The writer/editor/webmaster of this site is a Christian, a believer in Jesus and the Holy Bible. You may expect this site's content to reflect that fact. A Christian should aspire to do all he does to the glory of God. Also, the writer was born in the United States into a patriotic family who loved their country, America, and that "love of country" was instilled in him, very early in life. The writer is not young. The pertinence of this fact is that you may understand that he has had a "lifetime" now in The Christian Faith and this ideological realm of thinking that we may term "Americanism." We have had decades to "ponder, to weigh, to contemplate, to hear differing views, and to consider different perspectives." There does exist in life such a thing as a person having an "uninformed opinion" on matters, and just being stubbornly "married" to his own opinions. We, on the other hand, feel that we have come through years in the "college of hard knocks" (or life experience) in these regards, sufficiently that we may say with confidence that our feelings and opinions are not of the "uninformed" sort. You have surely heard a person say "it is my considered opinion that" such and such. Perhaps we could say the antithesis of that is the young opinionated "hothead" just "popping off" and swinging his sword at everyone who differs with his opinions. The most concise definition of "considered opinion" is, "an opinion that is based on study, reason or thought." A great deal can be said for the word "thoughtful." We are confident that our readers here will find this writer/webmaster's "opinions" and contributions to be of that nature.






Following are many "tags" or tag words or search words and search phrases. THIS LARGE COLLECTION OF WORDS AND TERMS IS NOT INTENDED TO SNAG SEARCHERS WITH WORDS OR PHRASES THAT DON'T EVEN PERTAIN TO THIS WEBSITE. On the CONTRARY: They are all PERTINENT either to materials we already have IN our website or those we are presently PREPARING for inclusion or will eventually have in the site. Three of our predominant topics in the site are 1. Christian theology, and 2. what may be termed "Outside the Box Christianity," and 3. discussion of political current events and issues in the news. Because of that, most of these searchwords may be seen to PERTAIN to those three fields. A word about "Outside the Box Christianity": While we may be "non-conformist" in many matters, yet, upon examining our theology an enquirer will find that we hold to the Fundamentals of the Christian Faith which most Christians use as the "test" for determining whether a person's theology is "orthodox" or "evangelical" or even "Fundamentalist." In example, that the Scriptures were given by inspiration of God, and we plainly assert our belief in that inspiration, and in their infallibility and inerrancy. We believe in proving all matters of Christian doctrine and life by the Holy Bible, the Word of God. We believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, and that He is very God. We believe that He shed His precious Blood for the propitiation for our sins, and that without that Blood there is no remission of sins, neither any salvation. We believe that on the Cross our sins were laid upon Him, and that His death was vicarious, substitutional, that is, In our place. He bore our punishment, and was slain for our sins. After His death he was buried in a tomb, and then He rose up from the dead, alive again, literally, physically, bodily, and proved Himself alive to witnesses. Then in front of onlooking witnesses He bodily ascended up into heaven, from whence he shall come again to this earth. The Word of God, the Bible, calls upon men to believe these truths about Christ, to have faith in Him as the only way of Salvation. To repeat, because this website is predominantly about 1. Christian theology, and 2. what may be termed "Outside the Box" or "non-conformist" Christianity, and 3. political discourse, the following search words will be found to pertain either to Christian theology or to be words and phrases having to do with "Outside the Box" or "non-conformist" Christianity, to preachers, teachers and writers who themselves may be considered "Outside the Box" or "non-conformist" proponents, or, to such ministries and etc as do likewise deal with "Outside the Box" or "non-conformist" Christian matters, or to various political issues. Here then are those pertinent words and terms: the Lord Jesus, Jesus is Lord, Lordship, the inerrancy of Scripture, the Bible is the Word of God, faith in the blood of Jesus, sound doctrine, we are fans of Charles Spurgeon and of the Dutch Reformed minister, Andrew Murray. But the traditional Protestant interpretation of the Bible is known as historicism. Historicists or historicalists (such as Calvin, Knox, Zwingli, Charles Spurgeon, etc, etc, etc), taught that the Catholic Church is that entity called "the great whore" in Revelation 17:1, 15, 16 and 19:2, and that the Catholic Church is the entity called "Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth" in Rev. 17:5 and in all liklihood was part of what she meant about so-called rightwing or right-wing or far right politics but couldn't supply any examples whereas on the other hand most of the historicists likewise asserted that the office of the Pope is that "Antichrist" which was prophesied to rise (1 Jn 2:18) and is that "Man of Sin" likewise prophesied in 2 Thes. 2:3. In modern times some churches and theologians have expanded on that belief, noting that in Rev. 17:5 that this entity is a "mother" who has "daughters." The "mother" is said to be a "whore" and her "daughters" have continued her same "occupation." They are "harlots," plural. It is held that if your interpretation makes the "mother" a "church," then you ought not change interpretation methods for her daughters. They too are necessarily churches. This has been the basis for the widespread belief that the "Protestant Denominations" that "spun off from" or "came from" the Great Whore have kept her "harlot" ways and are the younger "harlots" spoken of in verse 5. After that, she turned and asked if he knew what the John Birch Society was, but he didn't seem to hear. People have called the "institutional church" by the terms institutional religion, organized religion or the religious sytem or churchianity. People have called it religiosity or the church system, People have called it the traditions of man, the traditions of men, manmade tradition, But people have referred to our sort of thinking as outside the box, outside the box Christianity, Christianity outside the box, etc. She flew off the handle and began to rant about it, calling people like Senator Joseph McCarthy a rabid anti-communist and so forth and Linda's topic had more to do with Christians in politics than it did such specifics and there is a service on the web called Meetup or Meet Up. Any special interest groups can form their own groups and then literally meet up in person. This has potential to be mightily used of God. One of the groups tragically got saddled with a rotten name at its inception, which completely misrepresents what the group is about. It got named the AntiChristian-Christians Meetup. Truly a tragedy, because this group is NOT in any way against Christians. They are not anti Christian, nor AntiChristian. Hardly! They ARE Christians! What the not-too-bright guy who started it under that name MEANT by it, was that it was non-traditional, or non-conformist Christian, was contrary to traditions of men, contrary to or anti Christian formality, against the USUAL or COMMON way you see Christians DO their Christianity. In their discussion she referred to a certain type as her fellow conservatives, and John felt obliged to ascertain if by fellow conservatives was intended what we call Americanists or some have even termed patriots (although the left is making that a dirty word). She said that she felt that her views were so distinct that she did not wish to conflate other people's terms for things with her own. Jake said the same thing could be said for the third subject, religion, in other words, to perhaps choose a better term, "OUTSIDE THE BOX" Christians. A more misleading term than AntiChristian could not have been used. So, these great outside the box thinking Christians were stuck with coming into that group and having to tolerate it being called the AntiChristian-Christians Meetup. I'm not sure, but recently it looks like maybe the group has finally accomplished getting the AC name discarded. I see the name Progressive Christians Meetups being used. Not sure if this is an actual name change, or a different group. But unfortunately, the service, Meetup, has not permitted a URL change, so it still has ac in it. Last time I checked I found them at http://ac-christians.meetup.com and it might be worth your time to check it out. Another outside the box thinker is Len Hjalmarson who was associated with a movement and a website called NextReformation at http://nextreformation.com/wp-admin/general/transition.htm There is much I disagree with in it, because the website is vast and contains so much, I couldn't possibly agree with ALL of it. But Len is onto something when it comes to the traditional concept of going to church inside a building every Sunday morning. It is worth reading him but it seems Len Hjalmarson might have gotten tired of catching flack or couldn't stand the heat beacuse various reports seem to suggest he folded up shop, quit talking on these things, and started just hanging with a standard brick and mortar Baptist church. Is that true? She said "probably. It sounds similar to what I heard although while on that issue we asked them about Jim Jordan and the conservative House Freedom Caucus upon hearing the other day that the conservative Republicans and the Christian conservatives were in agreement on the former matter while others mentioned included House2House Ministries, the book Worshiping Outside the Traditional Church Walls, by Paul Strand, pollster George Barna, his Revolution, Barna Research Group, conventional church, Tony Dale, Felicity Dale, the article titled Why I Don't Go To Church Anymore!, by Wayne Jacobsen, BodyLife, the Relational Church, Where do you go to church, institutional church, institutional religion, institutional Christianity, institutional worship, institutional churchianity, etc. He interjected, that according to him the same thing was in the book by W. Cleon Skousen, The Naked Capitalist, but it didn't touch on that particular issue. Our view is loosely similar to, but not the same as house churches, meet in houses, meet in homes, meet in our house, not the same as the house church movement, not the same as a cell church, not the same as cell churches, home Bible groups, home Bible study, not the same as Bible study in the home, Lifestream Ministries, Wayne Jacobsen, Teavangelicals Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matt 18:20, Mat 18:20, 1 John 2:27 She walked over and plopped down a copy of None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen, which nearly made him spit sparks. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. Mary said to Bill, "Most anti-communists feel that way." He just laughed. We believe in The Five Fundamentals, the fundamentals. We have published studies in this website on the Book of Hebrews. People tell you, I don't go to church anymore, hear people tell you, I don't have to go to church, hear people tell you, they don't have to go to church, hear people tell you, going to church is not necessary, hear people tell you, I'm a Christian but I don't go to church, hear people tell you, you don't have to go to church to be a Christian, 2 Thessalonians 2:1, II Thes. 2:1, 2nd Thess. 2:1, 2 Thes. 2:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:1, Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2nd Thessalonians 2:1, ll Thes. 2:1, 2nd Thess. 2:1, 2 Thes. 2:1, 2 Thes 2:1, Hebrews 10:25, Heb. 10:25, Heb 10:25, Hebrews chapter 10, Hebrews Chapt 10, Hebrews tenth chapter, commentary of Hebrews 10. Churches that are non denominational and independent stand a better chance of ... Men use the word covering ... they speak of having prophesied, prophecy, prophecies, prophets, translated ekklesia as congregation, ecclesia, the issue of historicism, historicist, historicists such as Elliott Vitringa, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, Gospel, Lord Jesus Christ, Lord Jesus Christ, Lord Jesus Christ, John Calvin, John Knox, Damnation, Philip Melanchthon, blood of Jesus Sir Isaac Newton, Atonement, Tea vangelicals Wickedness, Thomas Cranmer, Benjamin Keach, John Wesley, Joseph Mede, Jonathan Edwards, Condemnation, Charles Spurgeon, David Brody, Matthew Henry, Dr. A. B. Simpson, Grattan Guinness, Johann Heinrich Alsted, Hendrikus Berkhof, William and Whiston. All of them were historicists but none the less there's that whole scandal about the targeting of Tea Party people and conservatives. But in the writings of Bishop J.C. Rylie, "Oral Edmond Collins" Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Albert Barnes, J. A. Bengel, King James Bible, popery, They were carrying the American flag and singing. papists, indulgences, Gianavel, Jianavel, Janavel, Rora, Waldensian, Walloons, Piedmont, Waldenses. He touted several books as helping to shape conservative ideology, i.e. The Law by Frederic Bastiat, Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt, Socialism by Ludwig Von Mises, and so forth. Connie came back with a list of her own. Reformation, priestcraft, Progressive Dispensationalism, Saucy, Blaising, Bock, George Ladd, George E. Ladd, Kingdom, he asked her if she considered herself patriotic or a patriot and she got this wierd look on her face about the words kirk, kirke, circ, circe, cirk, circle, congregation, assembly, assemble, gather, gathering, assemble, assembled, assembly, church, fellowship, the Last Supper, the Lord's Supper, the Lord's Table, said certain type will only vote Republican no matter what. They figure the Republican Party has the best hope of success and prophesied, prophecy, prophecies, prophets, congregation, Calvin, Zwingli, Knox, Melancthon, Hus, Wesley, Ann Coulter is so outspoken. On camera, she said Never trust a liberal. But she and he joked about the subject. saith, speaketh, thee thou conquerors, Pray for America. Pharisees, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, antichrist, When Rush Limbaugh was asked about it, he replied that he hadn't heard that, but that various of them, such as Alex Jones, Glenn Beck, and all, felt that way. Harold Camping claimed the Church Age is over, ... what I believe is not the same thing ... many who believe that the church age has ended ... Harold Camping says the Church Age is over, Harold Camping claimed the Church Age ended, Harold Camping says the Church Age ended. On an entirely different BASIS, for completely different reasons, so did George Hawtin. Harold Camping claimed the Church Age has ended, ... what I believe is not the same thing ... Harold Camping says the Church Age is over, Harold Camping claimed Christians should get out of their churches, ... what I believe is not the same thing ... Harold Camping says Christians should get out of their churches, ... many who say that the church age has ended ... People say Harold Camping is a heretic, ... many besides Harold Camping who say that the church age has ended ... People say Harold Camping is wrong, ... many who teach that the church age has ended ... Whats up with Harold Camping ... many who say that the church age is over ... what I believe is not the same thing ... Is Harold Camping just another date setter ... many who say that the church age ended ... Am I a follower of Harold Camping? No. Do I believe what Harold Camping teaches? ... many who think that the church age has ended ... Is this a pro-Harold Camping website? ... you are confused ... not just Harold Camping. ...that is not my belief ... what I believe is not the same thing ... Many teach that the Church Age is over. Just open a Google search and put in quotes the phrase the Church Age is over and you'll get about 225 hits. Do the search with -Camping (minus Camping) and you'll still get something like 175., ... what I believe is not the same thing as Harold Camping was not the first to teach that the church age has ended. He is only one of many. Others have OTHER scriptures, other reasons for believing it, that have NO connection to what Camping teaches, and yet what I believe is not the same thing as the others, either ... John perked up and said, I believe in the Constitution, and I believe in the Bill of Rights. "What's your point?" she replied. What is church what makes a church a real church What is ekklesia What is the ekklesia What is ecclesia What is the ecclesia study on the word church, study on the word ekklesia, study on the word ecclesia, commentary on Hebrews 10:25, study on Hebrews 10:25, I was flipping channels and landed on that show, Doomsday Preppers. Prepping seems to be a whole survivalist mindset, part of a whole worldview. I've heard critics use the terms "dystopia" and "distopian." Grattan Guinness, Johann Heinrich Alsted, Hendrikus Berkhof, William Whiston, Teavangelical Bishop J.C. Rylie, Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Albert Barnes, Tea vangelical J. A. Bengel, King James Bible, popery, papists, indulgences, Take this list of political celebs and see if you can stack them up in order, depending on how conservative they are: Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Sean Hannity, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Michelle Bachmann, Sara Palin, Rick Perry, Barry Goldwater, Michell Malkin, Levine, and ... People argue, saying They tell you to go to church, They teach that everyone must go to church, People argue, saying They say that going to church is mandatory, They say you must go to church, Huguenots, Rochelle, Languedoc, Protestant, thee, thy, thine, ye, lest, hearken, sins, cleansed, demonic, Frank Viola, house2house, Melchisedec, Melchizedek, Noah, Babel, Nimrod, Semiramis, , Reformed, non denominational, covering, covenant, contend for the faith, sword, gird, hasten, forth, hitherto, commentary, twain, asunder, church, fellowship, People ask, is church mandatory Is going to church mandatory People ask, Do I have to go to church People ask, Do I have to go to church to be a Christian People ask, Do I have to go to church to be a good Christian Do we have to go to church People ask, Do Christians have to go to church, People ask, Is church attendance mandatory Is going to church mandatory People ask, Do I need to go to church Do Christians have to go to church People ask, Do Christians have to attend church, ecclesia, mortal, saved, blood of Jesus, Apostolic, "blood of the Lamb" Romans 5:9, "justified by his blood" "comparative religions" "organic church" "Without shedding of blood is no remission" epistle historicist "Jan Hus" "John Hus" "the autographs" verse Ephesians 1:7, "we have redemption through his blood." "H. Grattan Guinness" plenary grace infallible inerrant inspired "institutional church" Galatians "institutional religion" "Son of God" "Harold Edwin Barton" Luther "institutional Christianity" "institutional worship" Matt. 26:28, "this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" but it sounded like she might have meant David Horowitz and his website frontpage mag frontpagemag.com which really fights commies, communists, communism, the left, leftwing or left-wing politics, the radical left, communist subversives and so forth while at the same time she declined to discuss the Fox News Channel and various discussions of Bill Ayers, the Weather Underground, and all that and besides how they were concerning Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and all of it but more recently one of them was all over CIA Director John Brennan having voted for the U.S. Communist Party candidate for president, Gus Hall, in 1976 and the rumor that got going that FBI Director James Comey was a communist based on a remark that he had made and all the while the topic was coming back around to "how to be saved" begotten "institutional churchianity" baptized "John Calvin" "so loved the world" "John Knox" "Philip Melanchthon" "Sir Isaac Newton" Zwingli "Lord Jesus Christ" "sound doctrine" "Leonard Sweet" "precious blood" "the cross" calvary Teavangelicals as though it was a crime to say God bless America or I love my country but rather must resrict speech to things having to do with what it means to "be saved" sinners "organized religion" "religious system" "Reformation Eschatology" "David Steele" religiosity "the church system" "outside the box" "Len Hjalmarson" NextReformation "by grace are ye" "nextreformation.com" mirage "House2House Ministries" Col. 1:14, "we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins." "works of righteousness" "Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry" "Worshiping Outside the Traditional Church Walls" "How to get saved" Romans 3:25, "Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood." "George Barna" "receive Jesus" "Barna Revolution" "Barna Research Group" Ribera "Tony Dale" "Felicity Dale" "Baron Porcelli" Christian conservative Christian conservatives conservative Christian conservative Christians A "not what you think from the sound of it article titled "Why I Don't Go To Church Anymore" It is by "Wayne Jacobsen" "Jesus Manifesto" Col. 1:20, "having made peace through the blood of his cross" and besides what he said to her, asked if there was a role for patriotism, things, patriotic, and having to do with patriots whereupon the reply came that this is Americanism which should be supplied as the answer to what is Americanism? but probably won't be shown in the contaxt of actual Americanists or Americanist authors on Americanism or what she referred to as the views of "Matt Slick" wrote the following paragraph (I found it online): "The Bible itself reveals those doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith. They are 1) the Deity of Christ, 2) Salvation by Grace, and 3) Resurrection of Christ, 4) the gospel, and 5) monotheism. These are the doctrines the Bible says are necessary. Though there are many other important doctrines, these five are the ones that are declared by Scripture to be essential. A non-regenerate person will deny one or more of these essential doctrines." "Relational Church" not the same as "house churches" "Richard Packham" "Reimagining Church" "as filthy rags" "meet in houses" shocking "through faith" "meet in homes" "from eternity to here" "meet in our house" but that was on Sunday and the subject of states rights or states' rights came up in the context of Constitutionalism because of the foregoing observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John and "not of works" not the same as "the house church movement" "home Bible groups" What do people mean when they refer to the "Gospel"? That word gets wrongly used as a catch-all term for a church's message or the body of religion it teaches. You need not be bewildered by it. The Bible TELLS us what GOD means by "the Gospel." The Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:1-3 says that THIS is the Gospel that saves, "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" and "that he was buried, and that he rose again." It says in verse 2 that this is the Gospel BY WHICH ye are "saved." Everything else called "gospel" should be tried by THAT test, measured by THAT plumbline, judged in THAT light. "home Bible study" "A. J. Gordon" "Ecce Venit" Hebrews 9:14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works." "Lifestream Ministries" "Clavis Apocalyptica" "Joseph Mede" "shed his blood" Hebrews 10:29, "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath ... hath counted the blood ... an unholy thing." "Ralph E. Woodrow" "What must I do to be saved?" Matthew 18:20" "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" "justification by faith" "1 John 2:27" sola scriptura "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." "false doctrines" false doctrine Revelation 1:5, "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." "virgin birth" "five fundamentals" "reimagining church" "the fundamentals" "Word of God" "Christian apologetics" legalism ... hear people tell you, I'm a Christian but "I don't go to church" or "you dont have to go to church to be a Christian" "non denominational" independent crucified, crucifixion, tomb, raised, "contend for the faith" reproof, righteousness, saved, historicism "Elliott Vitringa" "John Wycliffe" Hebrews 9:22, "almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." "Martin Luther" "Grattan Guinness" popery, papists, indulgences, Gianavel, Jianavel, Janavel, Rora, Waldensian, Waldenses, vellenses, in Italian, Valdesi, Vaudois, Walloons, Piedmont, Reformation, priestcraft, salvation, Regarding the prefix EPI in front of the word, a webpage by someone named L. Ray Smith said, I never saw it myself until I read a paper by J. Preston Eby, entitled: "FORSAKE NOT THE ASSEMBLING. Smith quotes Eby as saying, EPI means super-imposition that which is above, higher than, highest, upon. ... EPI-SUNAGOGE means THE ABOVE SYNAGOGUE, THE HIGHER MEETING, THE HIGHEST ASSEMBLY, THE HIGHER-THAN-ALL-GATHERINGS! This represents at least one source out there that (in part) says the same thing I am saying on this, Greek word, in the Greek, the Greek meaning, ... another opinion says that the message carried by "episunagoge," along the lines of the "higher synagoge," is that these contemplating "leaving" ought not to forsake the ekklesia, which in a sense is the "heavenly synagogue" and "go back" to the "old" synagogue of the Jews, which was the "earthly" or "beneath" and before she said glory, praise, withersoever even in the back of his mind wonders should Christians vote or if Christians should stay out of politics or if she was right that all Christians should vote Republican she couldn't help but wonder how that relates to Donald Trump and evangelicals but then it is clear that in light of historicism, historicist, Elliott Vitringa, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, Philip Melanchthon, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Cranmer, Benjamin Keach, John Wesley, Joseph Mede, Jonathan Edwards, Condemnation, Charles Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, Dr. A. B. Simpson, Grattan Guinness found her dog romping down S. Austin Rd, Manteca, S. Austin Rd, , Manteca, South Austin Rd, , Manteca, S. Austin Rd, , Manteca, S. Austin Road, Manteca, S. Austin Road, , Manteca, South Austin Rd., , Manteca, South Austin Road, , Manteca, S. Austin Rd, , Manteca and so what in light of that does episunagoge mean what does Hebrews 10:25 mean what does gathering mean what does not forsaking mean the meaning of Hebrews 10:25, Hebrews 10:25, the meaning of gathering, the meaning of not forsaking, not what you think, he said, which is one of the best commentaries, and that a good in-depth study will show that CONTEXT is the key to the best understanding there. Jewish believers were abandoning the "group" because Gentiles were being included. The sense of the word forsaking has no meaning whatsoever like "slacking off" or "neglecting" regular "church attendance." Rather it means more like to "leave in the lurch," similar to abandon, to turn your back on someone who is desperately in need of your help, like walking away from a drowning man and letting him perish. Jewish believers were "caving" to pressure to adhere to Jewish worship, and "Gentiles" being admitted to the Christian group was a real hot-button issue. For some Jewish believers it was almost like the last straw: "If this thing is turning Gentile, I'm going to go over here and just meet with other believers who, like me, are Jewish. Plus we still have associations with and acceptance with the Jews." The writer of Hebrews is asking them not to leave their fellow believers in the lurch, by no longer meeting with them. It does violence to the Scripture to contort it into a goad to Gentile Christians to not skip church meetings. Much religious harm today comes from slinging isolated BIble verses out of all context, making them serve our own "message" (agenda) rather than truly learning what was being said. It has also been said by some, regarding "context," that the verses following have to do with absolute APOSTASY, that is, utterly falling away from the Christian Faith. That apostasy means no longer even believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior, a complete denial of Christ, as when someone who once ostensibly "believed" falls away to another religion such as Hinduism or even atheism, and is no longer a "Christian" (if he ever really was one). And while MANY Bible commentaries, that is, commenters, have in fact tried to cobble together the notion of not slacking off on "meetings" with the subsequent verses against damnable apostasy (most by suggesting the slacking off on "attendance" can be a "step" towards eventual apostasy - the old "slippery slope" principle) reasonable and honest commenters have pointed out the bad theology of that suggestion, not to mention the hypocrisy: for if we make slacking off on ANY of today's "Christian exercises" (if we may so say) such as singing of hymns, "praying without ceasing," loving one another with a pure heart fervently, giving of our substance, helping the poor, getting out and witnessing, soul winning, evangelizing, polishing the church bell in the bellfry, and spending LOTS of time in the Bible as we should, memorizing, and savoring, and loving the Word daily, etc, etc, etc, the habit or exercise that keeps us ABSOLUTE APOSTASY, then we'll be forced to say that 99% of the folks in every kind of "church group" are on the BRINK of damnable apostasy! Who is the theologian who will dare to claim that "regular attendance of meetings" is superior to "loving the Lord thy God," or is of greater value than Faith? Who will dare assert that you may stop PRAYER, so that that it does not exist in your life, as long as you show up at meetings? Who will say that you can eliminate every aspect of Christian living and behavior, but just keep attending meetings? Well, that is the problem, if we make "slacking off" on this one Christian "practice" (showing up and warming a chair at meetings) the "STEP TOWARD UTTER APOSTASY." Why would not the writer rather warn, "Do not discontinue Prayer & Faith or THAT will start your slide to damnation?" You see the problem, in trying to do that with attending meetings. Consistent theology would necessitate you declaring it either to be the "Unpardonable Sin" or it's twin. How can you explain it? Why some of us have seen that there sit in church pews today individuals who have virtually DIED to God, no longer pray, and no longer even believe. Indeed there are "pastors" (so-called) in pulpits who have stopped believing in the virgin birth, stopped believing in Christ's shed blood, stopped believing that he really literally rose from the dead, and stopped believing the Bible is the inspired Word of God. And would you have us CELEBRATE that, well, at least they attend meeting! Are you mad? Some would object and say rather that they ought to be EXPELLED from the meetings (that the church may be purged). Ah the hypocrisy, if you will allow every kind of corruption and spiritual death and dying in the church, just as long as warm bodies fill the pews! So HOW then can "not skipping meetings" be the ONE single thread by which the Christian hangs over the abyss of utter apostasy? No. It is simply bad theology. Ridiculous is more like it. Better commentaries (that is, commenters) have seen clearly that you cannot BOTH make the "forsaking" a matter of regular attendance of meetings, AND make "it" supposedly the "step" toward the apostasy thereafter thundered against. If you face the fact that complete apostasy from The Faith is warned against (in fact "judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries" for having "trodden under foot the Son of God, and having counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing"), you cannot possibly make being in the pew on Sunday morning (of any ol' church, for that matter) that which saves you from such a fate or keeps you from it. Paul didn't say test yourselves to be sure you are a pew warmer and regular attendee. He did say, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in The Faith." Some in the pews, some in "attendance" (in all sorts of "churches") are certainly NOT in The Faith. Were the verse in Hebrews really about WHAT constitutes a "step" toward perdition, wouldn't you think it should be about examining whether one is in The Faith, and not about whether he is warming a chair? Some people really give no thought to the Scriptures. They pluck verses out for "use" like a person plucks his favorites out of a box of assorted chocolates. They "use" a verse "for" something, but don't really care anything about what the Holy Spirit was saying when He gave it. One last tidbit: Few of today's Christians who are of the Futurist Dispensationalist Premillennialist sort have even heard the fact that most of the Bible commentaries and theologians before our day taught that "as ye see the day approaching" in that verse referred to the approaching Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, when the Temple was destroyed, Jerusalem destroyed, the Jewish Religious System (altar, sacrifices, Temple and priesthood, etc) was obliterated. For those Jews who made that Worship their "world," 70 AD was truly like the end of the world. Over a million Jews in Jerusalem died, thousands of others were enslaved, and the Jewish nation was broken up. Today's preachers really rob God's people by not making them aware of what a destruction that was. "Judaism" has never recovered. Well consider the reality: In the Epistle to the Hebrews, it was just before that holocaust was about to fall upon the world of Jewry and Judaism. So consider the incongruous situation at the time writer sent them the Hebrews letter: People who were tentatively believers in Jesus, but who were Jewish, were being tempted to part company with the "groups" who were letting Gentiles in, and were thinking it best to instead more fully embrace Judaism and identify more strongly as Jews and keep company only with Jews! Even as the Destruction of Jewry and Judaism was drawing nigh, and was even at the doors! I can only compare it to being tempted to get on board the TITANIC! Imagine: Tentatively "Christian" Jews were "going back" to the "System" just in time to perish in it's destruction. The destruction of the "Old Order" was imminent. Those who knew and understood the prophecies could plainly "see the day approaching." So Hebrews 10:25 was speaking DIRECTLY to these who were being tempted to withdraw from an increasingly "Gentile" ekklesia and go back to the Old Order. The timing of such poor judgment couldn't have been worse. If you can wrap your head around the fact that the Old Order was under God's judgment, you can better see that these who were forsaking "this" and returning to "that" were in effect moving to place themselves under that very judgment. Not really smart. Hebrews 10:25 was telling them, "Don't do this, that you are contemplating: Don't abandon these and go back to those. The prophesied awful Day of Judgment upon that Old Order is approaching. Come this way. Don't go that way." It was a grave and serious business that Hebrews 10:25 was addressing. It is frankly doing violence to that truth and depriving God's people of knowledge, to make them think this verse says "you have to attend my church, and you have to show up on time and be in your seat at every meeting." No. Hebrews, the entire epistle, should be read and understood in CONTEXT. Probably the largest and over-arching theme of the entire epistle is that the "Old Order" is passe and the "New Order" in Christ is superior, better, in every way. I think a person can take that broad theme, and come right down into this verse, Hebrews 10:25, and see that this verse remains absolutely "on topic" and in the spirit of the whole message of the epistle. "Do not forsake this, the New Order in Christ, and go back to the Old Order, whose Day of Judgment is fast approaching." While as we have said there were particular "issues" which precipitated, instigated, facilitated or motivated them to consider "parting ways," for instance not wishing to mingle with Gentiles or to see the ekklesia "become" dominantly Gentile, which put their "gathering together" with them at issue. But the "particular issue(s)" sparking the thought of "leaving" were minor, even miniscule, when compared to the enormous ramifications of such a "decision": and that is, that it would in effect be choosing the Old Judaic Order over the New Order in Jesus Christ. So on the "smaller" and "practical" end, it asks them not to abandon those "Gentile-mixed" gatherings they had "issues" with, but to "stick it out" as they say. But forsaking those gatherings was but the visible manifestation of what they were forsaking far more largely: the New Order in Christ. "Context" is so important to knowing our Bible. The writer of Hebrews did not have in mind in the least these people "skipping church" or "slacking off on attending meetings." The "abandonment" or "forsaking" or "leaving in the lurch" the Gentile-mixed ekklesia meant nothing short of their considering leaving the New Order, or, to put it plainly, the Christian Faith. "Please don't do that" is what the verse is saying, "Don't abandon your brothers in Christ and go back to those who don't believe in Jesus." It is ridiculous to make that a "go to church" verse. In the Western World we live in today, that is the ostensibly "Christianized" West, "churches" are everywhere. In a large American city there are numerous "Fundamentalist" "churches" to choose from, a large number of "Evangelical" ones, maybe twenty "Baptistic" ones, a bunch of Pentecostal ones, numerous "charismatic" or "third wave" or "latter rain" or "apostolic/prophetic" ones, and, oh my! the denominations! And the varieties of church polity! the Congregational model, the episcopal model, the presbyters model, and you've got the liturgical churches, Lions and tigers, and bears, oh my! It's a zoo! But I have a point: Here is an experience common, I speculate, to millions of Christians: I think millions of Christians have "changed churches." For one reason or another a Christian may come to the conclusion that he no longer wants to be in a particular church. He says to himself that he is definitely still a Christian, loves the Lord Jesus, and will "FIND" another church out there somewhere, in which to continue his Christian life and walk. But he's leaving this particular church at this time. Well, depending on the "bonds" and the ingrained beliefs he has from this church, leaving can be truly traumatic. There have been innumerable individuals who, upon their "exit" from a church they've been in for years, feel like like they've just stepped out of a space capsule into empty space, where there's nothing under their feet but millions of miles of black place with distant stars "down there." Some people truly feel "lost in space" upon stepping out of their old church. And some people feel overwhelmed by the experience, and bewildered, as to just what to do next. I suppose there's a type who can leave one church and just skip down to the church on the next corner and enjoy being there, now. But I think a great many Christians rather feel they need to seriously pray for guidance and direction, and even to do research, and study the differences between churches, before "settling" on what church to go to next. I think especially Christians who deeply care about "sound doctrine" and avoiding "error" find themselves immersed in "comparative theology" studies, or at least asking a lot of questions, enquiring what this group and that group are "about" and what their beliefs are, and what is "church life" like, there. I have read quite a number of testimonies of people who've changed from one church to another, and they tell you "why" they chose this particular one or that one. They share their religious "journey," the path they travelled to get to where they are. I did a quick Google search. I merely put in quotes the word "church" and put in quotes "why I left" and clicked it, and it returned over 8 MILLION Google hits. It only took me 2 minutes to see that hundreds of thousands of Christians feel like telling people "WHY." They have a religious or spiritual "story" they want to share. There are lots of them that say "Why I left the Catholic Church," and lots that say "Why I left the Baptist church," or "Why I left the Pentecostal church" or "Why I left the Anglican Church, "Why I left the Lutheran Church, "Why I left my church, "Why I left the institutional church, Why I left the Mormons, "Why I left the Jehovah's Witesses," and so on and so forth. Of course as a Christian, I like to hope that the "group" they ended up in instead is BETTER than what they left. I think you probably feel the same way. Sadly of course there are a great many who do NOT end up in a better "thing." Some people frankly go from bad to worse. But there is a principle to be grasped here: It is very common in the Western World, or "Christendom," for Christians to depart from one church and embark on a journey in search of a better "church experience." And I would urge the reader here to grasp one important thing clearly: COUNTLESS Christians have left some church, while remaining ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED TO JESUS CHRIST AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. Never was there the slightest thought of "denying Christ" or "leaving Jesus" or "falling from the Christian Faith" at all, in leaving their particular church. I think probably the majority of people who leave a particular church hope to end up in one better. I am quite certain that vast numbers of people who leave a particular church do so because they see things that in fact do not "match up with" the Holy Bible and the Christian Faith, and so they hope to find a "better" group out there in the sense of it being "MORE Christian" or "more TRULY Christian" or even having more "sound doctrine" than the church they are leaving. The "Prince of Preachers" Charles Spurgeon said that the REASON we feel right to "defend the body to which we belong" is BECAUSE or "FOR we have conscientiously JOINED it believing it to be the nearest to the old standard of the church of Christ." Get it? THAT should our REASON for selecting and joining a particular church. He goes on to say, "and God forbid that we should leave it for a WORSE." I think we should all say "Amen" to that, BUT, he says, "If we see a BETTER, THEN would we sacrifice our prejudices to our convictions." That actually says "our CONVICTIONS" move us to join the "BETTER" church, and we ought not STAY in the "worse" one through "our PREJUDICES." Now Spurgeon was quite ASSURED that the church he was in was "right on" as they say. He spoke of the Apostle Paul as carrying a flag or banner or "standard" of the truth, and he (Spurgeon) believed that his own church was carrying forward that same "standard." That was his JUSTIFICATION for not leaving that church for another. He said, "but we cannot leave the old standard so long as we see it to be the VERY standard which floated in the hand of PAUL, and which was handed by him through divers generations, through Chrysostom to Augustine, from Augustine to Calvin, and so on through the glorious race of mighty men who have not been ashamed of the gospel of Christ Jesus. BUT YET I SAY let our name, and let our sect, and let our denomination be absorbed, and let it SINK, so that the battle of the Lord may but be well fought, and the time of Christ's triumph hastened." A little explanation is in order for the last half of that last sentence. Spurgeon was actually somewhat "off his own topic" when he went into leaving your church for a "BETTER" one. His real topic just before it had been "fighting the Lord's battles" instead of "our own," and he was saying that all too often when some church is sticking up for itself or some minister is defending himself, they are not "fighting the Lord's battles" but merely their own. Spurgeon was decrying people fighting to defend their own church, even sometimes at the expense of Christ's honor. He described Christians getting mad when they or their church is criticised. "Full often we get into little tempers, and our blood is roused, we are apt to think that we are fighting the cause of truth, when we are really maintaining OUR OWN PRIDE. We imagine that we are defending our Master, but we are defending OUR OWN LITTLE SELVES." That was his context. Too often the anger rises against an adversary not because his words reflect dishonor upon the glorious Christ, but because they dishonor us. Oh! let us not be so little as to fight our own battles!" Spurgeon was basically talking about churches being a bad public testimony by conducting "warfare" for the sake of THEIR OWN honor, or, as he put it, the honor of "the Christian body to which we belong." He said, "I would rather see its honor stained, than that the glory of the entire church should be dimmed. ... Better to see the colors of that legion rent to tatters, than to see the old standard of the cross trampled in the mire. Now I trust we are ready to say of OUR OWN denomination, LET ITS NAME PERISH, if Christ's name shall get ought of glory thereby. If THE EXTINCTION OF OUR SECT should be the conquest of Christ and the promoting of his kingdom, then let it be WIPED OUT of the book of record, and LET NOT ITS NAME BE HEARD ANY MORE." He was merely saying more of the same when he said that above, "let OUR name, and let OUR sect, and let OUR denomination be absorbed, and let it SINK, so that the battle of the Lord may but be well fought, and the time of Christ's triumph hastened." But as just here our topic has been people leaving some church, hopefully for a "BETTER" (as Spurgeon put it), we are focused on what he said concerning THAT: In the first line we quoted of him, he asserts that the REASON we are in whatever church we are in, OUGHT TO BE that we "joined it" believing it to be the best, the truest, the most biblical, the most Christian. Is that why you joined the church you joined? You studied the alternatives? You concluded this one was the best? Next, he asserts that the SAME PRINCIPLE should obtain: "If we see a BETTER, THEN" we should defy our own "party prejudice" and our "convictions" should move us to leave and go to the better group. What that principle has in common with his theme in that sermon was, you could say, "party loyalties," or the "party spirit," or defending "our own thing" just because it's "us" and not truly because we or our own church are right. Our loyalties, if they be merely because it's "us" or "mine" are no more than fleshly "party spirit." Now sure: If our particular church is truly like Spurgeon imagined his was, walking in the footsteps of Paul, or what he calls "BETTER" than the others, fine: Be as loyal as all get out, and defend it to the hilt! But be sure your defense of it is because it is truly good and right and correct, and isn't simply because it's "YOUR" club, "YOUR" pack, etc. That is what Spurgeon called your "prejudice." To continue with our point: Spurgeon agrees with us that it is LEGITIMATE to leave one Christian group to go to another (ostensibly one "BETTER" than what you are leaving. We feel that here we are only laboring to point out the obvious, or what ought to be obvious, to any thinking Christian. Countless Christians "leave churches" but are not in the least leaving Christ of the Christian Faith. They may in fact be BETTER APPREHENDING Christ and The Faith in taking that step (only, we agree with Spurgeon, that they must not be going to a "worse" life). So if the reader grasps the principle that one can leave a church if it is for "better," and grasps the principle that one sincerely so doing is not in any way leaving Christ or The Faith, bring now those principles to bear on the situation and contect of HEBREWS 10:25. Can you do that? If so, you should be able to see that that verse CANNOT be "used" as a prohibitive against "missing church meetings" nor even "quitting a church," as an absolute. Hold on to the principle, with Spurgeon, that "leaving" must be for something "better" and not something "worse." If it is for "better" it's okay. MORE than "okay," Spurgeon suggests that we MUST! So at the very least, IF someone is going to say that the "wrongdoing" being counselled against in Hebrews 10:25 is "attending" less or even "quitting" the group, you must RECOGNIZE that the "wrongdoing" was "wrong" for the plain fact that they were "going from good to bad," that they were NOT going to something BETTER. That is why I used the word "absolute": The verse CANNOT be used to teach as an absolute that, any leaving of any group is a wrong. Were it so, then no one can leave bad religion for good religion, no one can leave a "worse" church for, as Spurgeon words it, a "better" one. If it's an absolute that leaving (or even attending "less") is wrong, period, then you'd better not invite people to your church because you think it's better for them than the one they're in, or you'll be doing the devil's work, tempting some to "leave" something. This gets more silly the longer we we examine it. Would you teach someone based on Hebrews 10:25 that they cannot leave the Catholic Church to join the Episcopalian Church? that they cannot leave the Episcopalian Church to join the Methodist Church? that they cannot leave the Methodists to become Baptist? that they cannot leave the Baptists to join the Pentecostals? that they cannot leave the Amish to join an Evangelical church? that Presbyterians cannot leave that system and become Congregationalists? that one cannot leave liberal church to join a conservative one? The nonsense of that thinking is exposed. Let us be done with it. An "absolute" that claims that any and all "leaving" of a Christian group, or even "attending it less" is forbidden, simply cannot be taught. It cannot be true. There can be no other REASON in Hebrews 10:25 for the "forsaking" under discussion to be "wrongdoing" except that those contemplating leaving were leaving the "better" for the "worse." "Leaving" a group is not a "wrong." Only leaving for something "worse." If "leaving" was even the thing that the writer of Hebrews was looking at, then the only thing "wrong" with it was, what they were contemplating going TO, instead. But I had to say "IF leaving was even what was being looked at," because as I said above, it was NOT really a matter of mere "leaving," but rather, the Gentile-mixed ekklesia there NEEDED them. The "forsaking" in the verse bespeaks the "ABANDONMENT" or "leaving in the lurch" people who need your help. It seems that the ekklesia was HELPED or strengthened by these people REMAINING in it. This is guesswork, but it is possible that the reason that Gentile-mixed ekklesia had been ABLE to survive the hostilities and persecution from the Jews was because of the large number of respected Jews that believed in Jesus and were in that ekklesia. That is, the hostile Jews couldn't really couldn't "do their damnedest" against them with so many respected and influential Jews being in the ekklesia. It is also possible that even pagan authorities who would have otherwise sought to destroy the Christians were somewhat "checked" or "held at bay" because of influential Jews being of their number. So as the term "forsaking" suggests, their pulling out and going back to the Jewish synagogue, etc., would leave the Christian ekklesia more "vulnerable." It would even tend to "validate" the view that the Christians we no good. Else why are good men leaving them? So it is quite likely that individual influential Jews "forsaking" the Gentile-mixed ekklesia really was exposing the Christians to greater danger, and weakening them. You know the Lord taught on "hirelings" who, when they see the wolves coming, flee and abandon the sheep to the wolves. That teaching is of course on a different matter. Yet in it we can see a picture of a flock that will be in mortal danger due to being abandoned in the hour of need. Paul used exactly this same Greek word when he said "Demas hath forsaken me." This "forsaking" leaves a person "abandoned" and the ordinary sense is, "left helpless." It has been observed that it rather tortures the Greek to read "forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" as though the action of "assembling" is the thing being forsaken. Like telling a jogger not to forsake their practice of jogging. If it is the practice of jogging that is forsaken, or is an individual's practice of assembling that he is forsaking or leaving off, where is there any sense of helpless or needy people being abandoned, left in dire straits, or left in the lurch? It makes more sense if you consider "the assembling of ourselves together" to be like a term for the group. The way a person could speak to his fellow lodge members and refer to "our noble conclave" or one could say "this honorable assemblage of dignitaries." I mean that a group is being being given an appelation by a term. So the Christian group or ekklesia is being referred to as "the assembling of ourselves together." This way, actual people are the object of abandonment. Those doing the forsaking are abandoning "the assembling ones" so to speak, or the "assemblage" or the "assembled assembly," real live people, who constitute that "assembling of ourselves together" or that "grouping." How else can there be any "victims" of abandonment? Plainly there is difficulty if we insist that the "forsaker" is only forsaking his own "assembling" action. It's a victimless crime. But it is resolved if you view "our assembling" or "the assembling of ourselves" as a term for the people that "group." Our noble assemblage. It is startling that some Bible "translations" have thoughtlessly assumed that it is the man's own action of assembling that he's being urged not to forsake. One, the CSB, outrageously renders it "not neglecting to gather." That squarely paints gathering as the potential neglecter's own action. Again, like don't stop jogging. Don't stop that gathering that you do. But It's quite wrong. In the first place, amazingly that string of five words in the KJV, "the assembling of ourselves together," is really only two words in the Greek, episunagoge heautou, episunagoge being what they make sesnses of "gathering" from, and heautou being what they get "ourselves" from. Some unfortunate Greek "helps" for Bible students actually PUT the supposed Greek as "episunagoge heautou episunagoge" as if episunagoge is actually there twice in the Greek, but it is not. It is only episunagoge heautou. So our verse would ostensibly read (if we keep two words as two words) "not forsaking episunagoge heautou as the manner of some is," or transliterated "not forsaking gathering ourselves as the manner of some is." I think every Greek resource agrees that "the" is implied before gathering or assembling, as even the KJV has it. So again we are left with "the gathering" or "the assembling" as possibly a term for the group itself. Like "This grouping you see here is what we call the assembling of ourselves." Thus it is they, the group, that men are urged not to forsake (leave helpless and alone, vulnerable, abandoned, left in the lurch, left in difficult straits). That meaning is utterly lost when the NIV puts it "not giving up meeting together." There is no sense of any actual people being abandoned, merely someone's practice or habit or action being "given up." When you realize that there is no Greek word behind the word "together" whatsoever, that "together" was just "put" in there in the KJV, it makes the NIV even more outrageous: For without the imaginary "together" the NIV would only say "not giving up meeting." That starkly paints it as an "action" or a "practice" of the person that will or won't be given up. Again, no one abandoned and left alone and helpless, no one left in the lurch. A victimless crime. Don't give up jogging because jogging is good for YOU. Then her opponent in the debate said, you are missing the point. What you were asked was whether or not Christians ought to be involved in politics to which she replied your question reveals that you have very strange ideas of Christianity besides little or no knowledge of the Holy Bible. ... Amen.