Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Expelled" from Church?

Indeed!? No, I'm not speaking of being withdrawn from here in the biblical sense. I'm not even speaking of excommunication in the Catholic sense. What I am speaking of here is much more subtle and stealth. Some many not even notice it has taken place.

This evening a group of 8 men from the Archdale church of Christ went to the movies. We did so because men need to fellowship on a regular basis and we just don't. We grabbed a bite at the local "Steak and Shake" and afterwards went to see Ben Stein's new movie "Expelled."

"Expelled" is an excellent overview of the current struggle in the scientific community over whether "intelligent design" will play a part in the discussion over the future of Darwinian evolution. I recommend this movie highly for you, your entire family and every friend and acquaintance. Did you know that when cornered, world famous evolutionist Richard Dawkins actually says that life on earth could have "possibly" come from a "seeding" of our planet by superior beings from outer space?! Hardly science…….

My point here is not to discuss evolution or creationism per se. One of the many salient points the movie makes is this, there is a wall of separation in the scientific community between science and faith that cannot be crossed much like the infamous "Berlin Wall" of the Cold War era. One has complete academic freedom as long as he / she is on the Darwinian side. Even an admission that there is even a possibility of intelligent design in the whole scheme of things will be enough to "put you out of the camp." As long as the wall remains, freedom is non-existent.

It occurred to me upon reflection that much the same train of thought is prevalent in the Lord's church today. An example:

1) A major paper among us writes head line articles friendly to the pro-instrumental faction.

2) A group of faithful brethren take out an ad proclaiming the biblical truth on the matter.

3) A number of those in error on the matter complain bitterly to the editor of said paper.

4) The editor issues a new ad policy that silences the biblical opposition by refusing to take money for any more such ads.

It is said that often the "tail wags the dog." The tail of error among us is long, muscular and powerful. Those who peddle error make a wailing cry that the faithful are dividing the body of Christ by insisting upon biblical music in our assemblies. The perpetrators of this error have erected a wall of "spiritual correctness."

In the 1980's a gallant Ronald Reagan declared, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Today, we call to our brethren on the other side. Our call is the same the Lord called to Israel in the long ago, "Come…let us reason together…" Let us lay aside our philosophies of men and "search the Scriptures daily…" Let us demand that false teachers like Alan Jones and Brian McLaren be removed from our lectures, removed from our conferences, removed from our chapels and removed from our magazines.

"Mr. Jones, Mr. McLaren, tear down this wall!"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Overlooked Soul Winning - We Need More of It!

Our mission is clear; make disciples, baptize and teach all things whatsoever Christ commands us in the Gospels, the Acts, the epistles and the Revelation.

What is often NOT CLEAR is the extreme value of over looked soul-winning efforts by many who may not even "appear" to even be soul winners! We read of one such "soul winner" in Acts 9:36-43, Dorcas (or Tabitha). Here is what the Scripture says of her:

• She was full of good works
• She was full of charity
• Her passing caused much lament
• Her passing caused Peter to leave Lydda and come to Joppa
• She had made many tunics and other garments for the saints, her loss was
devastating to the church in Joppa
• Her loss drove Peter to prayer and God raised her from the dead
• Vs.42: "And it became known throughout all Joppa and MANY BELIEVED on the
• Peter then stayed in Joppa with one Simon the Tanner where he was readied by
the Holy Spirit to preach the good news of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

When we think of all the great soul winners in the New Testament, do we consider Tabitha? Not likely. When GOD considers the great soul winners of the New Testament, does He consider Tabitha? VERY likely. The life she led in SERVCIE TO OTHERS, her support of other soul winners and what God did for her and through her caused "MANY TO BELIEVE."

We cannot baptize or teach all things until we make disciples. Disciples are made when? Disciples are made when "they see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven."

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 5:15-16

Tabitha loved God, did good works of kindness and charity, died, was lamented, was raised and caused much glory to be given to God resulting in many baptisms!

We have many soul winners among us, some are "Peters" and some are "Tabithas"…but ALL soul winners none-the-less! Praise God for each of you for your "good works and charity" that makes disciples of all the nations! In God's economy there is no such thing as a "random act of kindness." "Whatsoever ye sow, ye shall also reap." Tabitha reaped a bountiful harvest and so shall we when we follow her example.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Time Traveling Error - From the Fall..To A Congretation Near You

Can error travel from The Fall to 2nd Century Alexandria to apostate Rome to the 21st Century cities of San Francisco, Nashville, Tulsa and “your city” U.S.A.? Sounds preposterous, bizarre and downright weird! Truth IS indeed stranger than fiction, ...ERROR IS A TIME TRAVELER.

Of course we know that only God transcends time. Satan’s power is limited and he cannot transcend time. However, the same lie Satan told Adam and Eve is still being told today...with the same damning effect.

This blog is dedicated to placing the dangers of Circular Interpretive methods under the bright light of Scripture. Originated by Origen and perfected by Thomas Aquinas and Romanism over the centuries, allegorical interpretation is once again raising its ugly head in our day. This neo-Gnostic circular approach to interpretation has infiltrated the Lord’s church and is racing through the brotherhood virtually unchecked. This report will confirm the previous statement.

Circular Interpretation has at it’s core an allegorical foundation. An “allegory” to biblical interpretation is/are fictional story(s) assigned by the interpreter to “understand” the personal hidden message(s) contained within any given passage. As un-biblical as subjectively interpreting Scripture is, evil is compounded when allegorical stories are combined with the “undiscoverable truth” philosophy of post-modern man.

In the beginning, God spoke clearly, understandably and linerally with a singular message. For a time Adam and Eve clearly understood and obeyed that message without question; they “rightly divided the word of truth.” Here is what God said;

“And the Lord God commanded the man saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you do eat of it you shall surely die.”
- Genesis 2:16-17 (ESV)

As the country song might ask; “What part of NO don’t you understand?!” (R)

Things changed radically when an “out of town preacher” showed up with a “new slant” on the “interpretation” of Genesis 2:16-17! He “discovered” God’s “disguised motivation” hidden between the lines of the text! Based upon this “story,” He turned around and called God a liar! Here’s the allegorical and circular interpretation of Genesis 2:16-17 preached by Satan and recorded in Genesis 3:4-5:

“But the serpent said to the woman, You will NOT surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (ESV)

There you have it, the father of allegorical and circular interpretation is none other than Satan himself. He prototypes here the circular interpretive model by assigning allegory to truth. The circular / Alexandrian / Circular / Emergent “interpreter” takes whatever God says clearly and asserts that the passage has multiple hidden meanings, illustrates the many hidden meanings with stories and finally concludes that the “truth” is OPPOSITE to the original clear, unambiguous, linear and original singular message spoken by the Holy Spirit. Paraphrasing Satan’s circular approach,

“I know it “says” that “on the day you shall eat of the fruit you shall surely die,” but here’s the real story. God is just concealing his hidden motivation here to protect his divine status. You see God doesn’t want any competition from the likes of you! Here’s the bottom line, you will NOT surely die!”

Where am I going with all of this? You “may” have someone (or several someone’s) who attended this years - or a previous years Tulsa International Soul Winners Workshop. The most prominently displayed corporate sponsor this year for the work shop was ZOE GROUP / NEW WINESKINS. When you go to the ZOE/Wineskins website [] their new logo at the top has 4 buttons. The very first button, going appropriately from “left” to right is an image of the champion of allegory, Brian McLaren. That button is entitled “Enrichment Conferences.” Such a prominent display is a de facto endorsement of ALL that Brian McLaren teaches. We could keep listing his errors for weeks on end but suffice to say that Brian McLaren is not a Christian in the New Testament sense of the word. Here is what McLaren says regarding hell, God’s motives and the death of Christ:

“One of the huge problems is the traditional understanding of hell. Because if the cross is in line with Jesus' teaching then--I won't say, the only, and I certainly won't say even the primary--but a primary meaning of the cross is that the kingdom of God doesn't come like the kingdoms of the this world, by inflicting violence and coercing people. But that the kingdom of God comes through suffering and willing, voluntary sacrifice. But in an ironic way, the doctrine of hell basically says, no, that that's not really true. That in the end, God gets His way through coercion and violence and intimidation and domination, just like every other kingdom does. The cross isn't the center then. The cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God.”
Source: via

To illustrate the brazen nature of his theology one has no need to go further than his statements regarding the purpose of the death of our dear Lord and Savior on the cross. He concludes that “if” God actually allowed Christ to die for our sins it would be like you and I kicking the dog when we are angry! The exact quote: “...God is incapable of forgiveness unless he kicks someone else.” McLaren here is quoting a well known preacher who he does not name so as to “protect” him. However, these are clearly Brian McLaren’s own sentiments. PLEASE, don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourselves on: Type in “Brian McLaren” on the “Search Bar.” A number of videos will be listed. When you scroll down about 12 slots you will see a video entitled: Brian McLaren’s Attack Against Hell and Jesus Atonement. Brian McLaren was one of the keynote speakers at the recently concluded “ZOE Conference” in Nashville, TN.

In addition to ZOE, Brian McLaren has other allies in his campaign to allegorize the entire Word of God. One such ally is the radical cleric, Alan Jones of San Francisco. Jones is the “Very Reverend” Dean of the self-identified Grace Cathedral of Henry VIII’s Anglican religion.

In addition to the usual cafeteria fare of worn out main line Protestant liberalism, Jones is outspoken in his support for something called the United Religions Initiative or U.R.I. The U.R.I. wants to unite the worlds religions into one body and mandate their beliefs into international law. They want to become, as it were, an international dictatorship over religious thought and practice. Check it all out for yourself at

Jones has written a book called Reimagining Christianity - Reconnect Your Spirit Without Disconnecting Your Mind, sort of a personal spiritual manifesto. His beliefs are chilling to say the least. In the book he champions the prideful doubt of a skeptic, the allegorical interpretive model of Origen, the elevation of Aquinian human reason over revealed truth, the rejection of nearly everything sacred along with various and sundry other heretical errors. The danger of this man’s teaching cannot be over stated! Essentially, Alan Jones is an agnostic mascarading as a cleric. His blatant and rebellious UNBELIEF is clearly articulated by what he says in his book. He is a post-modern disciple of Origen’s allegorical interpretive model and the “reason over revelation” teachings of 13th Century Thomas Aquinas. Here are two quotes:

“From the very beginning when I heard those Bible stories, I believed them in a mystical way - as a way of communicating deep truths by way of images. I instinctively read the Bible as allegory and metaphor, not as literal truth.”
- Pg. 14 (XIV) [Emphasis mine RM] Source via:

“...about the stories of the Bible. Are they to be trusted? If so, in what way? Are the words attributed to Jesus in the New Testament really his? My approach has always been skeptical with regard to the text and open with regard to the tradition...I don’t believe that what we can know of Jesus is confined to the New Testament. We have 2,000 years of experience and worship to draw on...we can get to the truth only by inference...through myth and poetry, through metaphor and
story telling. There is no such thing as “what really happened.” That’s
why history is always being rewritten.”
- Pages 209-210 [Emphasis mine RM] Source via:

Alan Jones has a radio broadcast called “The Forum.” He has McLaren as a regular guest AND McLaren often speaks during the liturgy! [Audio MP3's of McLaren’s sermons are available for listening on the Grace Cathedral website noted below] Jones is so fond of McLaren that McLaren’s image is prominently displayed on the website []. Just click on the “The Forum” button and a photo of Jones and McLaren appears on your left.

Now, here is Brian McLaren who is “instructing” the Lord’s people in Nashville and hobnobbing with Anglicans (radical Anglicans at that!) in San Francisco at the same time! How is that possible? It is NOT possible...unless...The ZOE Group, ALONG WITH ALL THAT SUPPORT THEM, are UNEQUALLY YOKED WITH UNBELIEVERS!

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what PARTNERSHIP has righteousness with lawlessness? O what FELLOWSHIP has light with darkness? What ACCORD has Christ with Belial? Or what PORTION does a believer share with an unbeliver? What AGREEMENT has the temple of God with idols?” - II Cor. 14-16a (ESV) [Emphasis mine RM]

ZOE Group and Alan Jones/Grace Cathedral, via Brian McLaren, have formed a PARTNERSHIP, A FELLOWSHIP, AN ACCORD, A PORTION AND AN AGREEMENT regarding the interpretation of the Scriptures. This poison was injected into the church of Christ via ZOE’s sponsorship of the Tulsa International Soul Winners Workshop just concluded.

The time travel route of error is now clear:

From Satan to Origen to Aquinas to Alan Jones to Brian McLaren to the ZOE Group to the Tulsa International Soul Winning Workshop to ____________?

Satan wants to fill in the blank with your name and mine, your congregation and mine.

The common thread of this time traveling error is the allegorical interpretation of God’s Word, prototyped at the Fall and still working today. We must, with truth and love, oppose these false teachers. More importantly, we must down load the inerrant, revealed, clear, unambiguous and linear Word of God into our minds and hearts daily and rededicate ourselves to our primary mission of making disciples, baptizing and teaching all things that Jesus taught in the Gospels, the Acts, the Epistles and the Revelation.

The very linear words of the Psalmist in #119 come to mind:

“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies. They also do no iniquity, they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep to keep thy precepts diligently. O, that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then I shall not be ashamed when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes, O forsake me not utterly.”
Section A-Lepth / KJV

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Testing the Spirit of Origen

“Beloved, do no believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – I John 4:1 NKJV

Origen was a 2nd century post-Gnostic philosopher who lived and taught in Alexandria. The Alexandrian School was the nucleus of the mixing of Christian, Platonic and Gnostic influenced learning in the 2nd century. Most of us are very little, if at all, familiar with Origen. Even fewer of us are aware that the spirit of Origen is alive and well today and threatens the church of Christ with a neo-Gnostic approach to biblical interpretation. In an effort to appeal to the “we can’t ever find the truth” post-modern generation, some among us have adopted Origen and his philosophy. Origen taught, among other things that Bible passages have multiple meanings and that each person can perceive these various meanings through a template of their own personal stories.

As a result, New Testament a-cappella singing has morphed into head banging rock and roll, the Lord’s Day has rolled back into Saturday night and the blood bought church of Christ has become just another denomination . . . according to some among us today.

“IF” Origen is correct, John the inspired apostle must be wrong. In order for us to “test the spirits,” we must have a clear, singular meaning and linear standard by which to do the testing. Otherwise, you have your truth, I have mine and there is no standard at all by which to judge anything. “Let God be true and every man a liar.”

Jesus told the apostles that they would KNOW the truth, he told them that the Holy Spirit would lead them to ALL the truth and he finally told them to teach baptized disciples ALL things whatsoever he commanded. Any biblical interpretive model that teaches, or even infers, that truth is somehow unknowable, unreachable or otherwise clouded in "mystery" is FALSE.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

"BIBLICAL" Biblical Interpretation 101

Biblical Biblical Interpretation 101

“I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” – King Saul

“What then is the bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen
which I hear?” – Samuel the Prophet

There are those among us who look at straight lines and see circles. Many have become confused because they no longer study, care about or practice BIBLICAL Biblical interpretation. Of course, adherents to Origen’s circular and allegorical methods will quickly jump up and proclaim that the Bible does not have anything to say regarding interpretive methods, each person interprets the Scripture for themselves. (The Apostle Peter would STRONGLY disagree! II Peter 1:19-21) With all due love and respect, the Bible DOES teach proper interpretive methods. There are many examples.
I Samuel 15 is clearly one such model.

The clear Word of God was given to Samuel. The same clear Word of God was given to King Saul. The Word of God given to both men was identical, no variances, changes or exceptions. That Word clearly, and without ambiguity, required King Saul to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites.

“Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” – I Samuel 15:3 NKJV

How could King Saul misinterpret the above portion of God’s Word? God spoke a straight line, Samuel saw a straight line but King Saul saw a circle. Samuel used linear methodology while Saul used circular. Linear interpretation asks the question, researches the Word of God, hears the Word of God and comes to a correct and verifiable answer. Circular interpretation, on the other hand, asks the question, brings up life experiences and emotional feelings, filters the Word of God through these experiences and emotions, comes up with multiple “truths” and literally manufactures it’s own “truth.” King Saul changed the Word of God to suit his pragmatic plans for military glory and honor. When challenged by Samuel, Saul blamed the people and made up excuses. His circular defense utterly failed. Saul lost the kingdom to his rival that very day.

Theology has consequences.

Yes, the Bible teaches proper interpretive methods, illustrates said methods and shows us consequences of changing the Word of God. And yet, many among us are turning lines into circles. The greatest challenge to the 21st century church of Christ is this; “Are we going to be Samuel or are we going to be Saul?” Are we going to hear and obey or are we going to hear and ignore?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

From Failue to Restoration to Mission - The Bridge of Christ

Day before yesterday, I listened to a radio sermon by denominational preacher Chuck Swindoll. His concluding remarks on John 21 gave me an idea for a sermon. The outline appears below. Swindoll's approach was subjective, allegorical and evangelical. It is my prayer that the lesson below is objective, linear and Biblical. Lord willing, I will preach this lesson at the next opportunity available to me. Feel free to use it if you wish.

John 21 – “From Failure to Restoration to Mission – The Bridge of Christ”

1. When God called Peter from Failure to Restoration to Mission, Peter
was open to the process.
a. The rehabilitation of Peter
1) Peter was not looking for the Lord but the Lord was
looking for him.
a) Though not seeking rehabilitation, Peter ran to the
Lord when he saw him.
b) The Lord was ready for Peter when Peter arrived
at the shore.

2. When God called Peter from Failure to Restoration to Mission, Peter
submitted himself for a time of deep spiritual cross examination by the Word.
a. The three fold questioning of Peter by the Lord.
1) Simon, do you agape me? Yes Lord, I phileo you.
2) Simon, do you agape me? Yes Lord, I phileo you.
3) Simon, do you phileo me? Yes Lord, I phileo you.
a) Jesus accepts Peter back where he IS, not where
he should be, and one day WILL be.
b) Jesus accepts Peter back ignoring his sinful past,
clearing the way for a faithful future.
b. The questions of Jesus are brutally pointed, and to his credit, Peter’s answers
are real, honest and without spin.
3. When God called Peter from Failure to Restoration to Mission, Peter
had to ignore all others but Christ.
a. What God does with someone else matters not at all.
b. When you were young, you were in TOTAL control.
c. When you grow old, you will have NO control.
1) The stages of Peter’s life
a) Total Confidence in himself
b) Total Denial of the Lord
c) Total Guilt
d) Total Doubt
e) A Return to Normalcy
f) Rediscovery of Christ
g) Reconciliation
h) Renewed Friendship
i) Renewed Dedication
j) An Attempted Return to Control
k) Attempted Return to Control Stopped Cold
l) Agape Driven Obsession Illustrated in His Letters
m) The Will of Peter Finally Becomes One and the Same with the Will of Christ as
He Dies
4. Conclusion – As He did with Peter, Jesus takes the broken ruins of our lives, our sins, our
failures and our shortcomings and builds a bridge called RESTORATION that takes us from
a. Once we are reconciled to the Lord, as Peter was, we can take up
our cross and follow Him by making disciples, baptizing and teaching
all things whatsoever He commanded.

CREDIT: I heard a radio sermon by Chuck Swindoll on March 31, 2008 where he made 3 brief concluding remarks on John 21; 1) When God calls us from futility to fruitfulness we should be open, 2) When God calls us from futility to fruitfulness we should expect a season of spiritual reflection and 3) When God calls us from futility to fruitfulness we should ignore all others outside of our individual calling. Swindoll comes from a Calvinistic point of view that allegorizes facts regarding Peter and assigns them directly to individuals living today. I took the general idea and wrote a sermon that is an exposition of Scripture as it is written. Application is made secondary after linear examination.

Thank You!

Please allow me to say, "THANK YOU!" for all your prayers, phone calls, e-mails and attendance for the Emerging Towards Departure Lectureship held last Friday and Saturday nights at Archdale! It was encouraging to see many of you there. Especially encouraging was the many messages of continuing prayer going up to God for these proceedings.

Continue to pray for me as the material is prepared for publication in book form, Lord willing, in the very near future. Should any of you wish to have the material, all or in part, presented at your congregation, just let me know.

Finally, as you can see, I have started up a "blogspot." Based on the lessons learned from I Samuel 15, "Samuels Line, Sauls Circle" is dedicated to a clear, unambiguous and linear biblical interpretive model among churches of Christ. I invite you to read and to respond.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Samuel's Line and Saul's Circle - An Introduction

As God allows me, the remainder of my days will be spent in pleading with Christians to return to reading the Bible, to studying the Bible and to "meditate upon the Word day and night." In so doing we must be able to "rightly divide the Word of Truth." Simply put, we must know how to properly interpret the Holy Scriptures.

In I Samuel 15, God clearly, unambigously and linearly communicated his Will to both Prophet Samuel and King Saul. Samuel heard the Word of God, understood it completely and expected King Saul to do likewise. Samuel saw the Word of God in a straight line, a distinct beginning with a clear ending. King Saul, on the other hand, saw the Word of God in a circle. Examining the Word of God through the lens of his own pragmatic expectations, he rationalized changing the Word of God. Though he was told to "completely destroy" the Amalekite enemy, he kept wicked King Agag alive as his prisoner. Though he was told to "completely destroy" the Amalekite enemy, he kept the very best of the animals. He saw the Word of God in a circle, he started with himself and he ended up with himself. Though he may have been sincere, the kingdom was taken away from him for he presumed to change the Will of God as clearly, unambigously and lineraly communicated by God to him.

King Solomon later observed that there is "nothing new under the sun." How true! Clement of Alexandria and Origen fathered the "allegorical" style of biblical interpretation in the late 2nd century that has morphed into today's so-called Circular Theology. Circular Theology is an interpretive model that views all things regarding the Holy Scriptures through ones own "life experiences." Such a foolish notion allows the exegete to read anything into the Scripture and pull anything out of Scripture he or she wishes.

When one combines Origen with Circlular Interpretation and truth-rejecting Post Modernism we become as so many grey hounds chasing metal rabbits around in circles for the entertainment of others while all the time killing our bodies (and souls) in futility.

It shall be the on-going purpose of this blog to encourage a return to "Biblical" Biblical Interpretation what we will call...Samuels Line that refutes Saul's Circle. God bless you all!