It looks like House2House Ministries and Magazine have closed shop once again.
What an unfortunate, checkered history of organic/simple church failure after failure.
How many times will it take before Felicity Dale and gang finally figure out that you can’t start and sustain healthy local churches – simple, organic or otherwise – by promoting phony self-appointed “apostles”:
– Who ain’t livin’ what their sellin’, with private lives that don’t match up with their finely-honed public persona;
– Who have no consistent history of successfully forming, maintaining or being part of sustainable local churches that look anything like what they promote in their books, blogs and conferences;
– Who deny that the Great Commission has general relevance today;
– Who proclaim that scripture is not the written word of God and that those who affirm scripture are committing “treason against Christ”;
It seems trendy today among celebrity Christians to promote all sorts of rubbish:
Grace without repentance,
Love without truth,
Mercy without obedience,
Interestingly, the four Gospels are immediately followed by the book of “Acts”.
Gifts are special. Gifts can sit on a shelf awaiting the appropriate time to be given, or they can be spontaneous. Gifts can come in small or large boxes. Sometimes the gift in the smallest box is far superior to the one in the larger container.
The Lord knows how to give good gifts. If a son asks for bread, he will not give him a stone.
When the Lord selects our gift, He handcrafts it so it is exactly what we need. His gift is sometimes not what we would have picked, but He knows our true needs.
Sometimes the gift is an unexpected answer to prayers that may be decades old or it could just be a little reminder that the Lord is good and He loves us with an infallible love.
My stunning predictions for 2014 proved to be the ONLY 100% accurate prophecies by anyone anywhere last year.
So, not wanting to let all the prophets of fame, name and gain dominate yet another year with their headline-chasing rubbish, I’ve decided to once again put myself on the line by publishing my stunning new prophetic predictions for 2015.
This way, the world can see once more who is the true prophet among us!
So (drum roll…) here is what’s gonna happen in 2015, raw and unvarnished:
The ultimate seduction exploits not our greatest weakness, but our greatest strength.
Martin Luther is credited with saying “in essentials, unity”.
In applying that sagely advice, over the years I have developed two essential prerequisites for all other essentials. They have served me well, and tend to weed out over 90% of the frauds, fakes and flakes that plague God’s church (don’t ya love ’em!).
The old legalism of “be good” (God is all about me being moral) …
Was followed by the current legalism of “do good” (God is all about me doing good, like helping the poor) …
Which rapidly is being replaced by the new legalism of “feel good” (the existential fad that God is all about affirming me, filtered through my own hurts, needs and sensibilities) – as its devotees now diss anyone or anything that doesn’t feed their need.
It’s time to speak plainly and listen to each other, even if we don’t like what the other side has to say.
Until White America understands the pent-up frustration of Black America over the suspicion, marginalization and humiliation they are forced to endure from predominately White power structures…
Until Black America understands the pent-up frustration of While America over the crime, entitlement and social disarray they are forced to subsidize in predominately Black neighborhoods…
Neither side will learn the lessons of Ferguson.
Thanksgiving Day in the United States, I have always felt, is our nation’s most significant holiday.
It is the least commercial and the most focused on acknowledging God’s providence over our land by calling on His name as sovereign Lord and expressing gratitude to Him.
Don’t lose heart. God desires to bless not just individuals who love Him, but whole nations. He holds the destiny of nations in His hands and is bigger than any headlines or trends.
More and more people are legitimately desiring to move towards organic/simple church and away from the institutional church.
Unfortunately, there are major snares for those on that journey. Too often, they fall prey to books and blogs on organic/simple church by those who either reject the plenary authority of scripture or outright deny that the Bible is the written word of God.
Although such authors talk a good talk, they typically have no consistent history of actually finding, creating or sustaining in their own lives the kind of local “organic” or “simple” church they are selling to others.
Increasingly, it seems that those who live it seldom sell it, while those who sell it seldom live it.
This makes it very hard to move forward, because there’s a lot of crazy being peddled to the unwary out there in organic land.
Is your church a non-prophet corporation…
Or a New Testament community of diverse, multi-gifted disciples who assemble to encourage each other and participate together in advancing God’s Kingdom?
Today mom and I will go to the Veterans Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where my dad is in hospice care after serving his country for twenty years as a Naval officer and aviator.
He also nobly served the Kingdom of God most of his adult life – and understood there was no contradiction between those two roles.
Cynicism and lazy seem to go hand in hand.
Many “Christians” habitually express those qualities when it comes to the problems and challenges of our age …
Rather than make a difference, they use cynicism to justify laziness.
To put it bluntly, they are not my brothers and sisters.
Here are some thoughts on yesterday’s elections that I posted on Crossroad Junctions’ Facebook page:
I don’t want a central government that promises to solve all my problems by demanding the power to run my life. Such utopian schemes always lead to intolerance and tyranny.
Instead, I want a central government which insures that the foundations for a healthy society are strong, so I then can build the kind of life that God wants for me, my family, my church and the community where I live.
A central government that promises to solve all my problems is a government that seeks to usurp the rights and responsibilities God has given to individuals, the family, the church, local communities, and voluntary associations of folks working together to make their lives better.
Mars Hill, a network of churches in Seattle, is shutting down as more and more accounts keep surfacing of behind-the-scenes abusive behavior by their otherwise publicly charming and inspiring founder, author and senior pastor, Mark Driscoll.
I’ve seen this happen many times over the years as churches and Christian movements of all stripes rise and fall.
When a church or movement organizes around a gifted man and his individual vision or mission, it will grow rapidly at first but then stumble as it eventually hits up against his limits.
This is not how it should be.
This morning, I’m not going to some high-cost building to find a parking space, be greeted by ushers I barely know, sit in a pew, be psyched up by a loud worship band, or inspired by some finely honed monologue sermon from a front podium.
Rather, my wife and I are opening our home to those who want to come and share breakfast at our table as we talk, sing, teach, disciple and encourage one another in the Lord. Our time together is not scripted or directed – except by the Holy Spirit.
Joining us will be folks with graduate degrees and fancy houses, along with folks living in the woods, and just about everything in between. We are very diverse yet know and honor one another – while welcoming others with open hospitality – as we learn to be co-heirs and co-participants together in Christ.
God is looking for those who will stand in the gap by bearing witness to His immanent grace and transcendent sovereignty in an age of meaningless autonomy.
As facts keep coming to light about leaders like Bill Gothard, Frank Viola and various pastors under C.J. Mahaney, this timely retort bears repeating against those who want to excuse and cover-up their history of sexual predation and abuse in the church:
“Grace does not cover unrepentant sin.” ~ Survivor Advocate Karen Nelson Lee