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Christianity Under Fire

Small Groups or the Purpose Driven Church?

Study In Acts
Jesus In Genesis
Behemoth, Leviathan And Dragons, Oh My!
The Foolish Man's Guide To Confounding The Wise
A Defense of Individual Election unto Salvation & Critique of Absolute Corporate Election?
Group Think Or Whosoever Will Pt. 3
Paul's Purpose At Athens: Becoming All Things To All People
Personhood And Free Will
Scriptures Calvinist's Misinterpret
Resistance Is Futile!
You're a Hopeless Replacement Theologian If You:
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
You Know You're a Preterist if: Part 2
Are You Thankful For What You Have?
Top Ten Signs You Are a Fundamentalist Christian?
Getting Involved With Coffeehouse Ministry
A Few of My Projects
Next Subject
A Year in the Life
Maxwell's Musings
Is the Church, 'The Elect'?
Pope Apologizes For Telling the Truth
Catholic Catechism Paves the Way For Evolution
You Are A Hopeless Liberal If You:
Clean Slate
Three Column Chart
Ultra Dispensationalism: Scriptural or Not?
Group Think or Whosoever Will?
Chronological Chart of New Testament
You Might Be A Closet Dispie If:
Body of Christ versus Israel
The Mark of the Beast: Is it Literal?
You Know You're A Preterist If:
You Know You're a Preterist if: Part Three
The Comings of Christ: The How, When and Where
Groupthink and Cliques in the Church
Focus on the Family or on God
Cult Aware
Open Door Fellowship OR Come As We Are Ministries?
Transubstantiation or Unsubstantiated: If The Plain Sense Makes Sense...
DaVinci Code: Was Christ's Divinity and the Bible invented at the Council of Nicea?
Plain Sense Interpretation/P'shat: Christs Comings
Isaiah 53: Human Sacrifice?
Isaiah 53: Christ Has Risen!!
Who Hath Believed Our Report?
Isaiah 53: Christ Our Passover Lamb
Isaiah 53: Messianic Prophecies Refuted?
Chart comparing Israel to Messiah
Isaiah 53: The Suffering Messiah
Bible Chart: Does the Bible conflict on Salvation Messages?
Christs Coming and Time Gaps
Got Charts!
Are There Two Programs?
When Did the Church Begin?
When Did the Church Begin Pt. 2
Is America Cursed?
How and Why Christianity is Under Fire
Was Mary a Perpetual Virgin?
Tribulation or Jacob's Trouble?
Jewish Wannabes and the Holidays
Christmas Under Fire: When Christians Attack
Is Celebrating Christmas Scriptural?
Was Iraq a Just War?
Category 7: The End of the World
If It Believes, Then Waddles and Quacks like a Christian it is a....
Why Homosexuality Should Be Confronted and Exposed
The Doctrine Of Eternal Security-Can You Lose Your Salvation?
Does the Soul Sleep?
Did Jews Kill Jesus?...Hear What Some Jews Have to Say
Some Unscriptural Teachings of the Catholic Church
Arguments That Catholics Use
Pantribulationism: Are There Two Programs Going On?
Before and After
Pantribulationism: What A Day That Will Be!!!!
Definite Article Theology: The Way
Pantribulationism: Extrabiblical Nonsense
My Old Ship, the USS Shreveport Assisting Hurricane Victims
Pantribulationism: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Trinity of God and Trichotomy of man: Definite Article Theology
Definite Article Theology
Pantribulationism: Blessed Hope and Glorious Appearing
Pantribulationism: The Departure
Pantribulationism: It will all pan out in the end
Straining Out Gnats, Majoring on the Minors
Jewish Wannabes and Eschaholics
When Jewish Wannabes Attack What They Don't Understand
How Jewish Wannabes Attack and How to Identify Them
Historical Method and Homosexuality
If the Plain Sense Makes Sense: Christ's Coming
If the Plain Sense Makes Sense: Evolution
The Silliness of Jack Chick
Inspirational and Patriotic Songs
Communism and Islam -vs- the Faith of America's Founding Fathers
Bridging the Generation Gap
Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth
Let's Worship the Lord
Faith Under Fire Television Show and Website
Faith Under Fire/Do We Worship the Same God?
Arrogant or Convinced?
Warning Signs of Dispensationalism?
Good News: How To Fight Terrorism
Prophecies Yet To Be Fulfilled: Zechariah 12:10-14
Are You Happy?
When Jewish Wannabes Attack the Bible
Why Jewish Wannabes Attack
The Masters List
You're A Hopeless ....
Preterism Versus Dispensationalism
What's Love Got To Do With It?
When Jewish Wannabes Attack!
Preterism and Calvinism?
Who Do Men Say That I Am?
Signs You Are Doing Something Right
Ivory Tower Theologians and more about me
Satan the Counterfeiter
Saved By Race or By Grace?
Wanna Know Some Secrets?
Distortions of the Resurrection
Apostles Today?
Message and Ministry of Paul compared to the twelve
Maxwell House...Good For Your Desktop
The Feminization of Christianity
Absurd World Views
Religion versus Relationship
The Mysteries Revealed
Replacement Theology
How did the Tribes and Books get Lost?
Catholics, Cliques and Cults
New Age Movement
Should Christians Observe the Sabbath?
The Power of One
Be Thankful
Group Think and the Jew
You Must Be Born Again!!
Tribute to a Friend
Who's That Babe in the Manger: Does it matter
President Bush and the Movie: Unbreakable
Having a Form of Godliness
The Natural Supernatural Connection
Spiritually Challenged Skeptics
Speaking or Praying to the Dead
Eternally Insecure?
The Preterist's False Hope
Apostolic Succession Catholic Style
Predestination or Free Will
The Foolish Confounding the Wise
About Me
Scripture Twisting: Reading into the text
Scripture Twisting: The Figurative Fallacy
So Deep A Child Could Understand
The Apostle Paul
About Us
Requirements For Messiah
Small Groups or the Purpose Driven Church?
Mile High Ministries or Miles Apart Ministries
The Omnipresence and Incarnation of God
Is Jesus the Messiah?
Extrabiblical Nonsense
Blank Page
Is Baptism necessary for Salvation?
Focus on the Family?
Motherhood, Fatherhood or Discipleship?
The Watchtower and Jehovah's Witnesses
What is Love
That They May Be One
Suffering Servant
Article Page
Interview Page
Reviews Page
Photo Album Page
Contact Me
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"For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3ff)

A Commune I lived at thought God's Name Was Andy
They kept on singing, 'Andy Walks With Me, Andy Talks With Me'..No wonder it didn't last!

Specialized Christianity

This is a modern strategy of many churches to more efficiently reach out to the diversity of hurting people groups in the world. While this approach might prove to be more efficient, overall it is proving to be more divisive than helpful. Many of my experiences with churches that used this approach were that a kind of Cliquishness, Group Think and Fortress Mentality were present. The result being that while they might have helped some, they also alienated and harmed others that did not fit their narrow, specialized and cliquish standards. In my book it says, "How can we still hang onto our segregated and specialized fortress philosophies in light of who Christ is and what He did on the cross? It is ironic that Jesus Christ died on the cross to break down the barriers between Jew and Gentile and the subgroups. Then the modern church creates all kinds of programs, philosophies and strategies that divide and segregate these groups again." (One Nation Under God, Individual).

This is also expounded on in my book 'One Nation Under God, Individual.' 
A local pastor/author wrote a book quite a while back about unleashing Christians and churches into different ministries. His explanation of this strategy was quite exciting to me until I read a particular chapter in his book. This chapter spoke of a house ministry that I was living in at the time. When I read this I could tell that this pastor/author must have been taking the word of the man that actually ran the ministry. When preaching one Sunday this pastor/author gave the location of the house ministry that was completely inaccurate. When he asked the alleged leader of this ministry to come up front and describe this ministry to the congregation, it was also clear that even this leader did not really know or want to know what was going on in his own outreach. He spoke of a particular woman as his best example, we will call her Mary. A friend and I that actually lived at this house looked at each other in unbelief while he shared how this woman had changed so dramatically.

The pastor/author has truly been a great inspiration to me over the years. However, there was a MAJOR and MISSING link to his unleashing philosophy that MUST be addressed. It is the issue of accountability and communication and the interrelation of ministries. We are NOT Just talking about accountability to God and to the Leaders but the accountability of these leaders as well. How can these leaders expect anything but confusion and rebellion if they do not teach accountability and communication through example. The reason this pastor/author and the leader/loose cannon of this particular ministry did not want to talk too much about accountability is probably that they would then have to lead by example. The leader of this house ministry would come back from his coffeehouse/mission with whatever woman chose to help him for that night and would minister ALONE with some of these unstable women from the house until the wee hours of the morning. This prodigal coffehouse in the eighties was often run very loosely and in fact was chaotic. This leader would also bring girls into the back and 'minister' to them there. This showed me that accountability was not in his so called strategy and avoiding the appearance of evil was not too important to him either. Most of the marriages of the folks living in the house mentioned above ended in divorce. This house rather than being a center of a new beginning/Genesis was an end and should have been called Revelation Center.

The pastor/author he was allegedly accountable to was anything but Frank with his congregation until he was exposed several years later for having an adulterous affair with a woman for eight years and was defrocked with his picture and sad story in a local Christian Newspaper. This also in my opinion demonstrates an inherent weakness in segregated and specialized parachurch ministry. If a leader is not able or willing to actively and consistently encourage and insist on cross communication, interrelation and accountability from those he sends out into all these separate ministries, and is not willing to lead by example he can expect more confusion and alienation than he can fruit.

"For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3ff)

This Leader/loose Cannon decided to specialize and make this house, a ministry for only women in the end. The house ended in disaster, with women beating each other up.

Some of these women felt that this leader wasn't giving them as much attention as the others.

Then there are many Christians simply have missed the point concerning ministry.

Other Side Ministries

In the story about the Good Samaritan, the Priest and Levite pass by on the OTHER SIDE when they see a man beaten and laying by the road. Who knows where they were headed. They could have been going to their particular target ministry or it could have been after ministry hours.

The Specialist:

This approach can be even worse than the Priest and Levite approach. In the priest and Levite approach they pass by on the other side. In the Specialized approach the Christian runs roughshod over the wounded and hurting man on the way to his officially specialized ministry at church across town. This is missing the tree for the forest across town.

Churches that consider themselves an Open Door Fellowship or Open Door Ministry need to have an open door to all not just particular kinds of people and not just on Sunday.

We have the ministry of reconciliation to God and others not specialization resulting in segregation of people into different people groups. (2 Corinthians 5:18ff)

Jesus' Approach:

Jesus ministered in everday and ordinary places. He did not turn off his light while on the way to his official ministry at the synagogue across town.

He went to where they were, whoever they were.

The group think present then was toward the Jew, when Christ and the twelve determined to go to the Jew not the Gentile, but demonstrated that all, including the Jew, are in need of a saviour as well. (Matthew 10:5ff; Galatians 2:8,9; Romans 1:16ff-3:23/24-3:29)

"...Jesus ministered in ordinary everyday places and didn't build or even suggest the necessity to build special centers or headquarters...The setting for the development of true discipleship as we see it worked out in the New Testament is not in large numbers. The making of a disciple is a costly personal process feasible only in small groupings where the right kind of attention can be given" (Cells For Life, pg. 18,19 Trudinger)

                 Mile High Ministries or Miles Apart Ministries?  

Participating in Target Group Ministries creates a tunnel vision that cannot seee the needs of those we cross paths with in our daily lives. I have seen this over and over in these kind of ministries. One guy I know is always on his way to a particular ministry across town or is recovering or preparing for it. He literally misses multitudes of opportunities right in front of him. This astounds me how many miss the people that God puts in their path in the name of being official across town. This modern approach is not Love at all. I don't think this is what God had in mind because this is not how he did it.

Social Christianity

For a short time I was a member of a church that placed a great emphasis on politics and SOCIAL interaction. The ones that were the most successful in this church were the ones that were most successful in the world and could be the best at politicking and being the life of the party. I got a wide variety of responses whenever I discussed spiritual issues with anyone. I found that there were plenty of people that believed the Bible to be a good book but not divinely inspired or completely accurate. Others thought that we needed to be open and affirming of Homosexuals even ordaining them. When Jesus went to the Wedding in Cana of Galilee he was the life of the party. He turned water into wine. The difference here was that He was the Spiritual life of the party and he did not turn the water to wine to impress or create a topic for small talk unless it led to conversion. Jesus did not withhold his words of life, to be liked by everyone. Too many people confuse Love with following the line of least resistance or social interaction with fellowship. There is a big difference.

Jesus was finally forsaken by all and crucified. A murderer was chosen to be liberated over him. Thank God for the resurrection. We think that getting along with people is a virtue. God wants real Christians to be in unity, but he wants them to be one in him, the truth (John 14:6) and not error, compromise or lies. Love rejoices in the truth.(1 Corinthians 13) I have been a part of groups where the ultimate goal seemed to be getting along while following the line of least resistance, at the expense of the truth. Important subjects such as Christ and who he was and is were too controversial to discuss. Jesus never said give up the truth for so-called unity's sake. Real Unity is in the real Jesus, and any Jesus or gospel will NOT do. (2 Corinthians 11;Galatians 1)

Small Groups:

The emphasis in small groups in peoples homes should be personal and up close. Too often Pastors of churches are so focused on numbers that they miss the importance of quality of relationships. The bigger the congregation the bigger the offering. However, in the long run this might not even be true. The following quote aptly demonstrates my point.
Quote: "Let's say for example that a gifted evangelist is able to lead 1,000 people to Christ every day. Each year he will have reached 365,000 people, a phenomenal ministry indeed.

Lets compare him with a disciple who leads not 1,000 people a day to Christ, but only one person a year. At the end of one year, the disciple has one convert; the evangelist, 365,000. But suppose the disciple has not only led another person to Christ, but has also discipled him. He has prayed with him, taught him how to feed himself from the Word of God, gotten him into fellowship with like minded believers, and shown him how to present the Gospel to other people. At the end of that first year, this new convert is able to lead another man to Christ and follow him up as he himself has been followed up.

At the start of the second year, the disciple has doubled his ministry-the one has become two. During the second year, each man goes out and leads not 1,000 people per day to Christ, but one person per year. At the end of the second year, we have four people. You can see how slow our process is. But note too that we do not have only converts, but disciples who are able to reproduce themselves. At this rate of doubling every year, the disciple, leading one man per year to Christ, will overtake the evangelist numerically early in the 24th year. From then on the disciple and his multiplying ministry will be propagating faster than the combined ministry of dozens of gifted evangelists.

It's like the dad who offered his two sons the choice of either taking one dollar a week for 52 weeks or one cent the first week, and the amount doubled every week for 52 weeks. One son took the dollar. The other son said, 'Well, Dad, I will try the penny to see what will happen.' We all know who wins: the son who takes the one penny and has it doubled each week. The degree to which he wins is absolutely astounding. By the end of the year, the son who began with the penny will have enough money to live comfortably the rest of his life."
(DISCIPLES ARE MADE NOT BORN, Henrichsen, pg. 136,137)

"...Jesus ministered in ordinary everyday places and didn't build or even suggest the necessity to build special centers or headquarters...The setting for the development of true discipleship as we see it worked out in the New Testament is not in large numbers. The making of a disciple is a costly personal process feasible only in small groupings where the right kind of attention can be given" (Cells For Life, pg. 18,19 Trudinger)