OUR BLOG IS…

If you know about the Vertical Church, consider

God’s other dimension.

 Key Ideas from our Blog:

 1. CHRIST’S DREAM CHURCH. Our Lord prayed three times for us to be “one”, that the world may believe. His dream and ours is to see the church’s “love one another” dimension restored, proving to the world that Christ is true and Christians are the real deal. We’ll truly be His witnesses when local churches are cooperating more than competing!

2. IT’S GREEK TO ME: If you don’t know biblical Greek and wished you did, well, our KOINE Road won’t make you Greek scholars, but you will discover mysteries hidden in the KOINE language and culture. Along the way you will see why the Horizontal Church is so critical to fulfilling the Great Commission. 

3. WHY DON’T WE GROW? What is the modern church missing? Why aren’t we winning our neighbors? We pray that local congregations will lay claim to Christ’s promise that the world will believe. Our reputation will zoom when we begin to obey His love mandate. His plan is growth through attraction more than promotion.

 4. NUTS AND BOLTS: You will find in this post practical steps for church leaders to get started building horizontal church within congregations and with other local churches. We include prayer, worship, witness, mutual care, healing our divisions and small groups. Please share your own ideas.

 5. IF GOD BLOGGED, might He tell us our divisions are killing our witness? A million scattered lights cannot pierce the enemy’s darkness. But if we seek to unite in common cause, pray and work as a team, we will shine with His great light and, as He said, the world will believe.

 6. GOD’S TEAM: It’s been said people are like sheep—stupid and helpless. Yet sheep, unlike goats, are productive when they team up in flocks under a shepherd. When believers finds their true identity as a team, united in His love, we will be light and salt to the earth and fulfill His Great Commission.

 WHY WE DON’T DEBATE.  The history of the church is filled with doctrinal disputes which have divided us beyond belief. Since our focus is harmony in the body, we seek honest conversation and questions, not argument…. “Be tolerant of one another, overlook your differences and add love, which binds all things together in unity.” (Col 3: 13, 14 Wade’s translation of the Greek)

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Our header image is Fireball, designed by Sergej Gorodenskiy from Russia.

 

15 thoughts on “OUR BLOG IS…

  1. One question (for now)… Do you, or will you, be posting the comments of others on this site? What I am asking is, will this be a place where the church can gather and encourage each other in following Jesus with thoughts & testimonies of what the Lord is doing in their diverse spheres of influence, or is it to be a place where only one viewpoint is presented?

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  2. About “Why Don’t We Grow:” I would submit that, in addition to loving each other, I think Jesus wants us to get off the church property and take the kingdom of God to where the dark places in the city are and where the gates of hell will not prevail. That is where he said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Mat 16:18) Also, in Psalm 127:1 it is written (GNB) “If the LORD does not build the house, the work of the builders is useless…” It is Jesus working through Holy Spirit that does the work of building the church, not us. We need to partner with and obey the Holy Spirit in all we do concerning the church.
    …And you’re right. Promotion may work to build a big church. But it will not build a transformational church. Could that be because Holy Spirit sees a lot of “self-promotion” instead of obedience in our efforts?
    Peace to you and blessings in Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, yes, yes, It is God who gives the increase. Acts 2: 46, 47:
      Early believers obeyed Christ’s love command, were of one mind or were
      in harmony, therefore they had a good reputation, THEN God added to
      the church. “We can’t do it without God. God won’t do it without us.”
      The Great Commission will happen when believers come together, heal
      divisions, work cooperatively instead of competitively, and as you
      say, God will build his church, which means adding new living stones
      to us. You are also right that we can’t do it without Holy Spirit.
      We need to be filled with Him to love God, one another, and our neighbor.
      Peace to you in your labors for Him

      HP

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  3. I like the idea of not debating. If I cannot engage in a simple exchange of information – you know, like a mature person, or something like that – then, the topic is not worth discussing. I am learning to try to understand and hear what someone else is saying, even if they are incorrect. I am also learning that my replies should be simple fact, even if it has to be spelled out a bit. If it becomes a continued debate, I must back off. Been there, done that…not good.

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  4. On your blog, WHY NOT BE A SUPERHERO: So….??? Where do we go from here? Could it be that the reason “the professionals do the important stuff while we cheer them from our pews” is due to role confusion? The professionals don’t insist that “we” discover our gifts and encourage us to apply them within the context of the great commission. And we don’t see ourselves as ministers. We think that is a job for professionals, not us. So, instead of going out into the harvest field and bringing the gospel of Jesus to the lost (which is what Jesus commanded) we’re like the farmer who asks God to blow the wheat into the barn at harvest time and ask God to blow the lost into the church so the professional can have a shot at converting them. We’ve got it exactly backwards.

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    • “…a job for professionals, not us. So, instead of going out into the harvest field and bringing the gospel of Jesus to the lost (which is what Jesus commanded) we’re like the farmer who asks God to blow the wheat into the barn at harvest time and ask God to blow the lost into the church so the professional can have a shot at converting them. We’ve got it exactly backwards.”

      OK, Everaything you say is sort of true TB, although I’ve never met a farmer who operated that way. My question back is What comes first the chicken or the egg? Is the hired gun who gets all the blame and credit, or is it us pew dwellers who hire him to do it for us?’ It certainly wasn’t Jesus plan to send the coach out on the field to win the game while the team cheered from the sidelines. But is the coach to blame or the team? Or are we both Satan’s dupes to allow it? My other comment is that even though the system is backwards and upside down, we must keep our spirit’s sweet and forgiving. In other words speak the truth, yes, but that our motive be love, not bitterness.

      One more comment. The word, command, “entole” in the Greek, is a rather technical term. It’s the same word used in the Greek translation of command in the “ten commandments”. The only time Jesus used that particular noun, was in John 13:34,35. Selah. Don’t you think we should seriously reconsider whether the great commission is meant to be fulfilled while Christians, pro’s as well as rank and file, ignore his great commandment to love one another that the world will know we are his disciples? I find nothing else of all of scripture that legitimizes our witness.

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  5. Peace and grace to all…. However, I must say that,after reading several times through the reply to my last submission it seems that both the point I was trying to make and my motive for making it were misunderstood. I am sorry for that. The point I am making is narrow and quite simple. It concerns the harvest Jesus refers to in Luke 10 and what we as Christians are doing and should be doing about it.

    My family roots come from farming and I know what it is to help with a harvest. And you’re right… The farmer “who asks God to blow the wheat into the barn at harvest time” doesn’t exist…and if he did I think you would agree his harvest would not amount to much. I use this example to make (with sadness, not bitterness) the following point…

    In Luke 10:2 & 3 Jesus says, “There is a large harvest, but few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest. Go! I am sending you….” (Please note the use of the imperative word “GO!” This is the command I referred to in the last piece and not the word, “commandment,” in John 13.)

    That said, can we Christians expect better results when we…as I have witnessed on many occasions…ask God to send people into our churches “from the North, the South, the East and the West?” I think not.

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  6. Your post, “Is God a Calvinist or an Arminian?” is excellent! I particularly like your choice and translation of Ephesians 4:29-30.

    “Do not use harmful speech, but only say what is helpful to others that you might build them up and give them grace, so as not to grieve God’s Holy Spirit.”

    It seems to me the key word here is “grace.” Like Jesus, we need to be ambassadors of God’s love by extending to others the same grace He gave to us through Christ Jesus. Didn’t Jesus say to the adulterous woman, “Neither do I condemn you…?” …and later on the cross, “Father, forgive them…?”

    Also, your explanation of how there can be unity in opposites is the best, and only, such explanation I’ve ever seen…and one that needs to be made again and again.

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    • Yes, I worked hard on that translation, because it’s so critical
      we understand our mission to others is one of grace. By the way,
      the word is the technical term the apostles use for grace (Charis).

      Encouragement from such a committed disciple as yourself is very
      humbling and rewarding. Thank you. This message of balance is lost
      on so many because we want things to be black and white, either…or.
      But once we believe such miracles as the incarnation where God becomes
      a man, and once we claim to believe God is one, but in three persons,
      we surely must understand that truth is not the simple thing we would
      like it to be.

      Thanks you again, TB.

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      • I first learned about “balance” with regard to scripture when reading Vol I of “Arcana Coelestia” by Emmanuel Swedenborg.

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  7. Swedenborg is definitely scriptural… He had great reverence for the Word.

    The Swedenborgian Church? Well, I guess you could say the Swedenborgian Church is cultish insofar as it is small (only 1 congregation in Florida) and focused inwardly on Swedenborg’s prolific writings which are out of the mainstream. However, Swedenborg himself never had any desire to form a church….that was done by others after he had passed on.

    I would say that Swedenborg himself was a mystic. He had remarkable dreams and visions and claimed he had travelled many times in the spirit to heaven and to hell and had conversed with angels and demons. In 1747 he began a study of Hebrew and started to work on a spiritual interpretation of the Bible, the Arcana Coelestia. I found this work fascinating:

    For example, he postulates there is an inner or spiritual meaning behind the Genesis story, saying that the six days are so many successive states of the regeneration of man. He then proceeds to explain verse by verse and word by word the spiritual meaning behind the story.

    I can’t say if Swedenborg is correct or not. And I do not belong to the Swedenborgian church. But the idea there may be spiritual meanings behind every verse, every word and every letter of every word in the Bible resonates with me. My own experience tells me the Bible is full of revelation! And it is quite conceivable to me that there may be more to the Genesis story than a simple explanation of how the world began.

    According to their website Swedenborgian’s believe much the same as we do…until you get to their 7th statement.
    1. God is infinitely loving and at the center of every life.
    2. Truth is love in action. Actions performed out of love are genuine expressions in a physical form of what love means.
    3. There is one God whose essence is Divine Love and Wisdom. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all aspects of God just as body, mind, and soul are all aspects of one person.
    4. The Bible is the inspired Word of God that provides inspiration and help to lead better and more fulfilling lives. The literal sense of Scripture tells the story of the people of God, and contains a deeper meaning that illumines the journey of the human soul.
    5. People are essentially spirits clothed with material bodies. At death, the material body is laid aside and the person continues to live on in the world of spirit choosing a heavenly life or a hellish one, based on the quality of life choices made here.
    6. God gives everyone the freedom to choose their beliefs and live their lives accordingly. Salvation is available for people of all religions.
    7. The Second Coming has taken place—and in fact still is taking place. It is not an actual physical appearance of the Lord, but rather his return in spirit and truth that is being effected as a present reality.
    8. God is infinitely loving and at the center of every life.

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    • I liked most of what Swed. wrote. I don’t believe any one person
      is totally orthodox. I’m sure I have my ideas that are not in total
      synch with Scripture. I particularly liked how he likens the trinity
      of God with the trinity of our nature. I also believe the love
      commandment is a trinity, and I’m sure there are others.

      Regarding my perspective on his universalism, I have what I believe is
      a biblical view that many would disagree with regarding those who
      die without hearing about Christ, but I don’t want to put those
      views on this blog.

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