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Churches

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


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


It seems that an ability to question the norm, and to do something that starts out looking like it is anti-religious is a common trait in much that Jesus taught.  Several illustrations are given to show how important it is that we learn to tell the difference between religion and true spirituality.


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


A very short reminder about just how simple real truth is, but how popular distortions are.

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


A fresh look at avoiding arguments and how to distinguish truth from error in dealing with strong disagreements.

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


Comparisons are made between ourselves, more respectable mainline religious organisations, and groups which even we might be inclined to see as "off", in an effort to find consistent criteria for weighing up various groups. Issues considered are: Finances, Leadership, The Second Coming, and Exclusivity.


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


Popular misunderstandings about prayer are addressed in this one, which challenges the prosperity gospel and related doctrines.

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


Ross considers how the churches treat the Sermon on the Mount like it is the "law" and the Ten Commandments" like they are the ultimate revelation of God, when exactly the opposite is true.


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


Dave looks at a comprehensive list of traits that will supposedly identify a cult. His conclusion is that any new, little group that is more zealous than the older bigger ones will be targetted, at the same time that the same traits will be overlooked when they occur inthe older bigger groups.

What starts as support for a more natural approach to witnessing develops into criticism of how that approach goes around in circles unless one is truly transformed by the teachings of Jesus.  All the books promise to offer the missing piece to evangelism, but continue to leave it out.  Read this to find what it is.

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

This Bible study from the first two chapters of Colossians reveals just how much Paul had to say about Jesus and his teachings, and how much he laboured to make those same teachings real in the lives of the people to whom he ministered.  Far from teaching another gospel, Paul was there to support the Gospel which the early Christians had already received from the teachings of the Gospel writers.

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


An important reminder of our universal need for the forgiveness that only God can give to each of us through the sacrificial death of Christ.

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


A long list of illustrations to show how The Golden Rule can help us in just about every area of our lives.


This article is arguably the best one of a collection of articles that Dave wrote over a period of two or three years, dealing with the problems he found personally with contradictions in the Bible, and the tendency for people to discard their faith altogether when confronted with them.  It includes a detailed study of the resurrection story from all four gospels, leading to a discussion of the approach taken in the Jesus Seminars in the U.S. started some thirty years ago.
[See also Mellowing Out.]


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


This one requires points because it was mainly written in response to problems in Kenya. But it still contains a good summary of what we believe.


Four different arguments for being a vegetarian are examined in this article, in an attempt to determine how much Christian/biblical support there is for this practice.

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


Further comments on head coverings, but expanded to cover all visible symbols of invisible spiritual realities. Can we get the spirit of the ritual without using it as an excuse to discard the ritual altogether?


Consider for a while that everything that happens has been predestined, and that any notion of free choice is just a myth.  How would that change your life and how you think?  Does anyone, in fact, really live as though they believe that?  The case for predestination is examined in the light of all that Jesus taught and all that we experience every day.

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


What is the connection between the words "inspired" and "infallible"? What connection is there between the concepts of infallibility and fundamentalism? Can faith in the infallibility of a person or a book actually work in opposition to faith in God? These are a few of the questions answered in this easy to read article.


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


A long overdue look at the so-called heresy of trying to "work your way to heaven".  It looks at where this teaching has come from, and where it is leading.


“The Christian Church has made a law out of grace.”  A wonky understanding of forgiveness causes immeasurable pain in human relationships, but it can even frustrate God’s offer of forgiveness.

Are most people called to a "ministry of prayer" while only an elect few are called to go out into all the world and preach the gospel? What is the real motivation behind this teaching?
(See also Superstition, and The Donor.)


A brief look at concepts like apology, confession, and repentance, in an effort to determine what God is really looking for. Forgiveness is not to be obtained through a pat formula for salvation, but only through a life-changing experience.

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


An anonymous Jesus Christian "graduate" gives his take on the invisible kingdom that we should all be trying to build, where we just shine our lights and let others change from inner motivations rather than external disciplines.

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


This one is about taking risks. We learn that the "safe" way (of respectability, lukewarmness, and orthodoxy) is almost always the most UN-safe way for Christians, and will probably lead you straight to hell. (See also The Reno Principle.)

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


Were the Epistles written to moderate extreme statements by Jesus in the Gospels? Or
were the Gospels written to offset misinterpretations of things that
were said in some of the Epistles? The sequence of events is very
important in determining how we should view these two sections of the
New Testament.

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


The link between contrition and humility in a passage from Isaiah leads to some insights into how little contrition (and, by implication) how little humility there is in most religion.

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

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

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

Being born again is more than just words or emotions.  Dave talks about being born again by the Word of God and allowing ourselves to be broken and re-shaped by the teachings of Jesus.


The history of the church has revealed many different ways for determining who is “saved” and who is not.  This article lists many of them, and discusses their strong points as well as their weak points.
[See also By This]

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


Misunderstandings about forgiveness have led to unfair judgment of God and his right to punish evil.  Because forgiveness is so fundamental to Christianity, it pays to understand how it works, and when it does NOT work.

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