens, Rodriguez, Giles, Rohde and their buddies …

With their failed attempts to impose their own existential, cookie-cutter visions of Christ and the Church on God’s people through books and blogs that never lined up with reality in their own lives and home towns.

Instead, go and let the Lord express Himself as He sees fit, building on the foundation already apostolically laid through Scripture as His authoritative written Word, in the unique context of diverse communities … 

Where He still sends us today to make disciples among the lost and redeem nations.

That, my friends, is real “organic” church and leadership.

Simple Church — April 7, 2017

Simple Church

In Hebrews 13:17, some translations tell us to “obey” those who “rule over” us in the church. This is a very unfortunate translation. 

In the Greek, the verb translated “obey” is in the middle voice and means to “be persuaded”. Yet it is often wrongly translated in the active voice as “obey”, which has an entirely different meaning.

The verb phrase “rule over” also is a misleading translation. 

In the Greek, it does not mean having authority or being “over” anyone, but rather earned esteem by those who have given thought to and walked farther along the same path.

If they can’t persuade or earn your respect by having actually thought through and lived what they’re saying, then we are under no obligation to accord them any influence in our lives.

Bottom line: 

There is NO command in the New Testament to blindly obey or follow anyone – and no mandate for authoritarianism, “cover” or control over others – in the church.

Church leadership in the New Testament is straightforward: 

Be persuaded by those who thoughtfully walk the walk and are further along in their faith and life experience, yielding to their example as we submit one to another.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Simple Faith — April 6, 2017

Simple Faith

Often, longstanding hurts, disappointments and emotional wounds are like old, familiar friends. 

We let them become so engrained into our sense of identity that they begin to define us. 

When that happens, we often aren’t willing to transparently expose and turn them them over to Jesus …

But tightly hold onto them like a child clinging to a security blanket. 

Instead of finding liberation and wholeness through Christ, we become our past.

Simple Truth — April 3, 2017

Simple Truth

Healthy civilizations and societies are a Christian value …

Built and maintained by those who care enough to heed Christ’s Lordship in all spheres of life and human endeavor.

Simple Faith — March 30, 2017
Simple Faith — March 25, 2017
Simple Discipleship — March 23, 2017

Simple Discipleship

It is liberating to learn that God did not create us to be like someone else …

But instead gives us different personalities and motivations that match our diverse spiritual gifts. 

We experience His pleasure as we learn to use and enjoy those gifts as He intended …

In our lives, families, fellowships and surrounding communities.

Simple Truth — March 21, 2017
Simple Discipleship — March 17, 2017
Simple Discipleship — March 13, 2017
Simple Church — March 12, 2017

Simple Church

There are no hierarchical titles in the New Testament regarding God’s people and the church:

Just straightforward descriptive words for different functions using the everyday language of ordinary folk when it was first written …

And bad English translations which imply otherwise today.

Simple Truth — March 10, 2017
Simple Church — March 8, 2017
Simple Church — March 7, 2017

Simple Church

None of Christ’s mandates full work, like the Kingdom of God, mission and discipleship …

Without the other mandate to be His ekklesia – His local participatory assembly which expresses His Kingship within the communities where we live – also fully working.

Simple Discipleship — March 4, 2017
Simple Virtue — March 3, 2017

Simple Virtue

Jesus wants His disciples to be personal peacemakers who turn their own cheeks against minor individual offences …

While He also gives civil magistrates the power of the sword to protect others from true evil.

Those who see this as a contradiction …

Lack an authentically Biblical worldview.

Simple Discipleship — March 1, 2017

Simple Discipleship

Be wary of those who peddle the latest theological fads.

Often they prey on spiritually wounded people by offering the affirmation of “deeper” life or knowledge …

Rather than the health and assurance that comes from the simple faith of Scripture.

Here are two tests that typically weed out these merchants of deception:

1. Are they part of an actual, functional local fellowship in their own home town where they are transparent and accountable to a community of fellow believers, among whom their ideas have demonstrated consistently good fruit over time?

2. Do they openly affirm and submit to God’s plenary authority of Scripture as His authentic written Word in all matters of faith, life and doctrine?

If not, you likely are dealing with a wolf …

Rather than one who’s​ legitimately come in the name of the Lord.