Moved………

Posted February 3, 2009 by bswan
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…….to  www.philter48.com   come join in!!!

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Our time is now!

Posted November 21, 2008 by bswan
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This nation as well as the world is experiencing what will soon be huge unemployment and pain in many other areas. 

The pain we are all going to feel soon in this economy will be “like a megaphone God uses to rouse a deaf world.”  Someone in your family, or even yourself are going to be affected.   

This is going to be a great time for all of us as the Church to step out in love for one another in need.  Trust God in everything, He will provide.  Pray that God will lead us to opportunities to help in any way we can.  Let us get out there and bring glory to Him in all we do.

Christ first in everything we do,

Brian

My faith has brought me to a no-vote this year

Posted October 15, 2008 by bswan
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I have studied over the past so many months regarding our political system and how I, as a Disciple of Christ, should respond. 

I have found many Christians being somewhat deceived into thinking that a national regeneration will come if we simply get more people registered to vote, elect the right candidate into the office of president or into other roles to pass legislation in line with our so-called “Judeo-Christian heritage.”

Political activism among “Christians” is viewed as this critical juncture for the future of our country.  I have heard that a vote for anyone else but McCain is a vote for Obama.  Yes, in a way that is true according to how our human made 2 party system works.  The way I see it is for a true Disciple of Christ to place any hope in political systems is just plain immature, and I feel just brings a strong disillusion.  As Disciples for Him and for Him only, our confidence must not rest in such human devices, but in the power of the gospel to transform hearts anywhere and anytime.  

Politics inherently involves coercion.  The gospel is spread only by our influence and our witness.  All too often, however, I see the institutional church using political coercion to enable itself.  I do not like having the term Evangelical Christian being used as a political tool.  We are called to be “holy” or separated from the world.  So why do we keep acting as such?

There are two opposing voices I hear calling me to action at this point in time.

The first voice I hear is Satan tempting me to redirect my energy and time to reclaim a nation with something less than the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The other is that of the Christ calling me as His Church to focus my resources to attempt to build communities of biblical faith as testimonies to the world of a better way through Christ.  

Here are some challenging words I found from Larry Crabb:

“In Christian circles, optimism typically is built on the idea that God’s central purpose is to bless us with the kind of life we want or to transform culture into a friendlier environment for Christians . . . Christian leaders tell us that our prayers, activism, and united influence will turn our nation around and usher in a godly society. [They] may be guilty of distracting us from the real call of God. It is our individual lives and our Christian communities that must turn around. We must learn to continue serving Christ when problems come and to draw closer to Christ in the middle of unrelieved suffering. Whatever influence we have on culture must be the product of a deep passion for God, a passion that makes us into attractively different people and keeps us struggling together in community that is imperfectly but genuinely loving.

Social crusading is so much easier than finding God.  Fighting for Christian standards sometimes seems to involve a belligerence that compromises humility, or an aggression that masquerades as courage … Neither social crusading nor solving our problems stirs the kind of self-awareness that lets us know that the real problem is within ourselves … The’ great need of our day will not be met by training more counselors. It will not be met by leaders calling us to join the fight against moral pollution, in our society … [We need] communities of people who care about outsiders and draw those outside into something they’ve never known but have always wanted. Communities of people whose passion for Christ is stronger than their grudges, their competition for recognition, and their jealous feelings… [Who] are so consumed with knowing Christ better that they hang in there through the messiness of community and never give up on themselves or others, because they know that Christ hasn’t given up — and never will.”

I pray that Christians would unite for what matters…CHRIST!

Excerpt about politics

Posted October 13, 2008 by bswan
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The following is from relevant magazine.  I bolded the areas I really like

“I know the power of politics and the importance of the process in our world.  But I also know that, historically, real, lasting change has started first at the grassroots level long before it was ever legislated.  Cultural mind shifts influence Washington, not the other way around.  Many Christians traditionally have voted Republican because of their justifiable conviction to protect the lives of the unborn.  Now, many younger Christians are voting Democrat because of their justifiable desire to see our nation, the most prosperous in the world, address issues of poverty, global aid, and environment.  The problem is, many Christians vote these convictions, but that’s largely where their personal involvement in the issues stops.  Are the government leaders we vote for meant to do our job for us?  If God has given you a heart for the poor, or to see a reduction of the number of abortions, or to promote peace, or to help the sick, or to stand strong for moral values, or to be a better steward of the environment, then your personal focus needs to be on that–whether or not the President shares the same values.  Dare I say, it (loosing our religious freedoms) might actually spur the Body of Christ into greater action.  Could it be that the loss of religious freedoms would ultimately be the best thing for American Christians because it would cause us to stand on our own feet rather than relying on the government to legislate our faith and values for us?  There is more power lying dormant in pews around the nation than any government could hope to provide, and that is where our focus should be.  Christians should be focused on personal action regardless of legislation, not just waiting for the right number of Supreme Court justices to come along.  If you have a passion for an issue, rather than judging someone who doesn’t share that passion or viewpoint, just go do something about it.  Give your life to it.  Be the change you want to see. ”

So, what do you think?

Stay Tuned…

Posted October 10, 2008 by bswan
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… Philter48 Ministries coming soon!

www.philter48.com

Took the words right out of my mouth

Posted October 3, 2008 by bswan
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This article explains well how I see the image of the church from scripture. 

A short, but to the point read.

http://www.neueministry.com/2008/10/the-church-as-authentic-family/

In Christ,

Brian

Unity? I am awaiting an answer

Posted October 1, 2008 by bswan
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If you have time go to

http://www.southeastchristian.org/sermons/?id=10780 

and listen to this past Sunday’s sermon (September 28).  This is the church I attended for almost 10 years before I left about 5 months ago to BE the church. 

I sent a letter to Kyle Idleman and am awaiting a answer to my question.  Here is a copy of the letter I sent him.  I will post his reply once I have received it.  Let me know your thoughts too?

Kyle,

 

This is a serious matter.

 

Frustration set in as I (a previous member that left the church as a building after 10 years at Southeast) watched your sermon about “unity” online last night.  After hearing the sermon, I definitely did not feel like a unified brother in Christ.  I felt like an outsider after you told 18,000 people this past weekend that I was doing it wrong.  How are they to perceive me after that message?  You call that unity?  All the sudden I am a heretic.

 

Late in the sermon you talked about choices parents could make regarding schooling for their children.  I agree 100% that each family has to make their own decision for their kids as the Holy Spirit guides them in their decisions.  Since scripture is silent on this issue, Christians should not come out and say one way is right over another.

 

Then the frustration dug even deeper as my emotions went crazy.

 

Here you are teaching about “unity” among Christians, and that Christians should not dictate to others where the bible does not speak.  However, earlier in your sermon you did that very thing.  You actually dictated earlier, where scripture does not speak, about people that believe in Christ, but do not attend a church…should go to church. 

 

As I listened again to the section where you criticized, mocked, and ridiculed people that believe in Jesus Christ and do not attend church as a building, I became immediately frustrated, angered, and sad.

 

I am a person that truly believes in Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior.  You grouped me into a category saying that I do not need the teaching of the church.  Then made fun of me, and many others, by saying “apparently you do not need your bible either”

 

Then to top it off, you go on to say that the bible (that apparently I do not read) makes it very clear that it is part of God’s plan for every believer to be committed to a church family.  Actually, I do believe we should be committed to a church family.  I do think we should BE the church wherever we are, not GO to church one hour a week.  We are to be in fellowship with other believers always, we are to have biblical community.

 

I have a question I need answered from you. 

 

You said “committed to a church family” – You imply a definition of “church” meaning a building where people gather to worship the Lord. 

 

So, my question to you is this: 

 

If we as Christians are to not speak where Scripture is silent, then why do you say that “the Bible makes it very clear the part of God’s plan for every believer is to be committed to a “church” family?” 

Can you show me in Scripture where it says I must attend a worship service in a building with other believers?

 

In unity, I do not see anything wrong with people who choose to worship Christ in a building on the weekends.  If they can grow and produce fruit in their lives by doing so, so be it.  But, if I choose to be the Church as Christ intended, and choose to gather with other believers outside the walls of your definition of church, I should be able to do so, unless the Bible speaks of church as a building. 

 

This goes along the same line as my choice to home school my children instead of placing them into a school building. My choice, the Lord leads me where Scripture is silent.

 

Your Brother in Christ, (I think)

 

Brian Swan