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Going Toe To Toe For The Gospel Again

May 14, 2016

Greetings,

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Matthew 5: 11-12

Three people contacted me last night and two of them shared those exact verses with me, and the other person encouraged me in a very similar manner.  All these friends knew was that the Holy Spirit prompted them to call and encourage me.  They had no idea about my current circumstances.  All I can say is that according to those verses I am in the process of being very greatly blessed the last few days.

In the last 48 hours in an online forum about house churches Two legalistic men have attacked and denounced me falling just short of calling me a false teacher.  All this is because we have different understanding about some key issues in the Church.  They say I have a low view of scripture because I refuse to elevate the written word to a place equal to or greater than Jesus Himself, because I feel that is idolatry.  They say scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  While I believe that only Jesus is THE final authority in all matters PERIOD.  They also vehemently disagree with me when I say the Church needs to be Spirit led rather than bible led.  We also part ways concerning the role of hierarchy in the Church.  They believe in and support the need for a human hierarchy to rule over the Church based on gifting, gender and biblical knowledge.  While I say we are all equal sibling peers in the Church under only the rule of Christ alone.  They see the need for human rulers with great authority, but I see the need for true servants with equal authority in Christ.  Finally I support the full equality of women in the Body of Christ in regards to all giftings and practice and they promote patriarchy where only males can ever lead and teach.  Yes, there are very dysfunctional house churches out there that differ very little from most traditional “churches”.

Some would say to me that an online forum is no big deal and that I should just leave to avoid further conflict with these two men.  Problem is that I have been called and equipped by Jesus to contend for the faith in situations just like this.  I also am not the only one speaking for the ways of Christ rather than men there.  Jim W. a dear brother in Christ had stood back to back with me fending off the assault of the enemy via these two very persuasive, highly intellectual men.  Jim and I feel that we need to take a stand against the very traditional/Institutional teaching of these two men who tend to dominate the discussion at this forum of more than 550 people.  There simply needs to be light in the midst of this darkness.  So that those who visit there sincerely seeking a better more relational way to Church can find it there in this location.  It would be Christlike to just present differing views and opinions concerning difficult beliefs and doctrines there, but these two men continually go for the jugular and place their feet on the neck of those with differing views.  Demanding compliance to their understanding of such doctrines and scripture.  It would be great if someone would step in to help moderate the discussions there, but these guys help administrate this forum so there is not much help or balance in sight.  Brothers in Christ should be able to work through differences such as ours, but they are all but saying Jim and I aren’t even real Christians because of our views and lack of having the bible as our only standard.  However, the deeper I go in Christ it seems that I become too radical for even the radicals.

Me?  I accept anyone who loves Jesus and calls Him their Lord.  If they follow Him in the big picture I am certain that any other details can be worked out over time and fellowship.  If we agree on who Jesus is we should be able to walk together and figure the rest out in His good time.  God hates divisions and to divide over doctrine before giving our sibling relationships a real chance to grow and mature is a HUGE mistake in my humble opinion.

The traditional “church” has many doctrinal obstacles in the way of true fellowship and life in Him.  The same should not be true in totally open and free, organic, Spirit led and relational fellowship.  Jesus never made me take a test about doctrine or scriptural knowledge in order to enter into a relationship with Him.  He called me His friend and then began to teach me via the Spirit all I needed to know about life in Him and the Church.  Cutting people off over doctrinal disputes is like aborting a baby before it grows to full term and is born.  It takes time with Him to learn and grow into the disciples He intends us to be, but if we walk with Him and one another long enough we will all eventually grow up to where we can be fully birthed into His amazing truth and love.  I don’t consider myself to be fully there yet, but I hope to be in the future.  I would surely appreciate your prayers for Jim and I.  Fighting the doctrine police is surely a difficult adventure.  Jesus said we should be defined by our love for one another and not by our doctrines.  I say a tree is known by its fruit.

Love and ……

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 Comments
  1. Dan permalink

    You’ve come to me and assisted me before when people posted accusational comments to something I had posted. It was a breath of fresh air having you intervene in your insightful and bold but loving way. I will pray for this situation. Also, if you would like to share with me the site or page upon which it is going down, I will also be happy to join you both in the fray.

    • Wow Dan, thank you for your very kind words about the way I share. The other site admins have intervened and warned the attacking parties. If the situation flares up again I will pray and consider asking you to join the fray. YOU are a grand brother Dan!

  2. Jewell Price permalink

    My experience in leaving the institutional church is that if one doesn’t really want to change or admit they have false ideas about the church system, one will become blind and deaf to truth. Keep the faith and continue to teach and serve as Christ leads you through the Holy Spirit. It may not be these particular men that “see the light,” but you may be there speaking for someone else who needs the truth. Praying for you. Thanks for the insights in your articles and the encouragement I receive from them even though we don’t know each other.

    • Jewell, you have encouraged me greatly today and I appreciate it more than anyone knows. Where do you live?

  3. Jonathan Lindvall permalink

    What should these opponents do when they see something they consider a dangerous error taught openly? It seems to me they should hold fast to what they believe God has allowed them to see, while acknowledging they only see in part. And they should clearly show love to the one they consider a false teacher while faithfully and patiently pointing out the errors and dangers for all to see.

    At the same time, what should you do? It seems to me you should do the same–holding fast to what you believe God has allowed you to see, while acknowledging you only see in part. And you should clearly show love to the ones you consider to be in error, even while they’re attacking you, while faithfully and patiently pointing out their errors and dangers for all to see.

    None of us does this perfectly (and some even deny this is the approach they should take), but I believe it is God’s way, and I think you agree. At one point in the past the shoe was on the other foot, and I felt you were attacking (and throttling me in a forum where you were an administrator), when I spoke out, as lovingly as I knew how, about what I believe to be errors you promote. Perhaps my reminding you of those days will help you view the current situation with patience. May we all learn to boldly speak the truth, but with an abundance of love.

    • Yes Jonathan I do agree. Boldness, patience, truth and Love is the way to go in these situations. As I recall we butted heads over the role of women in the church, but that has been many years ago. Neither of us are the same person we used to be. Hopefully with age and experience we are both better brothers than we were at one time. Thanks for sharing bro!

  4. Janet permalink

    Thank you Christopher for sharing this glimpse into the battle that wages over this topic. We battle not against flesh and blood, and therefore can try not to take it personally. These are very deep set convictions on the part of the other parties. I have felt the battle in my own heart about it. Sometimes you have to leave a battle that’s going nowhere and take a walk with your doggie, or your loved ones, or play with your grand babies! I learned once from a book, say your peace and let it be. GOD can do the heavy lifting.

    • Thank you for sharing your portion here Janet. I just walked my dog Rocky and got some fresh air and scenery. Balance is key in these situations. Knowing when to fight the good fight of faith and also when to retreat to selah and be with Father. The only place to find such needed balance is in Christ. I am surrendered to HIM and listening intently for HIS voice as I hear it both in my Spirit and from siblings in Christ here and in other venues.

  5. Chad permalink

    I love your statement “I accept anyone who loves Jesus and calls Him their Lord.” That is the way it should be. I don’t understand how some people accept someone as a brother/sister, but reject that same person as a member of “their” church. The way I see it, rejecting someone that Jesus accepted is the epitome of heresy.

    • Thanks for sharing Chad. Seems that a lot of “church” people do reject others quite easily these days. That is a very sad fact. True Church is about relationship and accepting all sorts of folks into their fold.

  6. Sue Heumann permalink

    This discussion is awesome. I’ve been there, too, where these men are. We are Taught these things by our ‘leaders’ whom we looked up To (as a high priest or something!)…,that we are standing up for truth, for God. We talked about love, but truth seemed to be the mountain we would die on…now I value truth still, but love balances it more than before….and we consider others more….knowing they are on their journey as we all are, but in a different place. I admire your stance on accepting all and giving them love so they aren’t pushed away by what you believe so strongly. Keep on keeping on, Capn, you and Jim got my prayers!👍😀👏….Jewel had some great insight…,,it may be others who are being blessed and fed even more than these men just by the way you go about your discussion with them, let alone the truth you are trying to get across!

  7. Sue, you are such a blessing to the Body of Christ. There you go affirming and encouraging me again. So glad you are in my life!

  8. David Feith permalink

    Hi Chris, be steadfast in your dying daily so that Christ will be seen more fully in you. The way of the Cross we know is a journey of Love and peril. As we all learn Him more deeply and intimately we are more able to reproduce his Life that indwells us and allow that Life to consume the darkness in whatever form it appears. Christ is our Life and the Life we live we live in the flesh but we walk in the Spirit and the Spirit knows all things. Many will come and say “Lord, we did all these great things and had all the right answers, and the Lord said depart from me for you know me not. I sense that you are displaying His Love because you are living His Life so be encouraged Brother and be confident in your knowing.

    • David, thank you for your exhortation and encouragement. Hope to see you face to face again next February.

  9. Rich Chamberlin permalink

    Dear friend, as a radical, I expect some day you shall be as radical as I! My policy with such groups has been to say it once, clear up any confusion points, invite them to take it leave it, (much as Christ seems to have done), and move on to the next dusty town! Be sure you will always have a happy home with Spirit Led Servants, which, by the way, has gone very quiet. Its seems, without the stubborn opponents present, no need to keep making the same points!

    • Rich from one radical to another I appreciate you. Radical does not mean something new or trendy. It means to return to the root, the very beginnings, as to our first Love Christ and the start of the true Body of Christ.

  10. "BK" permalink

    When the Lord appeared to me and gave me explicit instructions for my life one thing He said was not to fear the face of men and He ended with “and above all keep your spirit right”. I am thankful for your heart to remain in a religiously dark place where a light can be shined for the seeker to see and to demonstrate a right spirit as you stand fast in what the Lord has shown you. I also know in your steadfast stand there is a willingness of heart to yield to the Lord if you hear Him make any sort of correction….whether in ‘doctrine’ or in life itself. I have found that men can put up walls all around me (and they do try quite regularly, actually) but as I remain in Him I can walk right through them. Walk on, Christopher. I appreciated there was no ‘poor persecuted me’ spirit in what you wrote. Just the facts so we can pray for all concerned. Much love to you, brother, “BK”

  11. BK, you know me so very very well; better yet you understand me. Thank you for bearing with me all these years through both trials and triumphs. I Love you!

    • "BK" permalink

      That’s the fruit of ‘one anothering’….and YEARS of it. Love in the deepest, truest sense. And trust.
      Hugz to you, “BK”

      • "BK" permalink

        On the subject of separating over doctrine I’d like to share something I recently noticed. I have been reading some biographies/journals of our brothers & sisters in the Muslim world who Jesus has appeared to and/or spoken to. They turn to Him without reserve, many already having given their life for their new found Saviour. NOT ONCE does He EVER say, “I am Jesus. I am three in one (or 1 in three); I’ve come to save you from hell (or send you there); you’re just a woman but I’m speaking to you in spite of your being second class….NO. He tells them He is Jesus and He loves them. They come together and share Him and His love which they find amazing. Maybe we could take a lesson or two over here in the Western Hemisphere……? “BK”

  12. Great point BK and so very, very TRUE. LOVE trumps doctrine in every conceivable way.

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