Plumbline Faith

Simple Faith, Simple Virtue, Simple Church

Simple Truth — July 27, 2018

Simple Truth

Have you ever noticed how so-called “Christians” who selectively dismiss the original intent, meaning and authority of Scripture so they can make it say whatever they want …

Inevitably do the same with our nation’s founding principles and Constitution?

This should be no surprise …

Because their hubris knows no bounds.

Simple Virtue — July 26, 2018
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 Truth — July 24, 2018
Simple Church — July 23, 2018
Simple Discipleship — July 22, 2018
Simple Virtue — July 21, 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 Truth — July 19, 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 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 Virtue — July 15, 2018

Simple Virtue

“Who are you to judge? God knows my heart.”

Yes. Yes He does:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (Jer 17:9)

Which is why, in fact, we ARE to judge …

But righteously. (Jn 7:24)

Which means wisely applying God’s external standards of what’s true, right and real …

To internally justified lies, immorality and deception.

 

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 spiritually “dead in our trespasses and sin”.

We are not spiritually sick, but dead.

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

Because a dead man has no choice in and of himself.

Fundamentally, we have no human autonomy or ability to choose anything apart from what God has chosen to delegate and enable.

According to His sovereign will, however, He didn’t want puppets on a string …

So He gave Adam the option to choose sin and death – as He knew he would – by rejecting His rule.

Adam chose foolishly.

Christ, according to His eternal plan …

Then defeated sin and death through the Cross to give us the option to choose righteousness and life – as He wills – by submitting to His rule.

This is what makes God’s grace so amazing.

Choose wisely.

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 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 Faith — July 8, 2018
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 Truth — July 6, 2018

Simple Truth

God’s raw, unmitigated written Word bears stark witness against those who promote 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 …

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 Truth — July 4, 2018
Simple Faith — July 3, 2018

Simple Faith

The triune God of the Bible is perfectly one and complete in and of Himself.

Unlike Islam and various “Oneness” heresies, however, His complete internal unity also includes internal diversity.

That intrinsic diversity means He can internally relate, love and communicate …

And thus, as He chooses, do so externally as well.

Which explains the main difference between the true God of the Old and New Testament …

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