Author: Rob Wilden

I am a follower, a follower of Jesus, and I hope, a fellow follower with you. Jesus has given us an invitation [and a challenge] to walk as he walked. Let's walk with Him... and explore that together. (The cutie in the picture?! That's my newest granddaughter, Bailey. She's not yet walking...)

(Just For Fun), What Rhymes With It?

If I put a poem on a blog that rhymed with it…

…would you read it?

Would you even want to see it? 
Poetry? Really!? Who needs it?

Would anybody read it?
Or admit that they like it? 
Would they ignore it?

Or quickly delete it 
Before they read it?! 

Is this Poetry? Not really… or did you not read it!?

(And here’s why these sentences all end with an it…
How else could I rhyme it?
I’m not a poet.)


A Clash of Cultures

A Clash of Cultures

I have been wondering… How do I engage in conversation with people, within the culture that I live in, who have a different view of what God and truth are than I do, without clashing with them and their cultural view?I wondered, is that possible?

Here’s more questions, like, what is the culture that I live in; how do I define it? What is the engine that drives our culture’s way of thinking? What is the mindset that governs our culture? So many questions. Too many questions…!?

My brains a bit fried

But still, let me try

To work through this…

      When it comes to defining our own present cultural types, there are 3 or 4 primary ones that we can choose from: the 1st cultural type is called a theonomous culture, which when broken apart is theos; meaning, God, and nomous; meaning, law. That culture is a culture governed by God, subject to God’s authority. It is a culture that has his law written in its heart.

       American culture in its beginnings, in limited ways, was a culture governed by God’s law. Back then the framers of our Constitution also defined God’s governance as “natural law”, as in, ”We believe these things to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” We, in our beginnings better accepted the laws of God, and his natural law. We wrote them in our documents and chiseled them on our monuments. It was a rock upon which to build our culture. That rock, nowadays, is crumbling. We, as a culture, are not now yielding to the rule of God. We, instead, are in rebellion against His rule. Culturally our hearts are in another place.

       The 2nd culture type is called a heteronomous culture. Hetero; meaning another, nomous; meaning law. It is culture governed, by “another” lawgiver, other than God, another, separate, chosen one and/or few who rule from the top. A Fascist dictatorship, an oligarchy, and the Prophet Mohammed are a few examples of that type of culture. The masses are governed by the few. The few who are in power dictate the cultural laws and mores to the many.

       Our 3rd cultural choice is an autonomous culture. Autos; meaning self, nomous; again meaning law; Self-law, which means each person dictates their own moral law. Each one self-determines what is right and what is wrong. Autonomy is the engine that drives American culture. Our culture preaches to us and reinforces within us, that within the Self there is the only god that we need to discover. Within us is all the power we need to define and achieve whatever we choose to believe. We just need to learn how to tap into it. The new “spiritual” bent of our culture now days is narcissistically autonomous. It’s all about Me discovering the Source of truth within me. And once I discover it, I can define it (or redefine it if necessary), I can tap into it, and make it work for me.

       A 4th cultural type of rule for U.S. is Democranomous (dim mock’ ran no muss) [New word, not in the dictionary! ] : Law by majority rule. You know… Democracy:  A majority defines and determines the law that rules. [Nowadays we call ourselves a Democracy. And we’re proud of it. We used to be a Representative Republic. What happened?]

       Our systems of governance in our culture today only work if those who have the power of governance are God-governed. Apart from being governed by God, we are left with the competing clash of those who, without a solid foundation, are continually redefining the systems and enforcing what the rule of law is for the remainder of us.

       What we end up within all of this is a cultural clash: law by majority rule is in competition with governance by the privileged few, which in turn is in competition with law as it is defined and determined by [sing it]: “Me me me meee…”.

       The Autonomous culture that we live in today creates this conundrum: Everyone’s truth is defined by, and for, themselves. There is no objective truth. Truth is subjectively defined by each person within the culture. So we live “our own truth” and let others live theirs, and we all do our own thing. If things get difficult we may switch to a competing cultural definition. If we can’t agree on a thing, then…  Majority rules.  Let’s vote on it:    We win.   You lose.    Done.       Or maybe we switch to a dictatorial/Heteronomous cultural mode, as in, “What I [or we the chosen few who have the power] have chosen for you to believe is what you now must believe. Or else!”

Or, some may desire to see a return to the Theonomous cultural mode, “Believe what God and the Bible said. You must believe. Or else…” How’s that working for us? Us trying to force a secular rebellious culture to be under God’s rule because, after all, that is how it ought to be.

Or, we do this instead: We can become a counter-cultural people! This I think, is the best way we can engage our culture and cause it to desire Gods culture: We model it. We become one people, one family, the Family of God, which he has adopted, separated from this world, and gathered for his purpose. We become a people who understand his divine purpose, who have been won over by the love of God, who are acknowledging and walking in the light of truth as it is being revealed by God. A people who have learned how to walk as Jesus walked, accepting the leading of the Spirit and the will of the Father. When we, who truly are His, are built together like that by the Master Builder, we will shine as God’s light, as His antidote for a darkened and confused culture.*                                                    

                                                            *[Also check the asterisk (*) below: Followers of Jesus have actually been called to be part of a new culture, a Counter Culture, which is radically different than the above cultural systems. God’s Kingdom Culture is His alternative to the broken cultural choices that we have in our world today.]

       What we have today is a messy blend of these 4 in our culture. Autonomy believes the Individual is god, Democracy believes the Majority is god. Heteronomy believes our gods are the Few. Theonomy now days is our fading God. We today as a culture have replaced God’s rule. Because of that, we are left with the “Chosen’s” view, whether they be the many or the few, of what our culture is supposed to do.

Listen to the “New [Culture] Speak” on how we are to think and speak:

It starts out well but ends badly. “Be inclusive. Be tolerant of all views.(Unless it doesn’t agree with the Majority view.) We took a poll. Speak only what the majority has determined to be true.

Be inclusive. Be tolerant of all views. (Unless it doesn’t agree with a view of the Chosen Few. Speak only what the Few have determined to be True.

Be inclusive. Be tolerant. Love all views. (Until it doesn’t agree with Mine.) Unless you agree with me, I’d rather that you did not speak. Agree with Me or silent be.”

Speaking through the filter of the words of the God of Truth which people of faith believe in, is not in the New Speak equation: don’t even talk about That.

We are being force-fed a New [Culture] Speak:   So bite the Apple:   Or else!


Allow me to confess, we are all in a mess because our first parents did bite the Apple!

Let me also confess this: that as an individual I believe in God’s law, in God’s word and His self-evident natural law (What goes up [a ladder] must come down [a ladder], right?). While I can’t dictate to the “Autonomous You”, that they must believe what I do, I will accept and love them even while we must disagree. At the same time, if they are truly autonomous (inclusive and tolerant of all views), they should be accepting of others right to believe differently and, at least, listen. The lines of communication should remain open, a thing difficult to do as we come to realize that our cultural ideals are at war. 

     In today’s culture if someone tries to communicate God’s truth from a position of faith, to a world conflicted by, or at war with that truth, is the right to speak still acceptable in our world?

Barely, barely (I say unto you). The freedom to exercise that right is decreasing… But give me a chance if I may, let me try to exercise my faith:

       I believe that God has given us his new covenant, his new rules to follow, and that is His Law of love. The Father presented to us his son, Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life. He is the doorway into experiencing God’s new covenant of love for his people. Everyone has a choice, to see, to understand, and to choose for themselves the Truth worth following after. I believe Truth is God’s son Jesus, and that He is worth following. He is the Truth. Following the Truth sets us free. Simply put, I believe that we as a people have been created by God, for God. We need to surrender to and be governed by the one supreme God, the one who has a higher and better law for us than the chains of the unsurrendered Self’s autonomous law.

       This is what I do not believe, that self-rule will work apart from God’s rule. It must ultimately deteriorate into chaos and anarchy because self-determined truths will inevitably compete with one another within the culture and cause conflict. They will cause us to declare war upon one another. We are seeing it today. Increasingly so. Look around you. The lines are being drawn.

       But, this I also believe, that culturally, surrender will never happen. We are in rebellion. We as a fallen sinful culture are at war with the rule of God. We love darkness rather than light. We love our truth more than His truth. We are the Rebel Planet and consequences are coming.

       I believe in the story that dates back to the very beginning of time. I believe in the Bible record that says that the first man and woman, not too long after creation, were deceived into believing that they too were autonomous, that they could choose for themselves what was good and what was evil. That deception separated them, and consequently us, from God and from His Life. That deception separated them from the fellowship that God intended to have with them. And so they disobeyed.

       The world today reaps the consequences of disobedience. People in the world today continue to believe in this deception: that it is up to us to determine what is good and what is evil, not what God has already defined for us. We determined that it was okay to disobey. God determined that disobedience to be sin. From that infamous beginning, our sins are now many. We have been given a long list of what they are. But because we are now self-determining, we have determined that sin does not even exist in the hearts of men (I’m okay you’re okay: we’re not evil, we’re basically good). Or we decide can grade our sins on a subjective sliding scale. Now, we are free to throw out some, or if we wish, determine if some are worse than others. 

       In our autonomous culture, murder (excepting babies in the womb) is still defined as being an evil thing, while homosexuality is not. Lying might be necessary and not even sinful if it’s just a white lie. And so we bump heads in that cultural conversation because we have different cultural lenses. Theonomously defined, sin is sin. Heteronomously, it is defined by the few. Democratically it is defined by the majority. Autonomously, it is entirely up to you. 

       From God’s view, sin has consequences. From the view of the few, consequences work more like Random Selection (the Few may randomly select you! ). Democratically we’re not sure; so let’s take a vote! Autonomously, it can all be ignored.

Here is an invitation not to ignore it. 

There is a solution; Theonomously speaking:

       Jesus came! God sent his son. He lived. He died. He rose and lives again. He brought us redemption. He paid the price. He has chosen us and He offers us his life. We can choose it. We can believe. We can choose Him. We can find Life again in him. We can be his temple and he can live within us. He is the solution for all of the ways we fall short of perfection. 

He is the solution for all of our sins: the ones we call big, the ones we call little, and the ones that we ignore. He gives us his Life. He told us, go and sin no more. So we go and take up our cross and trade in our lives**. He gives us the power to do all things through Christ. Jesus’ Life within us is the power. He gives us the power to choose and to do the right thing. He has given us Himself so that we can do all things through Him who is our Strength. He has given us the ability to choose freedom. Jesus is the one who sets us free. Indeed.

       God gave us something very special, sacred even when he gave us free choice. We are free to choose. But still, it is God who governs the consequences and the outcomes of those choices. He has given us the freedom to choose. He gave us control of our choices, but he did not give us control of the consequences of those choices. We as a culture are given choices. The choice of being governed by God’s rule, by the rule of the many, by the rule of the few, or by the rule of the Self. We have been given the choice of surrendering to God’s free reign over us, or of choosing to surrender our freedom to the many, or the few. Or we may continue to choose that we ourselves remain the self-determining gods. We have the choices. Ultimately, with all of those choices, this is the consequence, we have surrendered our freedom to the deceiver. Whether we realize it or not, we come under the rule of the prince and god of this world, Satan, who is the father of sin, and lies, and evil, and the keeper of all of this world’s fallen cultural systems.

We have a choice. We still can choose the truth that sets us free. It is the Truth that has a name. Truth’s name is Jesus.

      This though, cannot be avoided: If we choose the Truth that sets us free, if we choose Jesus, that choice will clash with the world’s version of truth. We who believe will receive consequences from the world. Jesus warned us that this would be the way it is. Jesus warned us of the tribulation and persecution that would come of all of this. Because this world hated Him, it will hate those who choose Him.

But in the end, Truth will win.

       Culture today, in the USA and in the world, is in the process of replacing God and redefining the truth. We are losing our freedom. Today, in our autonomous cultures, each individual is a god becoming [replacing] God. The stories of the gods of Greek mythology gave us a hint of what it will be like when Autonomy rules—it would be like our Marvel superhero gods, gone mad! The clash of wills worldwide will deteriorate into anarchy. 

       Anarchy will rule and reign until Hetero (Another god– an anti-God— who will reign for a short season), comes along to dictate to the mad masses what they now must do.

Is there not a prophecy… somewhere… about that, about the outcome of everyone doing what is right in their own eyes?

When the gods of America

And the gods of this world

Replace the God of creation,


And this world will truly be

A terrifying place…

… Until the very end, when Truth comes back and wins!


       * We have been called by God into a new and different culture. A culture that is not of this world, and yet is in this world. A culture not conforming to the systems of this world. A culture transformed by the Word. We have been called by God to be his people, his family; His plan is to build us into a culture that is distinctly different and separate from the fallen cultural systems of this world. We have been called into His Kingdom Culture. We are to be Counter Cultural. We are called to be a reflection of the glory of God the Father dwelling within us. We are his Ecclesia, a people gathered from out of this world to be His light in this world. 

       We have been called from out of this world to join His kingdom restoration, His ecclesia’s reformation, and His worldwide revolution.

       May His kingdom come, may His will be done, here on earth, in us and through us, as it is in heaven.

** I used auto dictation to write this. When I said, “…we take up our cross and trade in our lives.”, auto dictation wrote this, “…we take up our cross and trade in our wives.” ! (Funny, but no.)

Proof that evolution did not happen.

Evolution did not happen. Really.

I have proof:


Penguins are proof that evolution is not happening. It’s not working.

Think about it. Evolution says animals adapt comfortably to their environment. Do penguins look comfortable in their environment?

Just look at them.

They look COLD, not comfortable. I don’t think they belong in Antarctica.

I mean, go to the San Diego Zoo and visit their penguins. To help them adapt and make them comfortable, they didn’t put them in the freezer! Penguins there hang out together on the warm wet cement and they’re doing just fine. Living there quite comfortably, I’d say.

Every other animal that lives in the Antarctic comes equipped with thick fur or layers and layers of fat or blubber. What’s a penguin got? They’re waddling around in their short baggy pants that have sagged down around their ankles, looking like they’re cold and soaking wet. Is this comfortable?

Every year penguins walk 80 miles round trip for their food. That must be true, ‘cause Morgan Freeman said it… They have this food circuit they’ve been walking for millions of years… maybe billions!? If these poor animals have been walking around for millions of years why don’t they have knees yet? The theory of evolution gets shaky here (the pun is intended): Why are they still waddling around? They’re barely able to stand on shaky slippery ground.

Why haven’t they grown some bendy legs? Some legs with knees? Evolution would have fixed that. I mean there’s just something wrong with that. Evolution is really messing up.

And have you looked at their wings? Those things they call wings haven’t worked out very well for them. Go ahead, ask them, “So how are your wings working for you?” They’re just not. They’re grounded. Billions and billions of years and they still can’t fly.  Why?  Evolution didn’t fix that one for them either. Evolution is not looking so good here.

And have you noticed, how they lay on their bellies and slide into the ocean? They’re not doing that for fun. They’ve tripped and they can’t get up! What else can they do? They have no bendy legs. And (just in case you wanted to know) they have no belly button.

So there they go, again and again, sliding back down into the sea. About that… that is just the opposite of what evolutionists say about how we came to be. They say we came up OUT of the sea, got some bendy knees and learned how to walk on land. Nope. Sorry. Not so.

Evolution is not working. We have penguins sliding back into the sea…       so that they can do what?

Learn how to swim?

Come on, they’re birds!

You Don’t Own Me


Wrote about the (other!) meaning of the Beatles song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”… Here’s a reintroduction of “You Don’t Own Me”, newly edited;  another song with a (other!) message:

The song ” You Don’t Own Me!” got reintroduced to a new generation thanks to Toyota’s recent commercials for their new Corolla. We sang it back in ’64 (“Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?”) Oh, wait, wrong song. Back in ’64 “You Don’t Own Me” became an American independence anthem. It was liberating. Especially for the ladies. And it fit into our American independence meme (Meme number 1* : an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture… horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by… [commercial!] entertainment media.)
So we sang it loudly way back when (when we were young and free!), that same old freedom meme*. Now Toyota is introducing it to a new, young, and receptive audience. So come on everybody, sing along, LOUDLY:

“You don’t own me. Don’t try to change me in any way. You don’t own me. Don’t tie me down ’cause I’ll never stay. Oo ooh, don’t tell me what to do, don’t tell me what to say. Just let me be myself, that’s all I ask of you. I’m young and I love to be young. I’m free and I love to be free, to live my life the way I want, to say and do whatever I please. You don’t own me.”

It’s funny, it’s sad. It’s ironic really, introducing it once again to young Americans… Here you go, for your new consumption, our old declaration of Freeeedom.  (flashback to Braveheart: William Wallace/Mel Gibson!)  But is it a declaration?  Or is it once again simply our heart’s cry for freedom?  Is it once again just giving voice to that deep longing for real freedom which was  planted by our Creator within each of our souls? We say we’re free, but we’re not really. And here’s an example: Here we are, driving along in the Corolla commercial, and right after we’re loudly singing ”…don’t tell me what to do”, we cross over out of our own lane. Oops. It makes our Corolla lane departure warning signal come on.  It tells us what to do…   And…   we do it!

We sing we’re free but we’re not. We pretend we are, but the truth is, we’re not.  Here’s the truth: The Son, the one who created us, says only knowing the truth will set us free. He tells us if and when we know him then, we are free indeed.  He ought to know, because he is the Truth. And Truth (with a capital T) sets us free.

Until we know the Truth we are slaves to Meme number 2** which is: “A condition and pattern of rebellion against our creator that has spread throughout every culture vertically, an inherited fallen spiritual nature that has been passed on from parent to child since the time of Adam and Eve…
We inherited meme number 2 way back in the Garden. There is where we said to God, “You don’t own me. Don’t tie me down… Don’t tell me what to do…”, right after the serpent said, “Did God say… Don’t?!  Don’t let Him tell you what to do and what not to do…”. Adam and Eve agreed, “We’ll eat the Apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We want to. We’re young (and we love to be young) and free? We’d love to be free. We’d love freedom for Me. We’d love the freedom to decide for ourselves what is good and what is evil.”

And because Adam and Eve ate of that apple, I too have taken a bite out of the Apple.

There’s a bite out of your apple too.

We are not free. Unless and until the Son has set us free indeed.

So what about us after having been born of the Spirit, and proclaiming, “Thank God. Now, finally, I’m free. I’ve been redeemed. You know; the Blood covers me, and the Lamb who died for me, sets me free… So I’m free now, I was caught up in the darkness but now I have seen the light. Now I’m free, ’cause I am a new creation in Christ.” And, that’s all good…

But here’s the deal:  We must be on guard for freedom. Not so much what we have been set free from, but we must be on guard for what we have been set free for. We do have a Teacher and a Helper for that. We have a guardian in the Holy Spirit. We have been given Someone to be on guard within us lest, unwittingly, our freedom falls prey to the “You don’t own me” line from that oldest Meme, Meme number 2, (The rebellion from our Creator meme) and we start living out the new Corolla anthem, “I’m free and I love to be free, to live my life the way that I want, to say and do whatever I please. (You don’t own me.)“… We are prone to do it individually. In the flesh. And we are prone to conduct our “church” business the same way.  On our own, in the flesh.  Independently of “Not my will, not our will, but Thy will be done.”

May it not be so.

We don’t live by the old memes. We have a new one. Meme number 3*** which is:  Do you not know… as a new freed creation in Christ you are not your own? You have been bought…

(“What?” , “I’m not my own?, I don’t own me?…
But I thought I’d been set free!? And hey, I just heard it playing on the radio in my brand new Corolla. And I was singin’ it out loud, “I’m free to say and do what ever I please…You don’t own me.”!)


…Because we have a New Meme. Our New Meme is our Father’s counter cultural truth: (1 Cor. 6 19,20) Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; For you were bought with a price; so glorify God in your body and in your spirit, because they belong to God. 

Realizing this, we are free. Truly free. Freed to love and free to live. We are freed to walk as Jesus walked, free to accept the cross just as he did, laying down our “godness” our own self determining lives, just as he did, so that in exchange, we can live by his Life. We have been freed to live right now, in and by His Life, because Jesus, right now in us, with our co-operation, truly, is setting us free.


*Meme: *1 : an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture… horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by… [commercial!] entertainment media.

**Meme: **2: A condition and pattern of rebellion against our creator that has spread throughout every culture vertically, an inherited fallen spiritual nature that has been passed on from parent to child since the time of Adam and Eve…

***Our New Meme, Meme number ***3 is: (1 Cor. 6 19,20) Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; so glorify God in your body and in your spirit, because they belong to God.

While My[His] Guitar Gently Weeps…

Did you know the the meaning of the words to an old favorite Beatles song, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps…” have changed!? (Well, at least for me.)

Let me share with you why it has changed and what the words of the Beatles’ song now means!

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” really is–are you ready for this?–Jesus singing to “the church”. Yep. It’s true, I can’t help but hear within it a message to “the church”, accompanied by his guitar gently weeping for the church (Could it possibly be a post script to Rev. 2 and 3; His messages to the 7 churches?!). O.k. Maybe not! But to me at least, it is a lament to an entity that has gone amiss. An entity, commonly called, “the church”,  The song does an amazing job of stating what has gone wrong, not with Jesus’ Bride to be, but what has gone wrong with what became an institution called the church. Without the Beatles realizing it, there is much truth being spoken out in their song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” about an institution which since long ago has been known as “The Church”.  In their song “Revolution”, they say, “You say you want a revolution? Well you know, we all want to change the world. You say that it’s the institution?….”

I say, Yeah… that institution needs a revolution.

For the past several years I’ve been re-thinking “church”, that is, the entity called “the church”, and my part in it. Interestingly one of the definitions of “entity” in Merriam Webster’s online dictionary is: “An organization (such as [a church]) that has an identity separate from those of its members.” Exactly.   The identity of the true members of Jesus’ bride and body is entirely different the the identity the institutional organized church has taken on, it’s identity is separate from that of it’s members.  The members of Jesus’ body and bride have been given the Life of a Person who promises that his load is unburdensome and light, while the entity called the church historically has immersed it’s followers into being conformed within a system so loaded with burdensome and extra heavy baggage that it squashes the very Life right out of them.  So, for some time now I’ve looked at what is called “the church” with a growing sense that something truly is amiss, realizing that I too, needed to set aside a whole lot of baggage that I had been carrying around about the church I grew up in (Still working on that…). I began to understand that it’s function and purpose had morphed into something different then that of the original gatherings of the followers of Jesus.

I’ve had to re-think and re-evaluate that “normal” experience which we grew up in; our church experience which we knew then, was not what it should have and could have been.  During that time of re-evaluation and transformation there gradually came a time for me when the Beatles “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” began to have a whole new meaning as it moved from being just a hauntingly beautiful love song to an epic lamentation sung by Jesus himself, accompanied by his weeping guitar! (Stay with me here- maybe I can ‘xplain what I’ve heard…!) It became Jesus weeping over what what had become of something that men were identifying him with, something they called His “Church”, but, it was instead something that had been hijacked long ago by mere men who were sure they knew better than He how it was supposed to function, how it was supposed to be built, and what was supposed to to be it’s focus. The simple conclusion; church as we now know it is not functioning as it originally functioned.

Looking back in history, by the time of Constantine, men had stripped it of it’s original Love and Life and the heavenly power of God which it had been given at it’s birth, gradually and subtly institutionalizing it and politicizing it with the earthly powers of men. It devolved through the centuries from what it was intended to be:  A beautiful bride reflecting and radiating Jesus Love to a broken world, a love that draws the world around it out of it’s own brokenness by an amazing relational experience of God’s kind of love (Agape love) which they had with their Groom as he was filling and restoring them with his Life (Zoe life: God‘s Life.). He shared with them/us the love, joy and peace of a Life which could only be experienced by our relationship with Him as a bride and body dwelling in the Son.

Church as we’ve known it, church as it devolved through the centuries to become what we know and experience now is a poor reflection of that reality. It had become draped again in the robes of “religion at it’s best(worst)”, which Jesus so boldly confronted while he was walking upon this earth. He brought us a new way to walk: He is the Way to walk. He brought us truth, which turned the religious world of his day upside down, because he is the Truth. He introduced us to a new kingdom which was not of this world but by his Spirit he enables us to participate in it while we are yet in this world. He brought back to us the Life which we lost in the Garden long ago, back to himself: back to the Tree of Life itself.  Our 1st parents ate of the wrong tree in that garden and passed on to us a deception– that now as our own god’s we get to decide what is right and wrong, that we now have Knowledge so we can decide for ourselves what is good and what is bad. We in essence, tossed God out of our garden, saying like any “normal” person-like a 2 year old– ” I can do it myself!” Except what really happened was, we got tossed out of the garden and were separated from the Tree of Life.

Jesus came back to restore that. He came to restore Life. He came so we could eat of that Tree again. He offers Himself as our Life, our Bread, and our Living Water. Jesus came back as a gatherer, to gather unto himself the community of God: a family, a bride and a body. And a new Temple for Himself to dwell in. And so now, we are His temples . Church in it’s beginning was called ecclesia, it was a gathering, a people gathered in the name of Jesus, as his temple. It was and is a people, not a place. We are his gathering place.

  Here is the good (startling?) news: What has been commonly called “church”  is not the place where he gathers. He does not dwell in buildings called “churches” or “temples”. He instead gathers in the hearts of men and women when and where ever they gather in His name. That is because in those who are born again, he is already abiding and residing within the hearts of men and women, not within the walls of institutions by any name.  “Church” as we’ve come to experience it, for the most part has become a place you go to to be a part of a religious event. Depending upon where you go and who is going there with you, it may be a “good experience”, but, is it God’s best experience of His presence in the church? Within that question is a hint of what is amiss with our old/normal understanding of “church”. The picture that automatically comes to mind with the current usage of the word “church” is a place or a building (As in the question that’s commonly asked, “Where do you go to church?), or a denomination with this commonly asked question, “What church do you go to?”  Church has become a thing or somewhere that you go to, to “do church”. And church there is done with an “order of worship”, or liturgy with dozens of our own variations (Which we called “improvements”.), being passed down through the centuries by tradition. You can count on them is some form: Welcome/introductions. Singing/music. Bible reading. Standing. Sitting. Offering. Etc.,  If you are Protestant your main focus is the Sermon. If you are Catholic your focus is the Eucharist. With all that, you’ve been to church where you are, for the most part, the passive listening audience. It’s been this way for decades. It’s been more or less this way for centuries. We have been going to an entity called the church with a separate life of it’s own which tends to tug us away from the Life Jesus wants to give his people.

  You can search all around and find some “good” churches, some with a little life. You can search further and find some “better” churches, some who have better life, some with more of the life of Jesus. If you search really really hard you may find and experience the golden thread kept intact through the centuries by Jesus himself; the genuine functioning faith and practice of the early ecclesia which has survived the devastating effects of “The Church”. The ecclesia, the gathered “community” is still linked by a golden thread back to what Jesus originally intended and built, and has preserved through the centuries:  A community of believers, the ecclesia, actively functioning under Jesus’ headship as he gathers them unto Himself.  I see our time as ripe for the rebirth and renewal of the faith and the function originally given by Jesus’ disciples to the early followers of Jesus.

So, here we are today, The Church remains as it is; The Church, with it’s perceived “normal” function as we’ve known it, built upon “the  good, the bad, (and the ugly?”) traditions of men.

Jesus’ guitar is gently weeping over church as it is. Much good is contained within it. Much good flows through it because God is gracious and good to his children within it whom he loves. But still, as it is, functionally it remains built on a foundation of man’s traditions, man‘s “good”, not God’s best.  There is a better way. There is a best. He is trying to remind us. He is trying to wake us up. Jesus intends for us to have his best, something much better than “(our) good”.

So, enough of trying to set the scene.  Here are the words of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and what I think it is saying from this new perspective:

“I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping  while my guitar gently weeps”

The 1st line speaks a simple truth: The love of the church is sleeping… He is telling us that we have become the Bride he spoke of in Matt. 25:5: (“The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.”) Startlingly true, and more so when we compare the current church love with the first love of the early ecclesia/gatherings.  

“I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps”

Continual sweeping and correcting was always a part of the growing, maturing process of the early ecclesia. To say the church floor today needs sweeping is an understatement, it is in a mess! A mess which, for the most part, we don’t even see; We’ve swept the mess under the proverbial rug for centuries. What was hidden there is not pretty…

“I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love”

We were told, we just didn’t get it. We didn’t hear it with ears to hear.

“I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you”

We didn’t have ears to hear and because of that we slipped under the control of someone other than the Head…  

It did not take long in the history of “the church”, before it was corrupted and controlled. What had been known as the ecclesia was soon bought and then sold into slavery; enslaved to this world’s political power and the power of money. The other worldly ecclesia was persecuted and enslaved by a worldly ecclesiastical monarchical institutional system run by the whims of men, instead of the Spirit of God.  The history of “The Church” was not kind to the followers of the Lord Jesus. It served a different lord which literally put to death those who did not conform to the system.  

“I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps”

Time has passed but it is now time for a turning. Time to get radical, i.e. , time to get back to our roots.  Time to follow the golden thread back in time to re-examine and understand what our new birth into His new family, into this new community of God, really means. Time to re-examine what being the bride of Christ really entails and how we are intended to function within that new reality.

“With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps”

With every mistake we must surely be learning. Surely, at least, we who are the called out ones, we who have been gathered into the Lord Jesus, must be willing to learn.


I don’t know how you were *diverted
You were *perverted too
I don’t know how you were *inverted
No one alerted you”

The church was Diverted; it was distracted and it was turned aside from it’s only purpose: To love and glorify and point with joy and gladness to Jesus.

The church was Perverted; it deviated from it’s roots and it’s original, simple, Jesus honoring practice, into practices that were far removed from the life and love of Jesus. It slid into distortions, misunderstandings and misinterpretations. And what was abnormal became normal. “Church” history, if we are honest, is an incredibly sad history.  Jesus’ guitar should not just be gently weeping over it, it should be screaming(for crying out loud!).

The church was Inverted; it turned inward, it became all about itself and about perpetuating itself and it’s own (political)power with it’s own prestige and earthy glory. It lost it’s first love. It removed Jesus as it’s Head and instead sat him out in the wings of the church as only an “honored guest”, and thus only had a form of godliness but not the power of his presence in it’s midst.


*Diverted 1. To turn aside from a course or direction.
2. To distract.

1. Deviating from what is considered right and correct.
2. Of, relating to, or engaging in… practices that are considered abnormal or deviant.
3. Marked by misinterpretation or distortion:

1. To turn inside out or upside down.
2. To reverse the position, order, or condition of.


“I look from the wings at the play you are staging.                                                                                                                                                         While my guitar gently weeps”

Jesus looks at this church from the wings where the church has placed him. Looking at the men who have taken his stage and replaced him. Men who for the most part do not yet know how to truly equip the gathered saints and function among them, because they themselves have only been trained to stage the play and act the part. And church people too, have been trained and conditioned to watch the show that leaders lead and have been taught how to act their part.

Could this Jesus be wanting to step up once again to the center so he can teach all of us how his unfolding of our love for Him unfolds his Agape Love through all of us… We have been taught by default, that it is mostly up to “the trained” to make Life and Love happen within the church. It’s not. God’s Spirit within us desires to train us all how to walk as Jesus walked and do as he did… so that all of us are participating together with him in the Life and in the Love of a gathered community of believers.

“Look at you all…  Still my guitar gently weeps”

Look at us all! We need to look back to Him, get off the stage, invite Him back to the center, and let Him make Love and Life happen in us and through us.

“Oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, oh, ooh”


His guitar continues to weep,


“Take Out Your Scrolls And Roll Them On Down To The Letter To The Ephesians…” (Part 1.)



Imagine with me…

…It’s shortly after Pentecost. The church is getting ready to meet in the Temple Court, . The pews are all set nicely in their rows with the scroll of the day neatly tucked in the scroll holders. The sound system is ready and a mike awaits the speaker behind the pulpit. The worship team is ready… and after an opening prayer and some announcments songs soon fill the open air.  And then the Pastor steps up to the mike. “Take out your scrolls and roll them on down to the letter to the Ephesians… we will continue where we left off last week in chapter 4, at verse 11…

Sounds familiar, sorta…

Two different era’s mixed up together sounds sorta strange: Church as we know it today mixed into a gathering of early believers.

Putting pews in Jerusalem’ Temple Court?   In a pew?  Uh… What’s a pew!?  The scroll of Ephesians? Scroll holders?  It’s only A.D. 48, Ephesians hasn’t been written yet.   And what’s a pulpit? Or a Senior Pastor who stands up behind one and delivers his [three point] sermon to the people sitting in the pews in the temple court? It’s all mixed up like scrambled eggs.

Yep it is. Can scrambled eggs be unscrambled? Take away the scroll; they didn’t have Ephesians on a scroll to read. They didn’t yet have Bibles. But even if they had, most of the early believers were illiterate. Take away the pews with the Bible holders… and the sound system, and the Pastor speaking behind the pulpit, and the worship team… The early church gathering didn’t have any of that. How in the world did they survive without them?

Actually the question should be, “How was it that they thrived and grew by leaps and bounds without any of that?

Take that all away, roll the time back to the Day of Pentecost and put Peter in his place, speaking the truth with amazing boldness… What did he have? When the 120 in the upper room went out after Pentecost what did they all have?

Simply (radically)…

…they had Jesus.

They had Jesus within. They had the Life living within them and they were living by that Life. They were the new dwelling place of God. They were the new temple, the living stones, being built upon the Cornerstone,  filled with all His power by the Spirit’s anointing. They had within them the living Word, and they were living by the Life of that living Word.

But wait, we have the word too, right? Now we have the Word, The Holy Bible. We now have something the early New Testament church didn’t have, namely, we now have the New Testament, and hey, not only that, WE have the Whole Book.  And unlike most of them back then, we can read!        So we should be better off right?  We now have the Book. We must be better equipped than the early church was right?                                                And for sure more mature… 

Well, lets see… Take your scrolls out of your scroll holders and roll them on down to the letter to the Ephesians chapter 4 verse 11…”

11 And [Jesus] gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the  knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature  which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14  As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness  in deceitful scheming; 15 but  speaking the truth in love,  we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together  by what every joint supplies, according to the  proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

Jesus gifted the church with  apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor (and) teachers, given in verse 11 to function as the equippers of the saints; to equip the individual parts for their work together with Jesus, the head of the Body, in service and ministry. We have pastors… And… let’s see… we used to have traveling evangelists. (But have you met any lately?) We do have pastors, lots of pastors to equip us. Does it seem some of those listed are missing in today’s church in America…? If that is so, why is that? And without them are we better equipped than the early church was? Can we be? Are we better off? If some of the equippers who were gifted to the early church are missing how can we, the latter church, be properly equipped and better off without them?

And how then can we attain to the unity of the faith? And a true knowledge of the Son?

Well… we do have 33,000 (and growing) examples of the “unity of the faith”.  33,000 denominations denominating; giving a name for and founding their identities upon the winds of the different doctrines found in and out(!) of the Bible.

We do have a lot of knowledge. We been taught a lot of stuff, we know all about a lot of things in the Word, in the Book. Is that knowledge the equipping we’re talking about? If it’s not then what do we need to know? Who then do we need to know?

Jesus. (Yeah, I know, of course…)

But do we really fully know Him? Do we really know the Word, the living, breathing, nail scarred Son? Are we hungry enough to seek his Bread? Are we really thirsty for the Living water that satisfies? Are the equippers of today asking us this: Is He the one we are living by; are we living by a Life not our own?  Isn’t that where we find the true knowledge of the Son? In picking up our cross and laying down our lives and partaking of His Life?   Is our knowledge of him merely conceptual (“Biblical” even, doctrinally correct even.) or is it truly personal and relational? Do we just know all the stuff (we may think) there is to know about him or do we really know Him?  If we know Him have we then been filled in full measure with “the fullness of Christ”? Have we grown up in all aspects unto Him? Are we letting Him be our head? Individually? And corporately?

So many questions… Hard questions… I gave no answers ‘cept one. (you noticed…?)

Do you ‘Got Jesus’?  He’s got the answers… What is he saying to you…?


O.k., now roll up your scrolls and place them in the scroll holders…



Part Two (in part, I hope, from you…) is coming: Eph 4: 15,16:


Jesus is building his church; How do you think the church is doing?!




Church As We Know It… (part 2)

Church As We Know It… (part 2)

It was high noon and His blood had been spilling down to the ground for 3 hours.  At the same time Caiaphas, arrayed in the splendor of his high priestly robes, was beginning the procession where he would enter the temple courts to slaughter a pure, spotless Tamid lamb, a lamb whose spilled blood would represent perpetual sacrifice. Little did he know that God’s final perfect perpetual sacrifice was also about to happen.

Jesus, the true Tamid, the true perpetual sacrifice died at 3 p.m., at the same time the Tamid lamb was being sacrificed*

From the cross he cried out with these last words, “It is finished”.   Suddenly the earth shook violently and the sky turned black. This was no natural eclipse of the sun. It was Passover which meant the moon was in full phase on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. A supernatural darkness was covering the land, rocks were being ripped into pieces, graves were being opened and (not zombies but…) holy people were walking forth. Creation was acknowledging the death of it’s Creator at the same time His Resurrection power was about to overcome death!

And something even more amazing was happening.  After the moment when Jesus cried out and gave up his spirit, the veil of the temple, a veil 50 plus feet tall, so stout, thick, and heavy, it is said it took 300 men to lift it into place, was being torn in two from the top to the bottom.

When Jesus died, the veil, the partition that separated us from our God was torn apart.  God was on the move, out of the Holy of Holies!  That place, that temple made with hands (Acts 17:24), was never to be dwelt in by Him again. God the Father by his son’s sacrifice on that cross was making himself directly accessible to his people. God was done with that temple and its religious system and was replacing it with a new temple, a temple made of living stones. His new dwelling place was to be in the hearts of men… At Pentecost He entered His new temple, the redeemed and sanctified hearts of men and women and by the Spirit began the work of building His new dwelling place1Pe 2:4,5  

And… At Pentecost a new way to gather was instigated. And it was contrary to the old and broken religious system. Within the community of God– the Father, Son, and Spirit– their family, bride, and body was now to have direct access to the Godhead without a human mediator! The veil that had separated them was torn by God from the top to the bottom! Direct access had been granted with our new High Priest, Jesus directly making intercession for us.  Heb 4:16

(But then something not so amazing happened)

Paul’s writings contrasted human traditions with Christ’s and pointed us to His New Way of doing things. He encouraged us to maintain Jesus’ new (Covenant) traditions which he had taught to the apostles. Those new traditions were taught and passed on to us by the apostles in word, in deed, and by their letters. They remain the standard of teaching that was to be maintained for the Life of the Body. Jesus was now the active head of his body and through his Spirit each member of his body participated in his Life, by the building of itself up in love as the Holy Spirit empowered them. It was the normal Christian’s church life. The standard was set for each member of the body to actively participate in the ministry of this new way of church gathering**, each member, each living stone of his new temple, coming with the Spirit’s indwelling presence and tuned in to the Spirit’s prompting, were listening and ready to participate within the gathering with a song, a word, etc (1 Cor. 14: 26)  as the Holy Spirit would direct them. God now was not only directly accessible to each and every one, but was fully capable and ready to reveal himself through each and every one of his new living stones which made up his new living temple.  

This new but standard practice was exactly what slipped away from the church within the 1st 200 to 300 years of her existence: The traditions taught by the apostles, the radical New Covenant way of gathering under the headship of Christ, and participating with one another on common ground empowered by the Holy Spirit was a revelation! It was a practice unlike any other in the world. Men and women, Jew and Gentile, freemen or slaves, rich or poor, all were equal in this new kingdom way of gathering. All were ministers and priests in the gatherings and that directly contradicted the religious norms of hierarchy, power and politics that were foundational in the world’s systems. But this New Kingdom’s dunamis power was too radical for those who coveted earthly fleshly power, men who did not understand the full meaning of the cross, men like Constantine who proceeded to set in stone the manmade traditions the ecclesia had gradually slid into. As they increasingly conformed themselves to the mindset of the world’s system, they turned away from Spirit lead organic Life back, to the hierarchical, political and institutional death traps of this world. To a form of godliness…

We have carried the baggage of those manmade traditions with us down through the centuries, and have rarely opened those bags up to examine what’s inside. And so, without giving it much thought, normal remains normal. We are still trapped in the trap, in that cage we have built around ourselves which we, to the best of our abilities, have covered with our finest veneer, in the attempt to make it look cathedral, like a temple fit enough for God himself to be contained in. But unfortunately, even our best edifices are nothing but man made cardboard shacks that cannot contain the glory of God. God does not dwell in the edifices we have built. But He still does, to this day, dwell in the gathered hearts of men and women who acknowledge His Lordship and Headship. It is through them, his true temple, that he reveals his love and his glory.

If the above is true, that our normal quenches rather than enhances the glory of the Godhead in the community of believers, we then need to heed the words of Paul to Timothy. Paul prophetically told Timothy that in our days, the last days, we would face perilous times, that all around us men and women would be lovers of themselves, and etc., more than be lovers of God… having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Ever learning…but never learning the truth 2Ti 3:1 2Ti 3:5 2Ti 3:7 

Is that us!? That can’t be us!

So we protest, ” That can’t be us. The context of that verse would put us within the company of some really bad people… We are the church! We are God’s own chosen people.” (But Ooo…That sounds an awful lot like the Jews reaction to Jesus when he told them they were unwilling to hear his words of truth: What? “Our father is Abraham!” they declared, and protested, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”  Jhn 8:38ff) “We are His Church. His Spirit comes and visits us… How can this be?”

Some time ago, if you shopped for garden hoses at Ace Hardware you could find them in three grades of quality: Good, Better, and Best.  The least costly was the  “Good” hose which would last for maybe a season. The “Best” and most expensive hose would last for years. You got what you paid for. As God’s temple we have a choice: Good, Better, or Best. For the church of the western world there is a cost if we are going to have the Best.   We’ve gotten what we’ve paid for. We have settled for Good. And Good is Normal. Good has lasted for a season. But I submit, there is a Better, and there is the Best. But the Best is costly. Are we willing to pay the cost for the Best?

So here we go again, supposing and examining…

Let’s suppose we as the church (carrying all of our man made traditional baggage which the term church implies) have bought the Good form, a practice, which years of tradition have caused us to see it as Normal. But let’s suppose our good normal practice causes us in practice, to quench the Spirit, to give Him less than our best, so that we are experiencing less than his Best. We may truly be learning, ever learning “orthodoxsoly speaking”(!) but  what if we have yet to rediscover what His truth in practice is?  

Examine this: If what we are learning and what we believe is the truth, then correct belief (orthodoxy) would compel us to move towards correct practice(orthopraxy) .  “Correct belief” would compel “correct action,” but incorrect action would be the ongoing result of our old (normal and traditional but) incorrect beliefs. If we believe that church as we know it is Good and our Good is Good Enough, we have no compulsion to ask the Builder, or search the scriptures to see if our actions and practice, match the Builder’s new traditions given by the apostles to the early church gathering.**     If what we are presently doing doesn’t match the actions and practice of the early church given to them by Jesus himself through his apostles, are we,  just like the religious people of Jesus’ day, denying his words of truth? If Jesus, the builder, truly is setting before his body his first Best choice, His normal for His ecclesia, what do we do?

The question is: “Does normal “church”, church as we know it, have the correct form in belief and in practice and thus have God’s divinely conferred power (i.e., charisma) to validate that it’s belief and practice is correct? Or does it have an incorrect belief  (in it’s traditions) which results in an incorrect form in it’s actions and practice, which, in turn, quenches the charisma (i.e., divinely conferred power) of the Spirit, stunting our one another call to disciple, and ultimately robbing the Son of his full Glory? The latter leaves us with only a (Good) form...    The former would change our normal and give us the Best.


 What does His “Best” cost?

(More to come)

**Uh… wait. To say “church gathering” is a redundant repetition!  😉   In the Bible the word “church” properly translated is ecclesia, which means gathering. Using the word “church” to replace the word “ecclesia” or gatherings of God’s people is one of the traditions of men passed down to us.
King James, the “Pope” of the Church of England– long after the hierarchical ecclesiastical church had, by the traditions of men, separated itself into the clergy/laity divide and had ceased to be the participatory gathering (or ecclesia) of fellow ministers and priests– wanted to retain his hierarchical and political power over the institutionalized church, as well as retain the Bishop/clergy ecclesiastical/political power over the so called laity, so he at that time, prohibited the translators from changing the word “church”, which by now meant the political institutional church organization, i.e., The Church of England, of which he was the head, to it’s true meaning: a gathering, or congregation (of the people of God who had the Lord Jesus as their Head). The power struggle continues to this day…

Church As We Know It Is Normal, Right?


Church As We Know It Is Normal, Right?

Church as we know it is normal (good and biblical), right? …

It should be normal for you, if you are normal and are a normal church goer you have learned to accept and  enjoy how church today is being done. You are not ‘one of those’ who would even question whether or not how we’ve been “doing church” is normal.  Church as you know it today is good and biblical; it’s normal.  But… have you ever wondered, have you even considered this: there is more to “doing church” than we have been led to believe? What if today’s normal church function is not it’s best function, and its normal function is less than the best of what the earliest church’s normal was?

What, you ask? Is that possible? Should we even question how we’ve been “doing” normal church?  Asking if our normal might not be so normal!? Saying that what we have, for all these years considered to be normal, isn’t? That our good isn’t God’s best? That His normal would be be better than our best!? And did I hear you correctly? You’re implying that it’s maybe, “…less than biblical!”?

If that’s what you heard, you’d probably say, “You must not be normal! (And you‘re not very good!) You must be one of those (rebels?) with a critical spirit… Because church as we practice it is normal and is good and is biblical. Right? Right. It’s what we do. It’s where we go. This is how it is:  If you are a normal Christian you pick a normal church in your normal town which, if you are normal, you would want to be a part of. Normally you would go there and get involved. They need you and you need them. It’s the norm. What other options are there for a normal Christian’s church life?

But what if you’ve been there and done that, or what if you’re still there and still doing that,  but deep down in your spirit you’ve been wondering if maybe, just maybe, our good is not God’s best, something seems to be amiss? (Maybe you’ve been looking in the Book, checking out the blueprint!) What if you are one of those among others, who do have a growing understanding that something is not quite right with church as we’ve known it? But wait, can it ever be made quite right when it’s made up of [not] normal people like you and me!?  But what about this? What if that growing sense of “not the best” is not about [not] normal people, but about a [not] normal practice?

Not normal church practice.

That is something which repeatedly will come up if we dare to look in the (History) Book and compare how the church today functions, alongside how the gatherings in the New Testament functioned. The something that the early church gatherings practiced was lost within 300 years by the introduction into the church of “traditions of men” contrary to the traditions that the apostles passed on to the earliest church from Jesus.

So, what if our cultural American normal is not the biblical normal, is not the same normal as the traditions that the apostles passed on to the earliest church from Jesus, but is instead largely made up of the added “…less than biblical” traditions of men passed on down to us through the centuries? Do we even dare to consider it? Consider that our normal is that normal? No. Tell me it’s not so. But what do you do if what you are sensing is truly a “holy discontent” with the status quo, with normal as we’ve known it; a nudging in your spirit and through the Word from the Teacher, the Spirit of truth? What if that truth is: something is amiss; there is something that needs to change? Listen… Are you listening? Do you hear it? If you’re hearing it, you are not the only one.

You then, along with many others, are beginning to see that there is a need for a change in how we do “church”, and are sensing with anticipation that something is changing, that Jesus, the builder of his church is up to something better!  Sensing that a reformation from Him is coming. Realizing that Martin Luther’s  “Great Reformation” was not as great as it’s billing. That it’s “orthodoxy” was incomplete, that a new Great Reformation of how the gathered church is supposed to function is still needed. (Orthopraxy is the Big word that is used for the study of church practice, of how it should function.)  How does one change status quo church practice which for close to 2000 years has been considered normal and orthodox?                       How would you change it?     Yeah…      If  you really understood that how we practice church does need to change, what would you do to change it?

Well, you could do this:    (Nicely) nail your own “95 Point Church Reformation Critique”, er… I mean, 95 Point Church Reformation Thesis” on the normal church’s door, and run for cover, hoping and praying that something good comes of your New Reformation. (OK, maybe not.) Besides, Martin Luther wasn’t the first to duck for cover when he tried to change it. And thousands since have presented their own ideas of how to change it, and have denominated us into thousands of differing “normal” churches. So maybe first, instead of reforming the normal church you should begin to pray for your own personal reformation? Pray for the Builder of the (Big) temple to repair and transform your own temple 1Co 6:19 first!?  And pray for more love and a sweet(er) attitude… I’m serious you critical rebel! What are you doing even considering criticizing normal church practice? (Don’t get upset, I was talking to myself !)


Ah, but the Truth is, the matter does need to be examined
…the church and the traditions bundled with it have come full circle to the point where a critical (oh, that word again… sorry) examination of it is needed.  Jesus confronted the religious traditions of his day enforced by the religious leaders of his day; traditions of men which clouded rather than clarified the truth of His coming kingdom. We should examine this question: Has the same problem, the traditions of men, which clouded and corrupted the Old Covenant religious system come full circle to cloud and confuse our understanding of how we are intended to function under the Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ within the gathering of the church?  And has it quenched and clouded the free functioning of the Holy Spirit within the church of the New Covenant? Has it given us a form but quenched the power? Let’s (uncritically, of course) suppose that in the gathering, i.e., in the church, it has. Really?  Yeah really, it’s time to suppose…

…let’s suppose. Let’s examine what has happened to church as we’ve known it here in America. Are we only the church with a reputation of having power, but have instead been caught, by years of tradition, in a form that dampens the power of the Spirit more than it enhances it? We should not desire that. Could the quenching by the western church world of the Holy Spirit not so much be a matter of the lack of desire for divinely conferred power (charisma) , or fear of the excesses of charisma(divinely conferred power). Consider this:  Lack of desire for divinely conferred power may stem from a lack of a true early church experience of divinely conferred power, and excesses happen when divinely conferred power gets mixed together with men’s own fleshly power, when men lay down the cross of Christ and trust in their own power Jhn 15:5.)

Could our quenching of the Holy Spirit instead be this: Quenching by the western church world of the Holy Spirit is the result of and the fruit of our lack of understanding what the full measure of God’s intent has been from before time began:

God’s eternal purpose, as our Father, has been, to gather for Himself a family for himself,  and a bride for his Son which, by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, would be built together into a glorious (and big) temple for the Godhead to dwell in, a temple made without hands.  That very mystery was revealed to Paul and passed on to us:  Christ in us. It is the Father’s’ purpose that in us and in all things Christ Jesus, his son, is to have preeminence. That includes preeminence in our personal lives (Which are his temples) as the Lord of our lives, and preeminence in our gatherings (His bigger temple) as the functioning Head of that gathered Body.

 Preeminence as the functioning head of the gathered body.

That very thing confronts the western church world with this reality: That functionally the Head of the church is but given lip service (ouch! Really? Isn’t that a bit harsh?), because while he is invited to be the Special Guest and is asked to bless our traditional church service worship endeavors (which he graciously does to a large degree)…  we are still holding on to our man-made traditions in our church “services”; our liturgy and form is based in centuries of tradition, little changed by Luther’s reformation: the Priest and eucharistic still being the focal point in Catholic tradition, with the Pastor and the Sermon and/or Bible becoming the focal point in Protestant traditions… In both another head other than the Head is in the forefront and is in charge.

    So we give not a second thought to this: that maybe, just maybe the Head of the Church would like to put the Holy Spirit back in charge of the gathering making Jesus the focal point once again, like the earliest gatherings of the body and bride of Christ were!  Right there is where we have quenched and grieved Him. We, by our customs, have remained preeminent. We have not learned how to surrender our gatherings to Him. We have not yet learned within our gatherings how to listen fully to his voice, yield to him, and participate with him. Thus we have minimized the Holy Spirit’s power and  his  teaching  capabilities. He is the Teacher and should actively be that in our gatherings through one another. But our traditions have quenched the participatory “one another” ministry which when orchestrated by the Holy Spirit would be flowing through the gathered saints to disciple one another, build the body up, and more fully reveal the glory of the Godhead in his Bigger Temple not made with hands  1Pe 2:5. We instead, by our custom, are (mostly) content to sit there and watch the show, watching (a titled and specially trained) someone up front tell us what we need to know

…Meanwhile, our Special Invited Guest graciously remains present, there in our midst. He knows what we need to know, but He, by our custom, is (mostly) forced to sit on the sidelines and watch our show


How is it, and when was it that we, once again, placed someone between us and God? (More on that in Part 2… “Having A Form Of godliness…”)



*One option would be to check out Watchman Nee’s book, The Normal Christian Church Life! (And his companion book, “The Normal Christian Life.”)


The new 2017 Corolla theme song “You Don’t Own Me”, was sung a long time ago in a Garden….

The song ” You Don’t Own Me!” goes so far back (1964) that Toyota is again introducing it, via commercials for their new Corolla, to a new generation as a new (but very old) anthem for the young. Yeah, they did tweak the original meaning and context a little… to help them sell cars.  But here’s what they really did, they passed along the same old American independance meme(*see below)  that we sang so loudly way back when (we were young and free),  the same meme*, but now with a new audience. Come on everybody, sing along, LOUDLY:

“You don’t own me. Don’t try to change me in any way. You don’t own me. Don’t tie me down ’cause I’ll never stay.  Oo ooh, don’t tell me what to do, don’t tell me what to say. Just let me be myself, that’s all I ask of you.  I’m young and I love to be young. I’m free and I love to be free, to live my life the way I want, to say and do what ever I please. You don’t own me.”

It’s funny–it’s ironic really, them singing it once again… Is it really their declaration of freedom, or is it a cry for freedom? Is it singing out and giving a voice to that deep longing for real freedom that has been planted by our creator within our souls?  We say we’re free, but we’re not really; in the commercial, after we sing”…don’t tell me what to do”, the Corolla’s lane departure warning tells us what to do… And we do it!

We sing we’re free but we’re not. We pretend we are, but the truth is, we’re not. The Son, the one who created us,  says only knowing the truth will set us free (and He ought to know!).  And then he tells us if and when we know him then, we are free indeed. Because he is the Truth.

Until we know the Truth we are slaves to the meme** we inherited way back in the Garden. There is where we said to God, “You don’t own me. Don’t tie me down… Don’t tell me what to do…” Right after the serpant said, “Did God say… Don’t?!” “Don’t let Him tell you what not to do…”. So Adam said,  “I’ll eat that proverbial Apple from that tree of the knowlege of good and evil, if I want to. And I do want to, ‘cause I’ll get freedom, freedom for Me, freedom to decide for Myself, what is good and what is evil.”

And because Adam ate of that apple, I too have taken a bite out of the Apple.

There’s a bite out of your apple too.

So… We are not free, unless and until the Son has set us free indeed.

But here’s the twist.  Many Christians after having been born of the Spirit, proclaim, “Now, finally, I’m free.  ‘Cause I’ve been redeemed. You know, the Blood, and the Lamb who died for me, set me free…  I’m free now, I was caught up in the darkness but now I have seen the light. I’m free now, ’cause I am a new creation in Christ.” They are saying they are living “free”, but unwittingly, their freedom has fallen prey to the line from that old[est] Meme**,  they are living out the new Corolla anthem, “I’m free and I love to be free, to live my life the way that I want, to say and do whatever I please. (You don’t own me.)“…

…unaware that the new Meme*** as a new creation in Christ is this:

Do you not know… you are not your own? You have been bought with a price.

(What do you mean, “I’m not my own?   I don’t own me?…

I’m free! I’m turning up the radio in my new 2017 Corolla and I’m singin’ it out loud,  “I’m free to be me and do what I please…”!)


Do you not know you have a New Meme…  

…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; You have been bought with a price. So glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, because they belong to God…

When we do that, then we are free. Truly free. And then truly we love to be free, free to walk as Jesus walked, free to accept the cross just as he did,  laying down our “godness” our own self determining  lives, so that in exchange, we can live by his Life. We have been freed to live right now in and by His Life, ’cause Jesus now, truly, is setting us free.


*Meme: *1 : an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture… horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by… [commercial!] entertainment media.

**Meme: **2: A condition and pattern of rebellion against our creator that has spread throughout every culture vertically, an inherited fallen spiritual nature that has been passed on from parent to child since the time of Adam and Eve…

***Our New Meme is our Father’s counter cultural truth:  (1 Cor. 6 19,20)   Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?   For you were bought at a price; so glorify God in your body and in your spirit, because they belong to God.




Noah blew it!

Noah (The movie) returned to the screen last night, not the big screen this time, the T.V. screen thing. Did you see it!? Check this out, how Noah, in the new movie, Blew It.

wilden words

Noah blew it.
Let me tell you how. First let’s say creative license does allow a movie like “Noah”  to re-create Noah into a new mythology. Then let’s say it’s O.K. to create a new story. Even if it’s Different from the Old Story.

Bill Mahr, of late night T.V. fame, who doesn’t like God,  when reviewing the movie “Noah”, figures both stories are made up, that both are impossible fantasy. He said Christians are mad at “Noah ” (the movie) because  “…this made up story doesn’t stay true to their made up story.” He’s saying you don’t like the new myth because you still believe the old myth.

“Noah’s” director, Darren Aronofsky, says, “Here’s a New story. It is a bit different from the Old story.” (O. K. maybe he didn’t “say” that. The quote  is an example of creative license.)

And so “Noah’s” director, with (re)creative license, makes up a…

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