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The Lord meets us where we are and then takes us to where we need to be. Sometimes the going gets tough, but take heart – power is perfected in weakness!

Most of my progress comes through resting in Him. As someone has said, rest is a weapon. But it’s funny how the simplest things are the most difficult for us to grasp. That’s why we’re confronted with the paradox of striving to enter His rest!

I hope you enjoy the site, leave comments, sign up for updates, contact me, and let me know if you have a blog.

Jesus is Lord!

All blessings,
Paul

Behold, I will allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. -Hos 2.14

Doctrinal

To keep it simple, I’m good with all expressions of orthodox Christianity, such as the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Assemblies of God Truths (pdf), and probably a whole lot of the other confessions, were I to read them.  (BTW, lots of good info at the Creeds site.)

I also like the very simple statement of beliefs , which perhaps originated at Calvary Chapel. Notable from it is this line:

We believe that the only true basis of Christian fellowship is Christ’s love, without which we have no right to claim ourselves Christians.

Ecclesiology

Here you’ll see that I’m a bit of a whack job. After getting nearly destroyed by my first church, I’ve had a difficult time trusting any church again. What’s more, I think that’s a healthy thing to an extent. Too many people get real comfortable at their church – which is supremely easy to do if you fit in with a Body – and miss the uncomfortable disciplines of God. Isaiah states repetitively, Cursed is the man who trusts in man.

But even if I hadn’t been burned, I think something is terribly wrong with the monarchical/entrepreneurial/corporation model of the Western church. I cannot reconcile it to the original expression of the church that overturned the earth is such a short period of time.

That church met in the temple and daily house-to-house, we are told in Acts 2.41ff. But then the Stephen persecution removed the temple gathering from that equation. What does that leave you?

That’s basically how I see it. Real, intimate relationships, functional leaders who eschew positional titles and authority (Mt 23), interactive conversations in the Word. The building becomes irrelevant, as does the IRS tax deduction.

I simply cannot sit through a typical 40 minute one-way sermon any longer. I don’t think church is supposed to be an audience affair, and I don’t think the pastor is supposed to be a star.

If that appeals to you or intrigues you I recommend reading Neil Cole’s Organic Church.

  1. Birgit Sun
    November 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm | #1

    Hi Paul,
    I’m writing you from Washington State. I found your website through a link from Amazon where you reviewed a book by Watchman Nee. We are very skeptical of much of the institutional church and in the process of starting a home church. Thanks for the very helpful review, we are considering “The release of the spirit” as our next study book for a small Christian bible study group. Knowing Nee’s understanding of authority and submission in the church is very helpful to keep in mind. Thanks so much,
    Birgit

    • November 19, 2009 at 12:59 pm | #2

      Hi Birgit, so nice to hear from you. I hated to write that negative review of Nee’s book on authority, because he is so unparalleled 97% of the time. But ya gotta call it like ya see it!

      Absolutely loved “Release”. It was like a condensed “Spiritual Man”. I have a gloss on them on my Books/Movies page.

      All the best with the home church you are starting. I hope that is supremely rewarding for you.

      Paul

  2. Doreen Saz
    November 25, 2009 at 9:51 pm | #3

    Hi Paul

    I just wanted to wish you and all your American friends a very happy thanksgiving. May joy, happiness and health be yours in abundance.

    blessings, Doreen
    Rejoice in God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.

    (I didn’t know where to send this message, since it didn’t apply to any of the headline topics, so I hope it is ok here)

    • November 26, 2009 at 1:29 pm | #4

      Thanks, Doreen. We have much to be thankful for, above all reconciliation with the Eternal Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ. That puts everything else into perspective, and a rather pale perspective at that.

      You guys have T-day earlier than us due to climate differences, but hey, soon we can celebrate on the same day, as global warming turns all of North America into the tropics!

      Blessings,
      Paul

  3. nick
    December 8, 2009 at 11:19 am | #5

    hi paul, and bloggers….i came to your site via american thinker. maybe the lord directed me here…..i too being a christian i do not belong to any church.i never felt comfortable with there doctrine and a phony sense of syrupy sweetness………..i seemed to be lost and lonely, because of this falseness, and tv was even worse…….i only watched charles stanely he seemed to be sincere, and at least had a bible in his hand and would use it once in awhile………..then about 5years ago the lord came to my rescue….i usually leave my tv on all nite, and this one nite about 4am i woke up in daze, and on the screen was this older man with white hair sitting at a desk with a bible .teaching chapter by chapter and verse by verse..even had it on the tv screen if you were deaf…wow,i said to myself the lord had answered my prayers….now i belong to the shepherds chapel church,under there pastuer arnold murray.,..this man was truly ordained by god to teach his word….this church was what i was looking for, and i am sure it was our lord who sent me to it……….ive learned the truth, of gods word..broken down and simply taught…pastuer murray also has 2 sons dennis, and david…they are equally blessed with teaching gods word…………of course there are many critics claiming it to be a cult,,,BALONEY LOL….this is what church was intended to be teaching, and learning…not entertaiment hour, with bands, anouncements, and a meaningless sermon…or as pastuer murray” says one verse charlies”lol………………..the man is an old marine and doesnt mince words..he could be gruff, but seems very sincere and passionate……..im sorry for the long post, but i just was compeled to blog here, because you were having a hard ime finding a church…well i have found my church shepherds chapel located in tiny gravette arkansas…..they are usually on statelite ..i have direct tv channel 323,and its broadcasted for 12 hrs straight….so for the last 5 yrs i have been enlightened, and comforted,,,,and god surely did this for me…..i hope you all check out sheperds chapel, and come to your own conclusion………im a very street smart and wise italian man…and i wont be duped, and after 5 yrs i havent seen this church try to pull a fast one, if you know what i mean…..no begging for money ect ect…………..well im done rambling …may god bless you all, and this great country once again…nick

    • December 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm | #6

      Nick, thanks for stopping by. The condition of the church is real cause for concern, but the church is God’s idea and, just as with each of us individually, He will see it through, warts and all, until it is presented without spot or wrinkle.

      As for Shepherd’s Chapel, I really know nothing, but a brief look gives me pause. That’s not to say a lot of good may not happen there. I came up through Jehovah’s Witnesses myself, though I never joined because I couldn’t get myself over their denial of Jesus’ divinity. But it was they who introduced me to the Bible. I wouldn’t go back now for a million dollars, but they had their place in my development.

      Please, keep the Bible and abiding prayer #1, and place no trust in princes – even princes of the church – who cannot help. God wants to heal us and empower us by conforming us to His image, but it’s important that we cling to Him as we go, and do things His way.

      Thanks for dropping by and I wish you all the best.

      Paul

  4. Doreen Saz
    December 22, 2009 at 6:49 pm | #7

    Hi everyone

    I hope you will pause from your readings and reflections and dedicate some time to one of the most incredible events in the history of the human race.

    “God became man, and dwelt among us”

    “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. “- Isaiah 9:6

    I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never aone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses. – Taylor Caldwell

    I wish everyone on the list a grace-filled Christmas and a Happy and Holy New Year 2010.

    blessings
    Doreen

    • December 22, 2009 at 6:54 pm | #8

      Hi Doreen. All the best to you this Christmas.

      Paul

  5. December 31, 2013 at 9:24 am | #9

    Hello there brother! I just came across your site this morning and I really like what I have read thus far. Just wanted to connect with you. Do you brother Greg of SermonIndex? Feel free to visit our sites as well: jeremybstrang.com and time2stand.com

    Keep strong and focused only on the “Author and Perfector of our faith.”

    Blessings,

    Jeremy

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