Friday, August 29, 2014

[Subversive Radio] Round Table: Cole, Zens, Montgomery, Williamson


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ROUND TABLE DIALOG: What are some common misconceptions about House Church and What makes a House Church work?

Join Herb Montgomery, Jon Zens, Neil Cole and Kent Williamson in our first ever Round Table Discussion about House Church and Organic Church.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How To Fight Like A Christian



Know your Enemy.

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." - (1 Peter 5:8)

Understand who is NOT your enemy.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." - (Eph. 6:12)

Know your weapons.

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." - (2 Cor. 10:4)

Understand your mission.


“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” – (Matt. 5:44-45)

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.” – (Luke 6:27-29)
Wear your armor.

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." - (Eph. 6:11)

Understand the nature of your struggle

"If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer." - (2 Cor. 1:6)

Be confident.

"No weapon formed against you shall prosper" -(Isaiah 54:17)

Understand your covert strategy.

"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." - (Matthew 10:16)

Claim the victory.

“…I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." - (Matthew 16:18)

Summary:

No human being is your enemy.

Your warfare involves prayer, love, and becoming a blessing to those who hate you.

Lives may be lost in this battle, and your own life is most certainly one of them.

If blood must be shed it must be your own.

You must look out for the well-being of your fellow-soldiers, and your enemy.

You are a sheep, not a wolf. Trust in your Shepherd for protection.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

[Subversive Radio] What's So Great About Constantine?


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Join our host Keith Giles as he interviews Christian Historian Al Baker.
Keith and Al will take different sides in the discussion about Constantine's influence on the Christian faith, as well as the legitmacy of his conversion experience and his understanding of what it meant to be a "Christian".
ABOUT AL BAKER:
After serving as a university pastor for 14 years, Al Baker moved his family to Scotland where he did his Ph.D. work.  Al holds a Ph.D. from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. His doctoral focus was on early church history in general, the spirituality of Clement of Alexandria in particular.  
Dr. Baker was on the faculty of Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh NC for 6 years, serving as the interim Chair of the Philosophy and Religion department in his final year. He taught Church History and Intro to Philosophy along with a few other Religious Studies classes. 
In 2005 he started writing and publishing the web site Church History 101. The site has had over 350,000 unique visitors.  He has written several papers that are used in church history classes around the USA:
"Introduction to Gnostic Texts"
"How the New Testament Canon was Formed"
"Wine in the Ancient World"
to name the three most prominent.
In 2012 he turned his attention to Emperor Constantine and has dedicated 2014 and 2015 to the study of this important early church figure...and this, of course, is what led to Keith and Al meeting over the internet, exchanging numerous e-mails in discussion and fairly polite debate, and finally to this blog interview. 
Al is the author of the book, "A Concise History of the Christian Church" which is available here:
http://www.churchhistory101.com/concise-history-ebook.php?source=promo


Read more: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/subversive-radio/2014/08/27/whats-so-great-about-constantine#ixzz3BYPdB02z

[Subversive Radio] Round Table Discussion


LISTEN: ORGANIC CHURCH ROUND TABLE ON THURSDAY, 8/28/14, AT 6:30 PM (PST).
 
Join Jon Zens, Herb Montgomery, Kent C. Williamson, Neil Cole, and host Keith Giles for an hour long discussion about:
*House
Church
*Christian Nonviolence
*The Gospel of the Kingdom
*Hierarchy in the Christian Church...
*Israel and the Church
*Early Christian History
*Constantinian Christianity
*and more!

Listen live at Subversive Radio on BlogTalkRadio or call in live to ask questions and share your own thoughts at:
CALL-IN (646) 652-4945

 

GUEST POST: "Beautiful Feet" by Vilbert Vallence




"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news." Isaiah 52:7.

Feet are not the most noticed or the most pampered features of our body. They don't attract as much attention as the face or the hands. Yet Isaiah describes them as beautiful.

Paul shows his agreement with this by quoting Isaiah's words in Romans 10:15. They speak of the feet of the messengers of good news.

This is not true in the literal sense. In the Bible we see Jeremiah thrown into a cistern where his feet sank into the mud.( Jer. ch.37). John the Baptist, Peter, Paul and Silas were imprisoned and their feet chained or put in stocks. This must have left unsightly marks on their ankles and feet. Later when Peter was crucified upside down his feet were nailed to a cross.

Church history relates the lives of many Christians who were tortured, burnt or thrown to wild animals. Their feet were maimed and mangled, but not beautiful, though they were heralds of God's love and peace. Sadhu Sundar Singh who became a Christian after seeing a vision of Christ was known as "the apostle with the bleeding feet" as he walked far and wide bare footed to spread Christ's message. Mother Teresa's feet were 'calloused and twisted' as she went helping the sick and dying and unwanted on the roads of Kolkata often with ill fitting shoes.

Some could not even use their feet. Sarah Tucker was a cripple and never moved out of her house. Hearing of the condition of women in India through her missionary brother John Tucker she mobilized the churches in England to help educate Indian girls. Sarah Tucker College in Palayamkottai stands as a monument to her. It is the first women's college in Southern India. Amy Carmichael who founded the Dohnavur Fellowship to rescue and shelter girls sold into flesh trafficking, was for the last twenty years of her life confined to a wheelchair because of an accident. Many such instances can be quoted of useless or scarred feet in the service of God.

It is interesting to note that both Isaiah and Paul extol the feet and not the mouth of the messengers. It is the mouth that confesses the salvation got for us by Jesus and proclaims the good news to others. In general evangelists and preachers are good orators. Why are the feet then given more importance and praised? In Ephesians ch. 6 where God's armour for the Christian is given Paul speaks of the "feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace". It is the willingness and readiness of the messenger that is highlighted.

From the Old Testament prophets to the present day missionaries many pairs of willing feet have gone to places near and far taking the message of salvation.

At the Last Supper Jesus washed the feet of the disciples not only to cleanse them but also to strengthen, sanctify and prepare them for the long and arduous journeys they will have to make for the sake of the gospel. The Ascension is the last event in Christ's earthly life. Pictures of this event show Jesus being received above into the clouds while His feet with the nail prints point downwards, perhaps a reminder to the surprised disciples to use their feet" to go into all the world and preach the gospel".

The most beautiful feet belonged to Jesus. He willingly and eagerly walked the length and breadth of Judea from temple to house, from narrow paths to wide roads, on the seashore, even over the sea and on the hillsides with words of forgiveness and peace in His mouth and healing in His hands. Finally His feet took Him to Calvary to be nailed to the cross, but the feet crushed the Serpent's head. If we are to follow Jesus we must have willing feet like Him ready to love and serve. Then our feet will be beautiful in the sight of God and our whole life will be something beautiful for God.

"Oh, let me see Your footprints,

And in them plant mine own;

My hope to follow duly

Is in Your strength alone."
( by John E Bpde)


“Lord God, make me an encourager not a grumbler.

Lord, when I meet someone

Open my vision that I may see beyond their limitations to their potential

Open my lips that I may speak a word of praise and encouragement

Lord may they develop into the people that You would have them be, Amen."

( David C Morley)

Article by Rev. Vilbert Vallance
Pastoral Care
Bangalore Baptist Hospital
India

Sunday, August 24, 2014

[Subversive Radio] House Church and the Coming End Times Persecution

Current Religion Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Subversive Radio on BlogTalkRadio
House Church is often seen as practice for the time when Christians will be forced to "go underground" when the Anti-Christ rises up and forces people to take the Mark of the Beast. But, what if all of that never happens? Is there any other reason to participate in an Organic Church? Listen as host Keith Giles explains why this futurist view of Revelation and the Olivet Discourse have nothing to do with why you should consider gathering as a member of the holy priesthood with Christ as the Head of His Church.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Things I Don't Believe Anymore



We have a saying in our house church family: "Everyone is in process."

This means that we have accepted the idea that different people are at different places in their Christian walk, and that because of this we do not all agree on every little point of doctrine.

It also means that, over time, our views and beliefs are subject to change and to develop as we live life, study scripture, and learn to hear the voice of God more clearly.

As a result, there are things that I used to believe a few years ago that I now no longer hold to be true. Here are just a few of those beliefs that I no longer believe:

Tithing - The New Testament does not teach tithing for Christians. Historically the Christian church did not teach it and waited until 777 AD under Charlemagne to institute an official mandate for tithing (in order to support a professional clergy class which arose from a shift during the reign of Constantine). That's a long time to go before recognizing the tithe in the New Testament church. So, what did the Christian church teach and practice before that?

Read about that here:
Why Oh Why Does The Church Tithe?

Immortal Souls - I used to stand up and proclaim that every human alive is already immortal. The only question is where they will spend their eternity. Now I completely reject that notion of defacto human immortality of the soul. Mainly because we have so many scriptures all through the Bible that proclaim that those who have Christ have life and those that do not have Christ do not have life. Or that those who reject Christ will die, or be destroyed, or perish, etc.

Read more about what changed my mind here:
Mortal Souls

Eternal Suffering In Hell - Since I don't accept the inherent eternal existence of human souls, I also reject the idea that the doctrine of eternal suffering in hell is taught by the scriptures. The Christian church, from the beginning, always had 3 different perspectives on the eternal fate of non-believers. Some believed that they would suffer for a time and then be destroyed. Others believed that they would suffer for a time and then receive the opportunity for redemption. Lastly, a small minority believed that they would suffer forever in flames of fire. The majority view was actually the idea that suffering was temporary followed by an opportunity for salvation.

Learn more about the three views of hell here:
What We Should Believe About Hell

Blessing the Nation of Israel - For years I affirmed the notion that America must "bless Israel" or God would curse our nation. Now I understand that the New Testament teaches that Jesus is the true Israel, and that only those in Christ are the Israel of God. Those who reject Christ as Messiah (and that would be Jewish people in the nation of Israel today) are called "anti-christ" by the New Testament. Jesus himself says that those who reject Him also reject God the Father.

I also learned that this view is about as old as the Mormon cult which started the same year (1830) and was invented by a guy named Darby. This new teaching is called "Dispensationalism" and no Christian before 1830 believed it.

I've written more about this here:
Bless Israel?
Galatians 3:16

A Futurist View of Prophecy - Once upon a time I believed whole-heartedly the Dispensational view that Matthew 24 and Revelation are about events in the future that will precede the return of Christ. Now I read those passages very differently and I am convinced that they are speaking largely about the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, not about some future events that must take place in the Middle East before Christ can return.

Learn more here:
Jesus the Prophet

What beliefs do you no longer hold true? Please share in the comments below.

-kg

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

[Subversive Radio] Dan Notti: Authentic Christian Community


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Dan Notti knows a lot more about Christian Community than anyone I know. Listen in as Dan and I discuss his ongoing blog and workshop called "Authentic Community" to learn more about what Christians can do to encourage true Christian community, and what we can stop doing to discourage community, in our church family.

Monday, August 18, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Your Biggest Mistake?



Our question of the week is all about making mistakes.

"What Did You Learn From Your Biggest Mistake?”

I'll share mine on Friday, but I'd love to hear what you learned from your biggest mistake.

Post your response in the comments below!