A Timely Warning by Steve Hill

The Seven Great Lies in the Church Today, by Steve Hill

Amen and amen. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Steve Hill on this important article.

If you’ve read Crossroad Junction for very long, you’ve seen me also tackle most of these same, out-0f-balance issues. I’m glad to see others raising identical warnings, now to a broader audience, regarding:

  1. Overemphasis of Prosperity
  2. Exaggerated View of Grace
  3. Antinomianism
  4. Deification of Man (or, as I put it, creating Jesus in our own image)
  5. Challenging the Authority of the Word
  6. Rejecting Hell
  7. Universal Reconciliation

Really, folks, it’s kind of simple: He defines what is ultimately true, real and right, not us.

He’s God. We’re not. Get over it!

~ Jim

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The Fractured Logos

Fracturing The Logos of the Gospel:

This is another timely and important blog by Miguel Labrador.

As he points out, the “Christ is All” crowd has a fractured view of Jesus and scripture.

As I’ve discussed in my own blogs, those who follow existential authors like Frank Viola and his fellow itinerant “workers” like Milt Rodriguez, Jamal Jivanjee and Jon Zens, often create a Jesus in their own image based on their own sensibilities.

They then elevate their very postmodern Jesus over His own written word of scripture, under the mantra that “Christ is All” – such that Christ (or at least their perception of Him) trumps scripture.

As a result, they sever the Living Word from His written Word.

When called out, they make feeble assurances that they have a “high view” of scripture and think it is “inspired”, while nonetheless rejecting its plenary authority.

In fact, they follow the existential “theology” of Karl Barth, which elevates our own perceptions of Christ as higher revelation than God’s own chosen revelation of scripture. The result has been a pattern of anemic churches, introspective faith, weird doctrines and practices, manipulative and at times exploitive “leadership”, and self-referential “truth”.

In essence, they eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – by choosing their own subjective perceptions of Christ and His Church over His sovereign authority to objectively define what, in fact, is true, real and right.

Fortunately, more and more are looking behind the curtain and seeing what’s what.

I look forward to Miguel’s new series on keeping the Messenger integrated with His message – and us in sync with both!

Beyond Scripture? (Part 3)

The low view of God in the Old Testament, found among those touting a so-called “Christocentric hermeneutic”, comes from too high a view of themselves.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

They often take personal offense at how God dealt with humanity in the Old Testament – including His sometimes fierce display of holiness and punishment of sin and rebellion.

So they make God in the Old Testament an aberration. They substitute their own perceptions of Christ – rooted in their post-modern sensibilities – for the totality of Scripture, and make their resulting “Christology” higher revelation than God’s own external Word of Scripture.

They have joined Adam and Eve in choosing the moral autonomy of deciding for themselves what is right and wrong, and have the further hubris of then imposing it on God Himself.

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Christocentric Buffoonery

Those with the hutzpa to claim that their personal perceptions of Christ are more accurate than His written word of scripture deceive themselves. They have rebelled against God’s own chosen revelation, and worship at the feet of postmodernism instead. I would rather that my sensibilities shatter against the rock of God’s Word than subvert Christ to their subjective, existential angst. 
 
Here’s a little song about the dilemmas facing my existentially-consumed friends:
Beyond Scripture? (Part 2).

Tyranny and Murder by Presidential Decree

In America, we’ve lost the right to be born, the right to practice our faith without government dictate or penalty, the right to proclaim moral sanity in the public square, and now the right to due process of law against a president who thinks he literally can pull the trigger and execute fellow citizens at his whim.

Who's Next?

Who’s Next?

In a bizarre “legal memo”, President Obama has asserted that he can target and assassinate Americans – at will – simply on his belief that they are subversives.

The memo’s specific focus is Americans who President Obama has unilaterally concluded are affiliated with al-Qaida (not that this makes it right), but its rationale and justification can now be applied to anyone else who he likewise concludes is a non-combatant subversive.

America was once a great nation, ruled by law under a Constitution that was consciously written to embody a Judeo-Christian worldview.

The bedrock of our constitutional republic – rooted in Biblical principles articulated by men like James Madison and his mentor John Witherspoon – was the liberty to pursue virtue by imposing checks and balances against the evil of unrestrained government power.

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Hyper Grace – Part 2

Hyper Grace – Part 2

Real people want real answers and real freedom from real issues – not just the tidy platitudes of half truths.

Maybe that’s what has shaped my strong reaction to hyper grace, which is really half grace: It cannot offer real freedom from real issues because it seeks the grace of God’s affirming love and presence, but not the grace of His transforming truth and rule.

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Words

Words have the power to not only define, but to create reality – for good or for bad. Too often, we forget the power of words: not only ours, but of God Himself.

power-of-wordsI don’t think it was a coincidence that God spoke the universe into existence, chose to reveal Himself through His spoken Word of scripture, or came to dwell among us as the Word made flesh.

I also don’t think it is a coincidence that God still speaks to us today, or that He has empowered us to speak authoritatively on His behalf.

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Theology and Reality

Miguel Labrador has posted another thought provoking blog, entitled Theology Precedes Practice, Vice Versa, or Something Else?

Keeping Theology and Reality in Balance

In it, he states: “orthodoxy (theology) & orthopraxy (practice) are ‘simultaneous.’” I think he’s right, in the sense that we must seek to keep both in balance – our walk must match our talk, and our talk must match our walk.

Sometimes, however, the Lord allows one or the other – our doctrine or our practice – to be challenged in ways that force us to then adjust the other.

Regardless, it is important to keep them in sync, as much as possible, and not let one get too far ahead of the other.

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Election Postmortem

Election Postmortem

Leading up to Tuesday’s elections here in the United States, I often used this blog and Facebook to urge Christians to vote. (See Does Jesus Want You to Vote?)

When I did, I always got heated push back – mainly from other Christians who oppose Biblical civic engagement.

Generally, they think God is only interested our personal relationships with Him, or that He is solely focused on the Church.

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Postmodern Idolatry

Does God do what is right, or is it right because God does it?

Many think God is subservient or subject to external standards – that He does what is right because there is a higher moral code that even He obeys.

This denies God’s sovereignty, and as a result many today seek to hold Him to the standard of their own sense of right and wrong.

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A Doobie Brothers’ Gospel

Jesus died on the cross because He accepted me, wholly and completely, just as I am…

By His Grace, He Bids Us Come and Die

So I could die to myself in order to accept Him, wholly and completely, just as He is.

This the true Gospel: Accepting me as I am cost Jesus His life, and accepting Him as He is costs me my life in return.

The mystery of the cross is that we die with Him to find new life in Him – but only on His terms.

Yet if you look at social media sites like Facebook, it seems that many Christians only know a Doobie Brothers’ Gospel.

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Balance

The greatest challenge facing the Church today are those who promote truth out of balance:

  • Those who think the Person of Christ can be fractured from His concurrent propositional truths, moral precepts and commands;
     
  • Those who want the vibrancy of the internal Living Word, without submitting all things to the authority and discipline of His written external Word;
     
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Beyond Scripture? (Part 2)

Jesus Loves Me

(An existential version of that favorite childhood song.
I encourage you to have some fun by singing along as you read it.)

Jesus loves me, this I know,
Postmodern grace has made it so.
With His Spirit in my heart,
External truth now has no part.

Chorus:

Did Jesus tell me?
Oh, how can I know?
I feel Jesus told me,
I hope that makes it so.

Additional Verses:

The Bible says that I must go,
Proclaim His Word – oh no no no!
Now existential I’ve become,
‘Cause His commands just leave me numb

My sense of Jesus is true light,
I do not worry what is right.
With my sensibilities,
I do not need moralities.

The Bible’s NOT the Word of God.
My own perceptions earn my nod!
The Jesus I have come to see,
Surprisingly looks just like me.

I only want the Living Word,
The Bible seems just too absurd.
Now I perceive reality,
The way I want it all to be.

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Beyond Scripture? (Part 1)

It is a sign of desperation: Those who indefensibly deny the plenary authority of scripture as the written Word of God inevitably proclaim – when all their other arguments fail – that you are making the Bible your god or elevating the Bible to the level of divinity.

Lost in an Existential Maze of Their Own Creation

Lately, I’ve been hearing this more and more from those who believe their personal narrative and perceptions about Jesus are more authoritative and higher revelation than His written Word.

They proclaim “Christ is All”, but their “all” ignores much of who Christ has revealed Himself to be in scripture. (See The Problem with “All”.)

I do not worship scripture or elevate scripture to the “level of divinity”. I do elevate it to the level of divine authority, because it is the external Word of God Himself – and thus supersedes all subjective claims of personal or private revelation.

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Intercession and Repentance

Our nation’s continuing moral and economic decline, and the growing malaise of our increasingly dysfunctional churches, has caused a renewed focus on intercessory prayer.

Heavy Lifting

Intercession without Repentance Is Not Effective

But intercession without transformational repentance – which Biblically involves changing the way we act by changing the way we think – is seldom effective.

While desperately seeking to touch the heart of God through intercession, few seem willing to do the concurrent hard work of understanding the mind of God. The challenges facing our nation, and our churches, require both.

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The Problem with “All”

Nearly every move of God gets sidetracked when its main leaders fall into the trap of thinking that their own measure of Christ is the full measure of Christ – and thus start promoting their own perspectives and motivations as normative for all.

Truth Out of Balance is Always Precarious

No one person can ever reflect or express the full measure of Christ. Never – even if they started out truly grasping some essential, needed element of His nature, their ministry initially bore much fruit, and they even once transformed the Christian landscape.

Tragically, it often seems that such leaders slowly and subtly shift from sharing their own measure of Christ, to eventually acting as though it is now the full measure of Christ.

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