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  1. JI Packer was the inspiration for this blog post: https://kurtstaeuble.wordpress.com/2020/07/23/the-garden-many-christians-ignore/

    I came across Packer in the early 80’s, like many people because of KNOWING GOD.

    I loved him for his doctrine, but as Michael wrote in his latest THINGS I THINK, the man’s character was perhaps even more worthy of appreciation.

  2. Jean says:

    I am preparing a presentation on a paragraph in Matthew 26. I would appreciate any constructive feedback/criticism from any Christian tradition. Thank you!

    “26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’ ”

    • Near the beginning of Matthew, the angel explained to Joseph the significance of Jesus’ name and the overarching message of the Gospel: “you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (1:21). Here at the Last Supper, Jesus interprets His impending death for His disciples. He will fulfill the Passover as the Lamb of God who will lay down His life as the substitute for the lives of His people/many, by taking their sins upon Himself (substitute = “ransom for many” 20:28; see also Isa. 53:6ff) and giving them the grace (i.e., favor of God) of His purity and righteousness (Isa. 53:11; Heb. 9:14).

    • The (new) covenant (Greek: diathēkē: “testament,” “will,” “covenant”; KJV, D-R: “new testament”) initiated by Jesus fulfills at least three OT prophesies promising the new covenant:

     Whereas the blessings of the first covenant were conditioned on the people’s obedience: “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn” (Dt. 10:16), the blessings of the new covenant are predicated on what God will do: “And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live…. And you shall again obey the voice of the Lord and keep all his commandments that I command you today.” (Dt. 30:6, 8). Through the new covenant, God does for the people what they were incapable of doing for themselves.

     Jesus initiates the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah 31:31-34, and the “covenant of peace” prophesied by Ezekiel (see Ez. 34:25; 36-37). The beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt. 5:8), is predicated on the coming new covenant initiated by Jesus, “And I will give you a new heart, and a hew spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ez. 36:26; see also Dt. 30:6.)

     In the verses following Zechariah’s prophesy of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem in the week preceding his crucifiction (Zech. 9:9; Mt. 21:5), God says through Zechariah: “As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.” (Zech 9:11)

    • “Take, eat; this is my body.” We eat the body that shed its blood because Jesus died our death. We eat the body that is now risen, over which death has no more dominion, in order to receive Christ’s testimony that we are (and so He can keep making us) a member of that same ever-living Body.

    • “for this is my blood of the covenant.” God’s covenants are initiated with blood (see Gen. 15:9f; Ex. 24f; Mt. 26:28). “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Heb. 9:22)

    • “which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” The fulfilled Passover is the participation of Jesus’ disciples in the new exodus from slavery to sin, death and Satan, to freedom, forgiveness, righteousness (which exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees), adoption as children of God, life, salvation, the kingdom of God, etc., all of which is bequeathed to us by the last will and testament of Jesus and initiated by the pouring out (shedding) of Jesus’ blood on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. See also Isaiah 53:12 regarding God’s suffering Servant: “because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” The soul (nephesh) also means “life.” The life is in the blood (Lev. 17:11).

    • “Drink of it, all of you.” Whereas the blood at Mt. Sinai initiating the Mosaic covenant was sprinkled on the people (Ex. 24:6-8; Heb. 9:15-22), the blood of the new covenant is given to Jesus’ disciples to drink: “Drink of it all of you, for this is the blood of the covenant” (Mt. 26:27-28). By this sacrament, Jesus assures us of the foregiveness of our sins.

  3. Em says:

    Not qualified to respond to Jean’s request, but the real sticking point for me regarding ingesting God’s actual body and blood, as opposed to what is called a memorial communion wafer and wine (but with very profound, deep teaching) is….
    the question, what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness goes deeper than just marriage and friendships? Our flesh that we live in is nourished by the fruit of the earth now will return to the earth. Our soul is redeemed and promised a new (thank God) body.
    That said covenants and promises from God to man, OT and NT, make an interesting study – hope there’s lot of responses here to Jean’s request. Look forward to the read.
    God keep

  4. Mason Jar says:

    https://www.change.org/p/calvary-chapel-costa-mesa-remove-jason-kisic-s-toxic-authority-as-a-calvary-chapel-pastor

    I highly doubt the leadership will step in and correct these issues, but I thought I would share the efforts of these ex-CC members to expose the truth. Maybe it will help some of you who stumble across this link. I know it helped me realize I was not crazy. My experiences were real and eerily close to theirs.

    They are far braver than me. I am still afraid of my old CC pastor.

  5. bob1 says:

    Good on Bread for the World. What he did was wrong. If it were someone from the other party I’d feel exactly the same way.

    https://religionnews.com/2020/07/25/yoho-resigns-from-bread-for-the-world-after-verbally-attacking-ocasio-cortez/

  6. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    in a “wouldn’t have expected this to happen”, Dave Bruskas and Sutton Turner talked with Warren Throckmorton about their roles at MHC, including The Strange Fire Conference and some other stuff.

    Interview goes up in two parts later this week.

    https://www.wthrockmorton.com/2020/07/26/coming-this-week-an-unlikely-conversation-with-dave-bruskas-and-sutton-turner/

  7. Linnea says:

    Wenatchee–thanks for posting about the Throckmorton interviews. We had some experience with one of the folks he’s interviewing and it was our prayer years ago that he wouldn’t give up our church to the Mars Hill system and brand. Still a sad story.

  8. Em says:

    Had a wonderful note from my daughter. They’ve discovered a TINY church of elderly Christians – really small. But total lovers of God. She wants no part of big churches anymore. The fellowship, concern (honest concern) and unashamed Faith makes them realize what Christians should be

  9. bob1 says:

    “Never hate. Live in peace. We all live in the same house.”

    — John Lewis

  10. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Linnea, part 1 just went up this morning. Just starting into listening to it myself.

    https://www.wthrockmorton.com/2020/07/28/blog-theme-mars-hill-church-interview-with-dave-bruskas-and-sutton-turner/

  11. Corby says:

    Mason Jar, that’s very interesting. As a former CC affiliated pastor* am I’m still finding myself surprised at the layers of screwed-up-ness. The circles I ran in were pretty tertiary here in the Pacific Northwest. The people I ran with were not Socal planters, they were just people who loved Jesus and resonated with the Bible teaching style, the worship style, and the low-church style more or less and affiliated.

    I found myself arguing with people who were abused or made accusations, saying that those things aren’t a part of what it means to be CC. I still believe that in the majority of cases the toxic culture isn’t normal. But will say, all of the ingredients for it are there and its far easier than I initially understood for it to take hold.

    Maybe put it this way. There is a minority percentage of those that are intentionally nontoxic because they see the bad but embrace the best parts of CC (what I tried to do), there is a majority percentage of those that are accidentally non-toxic but with the potential to become so, and there is another minority percentage that are very toxic, they just don’t or won’t recognize it.

    *I’m no longer affiliate because the we closed the church I was pastoring for lots of reasons, and then the next large church I worked for was a CC affiliate but I was fired because I wouldn’t drink the kool-aid there. I still believe in what I would consider to be the best of CC, what it could be if the other bologna was fixed.

  12. Mason Jar says:

    Corby,

    I appreciate your response and the perspective you shared. I definitely agree that the potential for toxicity is there. My hope and prayer is that all of the toxic churches (not only CC) will open their eyes, repent, and change their ways.

  13. Em says:

    Praying with you, Mason Jar, I’ll bet most who visit here and read these posts are also

  14. Linnea says:

    Thanks WTH- I listened to it, but will not make a comment until I’ve heard the 2nd half. Sadly, this is a familiar story.

  15. Linnea says:

    Thanks, Wenatchee…I’ve listened to parts 1 and 2. Unfortunately, my family experienced both the CCABQ and Acts 29/Mars Hill debacles. I must agree with Michael that these, and many other instances, are a reflection of the church governance model. Most mega-churches subscribe to a similar model and that is the reason we will never affiliate with a mega-church again.

    However, this morning I was brought low in my quiet time by My Utmost for His Highest and John 2:24-25, which really places the blame on me and any of us who put our faith in men and not Jesus. So, it is not just the problem of church governance, but the tendency of believers to put our hope in another sinful human. I shouldn’t be dismayed, except by my own complicity in this.

  16. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Just listened through parts 1 and 2 in the last day. Governance definitely an issue, to put it mildly. How the Result Source debacle ended up happening as recounted by Turner and Bruskas may have some spin but it doesn’t lessen the sense that it was a catalyst for a lot of disastrous decisions and reactions within MH leadership.

    I think it’s okay for people to be dismayed at discovering that in key respects MHC was more of a chaotic mess of hubris and incompetence than we could have guessed. I knew the 50th st purchase was a boondoggle and was given back to the lender as deed in lieu of trust (i.e. that confirms that plausibility of Turner’s comment that there wasn’t a “payout” as MHC closed because they were sinking in operational debt. Mars Hill West Seattle had to buy back its own building during the closure year of 2015, for instance, and the 50th st turned out to be a contaminated/functionally condemned property the MHC leaders were fools to buy back in 2006).

    Hearing the part where, I think it was Turner, sharing that MacDonald quit the BoAA and mentioned not wanting what was happening to Mark to happen to him was a jaw-dropper, if it’s true.

    The stuff that was leaked years ago about the financial precarity of MHC with huge operating expenses and dependency on growth to retain any margin has confirmed that what I said I was afraid could ruin MHC on my way out in the 2008-2009 period has gotten bolstered by the newer conversation.

    There’s questions that could still be asked about TVC and things going on there but I don’t know if WT’s situated to necesssarily field that stuff, since the formal topic was the former MHC.

    May have to collect thoughts a bit more and write more later. Definitely not an interview I could imagine happening even three years ago, let alone six

  17. Michael says:

    I think I started writing about Mars Hill in 2007…and while I have no desire to criticize Warren, I’m not moved.
    This was a bunch of power drunk asshats who would still be doing what they do if not for being exposed.
    They still speak in hip Christianize and they’re still full of ….

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