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Churches

Churchgoers don't mind us criticising other churches, but if the truth gets too close to home, sparks begin to fly. These are some of the articles over the years that have dared to question some sacred churchy assumptions. They conclude with a few articles that touch on some of what we have come up with as alternatives.


Churchies

What is the difference between a churchgoer and a churchie? Can the institutional church be changed best from inside or from outside? And what is the difference between the true church and the institutional church? Find out in this short article.
(See also System Worship, Jesus the Revolutionary, The Blood of the Lamb, and Convenient Doctrines.)

Read more: Churchies

System Worship


One of our strongest teachings is that we should follow God in preference to organisational hierarchy. How about you? Is your God bigger than your organisation?
(See also dogmas, The Unknown God, and Covering Schmuvvering)

Read more: System Worship

Covering Schmuvvering

The "covering" teaching says that submission to a respected religious authority is necessary for salvation. And hordes of people believe it‚ assuming that anyone acting independently is incapable of hearing from God. Sick stuff. It is given a healthy dose of scriptural antibiotics in this article.
(See also charismaniacs, False Christs, and I Will Have Mercy.)

Read more: Covering Schmuvvering

The Apostle

A film review of Robert Duvall's courageous effort to accurately portray American Pentecostal evangelicalism. He steers clear of both religious exaggeration and Hollywood scandal in an attempt to show the human side of the movement through a pastor's efforts to deal with his own feelings of guilt and failure.
(See also Simple Salvation, charismaniacs, and So, Who ARE They Following?)

Read more: The Apostle

So, Who ARE They Following?


This comparison of Jesus' teachings and the overall thrust of church teaching on the same subjects leaves one wondering exactly what the title suggests.
(See Thou Shalt Judge, and The Gospel According to Whom?)

Read more: So, Who ARE They Following?

False Teachers: Key Verses

Some tips from the Bible on how to spot false teachers.

Read more: False Teachers: Key Verses

Respectability


Respectability is faith's worst enemy. It does good works, but it does them for the wrong reason. Jesus had more opposition from respectable people than from anyone else. And so do we!
(See also False Christs, The Social Conscience Part 1, and Fear of Public Opinion.)

Read more: Respectability

Time for a New Reformation

Many of our strongest supporters have been Roman Catholics. Several of us are members of the Catholic Church also. But that should not stop us from calling a spade a spade with regard to apostasy within that great religious institution. Here it is, without fear or favour.
(See also superstition.)

Read more: Time for a New Reformation

Charismaniacs

The charismatic movement is actually prophesied in the Bible (II Thessalonians 2:8-11), and it will be used by the Antichrist in his conquest of the world. Learn to take the good while rejecting the lies.
(See also So, Who ARE They Following?, Which Christ are You Following? part 4, miracles, What is Faith? and WWFJD?)

Read more: Charismaniacs

Speaking in Tongues

Some down to earth rational common sense on a topic which is loaded with emotional prejudices.
(See also charismaniacs.)

Read more: Speaking in Tongues

Miracles


Is it necessary to believe in miracles to be a Christian? Can the devil perform miracles? What is the greatest miracle? And exactly what IS a miracle anyway? Find the answers here.
(See also charismaniacs, and superstition.)

Read more: Miracles

Health and Healing: key verses

This is a collection of significant verses from the Bible on Health and Healing.

Read more: Health and Healing: key verses

The Holy Spirit: key verses

These are some key verses from the Bible on the subject of The Holy Spirit.

Read more: The Holy Spirit: key verses

Fear of the Devil


God almost always starts with the words "Fear Not" when he is trying to tell us something. Fear always distorts the message, and can cause us to mistake God for a devil.
(See also change, Fear Not!, and Losing Your Identity.)

Read more: Fear of the Devil

Born Again

What does it really mean to be born again? Has the term been abused and turned into a description of something that is contrary to the life and teachings of Jesus?
(See also A Personal Relationship with Christ, and Amazing Grace.)

Read more: Born Again

Billy Graham

Is Billy Graham a false prophet? For that matter does anyone even have the right to ask such a question, regardless of what the answer might be?
(See also Born Again, and WWFJD?)

Read more: Billy Graham

Water Baptism

A brief introduction to our beliefs with regard to baptism rituals.
(See also I Will Have Mercy, and Christine on Baptism.)

Read more: Water Baptism

Baptism key verses

These are some key verses from the Bible about the subject of baptism.

Read more: Baptism key verses

Protestant Popes

Obviously the Catholic Church has ignored what Jesus said about not using titles like 'Father'. But are Protestants any better?
(See In the Name of the Father, and System Worship.)

Read more: Protestant Popes

Shibboleths

Thousands of people were killed because they mispronounced one word. Do you judge others on the basis of their knowledge of religious passwords? Or are you able to discern sincerity (or a lack of it) through other means?
(See also discernment, and The Ultimate Source.)

Read more: Shibboleths

Salvation by Bluff

Someone has said that certainty is the opposite of faith. Salvation does not go to those who profess most loudly that they have it. A shocking real-life illustration is used to bring home this truth.
(See also Judgment Day, and Eternal Salvation.)

Read more: Salvation by Bluff

The Sovereignty of God

The sovereignty of God teaching, ironically, reduces God to a slave, trapped by a legalistic interpretation of the Bible. But beware! God really is sovereign. One day he is going to put a few people in their place for trying to tell him what he can and cannot do.
(See also God's No Fool, and Salvation by Bluff.)

Read more: The Sovereignty of God

Grace: key verses.

Key Bible verses regarding the topic of grace, that reveal that obedience to Jesus is part and parcel of receiving the grace of God.

Read more: Grace: key verses.

Amazing Grace


Do we really believe in God's grace when we restrict salvation to members of our religion, or to people who follow our formulas for salvation? Discover just how universal God's grace really is in this amazing little article.
(See also The Good Hindu, Heavy Burdens and Difficult Yokes, Non-Christian Religions, and Smile, God Loves You!.)

Read more: Amazing Grace

Faith and Sincerity


An illustration by Tolstoy acts as a springboard for discussing what real faith is. It involves "walking in the light", "hungering" for more truth, and being "pure in heart", three aspects of sincerity. (See also The Ultimate Source.)

Read more: Faith and Sincerity

Jehovah's Witnesses


Why do people confuse us with the Jehovah's Witnesses? Find out how we are similar; and how we are not. Be prepared for some surprises in both areas. (See also the Update to Armageddon for Beginners, Father and Son, and Which Christ are You Following? part 1.)

Read more: Jehovah's Witnesses

Father and Son


A Hindu could be saved through faith in God the Supreme Creator; and an atheist could be saved through faith in Jesus the Teacher. That is the radical argument put forward in this article. Both claims are based on the grace of God, and the sacrificial blood of Christ, which eliminates the need for theological perfection in order to be saved.
(See also Another Cornerstone, In Search of Truth, A Letter to a Friend, and The Good Hindu.)

Read more: Father and Son

Simple Salvation


The benefits of getting people to say a prayer to "accept Jesus" are listed in this look at what is expressed in John 1:12. The article is written as a comparison between what The Family teaches about becoming a Christian and what we teach; however, it is really a comparison between what we believe and what the average Christian believes.
(See also Born Again, Eternal Salvation, and What is Faith?)

Read more: Simple Salvation

Eternal Salvation


Can salvation be lost after we have received it? We consider two approaches: ours, and the one taken by The Family and most evangelicals.  (The second in a series on The Family)
(See also A Letter to a Friend, The Good Hindu, and The Sovereignty of God.)

Read more: Eternal Salvation

Living by Faith


A comparison between ourselves and The Family on this important doctrinal issue. Churchgoers will be surprised to learn that their position is probably closer to that of The Family than to us.
(See also Advanced Tentmaking, and Surely, Not All Evils!)

Read more: Living by Faith

The Bible


One article in a series that compares our position with that of The Family (formerly The Children of God). This one deals with how we each apply Bible teaching to Christian practice today.
(See also The Word of God, Simple Salvation, Eternal Salvation, and Living by Faith.)

Read more: The Bible

Jesus Christ

This summary of differences between ourselves and The Family is really a summary of differences between ourselves and the churches. It all boils down to whether or not we have chosen to make Jesus and his teachings the standard by which to measure all that we do and teach.
(See also We Believe in Jesus Christ, So, Who ARE They Following?, and The Bible.)

Read more: Jesus Christ

The Law of Love

A comparison between The Family and the Twelve Tribes Community suggests that religious pride is a greater threat to the kingdom of heaven than are heresies about sex.
(See self-righteousness, and Eternal Salvation.)

Read more: The Law of Love

We are the Children of God!

When The Family decided to drop their original name (Children of God), we decided that it was too good a name to let perish for fear of persecution, so we wrote this article to stake our claim.
(See also Born Again.)

Read more: We are the Children of God!

Self-Righteousness


Being "worthy" (for a Christian) comes from realising that we are not worthy. All of our best efforts to please God will end in us becoming self-righteous if we forget about our unworthiness. Our understanding of God's grace must always keep us honest and humble about how much more we need to learn.
(See also pride, The Donor, The Revolution, and I Will Have Mercy.)

Read more: Self-Righteousness

The Role of Experience in the Quest for Truth

How do we react to Bible stories about the power of God, when they seem to contradict our own experience? A balance between humility and honesty may lead us closer to the truth than would outright rejection of either our own real-life experiences or rejection of the stories of others just because we cannot relate to them.
(See also Salvation by Bluff, miracles, Heal the Sick, and Armageddon for Beginners, chapter 3.)

Read more: The Role of Experience in the Quest for Truth

Truth in Isolation


Real truth results in wholeness (or integrity) for the one who finds it. But religion specialises in isolated bits of truth, each of which fails to line up with the other bits. The proof-texting mentality magnifies fragments and never succeeds in getting the bigger picture.
(See also The Golden Thread, The Role of Experience in the Quest for Truth, Solid as a Rock, and The Answer to Intellectual Atheism.)

Read more: Truth in Isolation

The Golden Thread


Cherry shares a lesson learned from a dream... about seeking the whole truth, and not just isolated revelations.
(See also Truth in Isolation, and Convenient Doctrines.)

Read more: The Golden Thread

The Body of Christ

Who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys? Different ways of drawing the lines are discussed in this article.  (See also Gathering Together.)

Read more: The Body of Christ

Another Cornerstone


Using an illustration about cornerstones, Dave shows how people can start from two different directions and still arrive at the same conclusion. 
(See also In Search of Truth, and Father and Son.)

Read more: Another Cornerstone

Non-Christian Religions

(Easy English version)
Christianity is not a religion. We should look for the good in all religions and encourage faith and love wherever we find them. Sincere people will see through the errors best when they are shown something better.
(See also idolatry, Another Cornerstone, and The Kingdom of Heaven or Religion?.)

Read more: Non-Christian Religions

The Kingdom of Heaven: key verses

People often confuse religion with the kingdom of heaven, but in many ways they are quite opposite, as these verses will show.

Read more: The Kingdom of Heaven: key verses

The Five-Fingered Ministry

This Bible study, based on Ephesians 4:11-12, shows how a true Christian fellowship is composed entirely of full-time ministers and full-time ministerial students. We should all be ministering or learning to minister. It also shows that you can have a fully functional fellowship with as few as two or three people.
(See also In Spirit and in Truth, Forsaking All, and Living in Community.)

Read more: The Five-Fingered Ministry

Pastors and Teachers

(formerly Harvesting)
Teachers proclaim the truth. But pastors are the ones who get people to change. Read some of the ways that they do it.
(See also The Five-Fingered Ministry, manipulating, and In Spirit and in Truth .)

Read more: Pastors and Teachers

Why Communes Fail


Ever wanted to start your own commune? This article lists four basic reasons why most attempts at utopian societies fail. If you can clear these hurdles, your chances of success are high.
(See also Reality in Utopia, opinions, laziness, and Anarchy and Pacifism.)

Read more: Why Communes Fail

Abuse of Power


How do we keep from repeating the sins of the systems that we oppose? Here is a simple, yet radical, answer to that question.
(See also Leaders who Serve.)

Read more: Abuse of Power

Tracts


So you are not into handing out tracts? This punchy article could change your thinking.
(See also laziness, The Reno Principle, and Prayer Warriors.)

Read more: Tracts

The Spirit of God

A radical look at the subject of the Holy Spirit. It draws parallels between married love and our relationship with God.
(See also The Word of God, and No Effeminate Person.)

Read more: The Spirit of God

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit comes to teach us the difference between right and wrong. He does it by reminding us of Jesus' teachings. Any spirit not doing that must be suss. Learn how to tell the genuine from the counterfeit.
(See also Try the Spirits, and The Spirit of Christ.)

Read more: The Holy Spirit

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