Out of Context: Where Two or Three Are Gathered

Recently my mind hovered on this verse, Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” and a question came to mind…Is Jesus not around if I’m by myself? Is my faith ineffective if I pray to the Lord when no one else is with me? If I worship God in my car while driving, or in my home office, does this mean He isn’t with me? What if there is four, five or more gathered together? Is that too much?

We of course know this isn’t true, Jesus dwells in the heart of each man and women of faith. He promised to hear the prayers of each saint. He promised that if he could clothe the lily of the valley and feed the sparrow, how much more would he care for each of his children. So then why do we use this verse so out of place? Probably because the wording fits a modern narrative.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” – Matthew 18:20, KJV

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Merchandising the Flock

The books of I & II Peter deal with the premise of falsehood often, both in leaders/teachers and the saints of God. Continuing the theme that Jesus began in His ministry, who warned that the real dangers of falsehood would come from within the flock, and mostly at the top of the flock (Mark 7:15), Peter ties on and shows how the old and modern Church became a capital investment for many, both then, and in the times to come.

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:…” – 2 Peter 2:3, KJV

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Keeping Christ’s Commandments

So far, a lot of my writing has been pretty heavily focused on legalism and my escape from it. I’ve written titles like The Commandments of Men and Are Spiritual Leaders requiring Too Much?, but I also want to recognize and focus on the fact that Christ does indeed have commandments for New Testament believers to follow.

Our Christian walk is filled with questions. Just type into Google search ‘is it ok for christians to…’ and look at all the results or auto suggestions. There is a plethora of do and do not’s, both Biblical, and an unending tide of opinion. But one thing is true, the Word.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. – John  14:15, KJV

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Every Appearance of Evil

This is a reblog of an article I read on appropriately interpreting I Thessalonians 5:22

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

As described in this article, I have ALWAYS heard this verse used in the context of avoiding situations that could look compromising, which of course is solid advice, but contextually inaccurate.

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The Commandments of Men

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. – Matthew 15:9, KJV

What are the ‘Commandments of Men‘ and why did Jesus come against this topic multiple times? Are we becoming dogmatic in our congregations and not pursuing the Commandments of God adequately, through Faith, or is this just good fodder for the Liberalism vs. Legalism debate?

I will explore this topic, with some authority in my background, coming from a more ‘legalistic’ sided faith structure, and ask the question that is overlooked at times during the argument…what exactly were the Commandments of Men?

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Are Spiritual Leaders Requiring Too Much?

For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; Acts 15:28

I once heard a man say, “Rules + Regulations – Love = Resentment & Rebellion” when introducing a new faith based Drug & Alcohol recovery program to our Church. The principle that was being taught applies to so many facets of our lives, from parenting, marital relationships, inter-office and employer to employee relationships, and so forth.

In the realm of spiritual leadership, the position of authority, generally the Pastor, holds so much power over the average persons life that I fear it to be too easy to shift into the Rules + Regulations mentality. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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Does your worship have Joy?

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. – Romans 14:7, KJV

Just a simple and short observation. I have begun to reflect on my past Church and the worship that was practically mandatory at every service. I don’t mean the singing of hymns, special soloists and songs. The culmination of every service was the altar-call. This was our response to the preaching and in essence was the measuring stick for how good the service was. The more wild it was, the longer it lasted (the altar-call), the more powerful the ‘move of God’ was.

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What is Defiling the Temple?

My Christian Friends…I want your feedback.
In I Corinthians 3:16-18 we hear Paul saying that if you ‘destroy the temple, God will destroy you’.
In I Corinthians 6:19, after Paul commands us to flee sexual immorality, he declares that our Body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
In II Corinthians 6:16 again Paul references this ‘temple’ as either our body, or ‘the body of Christ’, in that we are the ‘temple of the living God’.
I have heard it taught often that then defiling your body is sin and will bring the judgement of God upon your life. So what then is Defiling the Temple?

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Christians, stop judging each other!

Within the past several months I went to a Church service where the Pastor of the assembly, on a Sunday morning, literally stood before the flock and mocked, pantomimed, made fun of and judged other quote Christians unquote. How?

The joke was, “You know, those quote Christians unquote who pray silently, in their head and you can’t hear anything?” At this point the Pastor made a mimicking sarcastic face, lifted upwards for a few seconds and then shouted That doesn’t work!

He went on, “And those hireling quote preachers unquote that dress in their jeans and sit on bars tools just talking pretty sermons.” Here again he pantomimed sitting on a stool and shouted That doesn’t work!

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The Gospel Transition from Jews to Gentiles – Part 3 – The Gentiles

In part 1 and part 2 of this study we have come to realize that indeed Jesus (God) came for His people, the Israelite/Jewish nation, and through the Apostles his Gospel was preached to the Jews only. But later, due to the final rejection of the Gospel by the Jewish people, lastly when they stoned Stephen in Acts 8 the transition was made clear.

Paul in Acts 13:46 finally declared that his mission and Gospel message would no longer be to the Jews, but to the Gentile Bride of Christ. While the lost sheep of Israel reject Christ as Messiah, the door is open for us as fellow-heirs to be adopted through his message of Grace.

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