Istoria Ministries Blog Posts

  • Compare House Churches to Institutional Churches

    Jul 9, 2019 | 07:27 am

    Compare House Churches to Institutional Churches I often receive correspondence from people who've read my book Fraudulent Authority, asking me questions about how an institutional or traditional church can operate if there is "no authority" vested in the office of pastor or in "male elders who rule over God's people."First, I explain that there is a difference between spiritual authority and legal authority.A police officer who stops you has legal authority, but he or she is not your spiritual authority. So too, in any church that petitions the government for 501-C3 non-profit status (incorporation status), there are people that the state recognizes as the legal authority of[…]

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  • Welcoming Without Affirming Yet Transforming

    Jul 5, 2019 | 07:44 am

    Welcoming Without Affirming Yet Transforming For those of us who believe in truth and live in grace, we sometimes find ourselves misunderstood.Because we welcome and love all the people in our lives,  we are sometimes wrongly perceived as "compromising" the truth.On the other hand, because we say that adulterous, homosexual, bi-sexual, and transexual behavior is sin, some wrongly perceive us as judgmental.There is another way.A Christian can be welcoming and loving without affirming.It's similar to welcoming into your home for Christmas your 6-pack a day cigarette smoking and pint daily Scotch drinking father into your house without smoking cigarettes and drinking Scotch yourself. You also[…]

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  • Alexander Hamilton, Dr. Cooper, and False Reality

    Jun 29, 2019 | 06:26 am

    Alexander Hamilton, Dr. Cooper, and False Reality I'm reading the excellent book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, the biography which serves as the basis for the Tony-award winning music Hamilton, for which Chernow served as historical consultant.There's a story from the life of 19-year-old Hamilton in Chernow's book that made me laugh out loud, but it serves as a classic illustration of how events in your life are viewed through your prism of perception.Before I get to the anecdote, think about your life for a moment.Your perception is your reality.Author Gregory Berns states in his book Iconoclast, “Perception is the brain’s way of interpreting ambiguous visual signals in[…]

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  • Fannie Longfellow's Death and "God Is Not Dead"

    Jun 26, 2019 | 10:18 am

    Fannie Longfellow's Death and "God Is Not Dead" Fannie Longfellow (1820-1861)On July 10, 1861, Frances Elizabeth "Fannie" Appleton Longfellow died from complications of an accidental fire in her home at Cambridge, Massachusetts.While combing the hair of her three young girls (Alice, Allegra, and Edith) on Tuesday evening, July 9, a self-lighting phosphorous match fell to the floor, sparking a flame that caught Fannie's delicate muslin dress on fire.  Screaming, Fannie ran into the study where her husband sat at his desk.Startled, Henry Longfellow immediately jumped to the aid of his burning wife, pulling a throw rug from the floor and wrapping it around Fannie. Henry threw his wife to[…]

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  • A 10 Fold Challenge to Prove Female Subordination

    Jun 24, 2019 | 12:39 pm

    A 10 Fold Challenge to Prove Female Subordination In 2007 I warned the Southern Baptist Convention that we were in the midst of a sexual abuse crisis that needed addressing and correcting. In 2019, the SBC woke to the abuse crisis. Now we are in another crisis. Certain Southern Baptists leaders have a deficient, unbiblical view of women. In short, some SBC men believe SBC women should keep silent and submit to male leadership. In 2030, this crisis will be over as well. It just takes the SBC a little while to correctly interpret the sacred and inerrant text. Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian is a biblical scholar who understands what the sacred text teaches about[…]

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  • "Headship" Is Either the Design of the Creator or a Description of the Curse and It's Really That Simple

    Jun 18, 2019 | 15:25 pm

    "Headship" Is Either the Design of the Creator or a Description of the Curse and It's Really That Simple Wade and Rachelle Burleson teaching on Sunday morningThe Bible is a collection of many books with one theme. Restoration. In Genesis, God brings Creation into a perfect existence.But throughout history, beginning at the Fall, mankind corrupts Creation's orderIn the Scriptures, God reveals His purpose to redeem man and to restore Creation to its original state (eg. Paradise Restored).In Revelation, God finishes His restorative work by bringing mankind and Creation back to their original purpose (eg. redemption).The way man and woman (Adam) was at Creation is the way man and woman (Adam) will be in the New Creation.At the time of Creation, the Bible[…]

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  • The Russell Moore of 2007 and the Russell Moore of 2019 Illustrates Baptists Can Change Our Minds

    Jun 16, 2019 | 09:04 am

    The Russell Moore of 2007 and the Russell Moore of 2019 Illustrates Baptists Can Change Our Minds Dr. Russell Moore speaking at the 2019 SBCOne of the more remarkable moments in the 2019 Birmingham Southern Baptist Convention occurred during the question and answer portion of Dr. Russell Moore report from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).A young man asked Dr. Moore about a comment that Russell had made in 2007 that indicated he believed a woman should never "teach a man" or "preach to men."The young man read Moore's 2007 quote in full, then asked:"Is this still your position on women preaching in the church?"Dr. Moore gave a lengthy response that included these words:"The idea that[…]

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  • A Fixation on Authority Is a Sign the Spirit Has Left

    Jun 14, 2019 | 05:45 am

    A Fixation on Authority Is a Sign the Spirit Has Left Attending the "For Such a Time As This" rally (6/11/19)Photo: Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographerIt's been my privilege this week to be a small part of the reform that is beginning to take place within the Southern Baptist Convention to help stop an epidemic of sexual abuse. Some of the stories I've heard shared this week, many for the first time, are fuel for my soul. It gives me the incentive to keep doing everything I can to bring down power bases built on fraudulent authority. Predators prey with power. Abusers are armed with authority. If one wishes to end[…]

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  • A Fresh Pastoral Perspective on the Changing SBC

    Jun 13, 2019 | 07:01 am

    A Fresh Pastoral Perspective on the Changing SBC Photo: Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographerIf one has never been to the Southern Baptist Convention, the best way to describe the experience is "the world's largest business meeting run by parliamentary rules." There are enormous exhibit halls attached to the Convention arena where any agency, educational institution, or business affiliated with the SBC can set up booths to pass out more information.The SBC is also like a family reunion.Just like dysfunctional families, there are some members that love to see you, and others that you can tell wish you'd skipped the reunion.I love all the SBC family, even those[…]

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  • Sex Abuse in the SBC and Taking Steps To Stop It

    Jun 12, 2019 | 06:06 am

    Sex Abuse in the SBC and Taking Steps To Stop It Sexual abuse survivors in a meeting after Tuesdays SBCThis 2019 Southern Baptist Convention, which is the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Houston SBC which began what some call the Conservative Resurgence, will go down in history as the Stop Sexual Abuse Convention.In 2005, my first year as a trustee of the International Mission Board, I discovered that the SBC had a patriarchal power problem. Men in denominational leadership were doing everything they could to exclude women from leadership,  from teaching others Gospel truth, and from doing anything that "imitated the authority of a male." I won't take time to recount[…]

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