Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Playdough Scripture Luke 10:1-11

"After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. But before you go, spend a few years in academic Bible training. Then ensure you have financial support in place... "When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. "When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.'

Luke 10:1-11 (Playdough Version)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Should Pastors be paid a Salary

I recognize the divisive nature of this question. And I struggle with even asking it. But I want to highlight this question as it relates to my 7th point in my 95 Thesis series - the use of the Bible as a magic 8 ball. We don't look to the Bible to debate if workers at Christian radio stations, bookstores, or publishing companies should receive wages. So maybe we can discuss whether paying pastors a salary is good practice using other sources to guide the discussion?

What concerns me here is how people attempt to prove a position by finding a few verses yet overlook context and and skip other related passages.

Let's look at some verses used to support the position that pastors should be paid a salary. For example this link here uses two passages to support their 'yes' position to this question:

1 Timothy 5:17-18
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages." (NIV)
I first note that Paul is talking about elders here. I'm not certain elder means pastor, and I haven't been in a 'church' where all elders where paid a salary.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chocolate Covered Christ Follower

Luke 14:25-34 bothers me.  This passage is tough to understand.  I wish it wasn't so harsh.

Luke 14:25-35 (NIV)
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
I don't want to hate my father, mother, sister, wife, children and myself.  I sometimes wish I could hate my enemies, but this.... ?

I wish Jesus had simply said, "Make me a priority in your life.  Sure you can love lots of other things, just make sure you love me too. "

I want to follow Jesus, but do I need to take up a cross, does there need to be sacrifice?

Do I need to be salty?  I prefer sweets.  Can't I be a chocolate covered Christ follower?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gospel of the kingdom in Romans

I want to take a fresh look at Romans.  Is 'the gospel' in Romans different than the gospel of the kingdom, or gospel of heaven that Jesus and his disciples preached in 'the gospels'?

Gospel appears 12 times in Romans, first in chapter 1 verse 1.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (Rom 1:1-5)

A quick scan of the next 11 hits does not give a verse that gives a full definition for 'the gospel'.  Unless your definition of 'the gospel' is 'Jesus is the gospel'.... which I think is true at many levels.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Didache on paying prophets and apostles

I've read this a few times, and I don't understand it... I really don't know what to make of it.

2 Chapters from the Didache, or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles 50 - 120 A.D.

Chapter 11. Concerning Teachers, Apostles, and Prophets. Whosoever, therefore, comes and teaches you all these things that have been said before, receive him. But if the teacher himself turns and teaches another doctrine to the destruction of this, hear him not. But if he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. But concerning the apostles and prophets, act according to the decree of the Gospel. Let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord. But he shall not remain more than one day; or two days, if there's a need. But if he remains three days, he is a false prophet. And when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread until he lodges. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet. And every prophet who speaks in the Spirit you shall neither try nor judge; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. But not every one who speaks in the Spirit is a prophet; but only if he holds the ways of the Lord. Therefore from their ways shall the false prophet and the prophet be known. And every prophet who orders a meal in the Spirit does not eat it, unless he is indeed a false prophet. And every prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet. And every prophet, proved true, working unto the mystery of the Church in the world, yet not teaching others to do what he himself does, shall not be judged among you, for with God he has his judgment; for so did also the ancient prophets. But whoever says in the Spirit, Give me money, or something else, you shall not listen to him. But if he tells you to give for others' sake who are in need, let no one judge him.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My 95 Thesis - Point 7 - Magic 8 Ball

Here's my 7th Point in My 95 Theses.

Does the Bible give clear answers on all issues?

There is a tendency in Christian circles to try to find answers to every question in the pages of Scripture. We often cut and paste snippets from here and there and string them together into a proof for whatever point we need to make. It is amazingly easy to do, see my Washing Hands post.

I've heard Bible based arguments for Yes and No sides the following issues:
  • Gambling
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Dancing
  • Mixed gender swimming
  • Females wearing pants
  • Playing cards
  • Females without head coverings in church
  • Females in leadership roles at church
  • Symbols like Christmas trees used in church
  • Use of drums in church
  • Use of musical instruments in church
  • Going to movie theaters
  • Listening to secular music
  • Birth control
  • Polygamy
  • Participating in Halloween
  • Participating in armed conflict
  • Being protestant
  • Being catholic
  • Being ______

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Purpose of the Church

I just saw this video. I like the connection he makes between the purpose of the nation of Israel and the New Testament Church... to announce and demonstrate to the world that God reigns.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My 95 Thesis - Point 6 - Membership

Here's my 6th Point in My 95 Theses.

The way we do church membership is not found in Scripture. The body of Christ is a universal body. The members of the body are all Christ followers.

Does encouraging people to become members of a local assembly encourage or discourage them from viewing themselves as part of Christ's larger body?

Does encouraging people to become members of a local assembly that does not get along well with other assemblies force Christ followers to pick sides on battle lines created by others in past generations?

I suspect the way membership is done in local assemblies often does more harm than good to the unity of Christ's body.

Yes it may encourage unity in a local sense... but what are they unified towards??? Unified around a unique set of beliefs that puts them in opposition to other Christ followers?

What are the benefits to local 'church' membership?

Related Posts:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Playdough Scripture Eph 4:1-5

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely bold because you know you are right humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There are many local bodies, each with their own local leaders, and some with regional leaders over them. These local bodies have relationships with some other bodies in other locations but don't associate with some other church bodies close by. is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."

Eph 4:1-5 (Playdough Version)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Joining or Leaving a church

Did you hear that __(name here)___ is no longer going to our church anymore? They are now part of _(location-denomination here)_ church.

Is there any evidence people talked like this in the early church?

Is it possible to leave one church and join another?

Why do we consider this normal behavior?

Related Posts: