Ekklesia: A Modest Manifesto

Ekklesia: A Modest Manifesto

Wherever he went, the Apostle Paul always sparked either revival or riot.

Does our age, and our culture, deserve any less?

Let’s boldly smash our boxes of insular spirituality and cultural lethargy by confidently proclaiming that Jesus is Lord of all.

Let’s reject narcissist Christianity by allowing Jesus in me to be more than about me – and my sensibilities.

Let’s stop foisting our own grace, gifts, callings and motivations on God’s people as normative for all.

Let’s embrace the diversity of His grace, gifts, callings and motivations in the context of true ekklesia – local authentic community where Jesus in us is expressed through us as His multifaceted and participatory Body.

Let’s stop saying everything is about my relationship with Jesus while discounting his Kingship – including His commands and His precepts.

Let’s stop saying I only do what I hear Jesus subjectively tell me, while denying the power and authority of what He also says in His written Word.

Let’s stop proclaiming “Christ is all” while minimizing all that Christ has given for knowing more of Him – including not only His presence in us, but also the plenary authority of Scripture to guide us in sound doctrine, balanced community that affirms objective standards, holy lives that please Him, engaging our culture, and wise counsel from mature believers who model His precepts.

Let’s reject gnostic tendencies that seek to separate the spiritual and the material world of our everyday existence by denying the authority and relevance of Christ – and His body – regarding all of creation.

Let’s stop discounting those who went before us, and their creeds and experiences, by humbly learning what they have to teach us despite the reality that we all have flaws.

Let’s affirm God’s continual sovereign advance through history and reject the spirit of our age and its myopic, isolationist pessimism.

Let’s be discerning about self-proclaimed apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers or other itinerant ministries – and their writings – when they are not themselves presently rooted in, accountable to, coming from, or even able to demonstrate a history of integration into actual, functional, local ekklesia.

Let’s reject the voices of those who try to separate the centrality of Christ from the Great Commission, mission and discipleship.

Let’s unleash God’s people to be fruitful at all stages of their growth, as Christ enables, and stop burdening them with the bondage of our preconceived preconditions of “root before fruit”.

Let’s start embracing balance and maturity – as together we become His disciples through functional, participatory ekklesia that reflects the life of Christ but is also rooted in the authority of His written Word.

Let’s be mighty men and women of God, who once again spark revival or riot as we proclaim the fulness of Christ as merciful Savior, gracious Lord, sovereign King and ultimate Judge to a desperate world.

As such, may we be life-transforming, culture-changing ekklesia once again – the visible Body of Christ which doesn’t merely say come, but goes forth into all the world.


I wrote and posted this on the morning of my birthday, when I officially became a “senior citizen”. It summarizes a lifetime of experience serving the King of Kings. May it be both a present and a challenge to my passion: the wonderful, multifaceted, participatory Body of Christ.

Jesus, the Living Word

If we deny that God speaks and acts today in vibrant, direct and personal ways, and if we try to box Him in by claiming that He only speaks through Scripture, then how are we different from Muslims? Our faith then is built on the written word alone, and we miss the essential reality of the Living Word.

The Lost Art of Dialogue

As last Friday’s church met over a shared meal (nothing fancy — KFC this week!) around a kitchen table, someone asked a question that opened up a great discussion on God’s sovereignty and human will. We must have spent at least an hour in dynamic exchange — with amazing questions, comments and seeking Scripture together as God’s truths opened up for everyone.

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