Dear International House of Prayer in Kansas City:
Critiques come best from friends.
You are rich with potential. You have done so many things that the Church needs. You have kept the flame on the altar. You have not caved to pressure from culture spare one thing.
The Great Commission is not yet complete. The Church is full of corruption and bad teaching, which you yourselves have tried to confront over the past few years. Not every Christian enjoys the convenience of being able to rubber stamp the pulpit. The obligation placed on Christians to “attend anywhere as long as you attend” led them to leaders such as Rob Bell when nothing might have been preferable.
The young preachers, especially over the past few weeks, have been exceptionally sharp-tongued in critiquing so-called “churchless Christians”. Have you not considered that the purpose and the funding of your webstreams depend directly on the idea that there is still more work to be done? · · · →
I get questions and comments once and a while like, “How can you be sure that the Bible is legitimate? How can we know what Jesus actually said? How can the earth be created in only 6 days? The Bible has wisdom, for sure, but I just can’t believe the factual claims.”
I’m giving a very simple answer to this. Questions deserve answers and evidence demands respect.
Firstly, for anyone who asks these questions seriously, who is interested in these ideas—not just looking for a fast excuse to invent personal religion—you need to familiarize yourself with two books: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel and The Evolution Handbook. That should be a good enough start to decide whatever you want.
Responsible research means hearing from credible sources in favor of a belief—not only credible opposition, not only ignorant believers either! There are a lot of Christian idiots out there. · · · →
Eternal Security Debate
The problem with the Eternal Security paradigm is that Christian Eternity was decided when the Book of Life was written. Eternal Security debates, from both sides, assume that a Chrsitian’s Eternity is determined in this lifetime rather than discovered in this lifetime.
Lordship v Grace Theologies
IMHO, nearly all concerns surrounding these topics would be satisfied if we preached a paradigm of a “wise-friend-and-King” view of Jesus. This would mean abandoning any tones of “mostly Lord-ruler” or “mostly friend” views of Jesus, which are unintended, yet consequential from both paradigms of teaching. Little teaching comes from either side concerning the wisdom of God’s commands. This debate surrounds “to should or not to should” in regard to God’s commands, rather than “to be wise or not to be wise” in obeying the good, perfect, and empowering commands from our loving ruler-Creator.
It’s organic. If it has any tax exempt or non-tax exempt status, it may be wonderful, it may be terrible, but it’s not the Church. · · · →
An eBook version of this article is available, free of charge and for your convenience.
If you are a professional pastor or clergy reading this, this is not about you. This is about the system which has worked contrary to all your good goals and dreams for the Body of Christ, which many other Christians hold in common with you. These theses are about the system which holds you and the rest of the Church hostage.
Once the Body of Christ realizes these few, ninety-five truths, along with many other truths much more profound and insightful along the same lines, many carnal elements in the Body of Christ will burn up. Whatever remains after that is the true, pure Church—the fellowship which is not to be, and, by definition, cannot be, abandoned.
I am qualified to make these statements because I have been through the same fire myself.
Preamble: Definition of the Clerical system
The clerical system, since the institution of “bishops” almost 2,000 years ago, is the system which has defined the “local church” as the primary Body of Christ, the fellowship which is considered “not to be forsaken”. · · · →