Are your God-given gifts about advancing your ministry, or about advancing God’s wonderfully diverse gifts in others?
While a prepared message has its place, it is no substitute for a prepared man or woman.
Postmodern Angst: When you finally figure out that trying to be relevant is no longer considered relevant.
Oh, the crazy webs some weave!
As sovereign King, Jesus gives us the liberty to pursue virtue, not the autonomy to pursue vice.
A gospel which proclaims acceptance without repentance is all about me – rather than Him.
A Sunday morning thought:
How did ministry gifts – given by God so we could serve, equip and edify one another – become titles, offices and corporations?
A sure sign of a cult: It personally attacks through unsubstantiated innuendo all who raise legitimate concerns about their untouchable “leader”, rather than address the specific merits of those concerns.
The key to effective ministry is becoming less and less indispensable.
“The more I read, the less I admire modern theology. The more I study the productions of the new schools of theological teachers, the more I marvel that men and women can be satisfied with such writings. There is a vagueness, a mistiness, a shallowness, an indistinctness, a superficiality, an aimlessness, a hollowness [in] the literature of the ‘broader and kinder systems’, as they are called, which to my mind stamps their origin on their face. They are of the earth, earthy.”
~ J.C. Ryle (written in 1864, but how much more true today – especially among those who push their faddish theology under the disingenuous claim that they have no theology, other than their own existential perceptions of Jesus!)
Perverted Grace: Using God’s love to rationalize vice.
So, on Sunday morning, will church about what happens at the front podium, or about being active participants in living community?
When grace become the ends, and not the means, we create yet one more religion – built around yet one more doctrine taken out of context to validate our own agendas.
Cultish movements grow by co-opting emerging leaders through carefully orchestrated attention and recognition that feeds their need for validation.
When Accusations of Gossip Become Gag Orders, by Wartburg Watch
Slander is a lie and the person making the claim knows that it is a lie. Unfortunately, many use the word to mean saying anything negative about an individual – and then accuse others of slander in order to coverup or excuse abuse by church leaders.
Speaking truth and warning about leaders with a history of abusing others in the church or condoning such abuse – whether C.J. Mahaney and his fellow pastors at Sovereign Grace Ministries, Frank Viola and his fellow “workers” in the organic church movement, or whomever – is NOT slander or gossip. Rather, it brings needed light to darkness, protection to others & healing to the hurting.
In fact, where there are multiple witnesses against an abusive church leader, we are commanded to expose and issue publicly warnings in 1 Tim. 5:19-21.
Part of the Christian life is being loving and forgiving. These are qualities I pray for daily because they are so much not a natural part of me. In my effort to distill down doctrine and make sense of it for me personally I go with the statement from First John 4: "God is love." Likewise, I understand that if we don't forgive others (Mt.
Like Marianne and me, licensed mental health counselor Carl Austin (the author of this piece) has ministered to many "perps" and seen amazing grace and redemption, but never without full and open confession and repentance. This is why we remain so resolute in opposing the proud abusers who never come clean. Unlike those who openly confess and repent, they are a blight on the church and remain a threat to others.