Dissolving the Doctrine of Divorce

I don't have a problem with all of the tenants of Fundamentalism, in example, we agree on Soteriology and other doctrines which I will not enumerate here.

But I do have a problem with Legalism, and on the point of divorce, I find them both in agreement. But Legalism is a problem in an of itself, separate from the 21st-century definition of Fundamentalism that I have in mind in this essay.

The Principle of First Mention The Principle or Law of First Mention (see here) simply means this: when someone is first exposed to an idea, that exposure will color or influence every exposure to the same information thereafter. This principle is why most parents want to teach their children about sex before anyone else: they want to set a proper context and framework from which the subject will be understood henceforth. We can see this principle in the extreme when a child is sexually abused: the abuse colors their self-worth and understanding of intimacy for the rest of their lives.
In script…

What's Wrong with Church

I recently read a post entitled "Why They Don't Sing in Church." While it's informative and raises good points, I found that it hit on some of my pet peeves regarding how people think about their relationship with the Body of Christ, Worship and God in general.
Who and what is The Church  When addressing spectator set-up, it was suggested that "the church has constructed the worship service as a spectator event," which begs the question: who's the church? Clearly it's not the "congregants" referred to in the next paragraph of the aforementioned blog.
But there's a deeper problem in Christianity today and it stems from how the Bible, particularly the KJB, was translated and subsequently, all later versions.
In the Tyndale Bible (the Bible which the KJB follows most), the word church appears only two times, in the book of Acts. In both instances, it refers to a place of pagan worship - as it does in every other language in which it'…

Faith without Works is Dead

Recently, the image to the right reminded of my heritage, as a Bible Thumping Baptist.

The image didn't set right with me, and it took a few moments to process why.  First, it called back to the legalism I was entrench.  Secondly, it touched that old spirit of division and elitism that so easily ensnares all of us through Denominational Doctrine.

It's been a while since I've last read Genesis and Hebrews, so I headed back there to re-read the story of Noah.

And what do you think I found?  

Noah was saved by grace, through faith - not through obedience as many would like to believe. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8) By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith (Hebrews 11:7)  But ... Obedience! So then, what do we do with obedience? 
Obedience from the heart is what m…

Faith and Experience

Fruitful faith has a target or object upon which it is founded. It varies, but it could be reason, experience or a person, among other things. It's why we get our word faithful from faith: a faithful person has demonstrated two things: they have the ability to produce (you believe they can do a thing) and they will produce (you trust that they will do as they say). Faith placed in a faithful person always carries an expectation of experience. Such faith is well founded or well grounded because the person has demonstrated themselves to be reliable.
Therefore, faith is not demonstrated by how you feel, it's not demonstrated by the beliefs you hold, neither the doctrines you keep. 
Faith is demonstrated by what is produced: the outcome, the experience.  Faith "is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval."  What happens when the thing not seen and hoped for, shows up?  Faith moves out of the way and give…

You've Already Won the Battle

Count it all joy when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith will produce endurance (James 1:2-3)
But remember this: you will not be tested beyond that which you can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).
So, what's the deal? This: You will not be lead into battles you cannot win, nor are unable to fight. You will only be lead into conflict you can overcome.  Every battle that you encounter, is always a temptation to rely upon self or rely upon God.  Every single one.Every battle is different, but they all will have one of the following characteristicsThere are battles wherein we are to do nothing but stand or take refuge (2 Samuel 22:3)  These are the battles wherein God is demonstrating who He is to you.There are battles wherein we are to we are wrestle against the enemy.  These are the times when God is demonstrating who you are in Him  (Ephesians 6:10-18).That testing of your faith, the conflict that's wearing you down? You need to understand that since y…

The Un-Grace of Today's Piety

I recently spent some time reading the Pulpit&Pen blog and came away thinking it's not atypical of the un-grace behaviors we observe today in our churches and their pulpits.

So with full knowledge that I most likely will be accused of doing the same, I'll put my pen to the subject and provide my opinions on the matter.
What is Grace? There's a parable that expresses grace very well, but no one ever teaches it that way.  We're tied more to un-grace and, as a result, we express that sentiment instead.  It's called the Parable of the Vineyard Workers and is found in Matthew 20:1-16.
In this parable the kingdom of God is likened unto a man who arose early, went out and found workers, agreed with the laborers a wage and hired them.  He later went out and hired other workers - but without the negotiations: he simply said, "you go into the vineyard too, and what ever is right, I will pay you."  This happened several times that day, at the third, sixth, nint…

Is Cursing a Sin?

Sin is more subtle than missing the mark or disobeying God, the Word, etc., etc. We need not a better definition, but another attribute to carry with our definitions.
Consider: "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
That idea, imagination or word - as some would say - carries a tremendous weight of possibilities. But I want to focus on one aspect, that being the idea of a reality. Heaven is a reality distinct from our own, a place where sin does not exist. But just because a reality doesn't look precisely like Heaven, doesn't mean it's sinful.
Consider that all things were created to live, reproduce and die. In other words, things would be born, grow, reproduce, suffer corruption and die - trees, fish, cows, etc., etc. That was the plan, that all would bear fruit after their own kind (Gen. 1:11, ff). Think of it this way: there was always a hungry, bigger fish; or a whale chomping on plankton or sea weed. These are realities distinct from heaven, but not s…