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PAY UP — OR NO SACRAMENTS FOR YOU!

Newspaper Arrticle--JZ

PAY UP -- OR NO SACRAMENTS FOR YOU! Constantine is still alive and well on planet earth. Here's a blatant example of how carnal things get in religion when State & Church are joined together. It also illustrates graphically what religion is all about -- fear and control. The "laity" are told by those in power -- if you don't cough up your tithe, the vital religious rituals we provide for you (wherein salvation is found) will be withheld. Basically, it's "pay up or perish." These kind of … [Read more...]

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“UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY EKKLESIA” — Carving Out Church Structures in the Rockscape of Cappadocia

Caves_of_God_-_Cappadocia_desert

Imagine living in a cave in the stark desert of what is now central Turkey, and having cathedral-like structures in close proximity to your dwelling. Well, believe it or not, that was a way of life for many religious people in Cappadocia from roughly A.D. 600 to A.D. 1200. Cappadocia is a barren, lunar-like environment, with cone-shaped rocks jutting up from the landscape. The area is mentioned several times in the New Testament, and Paul visited here on his third journey. Spiro Kostof … [Read more...]

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MEGA-CHURCH LEFT WITHOUT A PASTOR —THE DEACONS ARE IN FOR A LONG NIGHT!

OPEN DOORS FEATURE

In August 2011 I did a blog on “When Are We Going to Wake Up to Reality? The Nightmare of the Pastoral Institution.” Welcome to Part Two! First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, had 15,000 people come to its weekend services, and claimed 40,000 members. This growth had come primarily as a result of the pastor’s leadership and charisma over the past eleven years. But just like that, the pastor is dismissed, and now the deacons are crawling into bed tonight with sweat rolling down their … [Read more...]

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The Good Works Epi: A Revealing of Christ in Eph. 2:10

Artist's rendition of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.

  The NIV translates Eph. 2:10 as, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This translation can easily lead to misunderstanding. The text does not appear to say anything about works “to do.” Let’s look at Paul’s flow of thought. In verse 6, he points out that we have been co-resurrected with Christ and co-seated in the heavenlies with Him. These glorious realities result in God’s excelling riches of grace … [Read more...]

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Questions with Jon Zens

Sheep Grazing in Scotland

Questions with Jon Zens By Nick Mackison, Scotland I recently sent Jon Zens a list of questions related to organic/house church issues. He kindly responded and I have his permission to print his answers here (in bold throughout). Dear Jon, Over the last year or so, I’ve become convinced of the biblical basis of the organic church espoused in much of your writings (along with those of Frank Viola and Steve Atkerson). JZ: The phrase “organic church” itself needs some important … [Read more...]

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UNINSTITUTIONAL 2

Ekklesia, DaytonOH

Introduction Jesus simply cannot be institutionalized. He said the Spirit is like wind. You can’t put wind in a box and make it happen. Inherent in wind is freedom. The only image that really captures reality is Vine-branches, organic relationships.... Visible Christianity is trying to serve an organic Jesus in non-organic structures. Is it any wonder that things work out like they say in the commercials –”your results may vary” — “some assembly required” — “batteries not included.” On … [Read more...]

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“WHAT GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS?”

Crucible_Witch-hunt_Salem_MA_1692

                In 2011, I was substitute teaching in a high school English class. That day, the lesson plan for one class called for a section of Act 2 of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible to be read aloud. This is a fictionalized historical play that takes place in late 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, concerning the infamous Witch Trials. Tucked away in the dialogue are some very striking points concerning the outworkings of … [Read more...]

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HUMBLE PIE, ANYONE?

arguing-people

“Who being in very nature God . . . made Himself nothing . . . humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2) ================================================================================= “It is so amazing to see how quickly pride in one person can quench the spirit of others (even multitudes are ultimately affected and influenced). How my heart aches for God's glory to manifested -- and it will be -- as we walk in humility towards one another – … [Read more...]

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N.T. Wright Interview

I would like to encourage you to read the following interview with N.T. Wright: N.T. Wright Interview: “Simply Jesus” & Wright Responds to Critics Click this link to read the unedited interview: http://frankviola.org/2012/01/23/ntwright … [Read more...]

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The Body With One Part?

Pulpit_-_Word_Font

                In answer to the question, “Why don't women ever read or pray in Bethlehem's church services?” John Piper answered in part: But the real question, I think, they're asking is about the prayers of praise, the reading of the text, and the preaching, and none of those the women do at Bethlehem. And that is intentional. My reason is because—not that others have to see it this way—I view  that moment and that place in … [Read more...]