"Judgement, Love, Self-Righteousness"

Adam and Eve in the garden were not just satisfied to be God-like in their capacity to love but wanted to become like God in their capacity to judge between good and evil or who is "in" and who is "out" and what is right and what is wrong. When we as man- kind focus on desiring to judge then we begin to lose the capacity to love, for unlike God we cannot judge and love at the same time, and you cannot judge (which one of its meanings is to "separate") and then truly unconditionally love someone because you have just judged them not worthy of your love.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer the famous author and theologian said this about the two trees in the garden, "the tree of life was God's provision to meet our needs and share His life with us endlessly. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was God's prohibition against humans overstepping their proper domain". Gods desire was that He alone would know good and evil, and only He could properly judge and define what that was through the lens of His love.
The moment we judge or condemn someone whether it is a major lifestyle issue or a minor matter of appearance it gives us a feeling of superiority or deity over that person just like the Pharisee who would say," and I am not like him", rather than have a heart that says," have mercy on me", for he and I are the same both in need of the tree of life and the love of the Father.

Much of what is called Christianity around the World but especially in America seems to be known more for what we are against and our declarations of good and evil than for our outrageous scandalous love for others especially the outcasts which Jesus our example seemed to be drawn to the most. I mean could you imagine a drunk or an addict or a prostitute saying," I am hungry to be in a shame free, non-judgmental group of people that will just love me for me right now, so I am going to that church down the road"? No instead they stay in their dysfunction with others who will love and accept them where they are with no judgement. It is sad but that is not the reputation of the Church and christians in most places even though it should be the norm and not the exception. Instead we are called judgmental, bigoted, mean, even unkind, especially with those that believe it is their job to be the sheriffs of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and trumpet their opinions of who is right and who is wrong and who is in and who isn't.

An indictment against many Christians as a whole is that we are not always known as safe houses of refuge for sinners, and the hurting, and the wounded, where people can come and find a love that does not question, an understanding that does not judge and an acceptance without conditions. Instead many are houses of refuge for certain kinds of sinners, the self-righteous, the loveless, the greedy, the envious, the gossips, the gluttonous and the such, and normally those guilty of these sins usually feel little discomfort in most church settings because we have judged these somewhat acceptable.

Self-righteous judgement is the same as the setting ourselves up as the righteous judge over all mankind, which is a God complex on steroids. Everything we do should be about a radical love for ALL of God's creation and seeing their worth and not focused on their sins, issues, or shortcomings because we would all have to look in the mirror first. Now remember when someone judges you for something it is normally their issue that they deal with so just smile and love them no matter what because there is no greater command or obedience than love.

Diversity is the Kingdom

I have many friends in many different denominations, networks, and streams of the body of Christ. I also travel in many different circles that believe some things differently than I do. I have friends that emphasize faith, some that emphasize grace, others emphasize keeping the law, some who emphasize covenants, and some who emphasize the Kingdom as well as those who focus on Jesus. Some others who focus on fathering and sonship, while others focus on disciples and mentors as well as coaching and students and some who emphasize prayer and spiritual warfare. Also some who embrace a rapture and some that do not, some who believe that the tribulation is in the past and some who believe it is still in the future. Some of my friends have different views on heaven and hell, and some have different ways of viewing the atonement, while some interpret scripture from different systems and paradigms.

I also have some friends who believe strongly that salvation is by grace through faith and some that believe that after the cross all are now born in Christ whether they believe or not, and that believing does not make it true, but that you believe because it is already true. I also have friends who believe in the infallibility and innerrancy of the scriptures and some who believe that the scriptures are inspired, but not perfect or without error with many contradictions. I have others who call the gospel of grace the gospel, while others call the gospel of the Kingdom the gospel, while others main focus is on the gospel of peace. I have some that view the gifts of the Spirit as passed with the apostles and some who embrace that they are all still functioning, and some who believe that the 5-fold ministry is for today and some who do not. I have others who are peace loving pacifists and some who want peace but love their guns and nationalism. I have friends who are Democrats and some who are Republicans and some who are a mish-mash of political beliefs lol.

Many of my friends have different ways of doing church (ecclesiology) and different views of the last days (eschatology), as well as their views of the Holy Spirit (Pneumatology). Some others have a different view of the purpose of salvation (Soteriology).Yet they are still my friends.
I say all that to let all of you know that none of those things are going to disqualify them from fellowship with me, because none of those things are dis-qualifiers according to 1,500-2,000 years of Orthodox Christianity. Your view of the "last days" or of "hell" or of the "infallibility of the bible" are not a qualifier in scripture for salvation or for fellowship, yet we will fight over and over again about these things, rather then just give each other grace in our journeys to grow and to learn.

However, for some reason many people are afraid to have a discussion with someone who believes differently than they do especially many leaders who tend to fight over the idea that their journey and indoctrination is superior to someone else. The body of Christ at least in the Charismatic wing has almost made fun of critical thinking and scholasticism and it shows in a lot of our churches that seem to produce more minions than mature son's of God. I have been demonized and ostracized by a few different groups for not just what I believe that is different from them, but also my associations with people they view as being in error in some area's, but who still embrace the basis of the gospel and what Christianity is.

I wish we could all be mature enough to stop throwing spears at each other and actually dialogue and discuss rather than call names and start labeling, which is so childish. I see way to many books, articles, and posts just saying nananabooboo to others and treating each other like they are not brothers and followers of Jesus and then ultimately become accusers of the brethren themselves. So I want to go on record and let all of my friends and anyone else reading this know that this year I will not be participating in the judging and attacking of someone else's journey and instead will pray that we all will walk in the truth who is Jesus, and manifest His love regardless of our differences.

We are all on a journey and our beliefs should be constantly being challenged if we are growing, and if not then we are stuck and stagnant. Whenever an American Indian would want to speak a curse on someone they would say," May you always stay in the same place". Their idea of the worst thing they could curse you with was a life of stagnancy and lethargy. The reformers had a saying that they lived by," reformed and always reforming", may that be our desire, so that we never stop progressing on our journey. God loves diversity and He embraces our unique flavors and differences even though we fight over them and yet He is still patient with us on our journeys. So remember that a friend loves at ALL times and not just when they agree with you. Have an awesome week everyone, love you all!

Orphan vs Son thinking

Identity theft is a multi- billion dollar industry that continues to grow every year, and I believe it is a natural phenomena that is revealing a spiritual reality in our culture. We live in a day where orphan thinking and lack of identity as son's is prevalent in the church, which then multiplies in our society in the form of lack of honor, respect, and the running from correction and authority. Many of our churches are big day cares who have to continually entertain the adult toddlers with the newest and most exciting to keep them coming for they refuse to grow up and put away childish things. Jesus marveled at only one persons faith when He walked the Earth and that was a Roman centurion who recognized that Jesus was a man of authority because He was under authority. Hebrews tells us that Jesus' prayers were heard because of His loud cries and His reverent submission, and not because of His great faith or the "anointing" on His life.

Jesus was above everything else a son who learned obedience through the things that He suffered, and it is those that learn to be led by the Spirit that become the (Huios) or mature sons of God that He can entrust cities and nations with. We are told in Psalm 2:7 & 8," I will proclaim the Lord's decree: He said to me,"You are my Son; today I have become your Father". Ask of Me and I will give you the nations as an inheritance, the ends of the Earth your possession". Notice that this promise is to a son; prophetically speaking of Jesus, but also applicable to us because only son's get an inheritance and we are His offspring (Acts 17). The Fathers desire is to entrust us with nations but we have to embrace growing up as son's for that promise to manifest in our lives. Paul tells us that all of creation is groaning for a manifestation of the son's of God, notice not believers, Christians, or church attenders, but sons (Huios).

Our identity is found in Him alone, it is not found in natural or spiritual fathers even though they can help move us in the right direction as a resource pointing to THE Source. It is also not found in what we do, but who He has made us, and real maturity is when we learn to submit one to another out of reverence for Christ and stop comparing and being full of competitive jealousy. Let me also make this ONE thing very clear; we are "NOT ORPHANS" because God is the Father of EVERY family named in Heaven and Earth ( Eph 3:15), but we can still "THINK" like an orphan. So our identity is as a son, who at times still deals with orphan thinking, so when I compare orphans and son's it is simply in our ways of thinking but NOT our true identity and how God sees us. Here are a few examples of orphan thinking compared to son's thinking.

1: View of God.
-orphans: see God as slave master, and one who you are to be terrified and afraid of.
-son's: see God as a loving Father who is to be loved and adored.

2: Theology.
-orphans: view is a love of law.
-son's: view is the law of love.

3: Need for approval.
-orphans: strive for the praise of men, and acceptance, and love to name drop, and have a need to be acknowledged, and rarely are because they strive for it.
-son's: see themselves totally accepted in the Fathers love, and do not need the approval of men.

4: Self Image.
-orphans: are full of self rejection and jealousy from comparing themselves to others.
-son's: are positive and affirmed, they find their value in their identity from the Father.

5: Motive to serve.
-orphans: have a need to impress others, and a desire to impress and be seen as mature, as well as want the credit for their service.
-son's: serve out of love, and to be sent as a representative of His love and family and realize that they are son's who choose to serve, but out of a want too and not a have too.

6: Sense of God's presence.
-orphans: see it as conditional and distant and something to chase and be desperate for.
-son's: see it as close and intimate and something that never leaves them for they are in perfect union with their Father.

7: View of authority.
- orphans: see it in their lives as pain, distrust, and a lack of submission, with an attitude that says I need no one.
-son's: are respectful, honoring, and submissive towards authority knowing that they need healthy relationships in their lives.

8: Money and stewardship.
-orphans: owners; don't touch MY money or MY stuff, and God don't need MY money.
-son's: stewards; who own nothing, possess nothing, and control nothing, for it is all their Fathers and they know He loves to share with them and meet their needs and give them the desires of their hearts.

I truly believe that no one can truly know who they really are outside of knowing the one who created them, and it is in Christ that we find our true identity, and it is as son's that He is well pleased with. So I want to encourage all of my friends to get to know the Author of life, who is a truly good, good Father, for it is in knowing Him that you will then begin to truly know yourself and be able to love yourself, so you can then love your neighbor.

"Fear vs Love"

I always thought that the opposite of love was hate and the opposite of fear was faith.

I have come to realize that the opposite of fear is actually love, because the reason people hate, and demonize, and are prejudice is from a lack of receiving and walking in love. The apostle John tells us in 1John 4,"that perfect love removes fear", and if that is true then the opposite is also true and fear removes love. Love and fear have been at war for 1000's of years and humanity seems to lash out and attack what we fear rather then allow love to transform our fear to faith.

Faith works by love according to the apostle Paul in Gal 5:6, and so wherever there is love faith follows, which is trust, belief, and confidence. So when our faith is struggling it is not as much a faith issue as it is a love issue. I travel a lot and minister in all kinds of churches and movements and so I get asked by leaders to give insight on situations they may be going through. I can normally tell very quickly if they are responding to situations out of fear or love, because when fear is present it will not be a redemptive solution but a response out of the fear of the unknown rather than out of love that will lead to faith.

Love never fails, and if we believe that then we know that love is always the proper response regardless of the situations we find ourselves in. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but power (ability), love (Agape), and soundness of mind (the saving of the mind). In other words God gives us the ability to love that saves our minds, because fear manifests in our thoughts and keeps us from love which is able to transform our thoughts and actions.

Love never fails, and if we believe that, then we know that love is always the proper response regardless of the situations we find ourselves in.
— Jamie Englehart

This last month during my sabbatical I had a powerful healing encounter that removed a fear that had been in me since I was 6 years old. It had affected my breathing and at times given me panic attacks on airplanes and whenever I was in closed in places. However, after the love of God came into that memory and healed it, I was instantly set free of a few allergies that had affected me for years to where I no longer needed Zyrtec or nasal spray to breath. God really does give us the ability to receive His love that transforms our minds and removes fear by His love.


I want to encourage all of my friends to not let fear reign in your hearts and minds, but decide that love is the only way and that we are to love as He loves. There is a reason that Jesus would show up in storms, prisons, behind closed doors and other places and the first thing He would say is,"fear not", or "be not afraid", then follow that at times with,"where is your faith". He was and is perfect Love personified and He always walked in that love which is why His faith was so strong. Fear removes love, but love can also remove fear, so those of us who have been raised under a message of fear struggle at times receiving and giving love, until that love drives that fear far away. So let Jesus into those places of fear and watch His love change everything.

I love and believe in you. Thanks and blessings.