Thursday, March 24, 2016


A new book has just been published- Total Apostasy: The Hopeless State of Christendom. Below is an excerpt of Total Apostasy, which has been published in both paperback and Kindle formats.

"Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"   Luke 18

Jesus: Looking for Faith in All the Wrong Places
So, right after the “importunate widow” finally gets justice, Jesus assures the faithful that they will be avenged speedily.  No delays.  Justice will happen quickly for his own.
But then he asks this question:
“Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”   Luke 18
And the grammar, Greekishly-speaking, expects a negative response.  That is, Jesus is saying that the Son of Man may not find any faith anywhere when he returns.  In fact, the form of the interrogative is actually a prediction: I’m not going to find any faith!
Now fast forward a couple millennia.  We’ve got thousands of different forms of Christianities.  In some forms, God knows all and predestines all.  In others he knows all, but doesn’t predestine it.  And in yet others, he actually doesn’t really know everything.  He’s sort of self-lobotomized.
And that’s just one aspect of one doctrine.  After all those doctrinal issues are debated, there’s the lifestyle questions.  Do I have to live like a good person?  And to what extent? What does it mean to be good?  Like: Can I get divorced?  Does God monitor my sexuality?  Should we push our government to monitor everyone else’s sexual practices? Do I have to give a damn about the poor?

Not so wonderful works
What about Jesus’ teachings?  What about some of the wild claims he made:
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”.   Matthew 7
So, we have people doing lots of wonderful things as followers of Christ, but they weren’t paying attention to what he had just said in the three chapters preceding this statement.  Or if they did pay attention, they still decided not to live that way: the Sermon on the Mount WAY.
But to make up for not living the way Jesus teaches, they decide that they can make up for it by prophesying and preaching a lot.  And by causing spiritual renewal, casting out the demonic forces and being a missionary.  Lots of wonderful salvation ministry.

Missionaries for Christ
Except they don’t live the Jesus’ Way.  Just not interested.  Much more exciting to travel land and sea:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”    Matthew 23
And that’s a hell of thing, to travel land and sea to convert others…while not living the Jesus way of justice and peace.
Too often, the desire to bemission others is a sad effort to obviate one’s own boredom.  It’s an attempt to overcome my own ennui.
Apostasy is literally “from-standing.”  It’s staying away from the vital message of how Jesus teaches us to live, while focusing instead on side issues.  When the time comes to give an account, how will we answer?  What will we hear spoken to us?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Apostasy (Part 4) The Apostasy Subset and the Truth of the Gospel

The Apostasy Subset and the Truth of the Gospel
For before certain came from James, [Peter] did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
 But…I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel  [Galatians 2]
If you were asked to define “the truth of the gospel”, how would you answer?  Because of the modern apostasy, too many of us would answer in doctrinal language. It is striking that, as Paul recounts this personal story, he clearly has in mind a completely different kind of ‘truth of the gospel’ than is current today.  For him and ‘primitive’ friends, the truth of the Gospel is a way of relating to others, not a doctrinal formulation!  When Peter got up from eating with ‘outsiders’ and went and sat with the ‘insiders’, strict law-followers (who were part of James’ party), he was denying the Truth of the Gospel. The essential truth of the Gospel is to be inclusive of others in our fellowship.  Though he knew better, the power of the strict religion group was overpowering to Peter.  He was close to going from apostle to apostate!  And, the danger is very real for all of us today. None are exempt.
We can recap the steps away from the truth:
First, claim the printed text is the Word of God. [The real living God is too hard to control!]  Second, claim that it is a lie that all people on earth have the Light: only a small subset.  Third, no eating with outsiders: that is, no fellowship with those who do not meet our strict outward rules.

That’s how we get to this point of apostasy.  I ask again, “What is the Truth of the Gospel?”  It is the inclusion of all who have the light: that is, it is to include all whom God includes.  The only unforgivable act is to deny the truth of the Gospel: to become a judge over another human being and arbitrarily exclude them from fellowship. Apostasy is characterized by ‘subset thinking’ rather than ‘full scope’ thinking. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Apostasy (Part 3) The Exclusivity of the Apostasy

The Exclusivity of the Apostasy

That was the true Light, which lighteth every human that cometh into the world. [John 1]


The root cause of the falling away is a basic confusion as to what constitutes the authoritative divine word.  The Bible as a written, printed document states within its own pages that one must have a spirit of revelation to grasp its knowledge!  That is, by its own testimony, it cannot be understood apart from a spirit of revelation and of wisdom. [Ephesians 2]  When spiritually quickened, genuinely made alive; then it can be the living word of God to a person or meeting. But, to state that the printed book equals the divine word is a fatal departure from the primitive faith.


The antichrist spirit is further demonstrated in its restricted, elitist doctrine by its denial of a fundamental fact of genuine spirituality: that the Light is within every person in the world.  To miss this fact is to miss the foundation of true religion.  To say that only a subset of humanity (my kind of people?) have the Light is a critical error.  It is to depart at the most basic level from genuinely walking in the spirit.  If we misapprehend the divine goodness and witness at this critical juncture, then we will end up wandering very far from real faith.  We make ourselves susceptible to preachers of hate and division.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Teaching of Immanence: Now Published

Have we missed the point?  After all, Jesus did repeatedly encourage those "who have ears" to really "listen deeply."  We speak almost glibly of God.  And of what God wants. And yet we seem unaware that it is within this Presence that "we live and move and have our being."  What a shame to miss out on having lived...

The book The Teaching of Immanence as found in Koheleth and Jesus is now available.  The essential teaching passages of Jesus are featured, but the first portion of the book is from Koheleth. This combination of Koheleth and Jesus, in fresh translation, may help the reader to grasp the power of Immanence in our lives.  In subsequent posts, we'll look at a few passages from The Teaching of Immanence as found in Koheleth and Jesus.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

John 1 The Theology of Apostasy (part two)

The Theology of Apostasy

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[John 1]


From the Gospel of John to the Revelation of John, the phrase ‘Word of God’ is identified with a person.  The ‘word of God’, the divine logos in the verse above became flesh in the anointed one, Jesus.  But, throughout the biblical record, the ‘word of God’ is a broader concept: the person and presence of the Spirit speaking to those who are listening. To grasp this, is to understand the primary theological root of our 21st century apostasy from the faith.  The cause of our following after ‘the doctrine of devils’ is a basic category confusion.  We do not know who the word of God is.  When we hear the phrase, “Word of God”, do we think biblically?  Or do we already have the seed of antichrist beginning to grow?

To be as clear as possible: the beginning of our corporate departure from the faith is to be found in identifying the ‘word of God’ with the Bible.  The impulse to speak of ‘the Word of God’ as precisely equal to the written biblical corpus is to start down the road to complete apostasy. 

The irony is obvious.  Those who speak of apostasy most often are those who claim that only the Bible is the Word of God…meaning pragmatically: their interpretations of a printed document.  There simply must be no confusion on this point: the word of God is primarily the light of the world. The ‘word of God’, though a phrase, is theologically speaking, a verb!  When we listen to the Spirit, as we sense the light within, as we center down into the divine presence, then God’s Message is quickened, made alive to us, the living and powerful Word.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

1 Timothy 4: Apostasy of Christendom (part one)

The Apostasy of Christendom

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; [1 Timothy 4]



As the Pauline team expressed it above, it was sensed through the Spirit that there was a time coming of departure from the faith; a time of apostasy; a future time of seduction from faithfulness to Jesus’ spirit. The ‘antichrist spirit’ is, of course, always present.  Too easily we are tempted to call fire down from heaven ‘even as Elijah did’ not knowing what manner of spirit we are of. John noted in his first letter that there are many antichrists even now present. Seeing antichrist at work was a common experience of first century ‘primitive’ Christians.  But, there was also a sense among early believers that the developing future trend line for the faith was toward a narrowing, partisan, controlling spirit to come over the friends of Jesus.

The examples of apostasy that are recorded immediately following the 1 Timothy verse quoted above are those of a false spirituality: one that seeks to impose outward rules on someone else’s eating (the details of living) or in restricting marriage (becoming a judge of what kinds of persons we allow to be married). The essence of apostasy is to be found in the need to assert one’s own status and hierarchy through controlling others.  The spirit of apostasy is the need to exclude others from the pale.

By the writing of the third letter of John, the problem of apostasy was continuing to develop. Note this verse:

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.


Diotrephes was unwilling to recognize the full fellowship of the Johanine team of believers.  The motivation was his own preeminence: status, hierarchy, self importance.

After several decades of being involved in evangelical, charismatic, Anabaptist, and Quaker streams of the catholic (universal) church, I have felt some openings of insight into the problem of apostasy within Christendom.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Matthew 5:4 Standing With Those Who Mourn

I wonder which feels better? To have a friend comfort me or having a friend stand with me?  Is there a difference? In the verse below, Jesus teaches about mourning.  More specifically he notes that there is at least one blessing that we can find as we mourn: there are others present with us.

      Blessed are those who mourn, for others
            stand with them.

Most translations translate the word as "comfort."  And they are right.  But PARAKALEO very literally means to "call alongside" of someone.  Depending on the context of the passage in which it occurs, it is translated a variety of ways: comfort, encourage, exhort, etc.  In order to bring out the sense that it always involves having someone "alongside us" as they call, The Immanence Bible translates as "stand with them." 

The most comforting (or encouraging) thing about someone "calling alongside" me is that they are there to begin with. They have my back...and my side.  We are intimate friends even as we mourn together.