What’s the bottom line?

  1. Christianity is more about Christ inside you than you inside a church.
  2. We were created to build a world that God can dwell in
  3. God gave you free will. He won’t undermine it, no one else should try.
  4. Doing your work with excellence honors God. It can be worship. Try it.
  5. Excellent work also serves others. This is part of God’s will for you.
  6. Helping build a better world is a key part of God’s will for your life.
  7. You can and should feel God’s pleasure over you doing your job well.
  8. Because of Christ inside there is no longer a sacred-secular divide.
  9. Being spiritual does not require that you abandon the world.
  10. Having a meal with friends can be a spiritual act. Enjoy life; Jesus did.
  11. Watching Disney movies with your daughter is important to God.
  12. If you have no ‘non-Christian’ friends you might get weird.
  13. Believing that ministry > marketplace means you missed the point.
  14. If Christ is in you, God is already pleased so you are free. Period.

What do we think about?

Church membership & attendance – we think meetings can be helpful. The most significant part of a local church is typically relationships you make and build with others. If meetings help ‘make real’ that Christ is in you, that’s awesome! Those are good meetings. If you start developing an idea that church meetings are where God is or where you meet Him, as opposed to your home, work, etc., something is wrong. That is a sign of going backwards into an old sacred-secular divide.

Christian training & discipleship – becoming a ‘stronger’ Christian is a good goal. So much discipleship tends to center on your lack, sinfulness, or need to rid yourself of habits. However, the Bible and the Holy Spirit are given to reveal what we HAVE been given by God, and who we have NOW become in Christ. Discipleship or training from this perspective is powerful.

Serving in a local church – most modern congregations need an army of volunteers to serve those who attend meetings. Serving in a congregation is a worthy endeavor; it should never be seen as ‘your ministry.’ Your life and involvement in the marketplace are serving God just as much or more than doing so in a congregation.

Tithing –  God honors anything we do in faith. Giving a percentage of your income away definitely requires faith. Jesus expanded how, where, what, and to whom we can give in order to honor God. He said that giving ‘to the least of these, is doing it unto Him.’ Generosity, giving to the poor, the work of ‘the church,’ missions, etc, are all excellent ways to meet needs, demonstrate faith, and honor God.

Church ministry being more important than the marketplace? The fruit this idea produces troubles me. This discourages everyone about their lives by diminishing value on career, work, and wrongly elevates ‘ministers’ and their vocation. It undermines the idea of Christ in us, returning us to old practices, thought processes, and a powerless life. It is an idea with tragic consequences.

What about spiritual gifts? Aren’t they to be used in the local church? Spiritual gifts are awesome. I actually wrote a best-selling book about them. It could easily be argued that limiting spiritual gifts to ‘church meetings’ is going backward. Joseph, Daniel, David, and others utilized spiritual gifts hundreds of years before Jesus was born. It is apparent from scripture that spiritual gifts can be successfully utilized in the marketplace.

Why do some pastors impart hatred or fear of the world? I think it is more accidental than intentional. I think most of the fear or hatred of the world arises from misunderstanding the basic message of the gospel – Christ in you, the hope of glory. Fear was endemic in the Old Covenant and many leaders are still stuck there.

The idea that spiritual lone rangers are dangerous. I understand why some pastors might suggest this, but it is contrary to scripture. Philip was considered a lone ranger; the unnamed minister (Luke 9:49-50), though isolated and disconnected, was endorsed by Jesus. People are often afraid of what and who they cannot control.

Why do you not justify your ideas with scripture references? Sometime I do. When I do not there are three possibilities. 1) My audience is wider than those who need scripture references, 2) Writing without them may provoke people to search the scriptures, or 3) Including them is awkward and I have enough trouble writing as is.

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