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The Anabaptists: The Forgotten Legacy – Part IV

In this essay I must turn aside from weightier matters of historical theology to deal with a rather simple-minded subject. If we were to read Matthew 23 and take Jesus’ words at face value, we should come away with the notion that He was not very impressed with all the titles we make so much of today....

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The Hypocrisy of Evangelicals in the 2016 Presidential Election

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-02-2016

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Today’s guest post is from a woman named Rachel. She asked me to keep her identity anonymous since she fears any backlash for her views. Rachel is an evangelical Christian. She’s married, has two children, and she’s in her early 30s. She and her family attend a Baptist church and are involved in the church’s community life.

I’m an avid Facebook user. It’s partly a hobby when my children are taking naps. I pay attention to my feed. Not once, not twice, but three times, some of my fellow-evangelical friends (yes, I’m an evangelical) published updates trashing one of the Republican candidates. They pointed out that he’s had infidelities in his marriage and has talked about his promiscuous life-style in the past on old radio shows. Also that he uses profanity.

They went on to argue that such a man is not qualified to be president, and haughtily accused any evangelical of supporting the person as being clueless or unspiritual and perhaps not even saved.

What they don’t realize is that this stance and mode of arguing is hypocritical.

It is so for the following reasons:

  1. These same people supported Ronald Reagan. It’s been well documented that President Reagan had both adultery and divorce in his past. He also had premarital sex in his past (Nancy was pregnant when they married). All of this has been documented and isn’t disputed.
  2. Many of the other candidates have been caught lying and engaging in slander. The Bible condemns lying and slander with as much vigor as it does infidelity and premarital sex. Playing the “this sin is greater than that sin” is a problem evangelicals have had for a long time and that’s why so many lost people aren’t interested in the faith. Double standards are unappealing and unbiblical. They smell of hypocrisy.
  3. The candidate some of my evangelical friends so vehemently despise has put people to work, has a proven record of negotiating great deals, has proven leadership skills, speaks the truth to power, and his family life today is impeccable. His adult children are impressive, and this cannot be said about some of the other candidates.

The main point here is that if a person is going to use the personal morality of someone’s past to determine if they are qualified to be president, then ALL the candidates are not qualified.

Lying is a moral issue. Slander is a moral issue. Bumming off of other people is a moral issue. Filing inaccuracies on your taxes is a moral issue. Mishandling confidential emails is a moral issue. Playing dirty politics in the Iowa caucus is a moral issue. Mismanaging your money is a moral issue (we are to be good stewards). Some evangelicals would argue that taking out large loans is a moral issue. Some of the other candidates claim to be Christians, but they believe in what many evangelicals would say are false doctrines (Seventh Day Adventism and Catholicism).

Each of the other candidates has at least one of these morality problems in their past and even in their present.

I personally don’t condone immorality of any kind. But I’m not voting for someone based on their morality. All the candidates fail if we compare their personal morality according to biblical standards. All of them.

But if we are going to base our vote on who can lead the country the best, then that’s another story.

Remember this too. If you’re going to condemn someone about something they did or said in their past, you’re condemning yourself. No one has a perfect past. All have sinned and come short of God’s glory, that includes every person reading this article. I personally liked Ronald Reagan but his past had many of the same problems that Bill Clinton’s past did (not identical but similar).

Perhaps someday evangelicals will not be viewed as the hypocritical, self-righteous, judgmental, double-standard flame throwers that the world sees them as today. I think it begins with throwing out the double standards, don’t you?

Written by Rachel

Jon Zens Resources

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-06-2015

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Here are links about the author Jon Zens.

JonZens

Jon Zens | LinkedIn

View Jon Zens’s professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest business network, helping professionals like Jon Zens discover inside 

What’s with Paul and Women?: Jon Zens, Wade Burleson

as a clear mandate to silence women in the church for over 1500 years. In What’s With Paul & Women? Jon Zens exposes the fallacies of this interpretation.

Istoria Ministries Blog: Searching Together, Edited by Jon Zens

Sep 21, 2010 – One of my favorite theologians is Jon Zens. Jon edits the quarterly periodical called Searching Together, formerly known as the Baptist 

Is Paul sexist? (with Dr. Jon Zens) – YouTube

Adam Zens and Bo Bennet interview Dr. Jon Zens. Jon explains why he doesn’t think that Paul is sexist and

Gatherings In The Early Church. By Jon Zens | house2housemagazine

Oct 17, 2013 – Gatherings In The Early Church. By Jon Zens. Sharing Christ with One Another, Not Listening to a Pulpit Monologue. Although I have problems 

Jon Zens Talks About His New Book: No Will of My Own

May 7, 2011 – Author Jon Zens joined in earlier today at Jocelyn Andersen’s Blog Talk In his Introduction to No Will of My Own, Jon states, “In this case, 

Four Tragic Shifts in the Visible Church | Jon Zens – Granted Ministries

Read “Four Tragic Shifts in the Visible Church” by Jon Zens. Download for free. See our review.

Jon Zens: The Pastor Has No Clothes | 5 Pt. Salt

Aug 15, 2011 – This is the kind of thing that makes you go “Hmmm….” Or…. “Are you kidding me?” Related Post: The Pastor-Teacher: One Calling, One Office

Jon Zens and Frank Viola

jonzens

Jon Zens Videos

CALVIN’S GENEVA – APPLIED CRITICAL THINKING

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-03-2015

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Written by Obie Ephyhm

Among the more difficult tasks in evaluating past opinions lies in viewing the ‘then’ through the values and ideals of the ‘now.’ This is both true in looking at John Hubbird’s essay from 1983 and at the life works of John Calvin from the mid-16th century. It is a common error, for example, to judge harshly based on what is unacceptable practice now when such may have been all too common nearly 500 years ago or to be overly critical of Hubbird’s equivocation of Calvin’s actions and motives based on the values I hold today set against his university values of 1983.

CALVIN’S GENEVA – AN EXPERIMENT IN CHRISTIAN THEOCRACY

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-03-2015

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Written by John Hubbird

By 1533, with the Reformation about sixteen years old, the European map had taken on definitive shapes from Luther’s and Zwingli’s efforts and territorial expansions. Yet, the fate of the reformation was hardly secure since, on the whole, liberal Catholic reformers were not joining the Protestant Reformation ranks (Erasmus being a notable example).

Greg Boyd on Condemning Unbelievers

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-11-2014

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Boyd writes,

“We are to have faith that what God says about himself in Christ is true, what God says about us in Christ is true, and what God says about others in Christ is true. So whatever the appearances may be, we are to have faith that God is working in others to do what only God can do. This means that we must never condition our love and acceptance of people with judgment about how much or how little progress they are making in their relationship with God.

Conditioning our love and acceptance of people on the basis of our judgment reveals that we don’t believe what God says about them or that God is working in their lives. Since “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Rom 14:23), we should in this case be concerned with the tree trunk of sin in our own life rather than trying to fix the sin we think we perceive in others’ lives.

We should focus on what God commands us to do rather than speculating about the extent to which others are or are not doing what God has commanded them to do. When we try to detach ourselves and critically evaluate the progress of others, we act as though we are their masters, and we thereby disobey God (Matt 7:1-5, Rom 14:4).

This also applies to people who haven’t yet surrendered their lives to Christ. They, too, must be unconditionally embraced and invited into the celebration of the cessation of the banishment from communion with God. Indeed, our unconditional, loving embrace is the central way these people are to come to know we are disciples of Christ. They encounter the reality of Jesus Christ as they experience his love through us (Jn 17:20-26). Though they cannot see God, they experience his love as it is manifested through us (1 Jn 4:12). Our outrageous love becomes a puzzle to them for which Jesus Christ is the only adequate explanation.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Is Suicide Unforgivable?

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-11-2014

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In the weeks following Robin Williams’ death, many Christians spoke openly about their belief that those who commit suicide will be condemned to hell. Frank Viola, an author, dedicates his life to applying Christian principles to the modern world, and when discussing Williams’ death, he says he is upset by the lack of sympathy that some Christians exhibit.

What Todd Bentley & Mark Driscoll Have in Common

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 02-09-2014

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by Jeffrey Yoder

The recent Mark Driscoll scandal has caused me to see a connection to the Todd Bentley scandal several years ago.

The sins of Bentley – who was a Charismatic celebrity – were sexual immorality and drunkenness.

The sins of Driscoll – who was a Neo-Calvinist/Reformed celebrity – were emotional abuse, dishonesty, and verbal assault.

Both Driscoll and Bentley were popular figures in the Christian world.

Both stepped down from ministry.

Both lost thousands of fans.

But both were promoted by respected leaders who have very large platforms.

I want to make two big points in this piece.

Devoted to God’s Will

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-05-2014

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There is a third thing which defines that to some degree, which puts its finger upon the root of the matter. What is the man after God’s heart? What is it that God has sought in man? The verse in Acts tells us: “…who shall do all my will” (Acts 13:22). If you look at the margin you will see that “will” is plural: “…all my wills” – everything that God desires, everything that God wills, the will of God in all its forms, in all its ways, in all its quests and objectives. The man who will do all His wills is the man after God’s heart, whom God has sought. The words are spoken, in the first place, of David. There are several ways in which David as a man after God’s heart is brought out into clear relief.

Divorce & Remarriage – What Does the Bible Really Say?

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-03-2014

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by John Austin

Divorce and remarriage is a subject that’s deeply misunderstood by Christians. The misunderstanding has caused harsh judgment, ostracization, persecution, harassment, and even abuse from Christians against other Christians who have been divorced or remarried, without any questions being asked about their specific situations.

Unfortunately, some Bible teachers have spread the false idea that there is no biblical grounds for divorce or remarriage, ever. According to them, a husband can cheat on his wife, abuse her, act violently toward her, neglect her, and she must still be married to him. Also, a wife can continually cheat on her husband, berate and abuse him, and he must still be married to her.

These teachers even go so far as saying that if an abusive or unfaithful spouse initiates a divorce, the other spouse must remain single for the rest of their lives, even if God did not equip them to be celibate. (Celibacy is a gift according to Matthew 19:12 and 1 Corinthians 7:7.)

For those who teach this doctrine, the sayings of Jesus regarding “except for fornication” are reinterpreted to say that Jesus wasn’t talking about marriage. He was talking about engagement (betrothal).

The overwhelming majority of biblical scholars reject this view because it doesn’t fit with the whole teaching of Scripture or the context in which Jesus was speaking.

Other Bible teachers say that the only exception for divorce and remarriage is adultery. They base this idea on a few of Jesus’s statements in the Gospels. But this view ignores the context of those statements as well as what Paul had to say about the subject.

The fact is that not every case of divorce is the same, so each one cannot be treated the same. In the same way, not every case of remarriage is the same. So not all cases of remarriage should be treated the same. This is the fundamental mistake that many Christians make about this subject. They make a universal judgment on divorce and remarriage and apply it to every person and every situation.

There are actually four grounds for divorce and remarriage in the Bible.

Ex-Clergy Survival Guide

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-01-2014

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It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

~ Upton Sinclair

The Anabaptists were persecuted by both the Catholic and Protestant streams of Christianity.

They didn’t believe in the institutionalization of the church, including a clergy/laity divide.

This got them into hot water with organized Christianity.

Many contemporary pastors are leaving the pastorate for similar reasons. They are experiencing a crisis of conscience.

If you are an ex-clergyman, and you wish to find work outside of your religious profession, send an email to expastorsguide @ gmail.com and receive a free copy of the Ex-Pastors Survival Guide.