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Christians & Politics August 29, 2012


Here are just a few quotes from a GREAT article by Monte Wolverton in
 the latest issue of Plain Truth Magazine.
For the entire article, CLICK  HERE.



“In spite of …Constantine [making] Christianity a state religion, there is no biblical instruction for Christians to force their will on those of other faiths — or to try to eradicate other faiths.”
– Monte Wolverton


“If we look at historical reality rather than pious verbiage, it’s obvious that America never really “belonged to God.” …There was nothing distinctively Christlike about the way America was “discovered,” conquered or governed in the early years.
-Gregory Boyd


“The U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion…This means that Muslims, Hindus, atheists and Wiccans can vote, hold office and participate in government just as much as Christians can.”
– Monte Wolverton


“Religion is pouring gasoline on an already intense fire.”
– Monte Wolverton

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Do yourself and the world a favor, and read the entire article.
CLICK  HERE.


Also, check out Gregory Boyd’s book,
The Myth of a Christian Nation.

Oh, and you might want to stop by John Shore’s blog and
READ THIS.

 

Rejecting Religion – Embracing Grace December 28, 2010


“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”
– Matthew 23:13


I’d read somewhere that “Rejecting Religion – Embracing Grace” was the best Greg Albrecht book to date.
This is the 5th one that I’ve read, and I would have to wholeheartedly agree.

I think my previous favorite was “Revelation Revolution: The Overlooked Message of the Apocalypse.”
I’ve gained from each book read, but this newest outing is certainly the “meatiest.”

This book does suffer from some of the same drawbacks as the earlier writings, but they’re minor in relationship to the insight gained. I may be somewhat prejudice, since I communicate with Greg, happily support his wonderful ministry, and have written for PTM publications, online and in print. Still, I think I’ve remained predominately objective 😉

This book is very valuable. There are personal stories, as well as seriously researched information.
The whole thing is pretty much an expose of the 23rd chapter of Matthew, where Jesus “tears into” the religious leaders of the day.

For me, it took the first three chapters to really set the stage. Then, POW! Chapter four, “The Hell of It All,” is well worth the price of the book. If I would have gained nothing from the rest of the book (which, of course, I did) it would have been worth it all just for this chapter. By looking at the scriptures and external historical evidence, this chapter shows how badly religion has distorted the very nature of God.
(I’m currently reading another book that covers the subject in even more detail: “The Last Word, And The Word After That” by Brian McLaren.)

The remainder of the book continues the study of this section of Matthew, concluding with a chapter appropriately titled “Embracing Grace,” which is the second of my two favorite chapters. In this chapter, I found the best commentary on “Well done, good and faithful servant” that I’ve ever read or heard anywhere! One that’s actually in sync with the nature of Father.

I will be re-reading much of this book. I hope you will be reading it, too.

Oh, and by the way, I’m actually IN this book. Not physically, of course. But when Mr. Albrecht refers to his “friend from Indiana,” that’s me!
– df

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Buy the book. Click HERE.

———–
From the PTM ad:

Join Greg Albrecht as he examines what Jesus has to say about the kingdom of religion, through an eye-opening study of Jesus’ sermon in Matthew 23. Jesus uses words like woe, hypocrites, blind, greedy, self-indulgent, unclean, desolate, hell and snakes to describe the religious industry, its professionals and the consequences it brings into the lives of those it “serves.” But the kingdom of heaven, in stark contrast to the oppressive kingdom of religion, is a spiritual dimension of freedom and peace. Rejecting Religion—Embracing Grace affirms the ultimate victory of God’s grace—even as the relentless waves of his grace will eventually erode and cover the shifting sands of religion like the waters cover the sea.
—————

And, of course, some QUOTES:

The gospel of the kingdom of God is an announcement that the time has come for religion to go out of business.

To speak of the kingdom of heaven biblically is not to speak of a far away place that you merely go to when you die. In Scripture, it is God’s present relational reality and realm, present now even as he is present forever.

The Kingdom of religion appeals to human vanity…Human performance is the common denominator upon which all religious cons base their empty claims and promises.

Ironic, isn’t it? Christ-less religion places a great deal of emphasis on how it can help you stay out of hell, but Jesus says that religious professionals are actually luring you into hell.
Notice Jesus says that the teachers of the law and Pharisees are already children of hell.

God includes those whom the temple authorities had banned.

Some within Christendom have made the Bible itself into an idol!
The Bible never refers to itself as “the Word of God.”

Intense preoccupation with externals leads to a fascination with trivialities which in turn drives us to hypocrisy.

Hypocritical legalism often leads those it enslaves to police others, in a vain attempt to ensure that no one gets away with anything. Christ-less religion is characterized by zealous attempts to guarantee that everyone gets what they deserve.

Everything Jesus said and did reveals a loving God, rather than the agitated, punitive god pushed by religion.

Hell hath no fury like religion when it is exposed! Religious violence in an inevitable product of Christ-less, fundamentalist, legalistic religion, followed to its most logical and extreme conclusion.

Everything God says and does springs out of love — for love is his fundamental, core essence.

If a voice in your head is telling you that God is not at peace with you, you can bet your bottom dollar that voice is not the voice of God.

————–
Buy the book. Click HERE.

 

One Will Be Taken July 12, 2010


In Matthew 24, Jesus tells his disciples, “One will be taken and the other left.”
This passage has been, and continues to be, used by authoritarian, legalistic religion as
a threat to scare people about being “left behind” at the Rapture.

But nothing could be further from the truth.
What is Jesus really talking about in this oft-misunderstood passage?

Click HERE for more.

 

The Antichrist Is HERE! June 28, 2010




You would think that, because of the good news of Jesus Christ, the world would be a better place. Then why isn’t it? If the commandment of love has ruled and abounded in the hearts of humankind for 2,000 years, the world would be a better place. Then why isn’t it? If the millions who profess to be Christians really live what they claim to believe, practiced what they preached, truly served their fellow human beings from the goodness of their hearts, then wouldn’t the world be a better place?
Then why isn’t it?

Have we learned nothing in 2,000 years! What has the Jesus of Christianity done? He brandishes picket signs that read: “God hates fags.” He bombs abortion clinics and murders doctors. Jesus readily and loosely scoffs and shouts “Sinner!” telling death row inmates to “burn in hell.” He strings up a gay man on a fence and murders him, hangs a black man from a tree, massacres and forces entire indigenous tribes from their lands and homes. Jesus backbites, gossips, destroys the reputations of those he is jealous of; accuses, hangs, beheads, shoots, maims, dismembers, burns, drowns, stands by, watches, does nothing and unmercifully consents.

— Carol Harper

(So, just who or what is the Antichrist?)
Read the entire article. CLICK HERE.

(Your knee-jerk reaction may be one of self-defense.  Don’t let that keep you from reading all of the article.)

 

Hell, No. June 9, 2010

“I don’t understand it,” said the caller. “It sounds like you’re saying there is no hell…”

If your idea of hell is a place, perhaps located in the center of the earth, where wicked souls suffer eternal torture in fire and brimstone, supervised by the devil and his demons — no — there is no such place.

You can’t make a scriptural case for this kind of hell unless you select certain passages and discard others — and even then your case shaky at best. This popular notion of hell is an unholy marriage of ancient pagan ideas about the underworld and the afterlife with selected Biblical passages taken out of context.

The fact is, there are three Greek words with different meanings in the New Testament that are unfortunately translated into English as hell in the King James version. But the English word hell comes with a ton of baggage. In pre-Christian Germanic mythology it (or similar words) referred to a nether world where the dead were punished — and the word has helped carry this pagan concept into Christianity, along with other concepts of a fiery underworld borrowed from ancient Greco-Roman mythology.

But when we dump all this baggage and examine the Scriptural passages that deal with punishment in the afterlife, and when we see that the passages vary in their description of the nature of that punishment, we are left with this simple, unconfusing concept: “hell” is eternal separation from God.

– Monte Wolverton

 

Baby Smashing: 101 April 24, 2010

 


“Bless The Baby Smashers?”
By Bert Gary and David Foreman

Do you want to claim all the blessings of the Bible? I’ve heard pastors telling their congregants to claim this very thing. But I have reservations. And I raise my reservations in order to question common assumptions about what the Bible is and how to interpret it.

Now I like this blessing:

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. (Psalm 41:1)

But look at this one:

Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!
(Psalm 137:9 – ESV)

Do I really want to claim all the blessings in the Bible? I realize the Bible assures us, “For every one of God’s promises are “Yes” in him; therefore also through him the “Amen” is spoken, to the glory we give to God.” (2 Cor 1:20 – NET) But obviously I can’t claim the right to be a blessed baby smasher, can I? Houston, we have a problem.

As I have grown to love and trust the Bible, I’ve come to understand that the Scriptures “plainly” say a lot of things. But, where I see us frequently getting off track is when we fail to realize that, if not reverently cautious to read Scriptures in context, we can read the Bible saying a lot of things that the Bible “plainly” doesn’t say.

— Read the rest of the article. Click HERE: Does The Bible Really Say That

 

 
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