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BETHANY TODAY!

Bethany 02-13

I've known Frank Viola, my friend and brother in Christ, for many years. Our close friendship has continued to grow in the love and depths of Jesus Christ as we work together. It is an understatement to say that Father blessed my life with Frank. It seems that the more I know Frank, the more I am focused upon Christ and His body. Father has used Frank to unveil the glorious riches and heavenly treasures of Christ in each person within His body. Christ in Frank remains to be a powerful example to … [Read more...]

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ALL THE WORLD WAS CREATED IN, THROUGH AND FOR CHRIST: GUESS WHO’S IN CHARGE?

Deborah the prophetess under her palm tree judging Israel (painting by Charles Landelle, 1901)

One of the most fundamental misunderstandings, in what calls itself church, is the notion that somebody in the church – usually the pastor – has to be “in charge.” Jesus taught just the opposite. He made it clear that He was in charge, and each person in His body on earth has a unique Spirit-driven contribution to make for the building up of the ekklesia. Closely linked to the mistaken idea that there has to be one leader, where the buck stops, is the tradition that males are to have center … [Read more...]

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CHRIST EXALTED (Kat Huff & Frank Viola)

YET by Kat Huff More often than not, I find myself reaching, searching the heights, and my thoughts appear to fumble upon my tiny words, such minuscule and inadequate words. Even so, these mere words somehow seem to be a bit further than the scope of my present apprehension, so it is a great understatement to say, that with assured confidence that this unfathomable indwelling Christ transcends all theories, from the known impossibilities to the limits of all possible imaginations. The … [Read more...]

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UPON THE GROUND OF MEN?

MEN MAN HIS HIM HE FEATURE

UPON THE GROUND OF MEN? The seemingly endless versions of words that oppose other versions of words in the myriad of Bible translations, gave me thought as to why this is happening, even today. A variant multitude of Bible translations exists, each with their name and individual trademark upon their version of the Bible. The reason for this should be more than obvious to us. It is because of the many opinions of the various words that are used to express what each of the translation’s authors … [Read more...]

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“IF ______ WINS, AMERICA WILL GO DOWN THE TOILET” The Samo-Samo Again

Barry_Godwater_-_New_Yorker_photo copy

I remember well in 1964 when Barry Goldwater was running against somebody. Scott Chesley and Anita Anderson (Howard) had come to my door in Canoga Park, California, and presented the “Romans Road” to me. That was the first time I’d really heard anything from the Bible, and I was 19 then. After a week’s worth of meetings with Major Ed Bundy of the Church League of America, I ended up being increasingly involved in Faith Baptist Church, a fundamentalist Baptist church in Canoga Park, pastored … [Read more...]

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REASON #3 WHY CHRIST IS SILENCED IN MANY CHURCHES

The Pastor Has No Clothes, by Jon Zens

I don’t know what reasons #1 and #2 are, but I know this one ranks way up there. As Frank Viola pointed out in Reimagining Church, there is one source that for sure impedes God’s purposes in Christ – human traditions. One tradition that has a stranglehold in most of what calls itself “church” is the notion that the buck stops with “the pastor.” This so-called “office” is, as was unfolded in chapter five of Pagan Christianity, the biggest “obstacle to every-member functioning.” As this all works … [Read more...]

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FRAGILE, by Jon Zens

JZ__Thinking_By_A_Tree_1964_pen_and_ink copy

FRAGILE mark i always assumed you were strong impregnable thinking you stood like granite in the swirling storms then you told me on the phone In 1985 that you were crushed doubting hurting dismayed it took me a few days to really believe that you were fragile too but as time elapsed i began to see that my wife and daughters and son are fragile like vases that can slip off the shelf and shatter we’re all like flowers whose delicate petals can be torn off with … [Read more...]

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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...]