Friday, September 11, 2020

If you weren't in your current denomination, what other denomination would you be?

   I moved away from denominationalism decades ago. I have spent the years since, worshiping and fellow-shipping with Believers of all stripes and color and have come to believe denominations are more hindrance than help in the Body of Christ. 

   It is simply not true that we get more done and win more souls when we transform the living organism of The Ekklesia into a man-made organization, whether or not we choose to turn our fellowships into creations of the State via 501c3 status.

   Creating tax-exempt organizations immediately alters the focus from growing in relationship with Christ [and with our Sisters and Brothers in Christ] to "growing the ministries." And like it or not, at that point, money becomes the top priority. Salaries, fee's, rents, mortgages, utilities, supplies, financing events...the list goes on and on.  

   Unbiblical hierarchies begin running the show. Activities are planned, positions assigned, members are kept busy, busy, BUSY. So busy, in fact, that for many, there is little time to let their lights shine anywhere else, aside from church. 

   For many Christian families, life becomes: work, church, children's school or sports activities, work, church, school or children's sports activities, work, church, children's school or sports activities. I have heard from Christians who do not have the school or sports activities to deal with, but even without that, they simply do not have time for personal activities they might enjoy, because they are so busy with church stuff.

   I am not saying denominations and faith-based 501c3's are cults, but many of them--most all large "successful" churches--use the same tactics cults use to keep their members supporting the org. They do this by creating so many departments and activities, creating skewed loyalties to church leaders and the ministry itself, keeping members "accountable" and so busy attending and maintaining church stuff, they simply don't have time or energy for anything else. 

   I do not say pastors premeditate to accomplish this deliberately--though some do. But in order to maintain the organization, to keep the beast fed and thriving, a vicious cycle must be created that becomes almost impossible to break without self-destructing. The never-ending cycle is necessary to keep the organization alive. 

   Another feature of denominationalism, is separation. Some denominations are better at this than others. But denominational separation within the One Body that is the Church of the Living wrong. 

   If you belong to Jesus, you belong with me. We belong with each other. And this can be accomplished without creating divisive denominations and organizations. The foundation of faith in Christ, connects every believer. And the rest is theology, which we should all be encouraged to study, discuss, and strive to understand.

   There is so much more to this than room to explore in just one post.     

   But my position is, that Christian growth and discipleship can be accomplished, souls can be won, the work of the ministry can be done in a more fulfilling and effective manner without denominational behemoths and without the rigid hierarchical and theological structures found within both small and large denominations. Without these, so many issues that divide the Body of Christ and harm Christians, would become non-existent or vastly reduced.

   And with times being what they are, shepherds should begin preparing their flocks for alternatives to the denominational status quo, which could be snatched from them at a moment's notice. Didn't we see this in the pandemonium of the 2020 lock-downs? So the question really isn't, "What if you weren't in your current denomination...?," but rather, "What if your denomination was suddenly outlawed and shut down? What would you do then? Where would you go?"

   As the apostle declared, "I have purposed to know nothing among you but Christ!" 

   There is only one Name that is above every name, and that is the name of our precious Savior, the Lord Jesus. 


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Was Susan B. Anthony Pardoned as an Election Year Ploy?


On the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to have their voices heard at the ballot box, Susan B. Anthony, who was arrested for casting a vote when only men were allowed to vote, was finally granted a Presidential Pardon.

When she was arrested, she refused to pay her fine, and though authorities refused to pursue her case, the charges against her were not dropped and remained until yesterday, when President Donald J. Trump finally  granted her a pardon.

President Trump is heavily criticized in the media, even for this. He is accused of targeting women for the 2020 election. Is that true? Let his record on women settle that question;

Donald J Trump is the first President in U.S. history to appoint so many women to key and top positions. Washington Examiner staff were shocked to find so many women in key and top positions connected with President Trump's campaign and administration.

"...when we reviewed new White House staffing numbers, it came as a bit of a surprise that in an administration led by a president often accused as anti-women in his policies and sometimes words, nearly half of the staff are women."

Over half his top staff consists of women! 

It is shameful this President is not getting credit for this. It is shameful that the great thing he has done for Susan B. Anthony is being criticized as a cheap political ploy. There have been many administrations claiming to champion women, but the Trump administration has actually done it.

Women entrepreneurs are thriving under President Trump.

President Trump has been a champion of women, life, and faith from the moment he entered the Oval Office. He has: Issued Executive orders Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty | Established the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative | Pardoned Susan B. Anthony | White House Celebrated the centennial of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote

 He is  the First President in History:

 The list goes on about the things this President has done to help women and minorities. But the mainstream news media is not telling. Good thing the American people know how to research these things for themselves, 

And good on President Trump for Celebrating the anniversary of women's suffrage and for pardoning Susan B. Anthony!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Has your Church helped a protective parent pay for legal services?

Today is an anniversary of note: Despite opposition against including parents in custody disputes under a law mandating mental health evaluations--even for those who have never exhibited mental health problems-- HB 439 Mental Health Services in the Criminal Justice System passed into Florida law on 3/25/2016 (open link and read lines 115-229).  

I post this again today--four years later--because it still adversely effects children and protective mothers who attend and support our churches.  

Our family courts are horrors when one of the parents contesting custody is an abuser. And statistics show that abusive fathers are more likely to sue for custody than loving, mentally healthy, fathers. Statistics also show that when an abusive father sues for custody, he stands an 80% chance of a Family Court ruling in his favor. 

It is the belief of many, that abusive parents are the ones who primarily benefit from custody related mental health provisions included in this law. 

I am disappointed that pleas to stop HB 439 fell on deaf ears. That means it is more important than ever for churches to reach out in support of members who are protective parents battling a broken family court system (the vast majority of these are single mothers). Children are the main victims in this travesty. They often suffer unspeakably.

Do what you can to help these families. And be aware that it might take more than just prayer. It may require action. Put your money where your mouth is. I know of some churches that assist protective mothers with attorney's fees...Now, that's love.

My 2016 letter to Governor (emailed to him as soon as I learned of this on March 15, 2016)

Dear Governor Scott,

I am all for getting mental health services to those who need them rather than overburdening the criminal justice system, but for heaven's sake why has the issue of child custody between two parents who are not criminals been sandwiched into  House Bill 439 (Senate Bill 604), Mental Health Services in the Criminal Justice System? It does not belong there! This bill will force people who have never committed a crime nor given any indication of having mental health problems into the mental health system. It will force them into "certain mental health programs" just because they are involved in a child custody dispute! That is so unfair to families. Governor Scott, please do not sign this Bill into law until the part about parents and custody disputes is removed.

Thank you
Jocelyn Andersen

Friday, March 13, 2020

Covid-19 & The Armor of God

 Our home-based church group is studying the armor of God and discovering the simple and relevant application of Ephesians 6 in this present distress when human solutions and interventions are limited.

The good news is that with God all things are possible and our Creator spoke of many things in his Word, including pandemics:

10: Finally my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might Put on the whole armor of God that you may be powerful to stand against the methods and trickery [methodeia] of diabolos For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities [ἀρχάς archas] against powers [ἐξουσίας exousia] against the rulers of the darkness of this world against spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth [1]

[1] Belt on the Truth. 

The Truth is whatever God has to say about any given situation.

Sickness? Epidemic? Pandemic? …Psalm 91:1-7: “…He shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust HIS TRUTH shall be thy shield and buckler 5: Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night nor for the arrow that flieth by day 6: Nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday 7: A thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand but it shall not come nigh thee….(protection!)” 

Psalm 91:9-10 No plague shall come near thy dwelling….

Who will believe the report of the Lord?

Is there any sick among you? Let them call for the elders of the church...James 5: 

This is an excerpt from