What is gnosticism? Gnosticism is literally, “the cult based on special, personal knowledge.” The apostle Paul specifically warned against this kind of division, which has spawned several very large Christian-like religions, dozens of very closed denominations, and hundreds or thousands of small sects. Each of these groups claims some “special personal knowledge,” which they have and you do not, which makes them more acceptable to God than you, and which keeps them separate from you. In the last month, I talked to Continue reading Gnosticism and the altar of special knowledge in the church today
Don’t speak evil against one another Never before in the history of the world have Christians needed these exhortations as much as they need them right now. Never before has it been so easy to speak evil against each other on Twitter, Facebook, and Whatsapp. Never before has it been so easy to speak evil against each other by phone, SMS, or IM. Never before has the world been so polarized and politicized and religiouscized to speak evil against each other. As Continue reading Do not speak evil against one another
The struggle of mankind’s plans versus God’s plans has affected history for thousands of years and it is affecting us today. The church is God’s creation and workmanship. It is eternal in nature and too big to become the exclusive province of one group of partisans. Why not be big and wise enough to see this? Rehoboam and Jeroboam divided the Kingdom of Israel The division has lasted about 3,000 years. But, God is not impressed! It hasn’t changed his plans. Continue reading Mankind has divided and conquered! God is not impressed.
Jesus warned against hypocritical groups who try to have godliness through their own rules and regulations above the commandments of God and setting their own rulers above the Holy Spirit in the lives of their congregation… Jesus told them, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites in Scripture: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is pointless, because their teachings are rules made by humans.’ “You abandon the commandments of God Continue reading A form of godliness (show of religion, piety, holiness, outward righteousness)
A father adopted a dozen children from different countries, from different tribes, and from different kindred. He loved them all and they all loved him and they all loved each other. Two or three were more scholastic than the others. Two or three were more athletic than the others. Two or three were more musical than the others. Two or three were more travelers than the others. Two or three were more homebodies than the others. They all loved each Continue reading A modern-day parable of a father and his adopted children
The Bible describes 2 different religious rituals of circumcisions. The first is the physical circumcision as a visible sign of the Old Testament covenant between God and Abraham (and all of Abraham’s descendants), which is not required for salvation. The second is a spiritual circumcision, which was preached, prophesied, and practiced in the Hebrew scriptures. Spiritual circumcision is required for salvation. If you are surprised or offended, I hope you will be like the noble Berean’s, who “received the word with all readiness of Continue reading Is circumcision required for salvation?
We realize this is a natural tendency of human nature to distinguish between “us” and “them.” This is sectarian. It grows into a doctrine of sectarianism. From the first man, Adam—who wanted God to know that he wasn’t as bad as his wife (Genesis 3:12)—all the way to you and me, pride wants us to exalt ourselves by humbling other people. As usual God wants it to be the other way around.
There are 3 different perspectives among Christianity. Part of each perspective is absolutely true. But, as always, the truth is more nuanced and more complicated than any one of these individual perspectives. We will try to present the perspectives and leave it between you and the Holy Spirit to lead your conscience to make choices for your situation.
This little verse has caused more fighting, more division, and more heartache than almost any other verse… Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3) There are Christian groups teaching it is your responsibility, it is your work, and it is your endeavor that makes the unity in this verse. These groups teach unity is the result of correct doctrine, the result of correct walk, and the result of correct practices. Therefore, they teach, you have Continue reading What about keeping unity?