Free In Christ

Finding Freedom in the Churches of Christ

Archive for November 2009

When The Lord Says You’re Married

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A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This is how the Scriptures say that two people are married. Many think that there is much more involved or that you have to buy into what the culture says about how to get married but the Scriptures are clear from the beginning and never waiver from this. When a man and women are joined together, they become one flesh (which is the Scriptures way of saying that you are married). This joining together happens through the sexual union of a man and a women and in this way only. It does not matter if the man and woman intend for this to be the result of their union. We are told in the New Testament that if a man has sex with a prostitute that he is one with her. This shows that sex is how the marriage union is created and how it is kept together. This is to say that the common idea of “premarital sex” is really a fabrication. The typical term for this is “fornication” but biblical scholars already have started translating this term as “sexual immorality” because they know that where it appears in Scripture, it does not refer to premarital sex but of immoral sex. There really is no such thing as premarital sex. When a man has sex with a women, the two are made one flesh whether this was their intention or not. Many are truly married who think of themselves as “dating” or “living together”. The church should always treat these people according to biblical wisdom and not let them cop-out of the relationship that they have created. We should consider these people married regardless of the lack of a governmental marriage contract. The government does not get to decide who is married. God alone binds people together; we cannot change this.

We also know that God only binds together men with women and does not bind men with men or women with women. People who participate in same-sex sexual acts are not bound together and this is immoral. It does not, however, matter much whether the government allows them to make contracts (although I think it would be better if they didn’t call these contracts “marriages” because that would be a lie). If the government wants to allow same-sex couples to be legally considered one, it shouldn’t matter much to the church because we know that same-sex couples are not actually one and that the government is wrong is about considering them one when it just isn’t true. We should not fight the government on this because it just isn’t worth it and we shouldn’t be afraid to call the government wrong. We know what marriage truly is and should teach that whenever possible, that is enough.

Written by freeinchrist

November 30, 2009 at 8:00 am

Take A Listen

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LifeStream Media Library

This is some of the best teaching that I have ever heard. I have mentioned Wayne Jacobsen before but wanted to focus in on this particular site because it has hours of free teaching that really gets to the heart of Christianity and is well worth your time. I can listen to Jacobsen speak for hours and never get bored. We must learn about God’s love for us before we learn anything else. If we can learn this, we may just find there is nothing left to learn.

A Thought On Helping

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When God saw that the man was alone in the garden, He made a woman from the man. Many become confused when they read that the woman was made as a “suitable helper”. Many have mistakenly taken this to mean that the woman was in some way lesser than the man or held a lesser role. The Hebrew word for “helper” in this passage is used in the rest of the Old Testament to refer most often to God being the “helper” of people. We need to realize that this term does not refer to a hierarchy but refers to a function. When a woman is helping a man she is his “helper” and when God helps a man God is his “helper”. There is no rank implied in the word.

Written by freeinchrist

November 28, 2009 at 8:00 am

Reimagining Church: The Church Building

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Much of what I had to say on this topic was said on my review of Pagan Christianity so I won’t repeat it all here.

I must say, though, that I think Frank Viola makes many points that Christians who attend meetings in a building should seriously consider. I really think that just the cost of owning and maintaining these buildings is typically unjustifiable for the Christian. Viola (using Barna research) states that between 9 to 11 billion dollars are spent by the Church on buildings each year. That is truly wrong. Even if people decide to meet in buildings, it is wrong that we are wasting so much money on something that has no significance whatsoever to our Christian faith.

Thanks to Present Testimony Ministries for giving me this book to review.

Written by freeinchrist

November 27, 2009 at 8:00 am

Thanksgiving and Eucharist

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This Thanksgiving I have been thinking about Eucharist (which means “thanksgiving”) and how we have changed it so much that it barely means what it should. Even in churches that refer to this as “the Lord’s Supper” or “Holy Communion” have changed it to the point that the American holiday of Thanksgiving almost captures the idea more than what has been practiced in most churches today. What if our practice of the Lord’s Supper was more like that of our practice of Thanksgiving? I think we might capture the essence of what Christ intended. Happy Thanksgiving.

Written by freeinchrist

November 26, 2009 at 8:00 am

God And 1 Corinthians 13: God Is Not Rude

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Many think that God is rude, but He is not. Many want Him to be that way and think that they are Godly by being this way themselves, but if God is love and love is not rude than God is not rude. Some people these days actually admire people who are rude but this isn’t God’s way. I don’t think that I can adequately say everything that Darin Hufford says in “The Misunderstood God” on this subject but would like to point out my favorite quote from this chapter.

The author of the “Golden Rule” not only wrote it for you, He follows it Himself

Great point. Read this book. It has a message that should not be ignored by today’s Church.

The Knowledge Of Good And Evil

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For the first 20 years or so of my Christian life, I didn’t understand what was so bad about the “knowledge of good and evil”. I knew that this property of the tree made it evil while the tree of life was good. I also knew that whatever the knowledge of good and evil was, humans weren’t supposed to have it. But what is it?

When we ate of this tree we got something that we could never get back. We got the ability to be judges. Some may say that this isn’t so bad, but if you think about it, I think you will concur that we do not have what it takes to be judges. You see, it takes perfection to be a judge. The knowledge of good and evil is this thing that makes us put one thing in one category and another in another. It makes us put one person in the “good” category and someone else in the “evil” category. You may ask “is this so bad, clearly God does it”? That is right; God does know the difference between good and evil but with one key difference. He knows the difference accurately. You see, God is perfect so He judges what is good and evil against Himself and thus judges perfectly. The sins of the world are really caused by our inability to be able to judge between good and evil. We go to war because we decide who is evil and who is good (but can both sides be right?). We try to get things for ourselves instead of for our neighbor because we consider ourselves better than them. We don’t love our brothers and sisters because we don’t think they deserve it and we think that we do. All of these things are because of the knowledge that we were never supposed to have. God was supposed to be the one to decide what/who is good and what/who is evil. He is supposed to be the judge because He judges righteously. If we could learn to remove all judgment we would live righteously.

Written by freeinchrist

November 24, 2009 at 8:00 am