Sola Scriptura and Mr. Cs Lewis

csRecently I was studying Galatians 1 with a friend. When I read the verse “if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be eternally condemned!” I openly wondered “Have I ever heard a gospel preached other than the biblical gospel.” I thought this to be certainly true. But moreover I though “Have I ever heard of a very holy, authoritative person- perhaps a saint, preach something that I felt was not in accordance with scripture?”

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Misunderstanding Faith

faithIf you have faith, you can marry.” “If you have faith in God, you can raise 12 disciples.”

Did I miscommunicate biblical faith? I used to make such statements 100s of times to countless Bible students for over a quarter of a century….especially to those who are single and in (restrained desire and) need of a spouse! I am so sorry for all those I did this too… I realize that inherent in such seemingly “innocent” and “cute” statements is that it could be provocative and possibly misleading and miscommunicating biblical faith. Continue reading →

Sanctification by Grace through Faith

s1How do we become free from the burden of sin?

During a Q&A session after a church service where 2 Tim 3:6-17 was preached, someone asked “How do we become free from the burden of sin and how do we live in that freedom?” The preacher answered “Trust in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and preach the realities of the gospel to yourself every day.”

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Toledo UBF Message – Just Obey

c1Now it’s time for another Toledo UBF message review. This one is a doozy.

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On Heresy

hI always thought when I met a heretic I would know exactly what to say. I would be armed with all my beliefs and I would quickly dismantle such an argument. Instead I was just awestruck.

“God’s love is conditional upon our obedience.”

“We must hate God’s enemies.”
Me: “Are you serious right now?”

Until about a year ago I thought that heresy came in two forms, early first century church heresy involving the divinity of Christ and modern ideas of moral relativity, religious pluralism, and a general denial of miracles. Oh was I mistaken.

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Why I will not try to obey the OT Law

l1So you are not even going to try to obey God’s Law? Nope. Not even a little? No. Aren’t you afraid of backsliding? No. Don’t you fear God? Not anymore, no. Aren’t you afraid of drifting away from God? No. Don’t you miss fellowship with God’s people? Not really, no. Are you a Christian? Yes, I consider myself a Christ-follower. Don’t you want a faith community? Someday yes, but not now. Why aren’t you going to even try to obey God? Well let me explain some things I’ve learned as a Christian outsider.

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The Six Stage UBF Training Model


[This is a direct quote form my second book about my journey of recovery from ubf, “Goodness Found: The Butterfly Narratives” and further describes the ubf training model.]

The most important aspect everyone needs to understand about UBF ministry is the six-stage training process. When I joined in 1987, no one had ever documented such a thing. But as I look back, I can clearly see all six stages. Everyone’s experience is different. Yet all UBF people should readily recognize these six stages. The following slide describes the UBF training model, and has been shared publicly by UBF from their 2010 Fishing and Outreach Director’s Conference. This is the most accurate depiction of my 24 years at UBF I’ve ever seen.

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Answers from Lumen Fidei

pI recently came across a document called the Lumen Fidei. It was more than insightful. The Lumen Fidei (light of faith) is a letter of Pope Francis that was circulated widely among top catholic bishops in 2013. Here are some questions this letter helped answer for me.

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legalismThis is NOT written about UBF. This is from Tough Topics by Sam Storms on legalism, which is related to my previous post: Galatians Set Me Free From Legalism.

You didn’t do what I want! “Legalism is the tendency to regard as divine law things that God has neither required nor forbidden in Scripture, and the corresponding inclination to look with suspicion on others for their failure or refusal to conform.”

Become my slave. “There are professing Christians, who are determined to bring you under their religious thumb. They are bent on making you a slave of their conscience. They have built a tidy religious box…and they strive to stuff you inside and make you conform to its dimensions. They are legalists, and their tools are guilt, fear, intimidation, and self-righteousness. They proclaim God’s unconditional love for you, but insist on certain conditions before including you among the accepted, approved elite of God’s favored few.” Continue reading →

B is for Beauty

PreachingLk24onApr19,2014Please critique what I wrote for my sermon tomorrow: B is for Beauty.

Thanks for the helpful comments last week on A is for Accountability. As a result I stressed how important it is regarding who we choose to be accountable to. This resonated with some as they lamented that what they had shared in confidence was used against them. Regarding accountability I asked three questions during the sermon:

  1. Do you have a Nathan? (Who are you accountable to?)
  2. Are you a Nathan? (Who are you accountable for?)
  3. Do you know your ultimate Nathan, who did not confront you for your sins, but died for your sins?

My short (and incomplete) answers are my wife, my friends and my Jesus.

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