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While every article here is intended to encourage, edify and educate followers of Jesus, it is recommended that you test all things with Scripture, spiritual discernment, and personal study. These are articles that have been meaningful to me over the years since my own exodus from organized religious mindsets and I want to share them with you. God bless!
From The Heart
by Dave Y.
For those of you who may be new to TruthForFree.com and even those of you who are return visitors and personal friends, I would like to just share a few thoughts on my heart and mind concerning what this site is all about and what I believe the Lord had been stirring in me over the past few years and even recent months. I pray that it will challenge you towards a deeper pursuit of Christ and an increased dissatisfaction with anything less! God bless you! (Note: This posting is a few years old now, but still very much relevant – and perhaps a good primer to explain where my heart and head is at with this website – and I do update it from time to time, so please check it out.)
Alone and Loneliness – by Charles Newbold, Jr. If you are one of those individuals who feel alone and lonely, having come out of the institutional (organized) church system and having not found fellowship with others, you may find this article comforting.
What Is The Gospel? – by Dr. Harry Ironside. This is an excellent, concise article presenting the simple Gospel of Jesus… as well as a brief statement on what the Gospel is NOT. Too many people today (largely due to the traditions of men) have no idea what the Gospel is, according to Scripture. Even many church attending Christians (including many pastors) in recent years have demonstrated a disturbing lack of knowledge concerning the Gospel. This article presents a basic, eye-opening look at the plain message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ without any extra frills or doctrinal twists, leaving the reader to make a decision based on the conviction of the Holy Spirit rather than the inflated traditions and doctrines of men.
The Bride, the Daughter of Zion – by Christian Pellone. FREE DOWNLOAD!!! The churches have brought forth immature Christians because their “leaders” have taken the place of our Lord. They have attached the souls of the Lord to themselves and made them depend on them and have thus prevented their spiritual growth in Christ. The proof of this disaster is the level of childishness that we find in the churches. Christians quarrel over ecclesiastic futilities. Worse than that, this usurpation has introduced a sectarian spirit in the fellowships. This spirit starts to manifest when one dares to go against the flow and refuses to submit to rules and precepts of men who pretend to be clothed with the authority of the Lord. It manifests in full measure when one leaves all these structures. In this case the person that leaves becomes non existent and is not to be associated with any more. The churches have become dead because the spirit of Babylon has introduced itself there. The Christians are evaluated in regards to what they do or do not do, what they give or do not give, their degree of faithfulness to attending the church meetings. A ladder of “spiritual” value is being set, and the levels to go up are presented as grades of spiritual maturity. Even better, in order to become a servant of the Lord a bible school is recommended, courses are advised – in short all kinds of actions that stem directly from the spirit of this age. It is sufficient to read the bible to realize that these are nothing but human actions without any biblical foundation. When the Lord chose his apostles, He chose them after a night of prayer and certainly not according to ecclesiastic criteria. Would we today pick out Judas, a thief treasurer? None of the apostles of the Lord, nor any of the disciples described in the book of Acts, had to have a bible training. The New Testament did not exist yet, and few were even literate. Yet, they revolutionized the world. We see no model of a structured church in the bible, no evangelism technique with the goal to increase in number, no gathering pretending to create unity – none of what we see today. We see men and women filled with the Spirit of God proclaiming and, first of all, living the kingdom of God. If this introduction has sparked your curiosity, download this great book! It will encourage and bless you greatly; especially if you are new in your exodus from organized religion or considering what to do about a mounting disillusionment with typical church life.
I’m Losing My Religion… Thank God! – by Roy Hershberger. This is a great, to-the-point article that targets what life in Christ is really all about…. and that it has nothing to do with religion whatsoever. This might be the shortest article hosted on this site yet, but it was good and I just had to post it. Enjoy!
Leaving The Church – by Len Hjalmarson. Are you weary of the status quo; church as usual? Does your conversation with the Lord consist of questions like, “God, is this all there is? There must be more…” Are you weary of the dry, lifeless routines, the lack of spiritual contentment and real fellowship with other believers, the legalism, false doctrines, or the control tactics of power (and sometimes money) hungry leaders? You are not the only one who is sensing this unease about “church” as many of us have known it for years. In this article, Len takes an outside look at the realm of church world and ponders whether or not God really intends for believers to regulate their faith in this way. Whether you attend a religious organization and relate to an inner discontentment with “business as usual” church or even if you have recently stepped away from this environment, this article may encourage you and give you a few more thoughts to ponder along your journey.
The Snack We Call Supper – by David Servant. Excellent article about the true nature of “the Lord’s Supper”; something not really practiced at all by today’s institutional church. This article is a real eye-opener as to what the Lord truly had in mind when He broke the bread and shared the wine with His disciples and how the early Church continued in this celebration of love and remembrance of Christ. If you think you know what “Communion” is all about, check out this well-written article and you may find yourself thinking again. In fact, it may make you ill that you ever allowed the Lord’s supper to be denegrated into the solemn ritual it has been interpreted as in today’s church system. Many of our religious traditions have only steered us in a direction of little more than man-made concepts that really have nothing at all to do with the truth and which even distract us from life and joy. Fantastic article! Highly recommended!
Does Jesus Nullify the 10 Commandments – This is a great article by my friend Sandy. It seeks to simply answer the question of whether or not the Law (i.e. the 10 Commandments) is for today. Sandy doesn’t go into a lengthy discussion or an expansive examination of every possible Scriptural text on the matter, but very simply reminds the reader of a few New Testament passages that so plainly answer the question. I really liked Sandy’s excellent presentation (which was originally posted in her blog) and requested her permission to repost it here. You can also check out her MySpace page by clicking here.
Forsaking The Assembly? – by Dave Y. This is excerpted from a blog I posted some time back on my MySpace page. It’s actually a re-post (re-edited) of a response letter I wrote to a person who was experiencing some anxiety about the issue of “forsaking the assembly” as Hebrews 10:25 talks about. Commonly this passage has been used (abused rather) to imply required church attendance. This letter/blog post examines why I believe that is a false conclusion of the meaning of this passage of Scripture. Hopefully this will encourage those who are burned out on, have been abused by, or even those who still embrace the modern concept of “church”. The goal is to encourage each of us to pull back from merely an emotional reaction to the subject and prompt us to seek the Lord afresh for His direction, that we may return, in simplicity, to that which He has already so clearly given us by His Spirit and which is demonstrated in the Word of God.
What Denominationalism Does To Christ – by Don Martin. Excellent concise article, proving with simple logic and Scripture why denominationalism is opposite that of Christ’s intentions for His Church.
How Religious Are You – by Roy Hershberger. Have you ever noticed how (a lot of) Christians who are most heavily active in church environments, seem to have greater difficulty vocalizing their faith or knowing how to respond to people who disagree with their religious beliefs when outside the box? Evangelism among individuals always seems to be one of the weakest attributes of most church organizations. Pastors always seem to be preaching some sermon about how everyone needs to share their faith more and even when a lot of Christians do venture out to “tell a friend about Jesus” they don’t even do that much; instead they “invite them to church” so that their pastor can do the work of convincing them about the Gospel. For many, this has become their understanding of “evangelism”. So why is it such a struggle for so many church people? Why does it seem that Christians are so vocal and bold when inside their isolated church gatherings or their “evangelistic conferences” but you’d never have a clue about their so-called extravagant love for Jesus outside the walls. And why do people who may be considered “non-believers” seemed to be so sharply turned off to listening to a Christian “witness to them” about Jesus? Roy presents his thoughts on this matter and shares how that one of the chief problems is that church folks tend to primarily view Christianity as a religion and sharing Christ as a religious activity, duty or responsibility. Roy shares how the simplest answer may be a most difficult one for religious people to accept… that their religion is actually the primary obstacle to a genuine walk of faith and the ability to express that faith with ease in the course of everyday life. Very concise and well written. Good stuff!
My Mother And My Brothers – by Chip Brogden. Many disputes arise as to how “church” should be organized and who should submit to whom. These disputes have been with us for two millennia and have never been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. The only way to resolve a dispute along the lines of organization is to let go of the earthly altogether and embrace the spiritual reality. But for many (particularly those in leadership) this is simply too much to give up. In this excellent article, Chip expounds upon the reality of what the Church really is according to its biblical designation. He boldly asserts that once we rightly understand the genuine family nature of the body of Christ then we will immediately know Who the Head of the family is, who the elders are, what they are supposed to do, who has authority, and who does not. We would no longer be concerned with a corporate structure, but we would simply relate to one another as members of the same family. Indeed this is a hard thing to grasp for many who have absorbed themselves with tradition. So reader beware… This article may challenge many of the affections so many have for their comfortable religion; However, those who are genuinely interested in following Jesus and allowing His truth to set them free, will find great encouragement and a positive challenge here!
Outside The Camp – by Charlie Lafferty. This excellent article was introduced to me through a blog I read on Charlie’s wife Alice’s MySpace page (Alice is also one of my MySpace friends and you can visit her MySpace page here). In this article, Charlie shares some brilliant thoughts concerning the matter of following Jesus “outside the camp”; helping those who may not understand the logic behind why many Christians feel that it is the Lord who is compelling them to move beyond traditional norms and seek Him without the structure and program of organized religion. Charlie eloquently and concisely chronicles the bold biblical evidence and reason why this activity really should be viewed as a natural element of the true believer’s walk with God – for it was even the way of Christ and the very way Scripture directs us to follow Him. Awesome stuff! Great article!!!
The Naked Church – by Wayne Jacobsen (formerly an institutional church pastor for 20 years). Are you confused? Burned out? Disillusioned by your church experience? Discover how intimacy with the Living God and his family can fulfill your deepest hungers. THE NAKED CHURCH is an invitation for believers to forsake superficial Christianity and discover true intimacy with God. This compelling book (now offered freely by Wayne in this full PDF e-book edition) will challenge you to look beyond the externals of contemporary church life with its glittering buildings, extensive programs, beloved celebrities and political muscle and find a relationship with God that will bring his powerful, life-changing presence into everyday circumstances. Excellent book! Highly recommended reading.
Paul’s Letter to the Americans – This is a great article by my good friend, Sean. The article is a fictional letter of Paul the Apostle patterned after his style as if he were to write to the American institutional church today. Though this letter is fictional, the point is strong and in complete harmony with Scripture.
Biblical Response to the New Age Movement – Great outline, authored by one of my MySpace friends (SudeGayle). Today it seems more and more Christians are falling for New Age philosophies and forsaking sound Christian doctrine. The worst part is that many don’t even realize they are doing it. The New Age sounds good and has a “Christian-like” feel to it, so they just roll with it without weighing it against Scripture. This article is an outline that is very concise and just give a few major checkpoints to remember from Scripture.
Ecclesia_TheSmith-HoltDebate.pdf – Recently I have been recognizing that there still seems to be a lot of confusion about the word “church” (Greek = Ecclesia) as to whether or not it is represented by local organizations, people only, congregations, the whole body of Christ, or institutions. I believe the Scripture is clear and I believe the original Greek text of Scripture confirms this plainly. There is an excellent article I read recently (by Charles Holt of The Examiner newsletter) that discusses some of the debate over traditional arguments concerning the word “ecclesia” (or “church”) and you may find this helpful in your own examination. The article is presented in Adobe PDF format so you will need the Adobe Reader to view it. If you would like to read the article from its HTML source, click here.
One And Only One Ecclesia – This is another excellent article by Charles Holt. It’s concise and well-presented. A great article to print out and use for discussion. Highly recommended!
The Wilderness Experience – by Peter Whyte. This is an excellent HIGHLY RECOMMENDED article taken directly from chapter five of the book “Come Out Of Her My People”. If you’re a recent exile from the religious church system this article is especially for you. Very insightful and encouraging. The entire book is also available for download from this page (in one of the previous links).
Outside Religion & Into His Life – by Dave Y. I wrote this article in late 2003 through early 2004. It contains some of my thoughts concerning the subject of organized religion and topics such as biblical leadership, biblical Christianity as opposed to “churchianity”, and what the Bible calls “pure religion” as opposed to what passes for religion today. This article is a strong argument against the modern day “church” system and why it is futile to spend our efforts and finances building and maintaining it. Many people have asked me, “ok Dave, so the modern church system is a farce, then what are we to replace it with?” This article attempts to provide an answer to that inquiry by reflecting on biblical passages. I hope it will encourage you and stir you up to earnestly seek out the mind of Lord concerning these matters yourself. The ultimate aim is that we walk in spirit and in truth before the Father rather than just allow our lives to be distracted with religious things that really only pacify and keep us from true spiritual growth. God bless you!
George Barna Interview – It seems our brother George Barna, author of the awesome book “REVOLUTION” (and founder of the well-known Barna Research Group), is undergoing some serious fire of accusation by various prominent organized religious groups. The editor of Charisma Magazine recently took harsh aim against him, as did Christianity Today Magazine, and some Bible universities around the country, which have even warned their students not to read his book (perish the idea that students might read and think for themselves and discern the truth). Many in the Institutional Church are afraid of this man’s message and see it as a threat to the traditional order of things. Barna accepted an invitation to be interviewed by ChristianBook.com. This link will allow you to read this interview and see for yourself just where this brother is coming from. I have read his book and highly recommend it! This is a brother who “gets it” in my opinion. He is not preaching anything contrary to the Gospel message, but rather is emphasizing Christ as the central focus of our lives. I say he is bang on! Please, especially if you’ve heard rumors about this bro, take a moment to hear it in his words and judge honestly for yourselves. God bless!
The Ecclesia: Religious Organization or Spiritual Organism – Excellent article by Robert Hatch concerning the biblical concept of Christian community (i.e. ecclesia / the church). In addition to the two previously mentioned articles by Charles Holt, this is a phenominal addition to the discusson – addressing several details that the two former articles do not. Highly recommended.
Does God Still Knock Over Towers of Babel? – by Jack Helser. This is an excellent perspective article by my friend Jack Helser. Often when “church programs” fail, Christians blame the devil, but could it be that it is actually the Lord that is toppling our “towers of babel”, so to speak? Highly recommended article!!!
The Worldly Business of Church – by Paul Howey. This is a very concise article that was actually featured as a post in an online discussion forum at FACTnet.org. I enjoyed the post and decided to reproduce it here for review. Thanks Paul for the comments!
God-Approved Elders Are Not Man Made – by Charles Holt. Many of us were raised with the religious notion that an “elder” is a formal office of institutional leadership, which is generally appointed to by other leaders, in a local church organization. But what does the Bible actually teach about elders? Is it really an “office” or does the Scripture describe something else; something far more organic, relational and non-hierarchical? Read this wonderful article by Charles Holt and I think you may be surprised and encouraged.
In My Name – by Neil Girrard. How often have we heard people justify their church gatherings by saying, “the Bible says that when two or more gather in His name…”? Neil makes some strong, challenging and pointed biblical observations here as he first reminds us that the Scripture actually doesn’t say “two or more” let alone speak of large gatherings being automatically equal to the kind of unity in gathering God desires. Most of all, what men often say they do “in His name” really turns out to be something done “in THEIR name”. This deception is strong in many modern day institutional churches. Neil illustrates with very plain logic and Bible truth how a crowd of people together is not necessarily representative of “the assembling” that Scripture talks about, let alone assembling in HIS name. This is one of my favorite articles. Very concise and clearly stated. Highly recommended reading.
So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore?” – What would you do if you thought you’d met John the Apostle and he told you things that resonated with the deepest longings of your heart? Perhaps that may sound preposterous to some, but over a four-year period the author of this story (who calls himself Jake Colsen) tells his story of twelve life-changing conversations he had with a mysterious stranger that changed virtually everything he believed about God, the Christian life and the nature of the church. This is an engaging, convicting and inspiring true story that chronicles this man’s encounter with a brother in Christ whose character manifested Jesus so purely that he thought, “if I didn’t know better, I would have to presume this was John the Apostle.” Of course, that is not the intended conclusion of the book and you will have to read the entire story to understand it all, but it presents a fascinating journey, which the author warns has not been easy. Most people who start this way end up stopping for various reasons before they get to the greatest joy and freedom imaginable. The author tells the story just as it unfolded and leaves you to make your own conclusions about who the characters really are and how they may relate to our own lives. It’s an interesting approach to telling the story rather than just defining everyone in the story outright. I thoroughly enjoyed the read! The hope is to find those people who are not afraid to ask the difficult questions and pursue the fullness of God’s promise for his believers and his Church. Most importantly, the hope is that this story helps you to understand better who God really is, who you really are, and what He’d always intended his Church to be. Please read this excellent e-book, offered freely by the author. I believe you will be greatly encouraged! Simply click the image of the book above to open the e-book (Note: You will need the Adobe Reader to view this document). Also, I encourage you to visit the author’s website for more information about this book: http://www.jakecolsen.com/
The Law: All 613 Commandments! – by Rolaant L. McKenzie of Gospel Outreach Ministries Online. You know all those nice folks who think that we’re supposed to be living under the Law today? Well, they might want to take a second look and actually educate themselves as to what such a requirement would NECESSARILY entail. Many church-attending people like to boast in little legalisms like tithing or Sabbath keeping (for example) and hold others under these kinds of legalism, yet they themselves UTTERLY FAIL to observe (let alone even acknowledge) all the rest of what the Law requires (for those who think God grants them special favor for keeping the Law). As Paul said to the Galatians, “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.’…” Too often Christians forget that the just live by faith, not works of the Law. Favor is wrought by God’s grace! This is a fantastic article that sumarizes literally every commandment in the Law that God required those under the Law to perform with perfection or be condemned. Praise God for the work of Jesus Christ in whom there is NO condemnation!
Should Christians Keep or Observe The Sabbath Today? – by Gene Taylor. This is a subject that has become increasingly popular among a number of Christians who have in mind a genuine desire to fully obey the Scriptures and, therefore, have become convinced that the Bible teaches believers to keep the Law of Moses. Generally, this website does not enter this debate among followers of Jesus who may individually make different choices concerning things like “holy days” and the hope is that this article with not be viewed as an exception to that decision. The issue (from this writer’s perspective) is not whether or not it is acceptable for one person or another to personally regard any given day as sacred to them (and for which they, individually, decide to keep in some fashion to the glory of God), but this issue becomes concerning when believers begin to blur the doctrine of truth by mixing the Gospel of God’s grace with legalism in the Law. I have discovered that many Christians are largely ignorant about what the Law actually is, how and why it was implemented, and when and why it was fulfilled in the New Covenant. This article is, by no means, all conclusive but it’s a good start in dealing with the subject of Sabbath keeping. Again, the intention of sharing this article is not to suggest there is anything at all wrong with choosing to honor the Lord with a specific day being set aside. This article deals with the implications of presuming that God has somehow commanded such for His Church. I heartily recommend this brief article and the suggested references that follow it – especially if you have been persuaded at all by the “keep the Sabbath Day” teaching. Remember, it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free, therefore, do not entangle yourself with a yoke of subservience to the Law! (Galatians 5:1). If you are further interested in this subject, I heartily recommend the book “Exposing Seventh Day Adventism” by Russell Earl Kelly. Please note, this book is EXCELLENT whether you agree with SDA doctrine or not because it very thoroughly and clearly walks you through the Law to help you understand its purpose and fulfillment in Christ. God bless!
The Sacred Name – presented by permission of SeekGod.ca. I’ve noticed that a number of websites promoting concepts of “primitive” Christianity often prefer to address the Lord’s name as Yahshua, Yehoshua, Y’shua, or Yeshua (which they regard as the true Hebrew name of the Messiah) instead of simply Jesus. In fact, some groups actually go so far as to suggest that the name “Jesus” is from a pagan word that refers to the mythological god Zeus and therefore Christians are engaged in gross error if they dare use the name of “Jesus.” This excellent article intends to put this hype and fallacy to rest by a clear and logical discussion of the truth. In short, the name of Jesus is NOT pagan in origin and “Yahshua” is not the proper Hebrew name for the Lord, nor is it supported by any facet of Scripture. If you have been influenced by groups that like to make emphasis of what they regard as the “true name” or the “sacred name” of Christ, please read this wonderful article.
Hebrew Roots & Yeshua Only Movements – this is both an article and testimony by Andrew Stromand a lady who wrote him and shared about her involvement in and exodus from these movements. As the previous article (The Sacred Name) talks about, there are a number of “out of church” groups that are jumping on the “sacred name” bandwagon. I know some of these folks personally; really good people whom, I believe, genuinely love God and want to follow His will, but who seem to get tangled up in this legalism for one reason or another. Despite whatever positive elements may be included in some of these movements, Andrew warns in this article: “the entire thrust of the movement ends up going right against the New Testament – in fact, right against true Christianity.” Some of these groups – and the doctrines they espouse – are very persuasive, but I encourage you to examine the testimony of a woman who came out of it all and what the Lord opened her eyes to through the experience.
Information/Warning Concerning TheoPhostic Ministry – TheoPhostics is a “new” form of counselling being taught and practiced in a growing number of churches around the country (and world). It was invented by a man named Ed Smith who claims divine inspiration concerning the practice, and contains elements of New Age philosophy and technique, hypnosis, and psycho-therapy. Ed himself was formerly a therapist who was schooled in and engaged in the practice of these humanistic forms of counselling and philosophy. The doctrine associated with this form of “Christian counselling” is subtle and deceptive. I know personal friends who were exposed to this errant theology and can affirm its potential for spiritual and emotional abuse. Please examine this information if you know anyone who has gotten involved with this teaching, or especially if you have been touched by its influence as well. The heart here is not to discredit sincere individuals who want to seek the Lord for healing, but to keep our discernment sharp against the deceptive tactics of the enemy who often uses things that come with an appearance of good and godliness to snare unsuspecting people, robbing them of true freedom in Jesus Christ. It is with solemn concern and sincere love that I make this information available.
The Myth of a Balanced Christian Life – by Michael Clark and George Davis. This is an excellent article that delves into the subject of differentiation between what God regards as
balanced and orderly and what man, in his own wisdom, regards as such. Often what man calls “balanced” and “orderly” is nothing more than an attempt to usurp the authority and order of the Holy Spirit while elevating himself and exacting control of what rightly belongs only to the Headship of Jesus Christ. This is a must-read article; highly recommended!
Think About This! – This isn’t really so much of an “article” as it is a comment shared by a close friend of mine, Jan Shupe. This is taken from an e-mail message she sent me from which I have copied the content here (with her permission) including a brief introduction of my own. So often Christians tend to equate and define the business of church world as though it were, in fact, the body of Christ. Jan so eloquenty shared these comments after a personal experience with family who were asking why her and her husband were not contributing the gifts God gave them to the body of Christ via serving in a church. I encourage everyone to read this because, whether you are reading this as part of a church organization or as one who has left such, this simple examination may prove helpful to your comprehension of why an institutional system can NEVER equate, parallel or replace body life.
What Would Jesus Do? – Could it be that one of the most popular catch phrases in recent history could actually be one of the most subtle deceptions of Satan to blind Christians from true Gospel motivation? This is a new article that simply features some of my ponderings on the subject, submitted for your examination. It is my opinion that WWJD is a striking expression of the very heart of that which fuels organized religion and it has literally nothing to do with Christ directly or His Gospel.
Spirit & Truth – by Neil Girrard. Years ago when I was still in church world, the Lord began dealing with me about the position of the modern day worship leader. I felt a certain unease about it and it wasn’t long before I completely withdrew my involvement from this “position” and anything that smelled like it. A couple months after this the Lord called me to come out of the institutional church system entirely. It was during this season that I was introduced to Neil’s writings and the Lord greatly encouraged me through them because what I read was very familiar to what the Lord was beginning to walk me though and teach me first hand. I had never met Neil before until, just the other day, Neil contacted me via e-mail. I asked his permission to share this article. I believe he’s a sincere brother who lives by the conviction of the truth. This article may be uncomfortable for some because it treads on the modern-day concept of a worship leader but it also forces us to face some mindsets that many of us have received our perspective solely from tradition. What is worship? Is being led by a “worship leader” even a New Testament biblical concept? Could such a concept even be harmful to a believer’s walk?
Modern Churchianity – by Yours Truly. This article has been sitting on my computer hard drive for several months now (since the latter part of 2004) as I haven’t had (or taken) the time to sit down and finish it; however, there is quite a bit of information already compiled that may encourage some so I figured I would just go ahead an post it here, even unfinished. I welcome your thoughts on it and any questions you may have so I can clarify any points that remain unclear. God bless! 🙂
The History of the Christian Movement – by Avis Duvall. This an awsome, concise article that just nails it on the head concerning how far we have come since those early days of Christianity and how the essential truth of God’s Word is still 100% relevant today, despite the influence and distraction of organized religion. Highly recommended reading!
Wisdom of the Pharisees – by Chip Brogden. In John 9:16 it is recorded that the Pharisees remarked of Jesus, “This man cannot be from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath day.” An interesting thing to note about our Lord, He does not “keep” holy days (as if He could be contained in anything). Chip delivers a strong appeal to Christians here to discern that which is essential in the Christian life and to lay aside those things that merely distract from the pure influence of the Lordship of Jesus and the simplicity of the Gospel. This is a fantastic, concise article that serious believers in Jesus will be encouraged and challenged by. It may not come across as a “comfortable” message to those who are content with “church as usual” or who enjoy constantly arguing over religious laws and expectations, but it will come as a delight to those who desire the uninhibited pursuit of the Master; Jesus Christ. Highly recommended reading! Also, be sure to check out Chips article “Lonely But Never Alone” (see the link below).
Lonely But Never Alone – by Chip Brogden. “I was listening to a nationally syndicated Christian radio program the other day as the panel was lamenting the fact that so many people are not going to church anymore. They seemed to believe this would lead to the collapse of Western civilization. Their solution? Try to make ‘church’ more appealing, make it more relevant to their needs, and help them feel more ‘involved’. No mention was made of the hundreds of thousands of people who are loving and serving God ‘outside the camp’, pursuing a relationship with Jesus and with one another apart from Organized Religion. Either mainstream Churchianity doesn’t realize there is such a phenomenon or they see it and are unwilling to admit that it exists. I hope the following will be an encouragement to those of you who have been written off as unchurched, unsaved, unChristian, and unspiritual because you don’t participate on Sunday and Wednesday.” – Chip Brogden
Galatians ’98 – By Jim Minker. Ever wonder what it might have sounded like if Paul wrote his letter to the Galatian Christians in our day? Galatians ’98 is really a modern translation that beautifully and honestly presents the message of the book of Galatians. Sometimes I think we get distracted looking at the Bible as a theological book of chapters and verses and forget that the writings of Paul were neither, but actual letters written to believers in Christ (and ones that were getting distracted by organized religion as well). This re-translation captures the essence of the book of Galatians and puts the Scriptures in terms that all of us can understand. Worth reading indeed!
The Priesthood of Believers – By Milt Partee. This is a great, concise article by a dear brother in Christ who contacted me via e-mail recently. Milt was an active part of the institutional church system for many years, in both leadership and laity, before he felt the Lord called him out. Now, in his 70’s (and with all the youthful, vibrant passion of a sold-out son of God), Milt seeks for fresh ways to serve the Lord without the distraction and hindrance of organized religion. Here he shares his heart, full of compassion for his family in Christ who are still trapped in the deception of the modern church system and he offers some wonderful thoughts on the truth concerning the priesthood of believers. This is an encouraging read! Check it out!
Buying And Selling – by Mike Cook. This is a great, fairly concise article concerning the frenzy of merchandizing that almost trademarks institutional “churchianity” today. Mike examines how this aspect of merchandizing the masses in the name of Jesus (i.e. prosperity doctrines, money for ministry, etc.) is one of the defining attributes of a harlot church system and reason for Christians to take note, be wise, and not be caught in the deception.
The Church Planter: Fact or Fiction? – Perfectly stated article by George Davis concerning the topic of the highly over-rated alleged figure called the “New Testament Church Planter”. George challenges the common view of apostolic ministry (i.e. the “planting” of churches) and shows its contrast with honest biblical teaching. Many will be shocked to discover that the modern day church-planting/apostolic concept is one wrought almost entirely by men, fueled by the precepts of organized religion, and not found anywhere in the Scriptures. A must read for everyone who has been taught this for years in the Institutional Church system (as I was). Grab your Bible and enjoy this simple yet remarkable examination of plain Bible texts and see how we have been sold a distorted image that is distracting God’s people from what He really desires of His Church. Excellent article!!!
Not For The Better – This is a fantastic article written by Chip Brogden of Watchman.net. We have certainly learned a lot of things through religious tradition that are not necessarily written in God’s Word – yet we are often led to believe they are essential to Christianity. In this article Chip talks about what is essential in the Christian life and the myth of what really is not. A must read for every believer! Highly recommended!!!
Kingdom Now: What is it? – an examination of the doctrine/mindset. Kingdom Now theology is the general philosophy I was under the influence of during the 10 years before my exodus from the institutional church system. Though I was familiar with the term at the time, I had no idea as to how far-reaching and opposing to the Gospel of Jesus this mindset tends to be. Though there are variant extremes to which people apply the concepts of Kingdom Now perspectives, there are several core elements that the doctrine is built upon and Christians need to be alerted to. This link originally point to a list of articles discussing this teaching, but the page was, somehow, deleted. For now, I have directed the link to a great article by Al Dager. Christian brothers and sisters, whether you are “in church” or out of it, please take the time to fully examine this teaching – especially if you are at all familiar with the term (I wish I had known back then what I know now about it). I recommend you thoroughly search your bibles as you examine this subject and engage wise, Spirit-led discernment. As I said before, there are variant extremes to which people apply these concepts according to their individual take on Kingdom Now doctrine so please don’t view this as a blanket explanation or critique of the mindset. These comments and articles are meant to inform and help you stay alert to potential dangers.
Denominationalism – by Cecil Willis. This is a great article that outlines so clearly the biblical reason why denominationalism and the religious sectarian mindset (which most institutional churches today employ whether they bill themselves as denominational or not) is not the Lord’s design for His people. Willis also presents some great quotes from famous ministers like Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon and John Wesley and how even they despised the whole denominational system they had become a part of and were praying that one day the body of Christ would move beyond such unbiblical mindsets unto Gospel reality. A great article indeed, very concise and makes it’s point effectively.
Organized Religion Vs. Christianity – by F. D. Srygley. A very concise article that encourages the body of Christ not to get caught up in the trappings of the religious machine that Jesus actually warned us about!
God’s Elders and the Ecclesia – by Charles A. Holt. This is a wonderfully written, concise article describing biblical elders and how organized religious tradition has so distorted how believers view them. Following the article are a few comments by myself (Dave Y.) concerning the Lord’s view of ministry in His Church. God bless you as you ponder these things.
The One True Church of Christ – by Dale R. Larsen. A well-stated, concise article that offers a simplistic, biblical answer to the question, “is there more than one church?”
The Church Without Clergy – by Christian Smith. Now, just before you pick up stones to hurl at my brother, Christian (no pun intended), please take a sincere look at this beautifully written article. Smith’s basic premise is that, although the clergy-system is one of the dominant features of the church today, it really has almost nothing to do with the New Testament and it is fundamentally counter-productive, and is an inherent obstruction to healthy, biblical church life. Christian’s plea to return to a simpler, more biblical approach to assembling with other believers is really also meant to encourage pastors that God’s way is not only more beneficial for His church, but also for them. Please note that this article is not “anti-pastor” per say (i.e. against those giftings which God, in His Word, has purposed to edify His body) and distinction is made between the traditional “clergy system” and real, biblical Christian ministry.
Who Are The Clergy? – by Dave Y. This article examines the typical modern day concept of “clergy” and “laity” and introduces some sincere biblical challenges.
The Hidden Christ – by George Davis. This is an excellent article – A MUST READ – concerning the importance of seeing Christ fully, unveiled, and laying aside all distractions, that we may discover what is really the Christian life!
The Government of Twelve – by Tricia Tillin, is actually part nine of a ten part major study on Church Growth and the Cell-Church Movement. Part nine deals with the current mainsteam “evangelism tactic” known as G12 (a.k.a. “Group of Twelve” or “Government of 12”). This is a concise, well-written discussion of the program’s origin, teachings and effect on the Church in general. Believers would do well to take the time and read this article to familiarize themselves with G12 as the program is really developing into a major world-wide movement with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of churches embracing it. It is my personal opinion that Christians need to be wary of this program’s doctrine and unbiblical influence. In the future I hope to post more links to books and articles that critically examine this movement. God bless you in your review and study.
NOTE: The link to Tricia’s article is a direct link to her ministry’s website. If the link is ever unavailable, you may also view or download this article directly from this website in PDF format by Clicking Here (righ-click and choose SaveTargetAs to download).
You Go To Your Church And I’ll Go To Mine – by Charles Holt, deals with the controversial yet verifiable biblical reality that the English word “church” is not a translation of any word in the sacred, original manuscripts of Scripture. This brief and pointed observation of this fact challenges readers to ask themselves the important question just what is this thing called “church” and why do most all Christians believe it is absolutely essential to spiritual growth. A distinction is made between the institutions of religion that are regarded as being “churches” today apart from what the Bible clearly and simply defines as that which is living and not institutional at all (i.e. a building or program of religion). How is it that Christians deem necessary and vital something that is clearly not even found in the original Greek text of the Bible and that the Lord Jesus never once commanded His followers to start, build or belong to. Very good summary of this topic.
Is Christ’s Church Denominational – by Harold Hancock. This article presents a clear, concise, very well-written article that discusses the true meaning of the word “church” as it is used in the Scripture and how the concept of denominationalism is completely foreign to the text. Highly recommended reading!
Is Christianity The Only True Religion? – by Jim Berge. Before you presume that this bro is suggesting that there is another Way besides Jesus, check out this short article. Jim eloquently presents the impacting truth that true Christianity is not a religion at all. Good article.
Ishmael was a Dead Ringer for Isaac – The deceptive factor in Satan’s work (to immobilize and paralyze the church these last two thousand
years) has always been for his work to appear very, very similar to God’s Work. There
are many attractive counterfeits to true Christianity. There are many clones
for a Church that JESUS is building. Very often, more often than we’d want to
admit, men are building their own thing, using Hagar to have babies and multiply,
and adopting Jesus as their logo or trademark. Thus Paul, the apostle was to
say, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. Therefore it is no great
thing if his ministers also masquerade as ministers of righteousness, whose
end will be according to their works,” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). This is an excellent article that will challenge us to keep Christ solely in focus and not be duped by counterfeit gospels.
Listening Prayer – This article is an excerpt from Robert Lund’s 95 Theses For Apostolic Reformation (Thesis Number Three) and appeared in Issue 3 Volume 2 January 7, 2000 of Robert’s ministry newsletter. It’s brief but impacting!
Praying Through – by Neil Girrard. Excellent article dealing with spiritual warfare, motive, diligence and moving towards the place where we can actually expect to see God move mightily through sincere and fervent prayer according to His will!
Leadership or Lordship – by Benjamin W. Waters. This is a fantastic, concise examination of the structure of leadership popular in most of the institutional church today. Benjamin discusses why this hierarchical form of leadership is in direct contention with Scripture; even the precise command of our Lord Jesus as it regards how ministry is to function in His Church. Benjamin highlights what biblical “leadership” is really supposed to look like and challenges the reader not to be content with worldly-influenced structures of authority and submission (as are visible and active in the IC), but to truly find what it means to submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Excellent article! Highly recommended reading!
Uncovering The Covering Doctrine – This is a great article by Cheryl Grath, author of the Great Southland Ministries website, which features a number of articles on the Christian faith. In this particular article, Cheryl presents some very clear and bold reasons why the modern Covering doctrine distracts believers from true spiritual growth and the centrality of Christ among His people. If you’ve been exposed to the Covering teaching or know someone who has, this article will help in your examination of the principles that fuel it and why they do not align well with Scripture.
Starting A Church – by Gaylon Embrey. This article asks the important question, “just what is ‘a church’ and how does one start a church?” Through a series of thought-provoking inquiries, the author seeks to engage the reader’s mind and heart in a consideration of Bible realities concerning what “church” is really all about and what it absolutely is not all about. The reader is left with a stirring challenge to rethink some traditional concepts and re-examine the Word of God regarding the Lord’s perspective of and intention for His Church. Very good article.
The Christian’s Greatest Enemy – by A.W. Tozer. Although A.W. Tozer died in 1963, his life and spiritual legacy continue to draw many into a deeper knowledge of God. Tozer walked a path in his spiritual life that few attempt, characterized by a relentless and loving pursuit of God. He longed to know more about the Savior—how to serve and worship Him with every part of his being. Throughout his life and ministry, Tozer called believers to return to an authentic, biblical position that characterized the early church—a position of deep faith and holiness. This article is an excerpt from Tozer’s book “Rut, Rot or Revival” and is a must read! Tozer was a favorite of the late Keith Green and is a personal favorite author of mine as well. Enjoy and God bless!
Nicolaitans – A very good article by Jay Atkinson about the too often prevailing mindset of clergy-laity distinction that exists among Christians today. Jay discusses the disturbing similarities between the pagan Nicolaitan mindset (which Jesus stated He hates) and many of the concepts that inspire and fuel today’s church leadership structures. Jay expresses why he feels that if a proper understanding of Christ’s Headship and the priesthood of all believers is not restored to the Church today, this may prove to be one of the greatest deterants to revival coming.
What Is The Church? – This is a great article by the late T. Austin Sparks, written in July of 1936. Though brief, there are some powerful points made. Highly recommended as are all of Sparks’ messages. What a radical man of God this brother was, with such a passionate love for the body of Christ!
The Prayer of Jabez – by John Miller, presents an excellent, concise examination of the popular book known by the same title written by Bruce Wilkinson. So many Christians I know personally have jumped on the Jabez bandwagon and, while I will agree that there are admirable aspects of the biblical story that believers may find inspiration from, the greater concern I have is that this book can actually distract Christians from Scriptural truth and may cause more discouragement and confusion than it will encourage true spiritual growth or a healthy perspective of faith in and dependance upon Christ. I wholly recommend this great little article on the subject. God bless!
NOTE: You may also view or download this article in PDF format by Clicking Here (righ-click and choose SaveTargetAs to download).
He Hath Torn Us – This is one of the most impacting and anointed articles I’ve read on the subject of revival and what truly must transpire for it to happen. This is a powerful, challenging and prophetic message by a dear brother in Christ, Michael Clark. Please take a moment to read it and let God minister truth to your heart. God bless you!
What About God? – This is an article/review by Dave Y. (that’s me) based on a beautiful song by Rita Springer called “About God.” The article simply offers some of my own thoughts on the importance of making Christ central in our lives above all things. Lyrics to Rita’s song and a sample MP3 download is also posted.
Why Meet In Homes – by Eric Svendsen, M.A., Ph.D. Ever wondered about them folks that do the house church thing? There is much biblical evidence for this style of gathering and none for any institutionalize style (though, in my opinion, it should be emphasized that it is not simply the style of gathering that should be focused upon, but the Lord Jesus Himself and whether or not our times of gathering center completely around Him… I am neither a proponent for or against “house churching” but believe this to be a matter of conviction with each believer in Christ). This article presents some intriguing points of historical fact, biblical evidence, and insight into the house church phenomenon. Very good article by author and theologian Eric Svendsen who is the Founder and Director of New Testament Research Ministries. (Note: Clicking the above link will open a new browser window displaying the article. To return to TruthForFree.com, just close the article browser window.)
Christianity is NOT Religion – by James A. Fowler. This article emphasizes putting religion in its place – OUTSIDE OF CHRISTIANITY! Too many Christians have bought into the notion that Christianity is a religion, a program, an organization, etc. James calls God’s people to wake up and understand that religion has never been God’s plan for the Church and it is in fact a tool of the enemy and an obstacle to revival!A must read article! (Note: Clicking the above link will open a new browser window displaying the article on the author’s website. To return to TruthForFree.com, just close the article browser window.)
Proxy-doo – by Dave Y. I wrote this article back in May of 2004 and never completed it; however, I decided to post its contents for review. This article deals with the subject many Christians know as “prayer by proxy” and other forms of mediation. My concern is whether or not such a practice is biblical and may actually be a practice that frustrates the grace of God and sidesteps the truth. Even worse, it’s possible that the practice is essentially the same as witchcraft, having purely pagan origins and therefore should not be imitated by believers in Christ! This article is shared for discussion purposes only. I am not forcing my conclusions but only posting them for review and discussion. God bless.
Follow The Right Gospel – by (the late) Keith Green. In this article (which is actually the first chapter from Keith’s book, “Cry In The Wilderness”), Green emphasizes the importance of holding fast to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and realizing that Jesus is not merely the “figurehead” of something recognized as “the Christian religion,” but that Christ, Himself, is the very Gospel of God and we have such great need to draw ever increasingly, intimately close to Him. Very good article!
What’s Wrong With The Gospel – Another incredible article written by the late Keith Green! This includes both parts, one and two, of this remarkable commentary by a brother who was truly a voice to the Church in his generation. Though brother Keith has gone on to be with Lord many years ago now, the message of his songs and writings are still relevant to this generation and, perhaps now more than ever, the Church needs to hear this one!
The Polluted Bride – A convicting prophetic message from the Lord given by Bobby Connor – involving a call for repentance on behalf of the Lord’s Church. A must read!
When The Church Was Led Only By Laymen – Another great book by Gene Edwards! This one involves an examination of the New Testament structure of church life and how it was typical for churches to be established without “leaders” (sometimes without leaders being established until years after a fellowship was birthed). Gene talks about the historical intervention of the unbiblical clergy-laity concept that was carried over from the Greeks and Romans and incorporated into church life (and has influenced it ever since). This book will astound and encourage you as Gene emphasizes the value and importance of believer’s understanding who they are in Christ and the position of priesthood that has been afforded them by Christ. Very good book despite the fact much of Gene’s writings eventually tend toward replacing the simple biblical example and testimony with a modern-day concept he calls “church planting”. That having been said, Gene’s insights in this work are still very encouraging and I am encouraged by the fact that it is offered freely (something that even some of Gene’s “associates” have stopped doing with their works). This book is in Adobe format. If you need the reader, click here to download it. To save this book to your hard drive, right click on the main link above and choose “Save Target As…”
- NOTE:I am aware of some of the controversy and criticism surrounding Gene’s teachings (and even his associate, Frank Viola) – e.g. the posting at the New Reformation Review (NRR) Website. While I understand the concerns presented by the NRR, I want to remind the visitors of this site that some of the authors, whose articles are linked to from this page, may not necessarily agree completely with the views this site presents (views which are most clearly presented in the About Us section and in articles written by myself). Regarding Edwards and Viola, I have made a personal effort to go to the source and request their side to the story. It is possible that some of the concerns may stem from rumors, and some may be true, so I encourage every reader to use discernment and come to their own conclusions. I do not know Gene or Frank personally, other than an occasional e-mail discussion (and a couple, brief personal phone calls with Frank). Meaning no disrespect to my brother in Christ, I am disappointed that Frank now chooses to sell all of his books, when he once used to share them for free. Several of them used to be hosted here on TruthForFree.com before I was asked by his ministry to remove them all and direct visitors to the purchase pages for the books. The e-mails coming in to my inbox from his ministry were so frequently loaded with constant appeals to buy his books (to help get them ranked higher in book stores) that I unsubscribed and deleted his Facebook pages. I love Frank as a brother in Christ and acknowledge the good information he has often shared with the Body of Christ in the past, but I am bothered by the recent emphasis on selling everything for profit and ranking. I also take personal issue with his views on “church planting” and “church planters”, which I personally believe stretch beyond biblical boundaries. Anyone who is still interested in purchasing his writings should search for them via Google or Facebook. They are not difficult to find but for reasons of conscience I will no longer link to them from this site. The articles present herein (that are written by other authors) have been reviewed prior to posting and are believed to have noteworthy value; however, as with any presentation by any author, I commend the reader to be diligent in the Scriptures and trust the leading of the Holy Spirit. Admittedly there are aspects of various author’s perspective on doctrine that I may not personally agree with. The same principle I encourage others to use in this regard I apply myself. We all may have something of spiritual value to contribute according to our knowledge and experience… That doesn’t mean we are all perfect or correct all the time… and some of us even blow it big time (grin). May Christ, by His love and mercy, keep us together, growing and maturing in Him. God bless!
Valley of the Steeples – This is a heart-gripping article inspired by a vision the Lord gave to Brian Hennessy’s wife some years ago. In this vision she saw the Lord weeping while overlooking a valley of church steeples. The Lord’s words to her will possibly stun and convict you. Brian discusses the inadequacy of participating in mere religion and emphasizes the glorious joy of finding the Lord as our life’s passion. Excellent article, but may be viewed as a little (ok, maybe a lot) radical. Highly recommended!
Will We Get The Message? – An article, written by Bob Muni in October of 1989, that deals with the world’s concept of “the church” and what the church needs to move towards in order that she may be better enabled to reach the lost and see revival come. Great article. Very challenging and sobering.
The Critical Mass – This is a great article by Michael Clark about what is necessary for the power of God’s Spirit to touch our gatherings and make us effective for His work. There must be a crucifixion of our flesh and a complete reliance upon the Holy Spirit. Without God’s Spirit in power, there can be no effective witness of the Gospel! Also, be sure to browse the rest of Michael’s site. I’ve had the chance to dialogue a little with this brother (in phone and e-mail conversation). His site is a blessing.
Was Paul Such A Boring Preacher That Someone Almost Died? – This is a great (though very brief) article, written by Barry Steinman, concerning the story in Acts 20 (verses 7-12) where a brother, named Eutychus, falls out of a window to his death during a church meeting. This story is often regarded humorously by Christians as Scriptural evidence of long, boring sermons, but is this really the case? Barry presents an excellent examination of this passage in its biblical context to reveal some surprising points about the characteristics of this meeting in particular, and first century meetings in general.
Tithing Is Unscriptural Under The New Covenant by L. Ray Smith – This is an absolutely fantastic article regarding the subject of the biblical tithe in comparison to today’s popular doctrine. Ray discusses some of the most common arguments and traditional concepts taught and believed in the institutional church today and explains clearly why each fail the test of measuring up to Scripture and the Gospel of Grace. Every clergyman who teaches monetary tithing ought to read this two-part article (if you have a sincere desire to hold fast to Scriptural integrity) and every Christian who has sat under such teaching would greatly benefit from this paper as well. Excellent and highly-recommended article that stays on task with Biblical truth while presenting some provocative thoughts and challenging arguments. Please read!
Does He Thank That Servant & Guaranteed Failure In Stewardship – Both of these fantastic articles by Gary Carpenter have been combined here. Gary deals with the proper attitude Christians should have towards stewardship. This is really just a sample of some of the great insight this brother has into the area of dealing with finances from a truly biblical and spiritual perspective. I highly recommend Gary’s teachings on this subject! Gary does not endorse many of the popular perspectives on stewardship (such as “sowing to reap more provisions” or “tithing”), but wholly endorses sound biblical teaching in this regard. He is a humble man of faith that is a true servant of the Lord. Gary is a brother who truly follows the example of the Apostle Paul who said, “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you…” While many charge tens and even hundreds of dollars for their teaching tapes and books, Gary literally charges nothing at all, but provides all at his own expense, in the hopes that God’s people will be blessed and equipped for greater service. His entire ministry operates completely on faith in God and love for His people. He trusts that if God has truly called the ministry into existence than He will move on the hearts of those He wishes to help support it. Oh that more ministers today had this attitude of heart and expression of true faith in God’s provision. If you need godly insight into dealing with finances, please take the time to check out Gary’s website: www.garycarpenter.org.
Tithing Study – This page, authored by Dave Y., features an examination of the common church practice of tithing money to a church organization in comparison with the biblical, New Covenant example of grace giving. The article features a lengthy list of over 180 quotations from more than 95 respected sources on the subject – to illustrate that, among most seminary professors, theologians, Bible commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and also historical documents from the first few centuries of the early Church, tithing is NOT the biblical method that governed giving practices of the early Church. In the opinion of this author, tithing is harmful and spiritually unprofitable for the Church because it locks it into principles which have not been given or blessed by the Holy Spirit. This article and list of resource quotes is an eye opener. May God take us beyond merely calculating percentages to giving from a heart captivated by the love of Christ and motivated by the prompting of the Spirit as Scripture clearly teaches. This is a large web page, over 185k in size, so it may take several seconds to load completely.
FREE Book by Russell E. Kelly – Here you can download the complete electronic copy of Russell Earl Kelly’s amazing book, “Should The Church Teach Tithing,” in Adobe Acrobat format. To download, just click the link and you will be taken to a download page. This book is provided by permission of the author. You can also purchase a copy of the book at Amazon.com by clicking here.
Complete Tithing FAQ – This article covers 52 of the most commonly asked questions about tithing and offers clear, precise answers from Scripture. The FAQ is authored by Russell Earl Kelly (and each question is covered in thorough detail in his book, Should The Church Teach Tithing. This is an excellent resource for anyone who has a question concerning just about any aspect of tithing you ever wanted to know. Highly recommended!
Rethinking The Tithe – by Douglas Weaver. This brief, though concise, article on the subject of the tithe examines one of the greatly overlooked truths about tithing; that, even under the Law, it was intended to service the tither! Douglas takes the reader through a very well summarized description of the biblical tithe, it’s former application, and its complete fulfillment in Jesus. He examines briefly why the typical arguments that have been traditionally used to support Christian tithing are weak at best, not to mention completely out of harmony with Scripture. Some excellent points are made here. This is a great article to forward to friends you may be discussing the subject with that will inspire a real challenge in the truth, without requiring someone to read an entire book. Highly recommended!
The Tithe: Who’s Robbing Who? – This is a great, short, article from a wonderful brother by the name of Jack Helser. Jack authors a number of “spiritually provocative” Christian articles and is also a music artist (you can visit his website at www.LordYouAre.com). In this article Jack deals briefly with the subject of giving and tithing and also shares some wonderful insights into the concept of “house-churching.” I have corresponded with this brother and can tell you he has a sincere heart for the Lord and he loves the body of Christ.
CHURCH: From God Or From Man? – This is a radical article that discusses the origin of our English word “church” used in many translations of the Bible to describe the gathering of Christians. Author, Dusty Owens, details why this word is distracting and even misleading away from the meaning of the original word used in the Greek. This article may help you understand why it is that so many Christians have so many differing perceptions about what “church” is apart from what the Word of God actually describes. Expect to have your traditionally pre-conceived notions about what “church” is challenged. This is a very good article! Perhaps I should preface it by saying “read at your own risk” because it is quite radical and certainly non-traditional… but I believe it is biblical and certainly historically accurate.
The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy – This is an excellent article (online book actually) about the history and origin of the King James version of the Bible and how a good number of the original verses were altered slightly and words changed to coincide with popular religious tradition and the current governmental structure in the Anglican church of that day. The article also deals with the subject of biblical church leadership. Please note that the contents of this article may appear controversial to some readers, however, after examining a good deal of the research for myself, cross-referencing the article with a number of commentaries and various other versions of the Bible (not to mention that I am friends with one of the co-authors of this online book), I personally find the author’s presentation to be honest and credible. A must read!!!
The Way of a Man with a Maid – This is the absolute best book you will ever read concerning the subject of the “courtship and betrothal” movement that has influenced so many churches in our day… and now, the full version of the book is available FREE online!!! Robin Phillips, author, is a brother who is deffinately not ignorant about the dangers and biblical errancies intricately woven into and saturated throughout this popular teaching. Robin was himself raised under this teaching (his own parents being some of the most prominent, well-known proponents of courtship theology known to Christiandom) and has been involved (on some personal and experiential level) with some of the most prominent leaders around the country who teach the courtship concepts. This book will draw your attention to the simple truth of Scripture and will encourage and help you understand God’s heart in the process of building positive, godly male-female relationships and strong marriages. Visit the link above, or CLICK HERE to view/download the PDF version!
The Cleansing Stream (also viewable in PDF format)- This is an electronic book by Tom Launder regarding the well-known deliverance program known as Cleansing Stream Ministries. I enjoyed this work so much I copied it in its entirety (with permission) on my website! If you have been involved with the Cleansing Stream program (as I have), are considering signing up, or know someone else who has been through the program or is considering it, please read this book! Despite the many testimonials of apparent success by some of those who have gone through the program, there are some serious doctrinal fractures and deceptive qualities of the program that must be acknowledged. I participated fully in this program and, while I am all for Christians getting healed and dealing with struggles of sin and temptation in their lives (in accordance with biblical truth), I can attest to the reality that a number of the teachings employed in the Cleansing Stream program are not biblical but are developed through human reason and by distorting biblical text. Christians who buy into the teachings of Cleansing Streams are allowing themselves to be distracted from the Gospel Truth, which is sufficient and wholly applicable! They are losing sight of the power and revelation of God’s grace! I am not posting this book because I mean to stir up contention or controversy, but because I believe it is critical that Christians stop jumping on every bandwagon that comes along and start focusing on the study of the awesome Word of God so that they will begin to understand, embrace and hold fast to proper doctrinal truth and do not subject themselves to deception, error and the schemes of the enemy to keep them in bondage. I sincerely believe that Cleansing Stream is a distraction from biblical truth. Its minute amount of good is far outweighed by the garbage, in my opinion. I encourage you to read this short book and crack open your Bible. God bless you!!! I truly mean that!
The Spirit of Religion or the Spirit of Holiness? – This article, by Cheryl McGrath, discusses how important it is to not confuse religion with holiness, as too many in today’s institutional church tend to do… Cheryl seeks to deal with some of the main issues at heart and help believers to press on in their relationship with Jesus and live lives submitted to Christ, that bear good fruit. A good article.
When Christians Quit Church – This was a major article published in Charisma Magazine February of 2005 about the “mass exodus” of Christians from institutional churches across the country. While I do not personally agree with every conclusion this article makes, it’s still noteworthy to recognize how many believers are becoming fed up with dead organized religion and hungry for a living and active relationship with Christ. Many still inside the “four walls” have often labeled those who choose to walk with God outside the mainstream church program as being deceived, hurt, rebels and dissenters – but the truth is becoming more apparent that so many of these are sincere and sold-out followers of Jesus who want nothing more than Him and to live a true expression of the Church as God designed it. This article is a scan from the actual Charisma article and is in Adobe PDF format. Clicking the link above will open the article in a separate page.
A CRYING SHAME:
“CHARLATANS in the HOUSE”
CHARISMA MAGAZINE EDITOR SPEAKS OUT!
In this article, Lee Grady, chief editor of Charisma Magazine, gets fired up (finally… grin) about the rampant problem of deceptive and greedy pastors, televangelists, traveling preachers and church organizations who are fleecing the flock of God for sordid gain. Ironically, Charisma Magazine is often one of the biggest advertisers for “ministries” who employ such practices. That detail aside, this is a well-stated article to be sure and it’s encouraging to see the lights slowly coming on even among some of the Institutional Church’s biggest supporters. Lord let your light of truth shine and open the eyes of Your people so that they may clearly see You and learn to discern what is true and flee that which is false.
Problems & Limitations of the Traditional “Sermon” Concept – When I was making my first steps away from traditional “churchianity” back in late 2001 I almost decided not to post this article because I remember thinking it was maybe a little too radical and perhaps too controversial when compared against what most believers in Christ were used to (I didn’t want to offend anyone), but the contents were good, biblically and historically accurate, very thought provoking, and the article so well written that I felt compelled to post it anyway. Now days, I probably wouldn’t hesitate for a second to share something like this because of where I’ve traveled along this path outside the church system. For the sake of new visitors to the site, however, just know that this one may strike a little heavy. The intent is to provoke thought, not offend. Author Darryl Erkel discusses the origin of the traditional sermon concept and why it is less than effective when compared against the biblical model for what is to transpire in a meeting of the body of Christ. Erkel does not at all downplay the importance of teaching in an assembly of believers or even that a “monologue” style of message is always inadequate, but he offers some very strong challenges from the Scripture in the way of opening up the meetings more and turning from a man-dominated control of the gathering to Spirit-led interaction among all members of the body of Christ who are represented in the meeting. To those that have ears to hear, this will hopefully be an insightful and stirring read. Please hold all your stones until the close of the article (smile). God bless!
50 Years in the Church of Rome – by Charles Chiniquy (e-book links below) is, quite honestly, one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life. This is the true story of a man, Charles Chiniquy, who spent 50 years of his life (from a young child all the way into adulthood) in the Roman Catholic Church. After twenty-five years as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church, his bishop demanded that he give up his Bible, and pledge blind obedience to the “church.” After a dark night of struggle, he emerged gloriously saved, and led almost the entire Catholic population of St. Anne, Illinois to trust in Christ alone. Here is the finest work ever written to show, from the inside, what Catholicism really is. You will feel Chiniquy’s broken heart for Catholics, even as he clearly refutes Catholicism’s errors. This edition was first released in 1886 and is a fascinating story indeed! I have the complete unabridged version of this book at home. This is a heavily abridged online version of the book, however, it is still quite large and may take a few moments to load in your browser (especially if you have a slower connection to the Internet). The book is available in two formats for your convenience (see links below)… both are approximately 2mb in size. If you find this story compelling at all, I highly recommend you buy the full, unabridged work.
- Note: The only (very slight) criticism I have of the book is that it implies Protestantism as the alternative to Catholicism, which most learned students of history realize that both hold subtle (sometimes even very bold) similarities to each other and both express faith in Jesus as an element of “religion”; however, Chiniquy emphasizes the work of Christ and the impact of Scripture above all other influences and his story involves his very personal experience meeting Jesus Christ Himself who freed him from years of religious bondage. I share this note for those readers searching for writings that express faith in Jesus outside the walls of traditional organized religion. If you critique this too severely you may get hung up on the detail that Charles did not leave organized religion altogether, but I encourage you to look beyond this small point and rather see the story of a man on a journey of finding ultimate freedom in Jesus Christ and maturing relationship with Him, which led him miles away from the religious stupor that blinded him for most of his life. Chiniquy clearly identifies only Jesus Christ as the One who set him free. This really is a great story that left me often in tears!