Free In Christ

Finding Freedom in the Churches of Christ

Archive for December 2009

A Year In Review

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2009 has been the first full year for this blog and I feel like I have accomplished quite a bit. I didn’t post as much as I would have liked or done a very good job marketing this blog so the traffic has been very low. I really do this more for the enjoyment of it anyway so I don’t mind that I haven’t had very many readers. I hope to post every day in 2010, so that should get traffic up. This is my year in review.

At the beginning of 2009 this blog was primarily about church of Christ issues and made progression toward being about organic church. This has to do mostly with me making the same transition. I do hope to write more about the church of Christ because all of my family and most of my friends attend these churches (and I do as well from time to time). I really wanted to get away from it but I really feel like I need to speak to these issues. If you aren’t part of the church of Christ, you may still be able to get something from reading the posts and I will try to make them as broad as possible.

I was also unemployed at the beginning of 2009 and that really made my blogging a little depressing (it also made me not want to write). Thanks for everyone who stuck with it when I was trying to figure out how to trust the Lord in the midst of a four month job search.

After that, I reviewed Frank Viola’s “Pagan Christianity” in my series Servants That Became Rulers. This was probably my best series so far and I really enjoyed it.

My next series was Preaching Through The Hymns where I got to show how church of Christ hymns don’t always match church of Christ doctrine. This is something I had been wanted to do for some time because I had often said that our song leaders were better than our preachers at teaching correct doctrine. I think I made my point without extending the series too long.

My next series was Experiential Baptism and it is kind of my baby. If I could ever expand it into a book I would love it. I’ve tried to figure it out but I don’t want too many pointless words. Maybe someday.

Probably my best discovery of 2009 is Darin Hufford and I have started a series on his book “The Misunderstood God” and posted links to many of his articles. This will probably continue because I really like his teaching and I hope to finish the series soon.

And finally, I just recently finished my review of Frank Viola’s “Reimagining Church” and I think it went pretty well. I was lucky enough to receive a free copy for review and really liked being able to go through two of Viola’s books in the same year.

The books I mentioned in this post are available in the Store if you would like to read them.

It’s been a really good year and I hope to have a better one in 2010. Thank you for reading.


Written by freeinchrist

December 31, 2009 at 8:00 am

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Best Month Ever

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Just wanted to drop a post to say that this is the best month that this blog has ever had in terms of traffic. This is probably due to the series on Reimagining Church but I hope that I can keep this up. I haven’t seen much from this blog but have very much enjoyed writing it. I have thought of getting rid of this blog and starting a different one. What do you think?

Written by freeinchrist

December 30, 2009 at 8:00 am

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Hufford On Prayer

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Until I get back to reviewing “The Misunderstood God”, I wanted to post some stuff from Darin Hufford’s blog. This is some thoughts on prayer that I found very interesting.

Rediscovering The Prayer Of You

Written by freeinchrist

December 29, 2009 at 8:00 am

The Christmas Spirit Is The Holy Spirit

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Here is another great post from a few years ago by Darin Hufford. I posted this after Christmas because it is about how the Spirit of Christmas should live on after Christmas. Enjoy.

What It Means To Walk In The Spirit

Written by freeinchrist

December 28, 2009 at 8:00 am

My Hopes For The New Year

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Here are some ways that I hope to improve in the next year:

1. I hope to love more people next year than I love today.
2. I hope to spend more time alone with God.
3. I hope to spend more time enjoying what God has given me.
4. I hope to teach more people what God has taught me.
5. I hope to be able to hear the Spirit better than I do today.

I guess you could call them “resolutions” but I would rather call them dreams. This is the future that I want for myself but I cannot make it happen. I must trust the Lord to grow these things within me as He desires.

Written by freeinchrist

December 27, 2009 at 8:00 am

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The New Dictionary Of The Institutional Church

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I often think that there must be some dictionary somewhere that the institutional church uses to make Bible words mean what they want them to mean. The institutional church often calls something the Bible doesn’t even dream of a name of something that was quite different in the Bible.

Here are some examples:

Church — In the Bible, the Church is the people of God; in the IC the church is a building or an organization.

Giving — In the Bible, the Church gave to the poor and to traveling evangelists; in the IC, they co-opt verses about giving to get you to give to make a donation to their organization.

Elder/Bishop/Pastor — In the Bible, the Spirit gave this gift to people who were the mature shepherds of God’s people; in the IC, this is a job that is to be filled by the best teacher in the church or by the best business managers.

Deacon — In the Bible, this word just meant “servant” and was a gift that the Holy Spirit gave; in the IC, this is a position like a department manager in a company (i.e. deacon of education, deacon of benevolence).

Worship — In the Bible, worship happens “in Spirit and in truth” in the hearts of Christians in their daily lives; in the IC, worship happens on Sunday morning at set times and really is just another name for singing.

Meeting — In the Bible, Christians met to encourage one another; in the IC, Christians meet to perform rituals.

Communion — In the Bible, communion was actually communion and taken as a full meal of Christians enjoying the unity of the Body and the new life they have found in Christ in His resurrection; in the IC, communion is a little cracker and grape juice that remembers Jesus as though He were still dead.

Bible — The Bible says that its purpose is to point to Jesus; in the IC, the Bible is Jesus.

Just a few of the many words that the IC has redefined to boost their own organizations.

Merry Christmas

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I just wanted to drop a line to wish everyone a merry Christmas and to thank you all for reading my blog. Have a great day.

Written by freeinchrist

December 25, 2009 at 8:00 am

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