I’d rather you hear it from me…
There was a warning placed on Facebook tonight about me, Josh McDowell and my friends at aplacetotalk.
I want you to be warned because, as I’ve said 100’s of times – I want you to hear from God and not from Josh McDowell. If God has spoken to another human being and asked Him to warn the world about me, I want to be helpful to that man and to God.
There was not a direct attack at anything that I’ve said or done, just words like “dangerous deceiver”, “pseudo spiritual garbage”, “false teacher”, “poison” and “urine”.
I’ve been taking some ugly shots for a few months now, and it seems to be escalating.
I was talking to a good friend the other day. He had just discovered that there were some people out there that don’t respect me. I was trying to explain to him why people don’t like me and the spiritual things that I talk about and write about. As I struggled to put it all into words (quick short sentences) that wouldn’t take all day to explain – I realized that I’m thinking about and coming to believe a lot of theology that people in the past have been killed for teaching.
I’m writing a book now. I’ve completed the first chapter and intro so this type of stuff has really compelled me to get going on that front. I guess I’m saying the latest round of attacks against me will be good for me. Iron sharpens iron and trials from the enemy help us grow. So whether these attacks are from above or below, I believe God will use them for my growth.
I’m going to share some random thoughts here in quick bullet points… this may help you understand where I’m coming from and what I’m teaching.
– Jesus is the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Him (Jesus)
– Jesus is the exact representation of the Father (God the Father)
– The Jews were confused about God, and God sent His Son to reveal what He was really like
– We’ve all been confused about God from time to time’
– I love the bible, but I’m very careful not to make it an idol
– I believe Jesus is the Word (logos) of God
– The bible contains words from God, and words about God but it isn’t God
– I totally reject the concepts behind TULIP – the theology that is referred to as Calvinism today
– I don’t think that man is so depraved that he can’t turn toward grace
– I don’t believe that God only elects some for His love
– I don’t believe that Jesus died just for those He elected
– I don’t believe that God forces anyone to turn to Him
– I don’t believe that God keeps us against our will
– I don’t think John Calvin would be a TULIP Calvinist if he were alive on earth today
– In spite of the fact that there are places in the English translations of the scripture that say that God hates sinners and that we should hate mother and father if we want to follow Jesus, I believe those ideas are totally false and not the original intend of the authors.
– I believe that God is Love
– I believe that God’s primary characteristic is LOVE
– I trust Jesus Christ alone for my reconciliation, salvation, and daily life
– I don’t believe in the hell that Dante’s inferno teaches
– I do believe in hell, but I don’t believe that a faith in hell is essential to receiving the grace of God
– I believe that Jesus’ death on the cross demonstrated His love for every person ever to live on planet earth, including Osama Bin Laden, Adolph Hilter, Constantine, John Calvin, and even men like the Emperors Domitian and Nero.
– I believe that the concept of a clergy / laity divide is a mistake and shouldn’t exist in the church
– I believe that the Lord’s supper was intended to promote fellowship, real communion, not just another time to condemn God’s people and make them feel guilty about what they’ve thought, said, or done this week
– I believe that we don’t avoid sin by focusing on sin nor by working to do good.
– Instead I believe that we’ll best learn to avoid sin by hearing from God, listening to His voice (via the Holy Spirit) and by coming to know His unconditional love for us
– I do believe that passages like John 12:32, Acts 3:20-21, Romans 5:18-19, Romans 11:32, II Peter 3:9, Psalm 145:9, I John 3:8, Romans 11:36, I Corinthians 15:20-28, II Corinthians 5:14-15, 17-21, Ephesians 1:10, Philippians 2:10-11, Colossians 1:20, Hebrews 2:8-9, Hebrews 2:14-15, Hebrews 10:12-13, Psalm 110:1, Romans 8:34, James 1:18, II Peter 3:9, I John 2:2, I John 3:8, I John 4:14, Revelation 20:14, Revelation 21:4-5, I Timothy 2:3-6, and I Timothy 4:9-11 are under appreciated.
– These passages seem to indicate that Jesus eventually gets what He wants – you.
– I reject parts of the theology of Penal Substitutionary atonement.
– Penal Substitutionary atonement theory wasn’t taught by any of the early church fathers. This theology was first introduced in the 11th century by Anselm of Cantebury
– I attempt to not allow people to refer to me as teacher, Father, or leader based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:8-10. When I discovered that “Pastor” was the word many people used to mean leader, teacher, and father all rolled up into one I decided that I shouldn’t be called “pastor” either
– I do not condemn anyone and I don’t condemn other men who choose to answer to the title pastor
– Some of my best friends use that title
– I’m hopeful about the theology often referred to as apokatastasis
– I absolutely am not a Universalist, because as the first point listed here says, I believe Jesus is the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Him
– I am hopeful about Christ’s desire and plan to reconcile everything to Himself
A WORD ABOUT APLACETOTALK – The above beliefs are mine, they do not express the beliefs in total of the people of aplacetotalk. The people of aplacetotalk teach, talk, and pray with one another. They are free to believe as they do from God alone. They follow God alone and not a man, except the man Christ Jesus.
A cult requires that every member share a large belief system. A group like aplacetotalk agrees on a few core things and encourages everyone to think for themselves.
Here are the four key things that the people of aplacetotalk share –
#1 We want to be a place where Christ is exalted
#2 We believe that talking in church should be normal
#3 We believe that everyone’s journey toward Christ-likeness should be celebrated (all along that journey)
#4 We believe that every Christian should be a priest – connecting others to the unconditional love of God