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Do We Need to Detox?

Currently, due to my ongoing battle with cancer, I'm in the process of detoxing from narcotic pain drugs.  When it becomes time to stop taking these type of drugs a person just cannot just stop taking them"cold turkey" as the withdrawal side effects can be very horrendous.  So, I'm in the process of weaning myself off of two of the drugs that were needed earlier in my treatment. 

For those of us with long time church affiliation it just might be a great time to detox from the religious doctrines that we have been taught for many years.  I realize that some might find these words offensive, but my previous statement is totally correct and true.  I've stated in other places that if Paul were able to visit most of today's churches he would be amazed at how far we've strayed from the simplicity and wonder of his initial teaching to the Church of his day.  Please remember that what Paul taught the Church of his day came directly from Jesus Himself.  So, Paul's message of new covenant grace was actually the message of Christ.  Paul's words were actually the Word of God!

So, how do we know if we should detox or not?  A good question!  Here are a few areas that may give us a hint on what our actions should be:

  1. Do I believe that I still am a sinner and still can commit sin?
  2. Do I believe that there are things that I must do in order to please God? ie: pray more, attend church more, tithe more, etc.
  3. Do I believe that God is always angry and that He will snatch away my salvation just as soon as I mess up?
  4. Do I believe that there are things that I must do in order to become holy and righteous?
  5. Do I believe that living a victorious Christian life depends on what I do or don't do?
  6. Do I believe that I must constantly battle the devil, engage in intense spiritual warfare all of the time?
  7. And the list could go on and on, but by now you get the picture!

If you adhere to any of the above list, or any other things that could be added to it, most likely you are a good candidate for detoxing from religion. 

I fully realize that this post will not make some folks very happy.  However, adherence to any of the above is not good for your spiritual life. Actually, it is poisonous to your health.  Just like the narcotic pain killers are poison to my physical health, the religion that most of us have been taught is really poison to our spiritual health!  You may or may not agree with me, I guess that's up to you.  However, I sure would love to have you think about it.  Please....    IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS A VAST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW COVENANTS!

How should you detox?  I'll cover that in the next bog.  In the meantime......Grace and peace! 


Was "It" Easier for Paul Than For Us?

By the word "It" in my title I'm meaning the work of the ministry.  Allow me to explain...

To begin with, Paul was most likely the most important person in the early formation of the Church. If it were not for his sharing the revelations of the new covenant with the early, newly forming Church, most likely the Church would have just been just another extension of Judaism, only with Christ added to it. 

Most people when they read their Bible look at everything that happened as pretty much one fluid event.  That's not the case.  For instance the Book of James, thought to be the first New Testament book written, was actually written prior to Paul bringing the revelations of new covenant grace to Jerusalem and sharing it with James, Peter and the others.  Thankfully they adopted Paul's message!  Yet, I'm certain that if James had written his book after Paul's eye opening revelations, it would read far different than we read it today.  Likewise, Peter.  I'm certain his address to those gathered in the Book of Acts would read far different if he had shared it after Paul's revelations were adopted by the Brethren and the Church. 

Paul is the key figure God used in bringing the Church into the fullness of Christ's finished works!  Paul did indeed have his enemies, primarily the Jewish leagalizers of his day who constantly dogged his tracks, trying to bring his new converts back under the Law of Moses. 

So why would I think that Paul's work of the ministry was easier than ours.  Well, if you truly believe and teach what Paul taught then the obstacles to your ministry are far more numerous than Paul's.  Some might say that they adhere to Paul's teaching yet if they would teach that there are things that people should do in order to become holy they ARE NOT teaching Paul's Gospel.  If they teach that people still commit sin and must repent to find God's favor they ARE NOT teaching Paul's Gospel! 

Therefore you see that today many, maybe most, churches are not really teaching Paul's Gospel.  Ouch!  I am totally convinced that if Paul were to come back to life and attend most churches on any given Sunday morning, he would have a "hissy fit!"  Friends, we've strayed from the Gospel that Paul taught!  We've strayed a long ways from it!  If you teach what I teach you have many standing in the wings totally ready to bring criticism as for hundreds of years the Church has abandoned the true message of new covenant grace and has brought a mixture of law into the pure message of Jesus Christ.  It's sad.  I actually feel that the Church of today is pretty messed up!  Many Believers are being ship wrecked as a result with many actually abandoning the ministry of the Institutional Church.

All is not lost however, as God is once again releasing wonderful revelations of grace and those who are open to these revelations are experiencing life changing events as they learn to rest in the finished works of Christ.  Friends true Christianity is simple.  Religion has made it hard.  I'm discovering that this is a slow process and most likely will not be completed in my lifetime.  However, I'm sold out to do what ever I can in order to bring the Church back to where She should be, that is living in the fullness of God's new covenant grace, going on to all God intends Her to be.  After all, we are "the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus."  That's the way He made us to be and that's who we shall truly be!  Glory!

Grace and peace!


God Wants Us To Feel Bad About Ourselves....Really?

Several weeks ago, someone from another part of Florida posted on a local Facebook ads page something like this: "I'm moving into Citrus County, FL soon and I'm looking for a church.  Any suggestions?"

Well, the comments began flowing immediately.  Church attendees all over our community began posting about their church, how happy they were and how this person would love attending their church. I kinda felt that this was a good thing.  However, then some began writing about what they wanted for a church and I began to become bewildered.  Some of those comments were really eye opening.  I was amazed by how deceived many church people really are in regards to what kind of a church they attend. Those comments would make a good blog some day!

I don't want to get into the weeds in regards to those goofy comments, other than to just mention a few thoughts; like...."Our church preaches only from the King James Bible," or..."Our pastor tells it like it is; he steps on our toes once in awhile."  Some told how their church takes a strong stand against sin and that people are encouraged to live holy lives and the list could go on and on.  There must have been way over 100 comments like this.  Again, I was amazed by how ignorant people are about what the true Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Church really is!

Actually, the entire thread was so messed up by all of the religious mumbo jumbo that I felt like abandoning the entire thing.  These comments most likely could have turned the honest seeker completely off, that is unless they too were of a very religious, legalistic mindset.

There were a few very anti-grace comments too.  Of course they really piqued my interest. I eventually did jump into the fray by posting our church's website: www.ncgrace.com  If you should choose to check out our site you will notice that our mission is for people to leave our services feeling better about themselves than when they arrived. 

Well, a very legalistic gentleman responded to my posting the website and began berating me about our mission.  He told me in no uncertain terms that what we have as a purpose and goal of our church is completely wrong.  That we are ignoring the true Gospel and teachings of Jesus.  Instead of our goal we should be telling people to stop sinning, to begin to live holy lives, to obey the teachings of Jesus thus keeping the law.....and on and on he went.  He eventually suggested that the teaching of our church is blasphemy and called me a heretic.  Of course this is nothing new for me!  However, I felt bad for this guy.  He was so religious in his thinking that he couldn't see straight!

So, I concluded through this exchange that God really wants us to feel bad about ourselves when we attend church!  Sorry to say, that is exactly how some feel after they leave their church service.  Sad!!!

Well, the truth is that God has given us His Gospel to lift us up, to bless us....yes to actually make us feel good about ourselves.  Listen, when we understand all that Christ did for us and how great God's love is for us, we can't do anything other than to feel good about ourselves.  And guess what?  People who feel good about themselves, like I'm talking about are no longer sinners!  They actually begin to live lives that match what God has actually created them to be!

Yes, when people attend our church, they don't get the "sinner's stink eye (As one guy described it), but instead they are told over and  over that they are holy and righteous and that God loves them, without measure, that He will never abandon them, no matter what!  People who feel good about themselves actually, eventually become who God says they are.  After all, they (we all) are THE RIGHTEOUS OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS!  Call me a heretic if you want, but what I've share with you is the pure, true Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Glory!

Grace and peace!