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Take Your Church Back

Preaching as we experience in church is 99% always a monologue. This is the opposite of how Jesus taught. Jesus taught using dialogue. Even the Greek word διαλεγομένου which is primarily translated to preach is used when Paul was ministering in Acts 20:9. διαλεγομένου actually can mean to converse, or to have a dialogue.

Why then has the church for the majority of its existence use monologues?
1. Keeps the lay man in their place.
2. To distinguish between clergy and laity.
3. Power.
4. Control.
5. Money.

Obviously in our day of large congregations it would be difficult to have a congregation that conducted a constructive dialogue about God or a certain biblical subject.

Our churches are too big! Let’s keep them between 12-20 people. A group that can meet together share a meal and fellowship in each others homes. A place in which all are priest of God. The leader will be the one who serves the most. If the group get too big it is divided into another group. Not only is this how Jesus taught it has tremendous benefits.

1.No cost.
2. No paid clergy.
3. Everyone shares their homes and food.
4. People learn more through engagement.
5. No large buildings to take care of.
6. No exspensive projects to incorporate.

This is essentially about taking church back from the “chosen” few, and placing it back in the hands of the church.

Church Without Borders

Is it possible to truly have a church without borders?  Borders; why are they built within every congregation who claims to know the will of God?  Borders separate would be people of like mind; they divide families and friends, and discourage asking the question of why the borders exist.  The borders are the man made doctrines and dogmas of the church.  What exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of himself?  “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34, NIV)  Did Jesus take delight in the fact that people would be divided because of him?  If you continue to read the text Jesus points out in verse 36 the very members of a household will become enemies.  The overall question is what kind of warning is this?  Is Jesus saying that border walls are good and that his teachings will cause divisions?  Or, does Jesus foresee the outcome of human error and our ability to create division over teachings as we all try to be right?  It is an undeniable fact that we have seen the madness of the Christian faith over the last 2 thousand years, the division it has caused and the lives destroyed.  Maybe, just maybe Jesus desired not to cause division, rather an unavoidable human consequence.    

What then can the church look like to fix our divisive nature?  Thankfully I may have the answer.  We must remove all doctrines and dogma except for two teachings; first, Christ as the incarnate son of God who lived, died, and was resurrected. Second the teaching of the Apostle Paul found in 1 Corinthians 13, which gives us the definition of love.  Every other teaching then must be able to pass the love test.  All then is permitted and all is forbidden. Absolutely everyone is accepted in God’s eternal love.  Think of all of the social issues of today which divide the church.  These social issues would be no more as we would not recognize them as issues within our body of Christ.  All is truth, and all is lie.  What remains is God’s eternal love.  With humility and introspection we live out our lives in peace.  We accept all people.  There would not be a need to argue over theological interpretation for each person has the ability to interpret for themselves and then give this same authority to their fellows in respect of their own knowledge.  The leaders among us will be those who serve the most as appointed leadership will not be beneficial.  We will lead one another in humility as we are all ordained priest of God.  We will gather to break bread, and our fellowship will be without major ritual that causes some to place someone on a higher level than another. Worship through song, prayer, and conversation. 

Humanity cannot find God because humanity is looking up instead of looking within and around.  Humanity as a whole is the very essence of God.  A church cannot be divided.  A church divided is not a church.  A body cut in half is not able to function and is dead.  The body of Christ is resurrected and full of life; this body is you.  As you know we live in very divisive times, my heart is drawn as a Christian to present Godly answers to the issues we face.  What if we stopped allowing issues to be issues and allowed ourselves to be happy?  Politics are ruining the church in America, social justice is ignored by the majority in favor of a theology lacking in love and morally bankrupt.  Many Christians seek signs and wonders, yet Jesus said you will not see any sign but that of Jonah.  The sign then that people need to see is you.  Be the resurrection, be the life to your fellows.  I believe we can have a church without borders if we just take ourselves out of the way.      

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Let Us Reason Together

With the vast amount of polarization which has infested the country I believe that we need to be committed to introspection.  It is my observation those who consider themselves both progressive and conservative are spiritually sick.  First and foremost, I need to repent of my own spiritual decay.  While I believe that the church needs to be at the forefront of social justice, I would suggest we do not take things to extremes.  We can push beyond what the population desires and instead we receive a backlash from conservative society that has taken the form of our current president.  Similarly, conservatives need to be aware of real issues that face the nation.  If you claim to be a Christian and take the words of Jesus with any sense of sincerity you cannot be a nationalist who is only looking to make America great again.  Our goal is to make ourselves great again, to help make our neighbor great again, and for them to help us in our endeavor.

Our theology could be at the root cause of our problems.  Generally, we all think that we know God, his agenda, or if he is even a he.  We need to pray, meditate, and search our souls.  I am not going to tell you what you should believe, or not believe, except one thing.  That one thing which will unite us to him and to each other is love.  Love allows for all things to be possible.  Love allows for each person’s opinions to be heard and for each person to try to understand each person’s side.  What must not be compromised is the acceptance of the opposite of love, which is hate.

Finally, as divisive as the issues are.  As angry as they make us.  As much as we want to scream and fight; we must decide how much.  It may be better to allow your spiritual disciplines to help control our human emotions.  To seek within instead of constantly pushing and fighting.  To allow ourselves not to look at this as an “us vs. them” and instead understand that we are all apart of the body of Christ.  To understand that we just do not know, and probably never will, yet we do have the capability known through the scriptures; love.  Living out love is Christianity.  Jesus was love and so shall we be.  That is all we really know. 

The reality is that humans are like fish in a pond.  Occasionally, we may take a leap out of the water and for a split second we see this unknown we then decide to interpret this unknown world and build a philosophy around it.  Each spiritual leader who has taken those split second jumps out of the water then interpret the unknown in different ways; this then creates the world as we currently know it.  I think that it is important to understand that Jesus broke things down very simply.  We in the human incarnation cannot under any circumstances understand the full nature of God.  If God was to speak to us and tell us the mysteries of the universe, we would not understand it.  It would be like a physicist trying to explain the laws of nature to an orange.  No matter what we do we will never get the orange to understand. 

I hope this helps; God bless!  Please Share.                         

The Backyard Preacher Podcast # 163 (You are not successful, you are lucky.)

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You are not successful, you are lucky.

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TBP # 162 Masculinity

The Backyard Preacher Podcast # 161 W.W.J.D. -Corporations

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TBP # 161 W.W.J.D. Corporations

The Backyard Preacher # 160 W.W.J.D. – Abortion

Nate continues with his W.W.J.D. series.  Nate takes on probably the most controversial subject in all of Christendom; that would be abortion.  What would Jesus do when faced with abortion?    

The Backyard Preacher # 160 W.W.J.D. – Abortion

The Backyard Preacher Podcast # 158

Nate is using the classic 90’s “What would Jesus Do” For the next few podcast.  In this episode Nate talks about borders, an issue of hot debate and an issue that is currently keeping the United States Government shutdown.  Listen up and prepare to be offended!

The Backyard Preacher Podcast # 158 “W.W.J.D. Borders”