A BOLD, New, Iniative Vision from Adelaide APC’s Church

Some church pastors are just stupid. This is just as dumb (or hilarious) as Sarah Palin’s Pente-Blooper- politics and religion do not at all mix. Stupid people say stupid things. I found this youtube vision-advert hilariously painful in the most stereotypical way possible (1:48). Enjoy groaning and wincing over some of the stupid things in this video. Over to Lance:

The Australian political party Family First has been at pains over the years to distance itself from its church roots.

Party members have repeatedly denied direct links between the Assemblies of God group sects church and Family First.

Here, clearly and unambiguously, Adelaide Paradise Community Church Senior Pastor Ashley Evans claims the credit for Family First being an initiative of his church.

Evans refers to Family First at 45 second mark of video.


33 thoughts on “A BOLD, New, Iniative Vision from Adelaide APC’s Church

  1. Hey Greg. I keep in contact with Lance and have asked his permission to ferry some of his articles of discovery over to Signposts02.

    With groupsects.wordpress, he has disabled people commenting on his site (exception being ‘Grappling with Guggliemucci’). As a result, we’ve compromised on some things. He was the originator of Signposts2 but didn’t like how people were constantly and purposefully irritating him. So he moved on, RavingPente creating Signposts02. I later took over (and generally find myself incredibly busy).

    Lance knows where to look for interesting articles. He has more time for this type of thing which is great. We’re all from Signposts and still work together. This compromise of sites is great. He doesn’t get hassled by annoying people so he has his site. We like discussing his articles and other things in Christendom, so we post his articles and discuss them here. Signposts is still being Signposts.

  2. Umm – I kind of agree with something Greg said some time ago. Or at least how I understood it at the time.

    I don’t know that Signposts02 is still being ‘Signposts’.

    If ‘Signposts’ are to point people in some kind of direction, they are forward looking – maybe exploring new expressions of Christ and his body. Lance’s site is mainly critiquing megachurches and pastors etc, and so is this site if it focusses on reposting articles from his site. To me, while that has its place, its not the same as pointing people in a potentially new and more positive direction. Part of moving on from something is to first recognise what is wrong, but we do then also need to move on, and I thought that moving on was partly what Signposts was originally there to help people with.

    I think there is merit in exposing empty or harmful practices in circles that claim to be modelled on Jesus. I see no problem with discussing those things, or giving people who need to detox from something an outlet.

    However, I’m not sure the claim to be ‘Signposts’ is merited if the focus is consistently on criticism of churches and people. If the discussion was focussed on thinking about how we understand scripture, then we would not only expose false teachings, but replace them with new understandings or explorations. Or if the discussion is focussed on understanding how to be church, in its myriad forms, then we’d be promoting being church which in itself opposes a single model based on numbers.

    So, I’m not having a go at anyone here, just clarifying what I think the effects of types of discussion are. If this site is to help anyone move forward, it would need to explore and synthesise thinking, not just criticise. It would still criticise, but in the sense of seeking greater understanding, rather than focussing on just opposing.

    I hope that makes sense.

    I have barely had time to contribute any posts recently – comments are easy and quick, as I type fast. Posts require more careful thought and time. I won’t be contributing posts if this site becomes a mirror of Lance’s blog but with a comment facility. (I may still comment though.) I’m happy for S&P to take it in whatever direction he wants – I just think my own material would not sit as happily alongside Lance’s, and that’s fine. It would work if we had half a dozen regular authors, but if there were regularly only Lance reposts and myself, the contrast in our approach would be a bit bizarre.

  3. Just as an example – the post that wazza put up regarding whether evanglicals were particularly vulnerable to cults was good – it exposed possible weaknesses in evangelical circles, and provoked thoughtfulness which could lead to greater understanding.

  4. I think you have a good point, RP. One of the reasons we come back to the same themes of criticising megachurches and leaders is probably because it is the one thing we all have in common. If we are going to move forward in the discussions we would have to agree on maybe 1 – 3 focus areas. I dont think in the past we have managed to articulate or agree on these areas.

    I am personally quite interested in :
    . Organisational behaviour of people in churches and large groups, including “cult-like” behaviour

    . Understanding the psychological factors for certain beliefs and behaviours

    . Questioning and analysing the basis of my own beliefs and what I have been told in the past.

    . Working out my own salvation with fear and trembling, whatever that may mean.

    I’m wary of moving on without really understanding the belief-systems and temptations of my own past. When FaceLift said “The question is Are cults vulnerable to Evangelicals?”, I thought that was precisely the wrong question. Maybe I’m too introspective, but it seems to me that going out and saving other people is a way to avoid the hard questions, and it ultimately achieves very little.

  5. “I am personally quite interested in :

    . Organisational behaviour of people in churches and large groups, including “cult-like” behaviour
    . Understanding the psychological factors for certain beliefs and behaviours
    . Questioning and analysing the basis of my own beliefs and what I have been told in the past.
    . Working out my own salvation with fear and trembling, whatever that may mean.”

    I’m making a note of this.

    I would very much like to encourage this, but unfortunately I can’t share too much revelation or interesting scripture insights too often. I hang out with members from CCC or Hillsong too often and often get carried away sharing cool insights. I like exchanging information. The more I post up here, the more easily I will be able to be identified unfortunately.

    I’m keen to talk about other things. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find time to sit down and meditate on a few things or simply surf the web. A few people on Signposts have the ability to post up articles. I’m not stopping anyone.

    But I’d like to constantly put things up so we can engage in conversation. I’m all for having articles posted up that can further people’s walk with God and the way the church can happen.

    Just that things are a bit dry at the moment. Duke box anyone? (Man we’re good at that thing!)

  6. Typically, Lance majors on the minors and misses the entire point of everything Ps Evans is saying, and so Lance’s minions are led down the same garden path.

    S&s, there isn’t one stupid or laughable part of this clip, so you must have a warped sense of humour, frankly. Scoring Allan Meyer to run Friday Night Church is a pretty good deal for the church, and this is info advertising for the Paradise Church, not for pente-haters like Lance and his fans. It is vision casting for an established congregation, not hate fodder for the ignorant.

    The real subject for review here is why churches have to back away form Sunday night meeting as they compete for the attention of Christians with Sunday night TV programming. What has 60 minutes, or the necromancy of CSI go over the power of God, the Word of God or the moving of the Holy Spirit, and why are Christians being so blind as to be distracted by such banal and bland TV programming? This is the really disturbing trend.

    Friday Night Church is great idea, but not to replace Sunday night. I think we should all be sticking to it and finding ways to make our meetings more accessible to the believer rather tan giving in to the world.
    _____________________________________

    wazza2,
    ‘I’m wary of moving on without really understanding the belief-systems and temptations of my own past. When FaceLift said “The question is Are cults vulnerable to Evangelicals?”, I thought that was precisely the wrong question. Maybe I’m too introspective, but it seems to me that going out and saving other people is a way to avoid the hard questions, and it ultimately achieves very little.’

    So you are saying that Christ’s command to preach the gospel to all nations, making disciples of them, is to be ignored, or have I misunderstood what you’re saying?

    Doesn’t Paul say that anyone in Christ is a new creature, and that old things have passed away, and all things are made new? Why would we have to dwell on past psychological episodes before we step out and become what Paul calls, in the same passage of scripture, ‘ministers of reconciliation’ with the ‘Word of reconciliation’?

    What hard questions do we have to answer before we obey Christ’s command to preach the gospel? The real hard question is actually, ‘why aren’t more believers obeying Christ’s command to preach to all people’?

  7. YAY! I thought you were gone FaceLift. I’ve missed you and your views. It’s good to hear from you again!

    “The real hard question is actually, ‘why aren’t more believers obeying Christ’s command to preach to all people’?”

    Because they are either watching CSI necromancy at home or stuck in a building wondering what the hell they are doing there.

    The reason why I groaned and laughed the entire way through (part from the classic typo), was the facade of it, the bad taste and the phoniness of it all. It was complete hype and full of jargon. It was a classic pente ‘not again’ clip. They all say the same thing over and over again. It’s so badly obvious now I find it amusing. So yeah. I do have a warped sense of humor- Ps Evans has helped warp it further.

    Oh and because I was bored while eating dinner tonight, I drew a whole bunch of pictures of everyone on SignPosts02… Thinking of posting them up.

    Good to hear from you again FL.
    I’ll be awaiting your reply you legend.

  8. FL said “Dosent Paul say that anyone in Christ is a new creature” … “What hard questions do we have to answer before we obey Christ’s command to preach the gospel?”

    I think its unwise to use Paul’s doctrine of being a “new creature” in Christ to disregard our own past. Plenty of examples abound of Christian leaders who thought they were doing Christ’s work, but were actually serving their own sometimes destructive needs. An example could be given of a Christian minister who counselled young gay church members, but ended up being sexually involved or abusing them. Another leader of a women’s ministry speaks constantly of how she gave up marriage and romantic love to devote herself to the ministry.

    Unless we are honest with ourselves and realise that although we are a new creature spiritually, we are not necessarily renewed physically and mentally, then we will repeat the same errors and sins. And they will potentially be worse because we will dress them up in religious and spiritual disguises which fool ourselves and others.

    The movie “The Apostle” with Robert Duvall shows exactly this psychology and the problems it causes. Instead of dealing with the reality of what he has done, the title character runs off, baptises himself an Apostle and starts a new church. He does some good, but ultimately his past catches up with him. I think the movie should be required viewing for all evangelicals and particularly leaders.

  9. But, wazza2, you say preaching the gospel before we’ve sorted out our past ‘ultimately achieves nothing’! What nonsense the cross is then! If the blood and sacrifice of the cross fails to pay for my past then what future do I have?

    Paul also says we’re to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Go. This is the bottom line of our personal worship and service to God. (Rom. 12:1)

    Then he tells us to be transformed by the renewal of our minds, so that we can prove for ourselves and for others what is the good, and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12:2).

    So we renounce, or put of, the old man and put on the new. We reject our past and enter God’s future for our lives. (Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:10).

    This takes faith, hope and love. And a bunch of determination, patience and confidence in God’s Word, Spirit and promises. But, nevertheless, dwelling on past failures is a curse.

    Yes, we are the product of our past, and to an extent our past dictates our present, if we continue to live in the flesh, and not in the Word and Spirit, but the doctrine of repentance redirects our lives.

    Repentance is a change of heart which leads to a change of mind and attitude. This gives us a new direction, not based on our old nature, but based on the nature of Christ in our lives. Hence Paul says he lives his life by the faith of Christ, since, in fact, the former man that was Paul is crucified, that is, dead, with all his faults, all his sin, and all his Adamic nature. (Gal. 2:20).

    So we’re told to live in the newness of this life of Christ. (Rom. 6:3-4).

    Part of this new life includes telling others what Christ has done for us, and how they, too, can be reconciled to God, and repent, and enter the new life through the new creation.

    In fact Paul says nothing really, in a legal or spiritual sense, matters for us anymore but the new creation (Gal. 6:15). And that the life of the new creation is worked out though faith which works by love (Gal. 5:6).

    I don’t see anywhere that we have to wait until we’ve personally sorted out the old nature before we can enter the new, and get on with the Great Commission. Rather, I see that we enter Christ, and put on the new, and be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and are given the ministry of reconciliation, and the word of reconciliation, to win others to Christ.

    In fact, the Word of the New Covenant tells us that when we have accepted Christ, the old man dies, and we are born again. The old has, indeed, passed away, and all things, indeed, are made new.

    The power of the cross is in dealing with our past to give us a new future and redirect our present.

  10. I hate to get back to specific examples, but would you say this was what Gugglielmuccis did? Ie. trusted in the power of God to make all things new and renew his mind? Instead of going to a psychologist as was recommended?

    And how do you think it worked out?

  11. Is Gugglielmucci your example, then? Or is it Jesus, or his followers, those who lived the life, like Paul, James, John, Luther, Wesley, Whitfield, Moody, Finney, etc.? The people who got past the past and into the mission, regardless of their past. Paul publicly and loudly renounced his past. He lived in Christ, his future and present – the same yesterday and today and forever!

    Gugglielmucci, who from now on will become the sad, unfortunate standard and default argument for failure, is not our example. He is someone who has to examine his own conscience. He has to repent. He has to find the truth. But does that mean he has no future in Christ? Is there not a time when he could come to the truth and walk in it? Does everyone go through the same deception? No! Does everyone set them selves up for such a foolish fall? No!

    But besides this distraction, you evade the question. Have old things passed away when we are in Christ or not? You evade the reality of Christ’s blood. And the command. And the cross. And the power of the cross. The power of the new creation. The power of life in Christ. Is your life so filled with the past that you can’t move on? Has Christ died in vain?

  12. I believe in Christ our debt has been paid, and we have a new spiritual nature. Renewing of the mind is an on-going process. Just as in our physical bodies we may not be completely healed and it is an on-going process. And we may need medical help if appropriate.

    One of the Pentecostal pastors I most respect told me that he struggled with depression for 3 years. I asked him how he got over it and he told me he had to separate “truth” from “reality”. The truth was he did not have to be depressed, he was free from it in Christ. The reality was that he was depressed.

    I think the example of leaders who have fallen before should be taken into account just as the example of those that have done great things. Should we press on in the battle, stepping over the bodies of those that have fallen and not inquire if we might also have the same vulnerabilities?

  13. Without Christ we are all nothing. We are all worthless and weak, and some even despised. With him, however, all things are possible. That is the point of needing him, accepting him and living in and for him. There is no one who doesn’t need Jesus, and the power of his death and resurrection.

    Amazingly he uses the weak and base and despised to further his purposes, and to even confound the wise. That way God receives the glory and not man.

    We all have vulnerabilities, depressions, inadequacies. That’s the point. He fills us with his Spirit, and the Spirit works through us regardless. We have his glory in earthen vessels.

    It’s not a matter of our weaknesses or inadequacies, provided they are not sin-based, but his willingness to empower us anyway.

    It’s not sin to be depressed, unless it signifies a lack of faith. If we do things through a nature of sin then we need to repent, be forgiven, made right again, but not stop there, we go on, so when we step out and minister hope, love and faith, despite our inadequacies, God is glorified.

    Paul says God’s strength in him is made more powerful in his moments of greatest weakness. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong”.

  14. Wazza. You raise a really good point which is something I am started to get sick of in the modern day church. Religious jargon that disguises our frailty and dealings in the past.

    And FaceLift, I totally agree with you. However it’s important not to be ignorant of how fragile we are as human beings. Through Christ, we should either forget the past (if it offers only bondage), or with Christ’s help, help mend the past.

    I’m actually amazed that you guys are arguing about this. I am so fighting on both sides of the coin over this. On one hand I didn’t feel right to minister to people this week. But when I did, I felt God just wanted to get me out of the blues for a while. I felt wonderful with Him.

    Now this weekend He can work on me and my unhealthy ways. I’m just feeling a bit muddy, vulnerable, disillusioned and worthless. I’m over all the Christian filth, jargon and hoohah that goes on in Jesus’ name.

    Another three friends of mine have just fallen away from God a bit because of their involvement with CCC. As much as they are depressed they defend themselves against me with false doctrine that is really harming them.

  15. God did not make a worthless creation, and mankind is part of his creation, whether they know him or not.

    Now, now S&P – you know you are not worthless! And we all get a bit discouraged at tend to the times. Sounds like you need to sit back on Sunday night and watch some good, trashy TV, just to get your mind off it all. 🙂

    (By the way – where did CSI ‘necromancy’ come from? – was it in the post at the top? How bizarre!)

    As for ‘preaching the gospel’ – its difficult to convince people of anything with words alone – unless those words are truly from God at the right time.

    I tend to wonder why anyone would be interested in what I say about the gospel unless they can see God’s love and work in my life. Why would they even listen? Surely not just because I want them to. So I think abiding in Him is the key to evangelism for most of us. Most importantly, in doing this we are transformed over time, as others here have noted. Hopefully then what we say is not just words.

    These days, I believe that the more we abide in Him, and walk with him daily, the more we will respond to him ad lib as we go… this will sometimes result in conversations where we explain the gospel, or aspects of it. Other times, it will result in God working through us in other ways, that we may not even fathom.

    As long as we are not ashamed of Jesus, and do not hide, he will make himselves known through us, in a very natural way when we consistently abide in him. There are some who have the gift of evangelism and may have much success preaching, but perhaps many of us will see God work through natural evangelism, as we walk with him wherever we are.

    Anyway – that’s my current hope. Similarly, with church meetings – lets hope people are there because they desire to meet together, not because they think they ‘should’ be there. The day doesn’t matter. Different times/days/group sizes will work for different people. One size does not fit all.

  16. Sin has corrupted God’s creation, hence the need for redemption, including a new heavens and a new earth, and the New Jerusalem, populated by the new creation. Those who are not of the new creation will never enter this new City of God.

    Old things have to pass away. All things have to be made new.

    Jesus tells us we are nothing without him, and we cannot bear the fruit required unless we are joined to the Vine. Fruitless equates to worthless, and branches cast into the fire.

    The whole of creation groans in anticipation of the redemption of our bodies.

    As for those, even of God’s original creation, who are outside of the new creation – ‘there is none righteous, no not one… they are all gone out of the way, they are altogether become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one’.

    But God redeems us through the blood of Christ when we accept him. And God takes the base and weak and despised and uses us to further his purposes. He uses these earthen vessels to carry his glory and power. That is grace! “My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness”.

    Incidentally, the disciples in the Book of Acts weren’t persecuted for merely living the life in front of people, but for daring to preach the gospel boldly.

  17. Sin corrupted God’s creation. Doesn’t mean it became worthless. God demonstrated his love for his creation over history – surely that demonstrates that he values it, and therefore it has worth.

    The world is not divided into those who are worthless and those who are worth something, depending on whether they know Jesus. That kind of thinking is very, very dangerous and does not express God’s love.

    People who don’t know Christ are all God’s creation.

    Those of us who know Christ often still struggle with sin. As we abide in him, sin loses its grip – I agree with wazza that this happens over time, maybe in different areas each in its season.

    ‘Merely living the life’ – there’s no ‘merely’ about it. As we abide in him (in the vine), we are transformed, inwardly and eventually outwardly as a result of the inner change. This process is a miracle. Trying to effect an outer change before the inner change is real only creates religious actions. When the inner change is real, we don’t need to ‘try’ in our own strength anymore and the outer change can seem effortless. It is an expression of who we have become. Jesus said ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light’… well, striving is a heavy load, but being who you are and expressing what God has already done inside you is light. (In more than one sense.)

    Jesus said without him we can _do_ nothing.

    ‘Nothing’ includes evangelism in our own strength, however well meaning. If the Holy Spirit has not led you to preach to people, you are doing it in your own strength and most likely will succeed only in annoying them. But one word at the right time – from God – can transform a life.

  18. gosh Guys,

    Im a Film professional, and this clip lost me at about the 1/2 way mark!-the implication is ‘if they were going to waste abut half of my time HERE, then what about my time if I went over THERE?’

    Ok, I have no problem for ‘saving the lost’ into Jesus Christ; as many as possible!!, so overall this concept is great & tailored to the people and lifestyle of its region–but lets look at the problems obviously built-into the concept:
    [even a high-school kid ought to be able to see this for an English-comprehension question!]:

    A-Its repetitive and long-winded…..why?-merely to reinforce its message, or because its actually empty?

    B-It stereotypically repeats a hypey combination of elements developed at AOG & CCC- music pop-show +cute front people & crusty preachers, who need to make a living, so want your money.

    C-It is apparently trying to ‘Christianise’ a bunch of hypey time-consuming activity; my inbuilt question is ‘can you envisage such activity as truly ‘equipping’ people to do life well–?

    D-It has the appearance of a Franchise; a market-grab for peoples time & money.

    –I will never stop stressing the question; “into what sort of Church are people being ‘saved’?”

    Hey Wazza, I very dearly value & appreciate your presence & questioning, which our esteemed Facelift has yet again failed to grasp:

    . Organisational behaviour of people in churches and large groups, including “cult-like” behaviour

    . Understanding the psychological factors for certain beliefs and behaviours

    . Questioning and analysing the basis of my own beliefs and what I have been told in the past.

    . Working out my own salvation with fear and trembling, whatever that may mean.

    Our faith is wide-open for abuse, just as the Master spelled out in Matt7:15

    15″Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

    [ie-if the lifestyle is barren, that points to the Teaching, everybody gets this, I hope!]

    This modern world is full of empty, barren, lonely things, and slavery, slavery of many sorts!

    If the above conversations lead to a ‘rich life’ and fertile, warm fulfillment, and true freedom, just as God has promised, then well and good, but I do not wish the Christian life to encompass yet another form of slavery, through frankly, idiotic practices.

    Ho hum Facelift; what do you mean by thrashing about with the scripture?- your severity with it is really quite frightening; do you invite people ‘with a beautiful aroma, fitting for God?’-have you forgotten that Jacob moved as ‘slowly as the slowest of his flock’, and where then, is the peace and grace that Wazza deserves from you?

    Again, chins up dear and dynamic Christians- SP & RP ; you are a wise and warm balm for my soul!

    Love to all from Z.

  19. Scripture is severe, yet serene. Severe on those who reject it and salvation to those who receive it.

    Jesus’ own words: “Go into the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, He who believes and is baptised will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned”.

    You could have continued with the ‘aroma’ therapy philosophy and reminded us that the gospel is the aroma, or savour of life to those who believe, but also the flavour of death who do not.

    You went half way with scripture to prove a point which isn’t there.

    Salvation comes as a result of a decision in a person’s lifetime to accept the gospel as it is preached.

    If it is not preached, no one gets saved. The alternative is totally undesirable, and we should have the courage to say so. Otherwise how can we say we love our neighbour? How do we face people when we deny them the answer to their impending eternal catastrophe? ‘The road is broad that leads to destruction’ – again, Jesus’ words.

    The scripture is frightening; it is either fearsome or attractive, depending the hearers’ willingness to comply. In the Book of Acts, when Ananias and Sapphira fell down dead at the Apostles’ feet for lying to the Holy Ghost, great fear went out about the city, so that multitudes were converted, and the rest hid from the church out of fear for the power of God.

    Somehow I think we are lacking this kind of revival atmosphere in the present Church. Lack of reverence for God and his Word renders people subject to a fragile, self-serving familiarity which denies the true power and glory of God’s Word and Presence.

    I don’t thrash about with scripture. I tell it as it is.
    __________________________________

    I think wazza has a good point, by the way, and it is reasonable to take stock of where we have come from and to make necessary adjustments so we are more effective in the Great Commission, or in other words, repent and preach! Being properly discipled, or mentored, would save problems such as the ones he raises.

    But I took exception to his conclusion that the gospel is not worth preaching, hence my comments. Go back and read what he wrote:

    https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/a-bold-new-iniative-vision-from-adelaide-apcs-church/#comment-2610

    ‘it seems to me that going out and saving other people is a way to avoid the hard questions, and it ultimately achieves very little’.

    I can’t agree with this. It isn’t scripture.

  20. I stand corrected, FaceLift. I didnt check what I wrote, and it is misleading.

    Evangelism is crucial and can be done in many ways. What I meant was that some people may evangelise for mixed motives and in an effort to run away from their own issues. Being done in their own strength, this will ultimately achieve little although it may appear successful. I think Mike G may be an example of this, but there are plenty of others.

    Of course God may still use their efforts and work them for good.

  21. Thanks, wazza. In fact Michael G will have crushed a few hearts, or, at least, disappointed many with his failure, including, apparently, Brian Houston, who is obviously perplexed by the whole issue, and is clearly renouncing MG’s actions and motives (in reference to the other tread). Thankfully lour faith doesn’t stand in the dependability of men or women, but in Christ, who will never let us down. The cult of personality is a problem, but is as much due to those who overly depend on personalities as the person with charismatic gifts. Music is a great attraction for people, but we have to be aware of the traps of exalting the singer, the song or the sentiment rather than the God being worshipped.

  22. Ah Facelift, Facelift,

    It simply strikes me that you do not make the Good news attractive; of course the meanings and decisions to be made with life in the light of Gods word are severe-your ‘gospel’ seems to stink, thats all!

    I hope you are preaching to “every creature” just as you say!-do you even understand what that means?

    In truth, I used to be like this; desperately manipulating arguments with intricate scriptures in reckless quantities [thrashing about] to defend my own frightened position, and missing the simplicity, freedom & sweetness of the message and its profound realities; nonsensical, pious talk disguising arrogant bullying on ‘Christs behalf’!

    I do pity the vast numbers that are ‘saved’ into dreary lives of unhappy and dysfunctional Christianity; cultish & paranoid behaviours that we are clearly identifying in this work; ‘can you bear popping the hood with us, Facelift?’

    My hats off to the gentle souls who are constructively developing Christian thought & practical direction on this blog; thats why we are here, I do wonder!

    I continue to also wish those poor souls who are searching for meaning & direction after being abused ‘in the name of Christ’, and who may stumble across this blog, to pay careful attention to the ‘kinds’ of thinkers and Ministries that Christ attracts–we all ‘serve’ Jesus, though not that many seem to be ‘close to Him’, in resemblance, peace and freedom.

    Z.

  23. Rom. 11:22
    “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but towards you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness: otherwise you also will be cut off!”

    I do preach the good news. Good news, not bad news. I do not preach turn, or burn or doom and gloom, or fire and brimstone. I preach the good news of redemption. I preach from the gospels, where Christ brings healing, deliverance and salvation o those who will believe.

    And that good news I preach is overwhelmingly attractive to those who respond, and there many who have, do, and I hope will.

    But the gospel is also repulsive, for whatever reason, to those who reject Christ. But their rejection isn’t not of the message I preach, or even the way I preach it, but o Christ himself, to their detriment. I am only responsible for preaching truth, the gospel of peace, not for a person’s response. That is God’s affair, and the business of those who hear or reject truth.

    The good news is compelling for those who are open to receive it. That Christ has paid the price of our sin, and that he is offering a free pardon through faith in his blood.

    But what I do understand is why the good news is necessary and has to be preached uncompromisingly.

    Because there is also bad news for those who reject Christ.

    What? You think there is no severity to eternal damnation?

  24. As I said last week to some random person: “Evil people make me look good”. They laughed hysterically. I then went on to say if they wanted to hear the bad news or the good news. They said “Bad News”.

    So I sent up the overdone ‘God ALMIGHTY smites and condemns those who shalt not believe in Him or His word!’ I then said, ‘Doesn’t it make me look bad and you feel crap? But at the same time you feel secure wherever you are at because you’re hearing something gross and you’re just glad you’re not like that?

    They agreed.

    Then I told him the good news and I couldn’t wait to tell him(close to the real thing).
    “Now try this for good news: You need to realize this, but no matter how much wrong you do, you are loved by God. No matter how worthless you feel or how unrighteous you think you are, the Good News is that you are walking in the power of God’s forgiveness, redemption and mercy! And that was given to you as a gift from God through His son so you don’t have to feel pathetic, unrighteous and unworthy anymore. Believe this and you can live in His Holy Spirit power of love, grace, redemption and many other things given to you by Him.”

    We talked a bit and then a bit later I asked them how that felt with me telling them Good News. They said they felt unworthy to accept the offer and were afraid to believe something that sounded too good. I hope they think about it.

    But the reason why I am mentioning this is because it’s funny how good things make people feel bad about themselves verses bad things can make people feel good about themselves.

  25. Oh and Zeppelin. That is exactly why I was finding this clip ‘painfully hilarious’.
    Your critique on the film is why I found it so painfully entertaining.

    Thanks for explaining it for me.

  26. & Bravo Specksnplanks,

    The’ One Lord has called many Ministries’, and I have no problem with ‘the Light shining in the darkness, yet the darkness not understanding it’; I too take no soft stand with evil, yet take enormous trouble over ‘compassion’ in Christ. “Mercy triumphs over Judgement” for me, as a rule.

    I often wonder over the following story, for I can understand how Peter felt….

    Lk5
    5-Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

    When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

    When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”

    Let us similarly consider ‘will’ of the Father below, and also the “I never knew you [relationship]”
    [eg, “Thy will be done, here on earth just as it is in Heaven…”]-The Master makes it very clear he will send away many who ‘think’ they have relationship, and really do not share intimate relationship with him…this remains a warning & question for us all….

    —Mt7:
    21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    So then dear Facelift, apart from conspicuously missing the point of the Posted threadline above, why do you continually rant as if there were no “ravening wolves’ or “yeast of the Pharisees & Saducees” brother, even though the Master has explicitly explained it in the scripture?

    Im sure we all acknowledge your passion in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, but where are you standing while we are working hard to expose & cut out the rotten aspects of Christian religion in this blogsite? —

    Believe me, Im working at dislodging the planks from my own eyes brothers, and this is a wonderful & beneficial thing for me as I think together with you all.

    “Why are we here?”–the question from GLADIATOR, is the very worthy question to constantly test ourselves with at this place;

    The answer?—“For the Glory of……….?”

    Z.

  27. PS, “Youre welcome S&P, ” {bows]

    Z.

    [Answers above: type in “Rome”, “God”, or “Myself”.-check which is appropriate!]
    to which I add the chaser; “has anyone ever heard of the painful condition called ‘Asbia’?”…

    Its an acronym for “Attention-seeking-behaviour-in-Adults”.

  28. In fact, Zep, wazza2 challenged me by blog-name on a point and I responded. No rant there. He also graciously admitted he had got something wrong, and I acknowledged his change of mind. I, in turn, acknowledged he had a good point in regard to he need to check our motives. That I call progress.

    Maybe you’re the one who needs to read the thread for what it is.

    And I never realised that he sole purpose of this blog was to expose ravening wolves. Or that it only saw things from one perspective – a one-eyed plank site!

    I was under he impression it was an open blog populated by a group of people with different views where discussion and debate are thrown open, and it’s OK to have a bit of a rant now and then, as long as we don’t stoop to personal insults.

    But I could be wrong.

  29. “I was under he impression it was an open blog populated by a group of people with different views where discussion and debate are thrown open, and it’s OK to have a bit of a rant now and then, as long as we don’t stoop to personal insults.”

    I certainly hope so. I know Z sees it that way.

    I agree that it’s more fun than television (mostly). I watched Alien vs Predator the other night. That was fun too. Hmm… do the debates have anything in common with that movie sometimes, I wonder?

  30. “And I never realised that the sole purpose of this blog was to expose ravening wolves. Or that it only saw things from one perspective – a one-eyed plank site!

    I was under he impression it was an open blog populated by a group of people with different views where discussion and debate are thrown open, and it’s OK to have a bit of a rant now and then, as long as we don’t stoop to personal insults. ”

    That’s exactly what I hope this site is. Exposing wolves is one of many things that we could do. I seem to be more in that vain. Just because I am running the site though doesn’t mean that’s our goal. Other people can post articles worthy of discussion. ANYONE can post ANYTHING up that is worthy of discussion. At the moment my season is cutting through all the crap and exposing wolves in ministry. I’m over them. When I move on, I may post more theological articles or articles on Christian living (which I like doing too).

    So please, if you think that SignPosts is too focused on being negative, those who are authors can post up things too. I don’t want this site to be all about me. That’s never my intention. It’s about us. And that’s the way RavingPente wanted it and that’s the way I want it.

    I love everyone here on SignPosts and I’d hate to see you go because you don’t feel as though you have anything to contribute. That is why I like you FaceLift. You have too much to contribute and I like the fact that you are passionate to share your views with me and others. You give me fantastic insight and I thank you for it. I’ve missed you.

    So please. Post. Post. Post! Don’t leave it up to me. I want to see where you guys are at too. Expand my horizons. Teach me something I don’t know about your world or your revelations you get from God.

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