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Does Doctrine Divide?

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This seems like one of those questions that the answer is self-evident.  Just look at the carnage in modern American churches that are fractured to the point where the gospel is unrecognizable.  It’s sometimes over petty things, but mostly the splintering seems to be over disagreements about Bible doctrine. 

The splits are usually preceded by statements such as, “Well, we believe this way and if you can’t agree maybe you’d be happy somewhere else.”  

But please consider: Maybe the problem is not doctrine itself.  I think the New Covenant community in its infancy allowed that there would be differences in theology and loving toleration of immature doctrine was encouraged (see 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14 as examples). 

The exception to this was where any work of law, any work of ritual religion was taught as required before one could know the love of the Heavenly Father and be accepted in the New Covenant community.  This legalism was rejected by the apostles with extreme prejudice and condemned as anathema (see Acts 15 and Galatians as examples).

So, I don’t think doctrine divides so much as a legalistic application of doctrine.  When a certain teaching or theological system takes on sacramental value (having the ability in itself to bestow holiness or grace) then that teaching or theological system takes on the same character in the eyes of God as the temple system Jesus destroyed.

Yup, I’m standing by that. Think about it.

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Blog from Matt in Japan

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Hey, y’all!  Matt Farrell posted his second blog from Japan where he visits a pottery fair, a “cat museum” and comments on the cuisine.  Enjoy!  

http://nagoyafall2012.blogspot.com/

Also, Larry and Jen Siegle are launching a new internet radio program this week called Covenant Key FM.  If I can figure out the tech side of things, I’ll be broadcasting Tuesday night.  Check it our here:

http://covenantkey.fm/

…And Here We Go!

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All right, I think we’re up and going for the new look of our web site! Our little gathering has been going on now for ten years and we’ve come a long way and we’ve got a long way to go. Here are a few things about our new site:

First, our “About Us” has not changed since we adopted those principles a decade ago. We are still committed to operating in the liberty of the gospel. We’ve tried to avoid what is the traditional method of establishing a church: Establishing a confession of faith and compelling “members” to sign on.  We’ve grown greatly in our understanding of the word of God by keeping the forum open and being free to ask any question regarding our faith. Liberty has led to learning, for sure!

Second, while it was the topic of eschatology (end times) that pushed us out of institutional religion, it is not eschatology that keeps us going. While you can read some of our articles dealing with eschatology, we are far more interested in the topic of the riches of the gospel. The biblical teaching of the end times is important, but only insofar as it explains the grace of God in the gospel. 

Third, we are interested in the practical application of the gospel in the context of the Christian community. I have posted several articles by Jon Zens who has written extensively challenging the traditional paradigm of church structure.  We are looking to make practical the priesthood of every believer, the contribution of every believer to the building up of the body and diminishing the role of one man or group in the role of leadership.

We hope all who visit this site are encouraged to know more of the grace of Christ, to challenge the traditions of institutional religion and experience the formation of a community of Christ’s love.  

Blessings!  TK

New Look for Our Old Website!

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Howdy, folks!  We are working on getting our old web page looking a bit cleaner and sharper.  Keep posted!