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CONFINED TO THE KITCHEN? The Lord Doesn’t Put Women in This Box

                    It breaks my heart to see the same worn-out ideas about the “woman’s role” parroted over and over again in source after source. During our recent travels a brother gave me an article, “The Godly Woman’s Role & Influence” by Marlin Kreider (Reaching Out, #69, 2011, Living Waters Mennonite Church, pp.5-6). I would like to deal with several aspects of this article in hopes of helping us discern … [Read more...]

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CHRIST LOVES US, NOT OUR ADORNMENTS!

In the evenings, Dotty and I are reading through Bob Emery's "His Desire Is For Me: The Story of Solomon & the Shulammite -- A 30-Day Devotional & Commentary on the Song of Solomon" (ISBN 9781935265771). In the book, He unfolds numerous parallels between the Song of Songs and Christ and his bride. A few nights ago a statement in the narrative caught my attention -- "My hair was pulled high over my head, revealing my prominent cheekbones. Gazing at them, he commented tenderly, 'Your … [Read more...]

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WHEN ARE WE GOING TO WAKE UP TO REALITY? The Nightmare of the Pastoral Institution

            Mark Galli of Christianity Today has given us another article in a string of many that candidly lays out some serious problems resident in the traditional one-pastor system (August 8, 2011, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/julyweb-only/mostriskyprofession.html?start=1). It is titled, “The Most Risky Profession: Why you need to pray desperately for your pastor.” Notice the near-fatal weaknesses Mark points out in the American … [Read more...]

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Does It All Boil Down to Pulpit & Pew?

    My heart is burdened concerning a phenomenon I've witnessed over and over again. It goes something like this: I would never pursue anything in my personal life in Christ without seeking the Lord for his will, but when it comes to my life together with others in Christ's body I pretty much accept church structures as they are in my community, and don't ask any questions. Many people exert great diligence about the Lord's will in how they live Monday through Saturday, … [Read more...]

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UnInstitutional

We expect the proliferation of institutions and hierarchies in the human realm -- business, government, the military, education. But there is no place for such things in the Lord’s ekklesia because it is not a human organization. It is a spiritual temple whose Builder and Maker is Christ. Probably most of us have been part of some group in school, college, church or society that started out with excitement and verve, but after a period of time ended up in stagnancy and micro-management. The … [Read more...]

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An Important Book for Our Times!

REVISE US AGAIN: Living from a Renewed Christian Script by Frank Viola (David C. Cook, 2011, 174 pages).   This is a singularly refreshing book. Frank tackles some very thorny issues - like how Christians use the phrase "God told me to . . ." - with remarkable candor and wisdom. In the process he corrects the traditional script we have inherited and opens the door for us to express the freedom we have in Christ in a much fuller way. In a vital sense this book is about fleshing out … [Read more...]

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KISS THE SON, NOT ISRAEL!

Most people are not aware that the views about “end times” that they have learned from Bible teachers originated with Irishman John Nelson Darby around 1830. No one in the history of the church had ever held to the view that Darby began to propagate, yet his ideas took root in America by 1870 as a result of his seven visits to this country. His novel doctrine was this: God has two purposes in history – an earthly one for Israel and a heavenly one for the church. This system of thought gave rise … [Read more...]

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AND SHE LEFT THE EMPTY JUG

(Genesis 29; John 1-4) After history has ended, we see in the New Heaven and New Earth a Bride prepared for the Lamb (Rev. 21). Before history began, the Father purposed for Christ the Lamb to be slain to secure the redemption of his Bride. In the opening chapters of John we have a beautiful picture of Jesus finding his Bride in a surprising way. John’s narrative presents the Lord as a New Jacob. When Jesus initially meets Nathanael, he says, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is … [Read more...]