Are you an “out-of-church” Christian?

Screen shot 2013-01-21 at 2.56.43 PMHave you noticed that some familiar faces are missing from the pews in your church lately? As more people seek that perfect church (even though there is no such thing), the exodus from formal churches is a growing trend. Many families are simply “doing church” at home, sitting at the feet of their favorite pastor on YouTube.

They call it the “home church movement,” an interesting phenomenon around the world in which Christians are leaving their church buildings for one reason or another and joining fellowships that meet in houses. Some even start their own churches in their homes and invite others to join them.

It’s a movement I first began reading about in a book I downloaded by Andrew Strom, titled, Out of Church Christians. (You can now read it for free by clicking the link!)  Here is an excerpt:

There have been a number of publications that have referred to this “Out-of-church” phenomenon in recent years. As Christian pollster George Barna wrote in Re-Churching the Unchurched: “Relatively few unchurched people are atheists. Most of them call themselves Christian and have had a serious dose of church life in the past.” And the author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, David Barrett, estimates that there are around 112 million “churchless Christians” worldwide – about 5 percent of all adherents. He projects that this number will double by 2025.

New Zealand pastor Alan Jamieson, author of A Churchless Faith, has been studying this phenomenon for some years. To his surprise he found that far from being nominal churchgoers, 94% of the ‘out-of-church’ Christians he interviewed had been leaders of some kind – such as deacons, elders or Sunday school teachers – and 40% had been full-time Christian workers. He also found that for many the break came not because they had lost their faith, but more because they wanted to save it.

Sadly, Jamieson says that many churches seem unaware – and unconcerned – about those who have departed their ranks. The vast majority of leavers that he interviewed told him that no-one from their church had ever discussed with them why they had left.

I myself have discovered that there are a wide variety of reasons for people leaving, and a wide variety of situations that they find themselves in today. Some have joined the ranks of the new house-church or cell-church networks that are rising up all over the world. Many more, however, are opting for a more spontaneous or non-structured form of Christianity. Some have even left regular Christian fellowship altogether. For them this truly is a ‘wilderness’ experience – alone with God.

This Thursday, January 24th, we are focusing our program on this interesting phenomenon. And we hope to hear from you that day, either by phone (800-979-9010) or email. Are you a part of the Home Church Movement?  If so, what made you leave your formal church organization?  How do your gatherings work? The program runs from 9 – 10 a.m. Central Time. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section (remembering our comments policy of not naming local churches or leaders).

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61 Responses to Are you an “out-of-church” Christian?

  1. shari slough says:

    I have to say, i dont attend a church not becsuse im looking for a perfect church but all churches in my area are either word of faith, seeker sensitve, emerging church or new apostolic reformation. i refuse to attend for the sake if attending. I do watch almost everday jimmy swaggart, who preaches the. cross. i listen to cross talk, brannon howse and. your program. please dont make it sound as if the the unchurched are looking for the
    petfect church. I do not follow man. but Jesus Christ. i just found out a year ago what was really going on in " the church" i was devistated an lost friends but i will stand alone if need be for the sake of the Gospel.

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  2. Vince says:

    I have been in a home church group since 1987 and would have to say that those who attend do so because they have a strong desire to follow Christ. Most have come out of nominal chistendom and we have also seen some people converted in that time. I feel that mainline christendom tries to hijack this trend but do believe that there is a genuine move of God to home church. There are few overheads and the home setting gives everyone a chance to participate in a non-threatening family type setting. Thank you for your site. I have only found it in the last few days and so far so good!

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  3. Mr Davis says:

    I have a pretty large family by todays standard and when we gather together, as is typical the men are off talking with the men and the women are talking with the women. There is lots of talk about the family life and the struggles we are going through. There is alot of listening, there is some counsel, there is alot of building up and encouragement to hang in there. There is interaction and interruptions and rebukes.

    But all are not believers and all will not accept God's counsel regarding the roles we are walking in. Discipline is present but sometimes resented. The bond isn't Christ here but the blood born of relatives.

    Meals are shared altogether and cleanup is handled by those who have a desire to serve. The men wait until the end, the women and children eat first and extras go with the needy. We practice waiting for one another and putting others ahead of ourselves, fighting over the end of the line. But there is not the whole hearted worship of the Godhead. At meals a prayer of thanksgiving is offered but who is really being thanked, those who brought the food? It is a house filled with outwardly good things, filled with a polite moral people, running headlong to hell, yet in their pride, are convinced they are OK. They do not see that they are evil and need to be saved from themselves by God Himself for their faith is in themselves.

    Even so this operation seems to operate much as the Church should at least according to the scriptures. Men respect one anothers headship in their own homes and there is not the undermining of the man's authority in his own home which is so prevelant in institutional churches today. Imagine this setting if faith in Christ was held by all Oh what a gathering that would be.

    So close! Pray that I may have the boldness to proclaim the truth in all meekness and humility recognizing my own depravity and that I be broken hearted over the deception they have been given over too and the damage that is doing in their lives. That God, in whom we live move and have our being may in His divine mercy grant them repentance unto salvation by Faith in Christ.

    God bless.

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  4. Dave Mosher says:

    Greetings Mike and Amy! I found this list of articles on house churches: http://jhenning85.home.comcast.net/~jhenning85/li….

    The articles run the gamut from secular newspaper articles to biblically sound articles. I haven't looked through them yet to see which are good and which are bad articles.

    Off the top of my head, I think a house church is okay 1) if there is no biblically sound church nearby to attend, and 2) the leader of the house church knows his Bible and is biblically sound.

    Again, God bless your ministry – Dave

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  5. Liss Askew says:

    I see nothing wrong with gathering in our homes. But the one challenge I do see is whether or not sound doctrine is being preached. I fear that it can become just a meeting where everyone has their own opinions on what the Bible is saying. There needs to be some form of leadership and someone who possibly has more training in the Bible. If the gathering is made up of people who are just giving their man-made ideas, then it will not be a productive meeting. I see this happen with churches who have small groups that meet during the week. If sound doctrine is taught, it can be done anywhere. Christianity doesn't need any more "shallow" Christians. Christians need to be constantly growing in depth to be the most beneficial for Christ and others.

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  6. J says:

    After attending the same church for the last 46 years I have felt within the last 6 months to a year that I need to leave and find a new church home. I feel like I'm in a rut and getting stale.
    I attended an Assembly of God church but wonder where the denomination is heading. I can't remember when's the last time I've heard a message in tongues and interpreatation,when we had an altar call in church, a message on end time events, a message on why homosexuality and abortion is wrong and a message on salvation.
    Pray for me as I start searching for a new church and or a new denomination.

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  7. There is definately a movement which is all God breaking free of religious bondages! God took me out of church and I have had and am still having a wilderness experience. I have been appointed as an Apostle in the old school way (by God not man) and am very excited about what God is doing. It is amazing what God can teach you through the Holy Spirit once you come away from the organizations. There is a Pharisee yeast of hypocrisy in the church and God is deyeasting us all. Jesus is coming soon! Bless you all and I pray for all reading this that God will lead you on your journey, not the journey that men would have them on.

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  8. Jacqueline says:

    Regarding the comment "there is no perfect church." I am reminded that out of the seven churches in Revelation, there are two churches that The Lord Jesus has nothing against.

    The 'church' is not the building. The translation should be congregation, there is no word in Greek that is church.

    If True believers have come out of Sunday meetings, like me, it is because the whole counsel of God is not taught, instead gimmicks 'programmes' and doctrines taken to extremes which result in heresy.

    The 'service'' is planned and run by one man, there is no discipleship, there is sin which is excused, entertainment, jokes at the beginning and people struggling with their faith because have not received the Baptism of fire and power given by Jesus Christ.

    All my fine teaching is obtained by the internet, by a few true men of God given to the Body by Christ. Personally My relationship with God has intensified and my knowledge of Him developed and assisted by the Holy Spirit.

    Would I like to have fellowship with people who have given themselves over to The Lord. Certainly.

    Jacqueline

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  9. Karen says:

    Amen Jacqueline. Amen dear sister.

    The power of the Holy Spirit lies in the Gospel of Jesus, the Christ, not any other man-made or demonic manifestation that does not line up with our Scriptures.

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    • godsfingers says:

      The power of the Holy Spirit is in the Holy Spirit, not man made doctrines.

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    • godsfingers says:

      nor is it made by a separate gift of faith

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      • godsfingers says:

        Sorry, but I'm not quickened, whatever that means.

        yes, the text is argued and your manipulation wrong. THere is only one gift of the Spirit, your suggestion is heresy, not unlike John McArthur saying that the elect can take the mark of the beast safely.

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      • lyn says:

        To be quickened is to be born again by the Spirit of God the new birth that Christ says you must have in order to enter heaven. Rather than debate from scripture you falsely accuse because you have no understanding of the new birth. Your theology claims one is saved by his own choosing but the bible proves you wrong. Now back to Romans 16:17…

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      • godsfingers says:

        quicken
        verb quick·en ˈkwi-kən

        : to make (something) faster

        : to become faster

        : to make (something, such as a feeling) stronger or more active

        Again, what ever you said is your doctrine in strange tongues and has no bearing. Your made up manipulation of Eph 2:8 runs totally against 1 Cor 12:9, Paul says clearly that there is one gift of faith, given to one and not another. Why do you insist that he somehow masked another gift of faith hidden in Greek manipulation. If you want to believe man made falsehoods it's your prerogative, but to impose it on others is wrong. Being that your postings are often as incredulous as the teachings of Andy Stanley and Bill Johnson et al you have no standing to cast rocks.

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      • godsfingers says:

        You really need to get off this treadmill you are on. Your free will theology is yours, not mine. No one can save but God, through Christs work on the cross. Which part have you continually missed? There is no pride here, I humbly accept the gift that Christ offers and humbly live it out. This would be another of your straw man arguments.

        There is no ignorance of the Greek or failure to comprehend on my part in regards to Eph2:8. It would be on your part because, recently, some man found out about a Greek writing style sometimes used and foisted it onto the text to "prove" ,implicitly , irrevocable faith. Interesting that the KJVA translators (followers of your theology) didn't directly translate it, then. Is the KJVA wrong?? Your implicit overlay of the text is in complete contradiction to 1 Cor 12:9. Your text Eph 2:8 uses chariti (χάριτί where charity comes from) for grace and pisteos (πίστεως·) tied with dia (διὰ ) as an act of or through faith. You have somehow made pisteos an object which is wrong usage and in complete contradiction to Paul's listing of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He uses charisma (χάρισμα) the plural of gifts and pistis ( πίστις ) the direct form for faith. This is the gift of faith that one gets and another not. Which part are you missing???

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      • godsfingers says:

        " If you say you have the ability to 'have faith' in Jesus apart from Divine intervention, then aren't you violating this text? After all, your claim to be able to believe on your own would be defined as a 'work' correct?" This would be your claim, another straw man argument. Since your claim is implicit and made up, no. As far as work goes, eh, Paul tells us to work our salvation, and work to make our election secure so I guess so.

        I understand that you are trained to respond to special scenarios and have to keep steering the discussion into that because in Biblical discussion you don't hold water. You've insulted and abused me since I started posting here and I understand that it's part of what you're taught to do. I'm quite secure in my salvation and I live to not put myself in a position to jeopardize it. But your arrogance, like John McArthur, causes me to believe that you love your doctrine, not the Christ, and that's a bad thing.

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      • godsfingers says:

        and back to Romans 6

        "15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

        19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness."

        Paul says WE OFFER, not forced.

        Ooops, you meant Romans 16

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      • godsfingers says:

        One is saved through faith. Not God's capriciousness nor nor the works of man. The work is done at the cross, it is complete whether I choose take up His gift or not. I ca not undo the work of the cross. But I can fall into unbelief as the scriptures are clear, warning about and walk away from His gracious gift for which there is no solution. I understand completely the Biblical view of salvation, what I can not understand how you, in the face of full scripture, can hold to the malarkey that you've put out, except that you hold to the deception of the devil and his stumbling block.

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      • rascott247 says:

        Are you not “quickened”? That’s just old English for —made alive. To say it doesn’t mean anything now would be like saying Hebrew and Koine Greek are meaningless.

        I think J.Mac is fixated on the seed sown among thorns to the point that he has made himself -Fruit Inspector General (which is a thorn in itself). He puts “According to Jesus” in front of what he says and what he writes. His sheep hear his voice.

        His “take the mark of the beast safely” shows the theological lens he uses to interpret the “elect”: A really clouded lens from my perspective— The “elect “must give up everything to follow Christ, persevere to the end, or they are not “elect”—Mark of the beast? Well if they are elect and take the mark… His blood will not be wasted…so they must be forgiven!

        Does anyone see the scriptures as divinely decreed anymore? Rev 14: 9-11 is not hypothetical to whether those taking the Mark could be saved .The text proclaims they will/would not be saved. They refuse to bow their knee to the true God.

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      • godsfingers says:

        LOL, Fruit Inspector General, I've never heard it quite like that, but I love it 🙂

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      • Jacqueline says:

        Hi godsfinger, if you would like to know what quickened means, you can see the various meanings by looking up in Blue Letter Bible Strong's G2227. Quickeneth, quicken, quickened etc. mentioned 15 times in eleven verses.

        Made alive, arouse and invigorate, give life, endued with new and greater powers of life.

        Jacqueline

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      • godsfingers says:

        Thank you, but I read an English Bible 😉

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      • godsfingers says:

        sorry, no native language there and not original Greek. And your point is? You've already made a case that your KJV is wrong. Keep the insults coming Lyn

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      • godsfingers says:

        "Only the Holy Spirit can illuminate truth to you in a way that breaks you over your sins, causes you to cry out for mercy, and empowers you to forsake your sins. "

        Funny statement coming from the folks who blaspheme the Holy Spirit. All I hear from you, it seems, are quotes from the Calvinist catechism. I've tried to see through your religiosity for said brokenness and can find none. You pass judgment on me simply because I question your dogma, and frankly, excessive use of old English in public. Does the use of modern English strip the power of the cross? No need to pray that I would cross over to Calvanism. I am convinced, by the fruit, of my sonship to God and my discernment because I have the Spirit of Christ in me.

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      • godsfingers says:

        "Only the Holy Spirit can illuminate truth to you in a way that breaks you over your sins, causes you to cry out for mercy, and empowers you to forsake your sins."

        Actually this sounds pretty experiential to me…

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      • Kate says:

        Exactly what happened to me at 6 years old. I certainly did not offer anything. My teacher daily spoke of sin and our need for a Savior. I thought I was saved until one day the Holy Spirit convicted me, and I realized my great need for a Savior! I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and my life dramatically changed at six years old. All the teachers were in awe. Praise God I never doubted my salvation, even as a prodigal daughter for 10 years I knew I was a child of God! He never gave up on me and when I returned to the Father it was a huge homecoming!

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      • rosinavoz says:

        Same thing happened to me, Kate. I never had even one person witness to me in all the years I was a devout Catholic, striving with all my might to appease a distant God by attending daily Mass, participating in sacraments and doing all my 'good works'. Never read the Bible…knew nothing about the true gospel. I had no assurance of salvation but I thought I had to work my way to heaven by being good enough.

        But God reached down one night when I was in despair over my failing efforts to please Him. Just as it happened with you…He quickened me…through the power of the Holy Spirit….He convicted me and brought me to my knees where I repented of my sins and asked Jesus to take control of my life. When the tears and prayers were finally done, I knew something had changed. I felt completely clean…washed on the inside. I felt brand new, not understanding then the magnitude of what had happened to me, that I had been born again. I did nothing to save myself. It was all of the Holy Spirit. He came and quickened me, raised a spiritually dead soul to life.

        I just read this passage in James this morning, chapter 1:17. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. OF HIS OWN WILL He begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures."

        His Holy Spirit applied that word of truth to my heart, convicting me of my hopeless state before a Holy God. I had no other means of hearing at that point in my life. I would still be in darkness had He not reach down and drew (quickened) me to himself.

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      • godsfingers says:

        Funny thing. I gave my life to the Lord and I no longer cursed, smoked, had no desire to hit the bars. Nearly forty years And the changing continues to this day. But I wasn't quickened. Are you getting it yet?

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      • rosinavoz says:

        So to be saved you must be completely sinless at the moment of your death? Keeping yourself saved every minute of every day? Good luck with that.

        I am not advocating experientialism ..not 'clinging to an experience'. I was just sharing honestly the story of how I got saved. When I started reading the bible for myself soon afterwards, it was then I understood what Christ had done for me. (I had never had read the Bible on my own before that, though I was exposed to its teachings somewhat for years through the readings in the Mass. I did know who Jesus was and that He came to save, but I did not understand how to be saved.) Had my salvation 'experience' been just an experience and that alone, I would not have been kept the faith for over 40 years now. God saved me that day and has kept me since….but it has been only by His grace. I, too. lost the desire to sin and it was the start of the sanctification process that has been going every day on ever since. I am not sinless yet and know I won't be until I reach heaven. The sin nature is still within me and I fight it everyday. No Calvinist believes you can just sin all you want after you get saved. No truly saved person would want to and is grieved by his sin. That is the sign of true salvation.

        Can you expand on how exactly one 'keeps himself saved? Just as salvation is a work of God, so too is sanctification. We cooperate in that process, yes, but do you believe if you sin today and don't immediately confess it and get victory over it, you lose your salvation if you happen to die on the spot? Which of your sins were forgiven by Christ on the cross…past, present, and future or just past sins and you have to work off the rest yourself by keeping yourself saved?

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      • godsfingers says:

        "We cooperate in that process, yes, but do you believe if you sin today and don't immediately confess it and get victory over it, you lose your salvation if you happen to die on the spot? Which of your sins were forgiven by Christ on the cross…past, present, and future or just past sins and you have to work off the rest yourself by keeping yourself saved? "

        I guess you need to take that up with the Apostles. I've told you before, whatever sin leads you to unbelief, even stealing a roll of tape from the office.

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      • godsfingers says:

        "So to be saved you must be completely sinless at the moment of your death? Keeping yourself saved every minute of every day? Good luck with that. "

        But isn't that what you preach? I's the moment of unbelief that gets you in trouble. Calvin knew this and that's why he invented this irrevocable faith thingy. It is an invention, then he had to create the rewards garbage to offset the truth of falling away, which led to the invention of the Bema seat of judgement, yada yada

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      • rosinavoz says:

        You are making no sense here at all. You completely ignored my question and just turned it around on me and saying that is what I preach. No, you are the one saying that, after getting saved, you have to then keep yourself saved. I asked how do you go about doing that…get specific… you just ignored the question.

        So I ask it again: How does one go about 'keeping oneself saved'? According to your theology, Jesus saves you only to later lose you, if you don't keep up with all the required good works and obey the law perfectly. I came out of a religion like that where there was never any assurance of salvation..never knowing if I would be good enough so Jesus could finally, completely save me in the end. At least in the Catholic church I had the hope…false…of working off the rest of my sins in purgatory rather than being damned for eternity. Purgatory, a concept pulled out of thin air… was and still is the Catholic Church's solution to the problem….what is yours? And how do you have any peace at all knowing you could die at any moment and maybe you didn't keep yourself saved quite well enough….maybe one unconfessed sin slipped under your radar and so off to hell you will go.

        I have total assurance of salvation today, not based on any good thing I do, but based on what Jesus has already done for me…completely accomplished at the cross where he said, 'It is finished.' I am more motivated now than ever to live in obedience to Christ, to keep the law, to do good works out of love and gratitude for my Savior…not because I am trying to earn my way to heaven. That is a damnable heresy. Calvin was right bring the us back to the Word and away from the errors of Romanism and I am so so glad I escape that evil system.

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      • godsfingers says:

        "No, you are the one saying that, after getting saved, you have to then keep yourself saved. I asked how do you go about doing that…get specific… you just ignored the question. " Again, this is what you said. Why do you and Lyn project on people, is it your fear?

        "According to your theology, Jesus saves you only to later lose you, if you don't keep up with all the required good works and obey the law perfectly. " Nope never said that. This has been my concern all along that you folks are not equipped and shouldn't be in the discussion. I've never talked of adherence to the law, that's your argument. The law is canceled, Paul writes. A while ago I pointed out that your preachers only offer your OSAS and any dissenters are salvation workers. They will keep you away from anything in scripture that even hints that you can fall away. Lyn's condemnation and now yours is proof of your errors.

        I'm glad you escaped Roman Catholicism. My wife was RC also but thankfully she didn't find solace in the anti-Catholic dogma route.

        "And how do you have any peace at all knowing you could die at any moment and maybe you didn't keep yourself saved quite well enough….maybe one unconfessed sin slipped under your radar and so off to hell you will go." Again more projecting on your part, the straw man. Which part of the sin that condemns did you miss? Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is unforgivable and the cessationists walk that fine line and many have crossed over. The only way I will lose my salvation is to fall away and deny Christ. Unbelief and walking away will cost you your life, and many will (no OSAS in scripture).

        " I am more motivated now than ever to live in obedience to Christ, to keep the law, to do good works out of love and gratitude for my Savior…not because I am trying to earn my way to heaven." Are you trying to project that on me? Good luck with that. But God will judge between you and me for your falsehoods, to your loss

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      • rosinavoz says:

        So now you are saying you don't have to keep the law perfectly to be saved…. you just have to be careful not to commit the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Well, how come it took you so long beating around the bush to say that then? No true born again believer in Jesus Christ has to be worried about committing the unpardonable sin. How could we ever deny the Holy Spirit when we have been born anew by Him? If you are truly born again, you can rest in what God has done for you, kind sir. Rest! And take joy in the assurance of salvation that we absolutely have in Christ's redemptive work on the cross.

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      • godsfingers says:

        Have you figured out yet that you are taught to argue and project, more or less abusing people? You, Lyn and Toni. Rascott and I can have a sane discussion yet you three project your thoughts as my saying, e same to others. It argumentative and divisive. I haven't beat around the bush, I've always answered you back with scripture that you deny. And yes, the cessationist walks a fine line between blaspheming and not, and some have crossed over.

        You make a claim of the Holy Spirit so let me ask you, do you cast out demons then? Can you even discern them? I know you can cast rocks in ignorance, but seriously, what of real demons?

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      • godsfingers says:

        Will you please quit trolling my comments and relying on belittling?

        I asked a straight question, of you also, do you discern and cast out demons? It's an honest question.

        You three seem to make a living here casting rocks at others for "errors" yet when you are taken to task and have no standing to defend your doctrine you resort to the above diatribe.

        If responding to your partial verses and twisted theology with Biblical truth is divisive then I guess you are correct. But the truth needs to be exposed. You have only been treated, in kind, as you have treated others here.

        Given what you say about pleasing to the Lord then I assume that you will stop your practice of reducing ones reputation out of hate and you will stop your practice of logging in your multiple accounts that you use to do so.

        The point of this exercise hasn't been to lay hate on you, call you out, yes, hate on your no. The point has been to give you an eyeful of what you do here and bring you to repentance. I would have done the same to a prosperity guy parsing and twisting scripture to push his error or even a Pentecostal. I'm actually thankful for you. I now have a wealth of information about RT/Calvanistic beliefs I wouldn't have otherwise known, given they're not in the Bible. The exercise of chasing down your claims in the Bible has been fruitful and I'm even better rooted in my doctrine ( what ever you want to call it ) having been challenged to go back to where it came from. It was an interesting study, so pat yourself on the back, I wouldn't have otherwise sought out a study in Calvinism.

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      • rascott247 says:

        Pardon me for jumping in but I have to say amen to what you said. Assurance of salvation is a biblical doctrine. It’s ineffectual to be thankful for a hypothetical like I might be saved if I do this or if I am that. Unfortunately so many today deny that assurance is possible. Some see the need to keep salvation and other see need to prove it. They must misinterpret and redefine scriptural truths to bolster unsound doctrine.
        Keep walking in the light (which is not guaranteed). Even so, come Lord Jesus.

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      • rosinavoz says:

        No need to be pardoned at all. Thanks for joining in this discussion.

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      • godsfingers says:

        The erroneous doctrine of the erroneous Calvanist leaners. Irresistible grace is the error and ignoring warnings of falling away is an even greater error. I have assurance in my salvation even though you keep telling me I don't. And when I die, following Him, I have a guarantee of salvation that can not be taken away. But the one who picks up his cross and then looks back and continually looks back ends up back where he was. Don't believe me, take it up with Jesus.

        Kudos to you for actually using John 6:40 because he who no longer believes will not have eternal life. 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." Then you decide, not get forced.

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      • godsfingers says:

        Perhaps you should take your own advice about adding to or taking away. The warning you refer to in Deut is adding to or taking away from the commands, something the Pharisees were guilty of in Jesus time. Yet you add a second gift of faith. No straw man on my part.

        The Calvanist definition of helkuo ( in John 6:44) is purposeful and misleading, in particular in defining irresistible grace. It means to draw out or towards. Your postulation contradicts Jesus statement later to his disciples in verse 67 "Do you also want to go away?" Jesus clearly gives a free will choice.

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      • godsfingers says:

        um, no, it means draw to or from. why skip John 6:67 when Jesus asked "do you want to go too?"

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      • godsfingers says:

        You two really are on a cult track. You keep trying to lead me to a point you're taught how to defend. I don't depend on my own self righteousness, I don't point out my works. And moreover I don't have a part in the transcendental experience you keep talking about, the falsehood you keep trying to push.

        Obviously "works" are important. James, Paul, Peter all talk about the importance. James states that without works faith is dead. It's your dogma that's the problem. Calvin was so afraid of seeming remotely catholic (your anti-catholic dogma). Don't forget the Epistles warn to avoid, stay away, refrain lest you fall away (sorry no OSAS ). Jesus even says in Matt 24 to endure to the end.

        I have no problem with Eph 2:1, 5 actually, all of Eph 2. I know the truth, it's your transcendental experience that's the problem.

        Like

      • godsfingers says:

        So you are saying that I should swear, smoke and drink??? As usual you want to project on others what you want to argue. The smoking, drinking and swearing were things that were removed when I chose to follow Jesus. I was changed and have no intention of returning.

        May God have mercy on you Lyn. Again my concern is that you love your doctrine, not the Christ. You dicker and condemn over an old English word, God will judge you. Which part of alive in Christ did you miss,and you miss a lot? You have no business throwing rocks here as your sins have found you out. Repent of your heresy before you find yourself on the wrong end of the White Throne.

        Like

      • godsfingers says:

        For folks who throw rocks at the experientialists, this is a lot of clinging to an experience to me.

        better for you if you would have stopped there instead of having some man/gal "explain" some false transcendental experience to you.

        Like

      • godsfingers says:

        I don't deny God's word anywhere, but you do. John 15:16 Jesus is specifically speaking to his disciples, the same in John 17:6-19, Jesus prays specifically for His disciples. He prays for all believers (me) after that.

        John 3:8 (NIV)

        8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”That's what the Bible says.

        I haven't attacked God's messengers, but I have drawn out the truth, and the truth hasn't been in you. You're denying my salvation based on your cult, though I know by God's Word that I am alive in Christ. Truly, it's a spectacle to watch you all throw rocks though you are no closer to the truth than those you throw the rocks at.

        Like

  10. Iz Hunt says:

    Persecuted believers in oppressive societies meet at home. Are they 'out of church' Christians??

    Like

  11. tonibrown64 says:

    I am so grieved now at the devastating number of people who call themselves Christians and their hearts are far from Him…..they are over running the churches and speaking lies to the sheep and young people; especially regarding the upcoming gay agenda that is about to blind side the professing church. These people probably walked an aisle years ago (when THEY were ready and not before!) and they actually believe that the Holy Spirit came down and indwelt their hearts on their command! God help the professing church and the true believers who are desperately trying to speak Truth into this blasphemous error.

    Like

  12. godsfingers says:

    The above dialog pretty much encapsulates why home churches are growing. On one hand you have social clubs and self help clubs going under some guise of church and on the other hand folks that twist scripture, skip context, and completely make stuff up for their doctrine to the point that you can't really be sure of your salvation because you don't know if you really are a chosen one from the beginning, you may be a "false convert". You need a preacher to lead you through the man made doctrine because it's not in the Bible. Talk about job security, just like Al Sharpton and racism.

    As the apostasy grows many are finding it harder and harder to locate a church not going to either extreme. Soon, all will be exposed when we are driven underground and our very lives are at stake…

    Like

    • rosinavoz says:

      Home churches are growing because the goats are moving in and taking over the churches, not because of people are coming to embrace the doctrines of grace. Most churches today do not teach Calvinism, but instead have embraced a man-centered gospel where people 'accept' or 'chose' Christ. We see churches appealing to the flesh to get people in the door and the circus atmosphere that has created. What the above dialogue reveals is how you have a complete misunderstanding….more than that…a complete close mindedness to the idea of the a Sovereign God who is in control of absolutely everything. How could He be a Sovereign all powerful God were it otherwise? The Bible says we were dead in our sins. Dead people cannot respond to anything. It takes a miracle to raise a dead person. Jesus' raising of Lazarus was a foreshadowing of, not only His own raising from the dead, but of also ours in the new birth.

      Like

      • godsfingers says:

        So you somehow believe that allowing man's free will somehow makes God not sovereign? Adam and Eve had free will in the Garden and as such hose poorly. The Mosaic law espouses free will and a penalty for breaking it. Jesus says IF you believe with the free will to believe or not. When did God remove free will?

        I've ministered to many who have left church for the reasons I stated above. Because the truth isn't being told. The showy churches and the churches whose doctrines, when subjected to scrutiny, are found to be false. Yes, false. I've taken your key verses and shown them to be false, in context. I've taken every straw man argue and brought them back to the point. I have, yes, debunked the Eph 2:8 Greek thing to show it's heresy.

        All men are searching. It's that God sized hole that needs to be filled, it's called separation from God. Man was created for fellowship with God. Adam and Eve blew it but the need is still there. Men try to fill it with what ever they can, they think, for a while they are happy, but they are not because they are still separated. Only through Christ's blood can that separation be repaired and then the longing is to be with Him at the earliest convenience. God is not capricious, nor despotic, yet that is what you're conveying and the Bible doesn't support that.

        Like

      • rosinavoz says:

        How can God be sovereign if He is not in complete control of every single aspect of His creation? What kind of god would that be?

        As to free will, the only One in the universe who has complete free will is God Himself. Yes, Adam did choose to sin. He was created good, but he was not perfect in holiness like God. God created a world in which the ability to rebel against Him was possible. Yet, He was not responsible for that rebellion once it was committed. Sin originated with Lucifer, who was the first to rebel, and entered the world through Adam who likewise chose disobedience. Adam was free to choose between good and evil.

        As children of Adam, we do not have the same kind of free will Adam had. We were born into this world as sinners who live in total rebellion against God. (And that sin nature becomes very apparent even in early in childhood.) We do still have a free will, but we are only free to act within our sinful nature….free to sin. The Bible disagrees with your teaching that everyone has a 'God-shaped hole' in their hearts….that everyone is seeking after God. Yes, they do sense something is missing and try all kinds of things to fill that void because we were created in God's image and for fellowship with God. But men don't seek God…they seek every evil thing instead.

        Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
        Romans 3:9-12 “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; NO ONE SEEKS FOR GOD. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
        Ephesians 4:18: "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart."

        The Bible talks constantly about how man is DEAD in his sins, a SLAVE to sin. Unlike Adam, we are unable to choose to do good. In our unsaved state, we are self-centered God haters. But here is the solution to man's problem: 2 Timothy 2:25-26 -"if God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil…' God must intervene through the power of the Holy Spirit to make us into new creatures who want to please Him.

        Explanation of Free Will (Matt Slick at CARM.org)

        Free will is the ability to make choices without external coercion. There are debates as to what extent this free will is to be understood as it relates to people. There are two main views: compatibilism and libertarianism.

        The compatibilist view is the position that a person's freedom is restricted by his nature as is described in Scripture. In other words, he can only choose what his nature (sinful or regenerate) will allow him to choose. Therefore, such verses as 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:10-12; Rom. 6:14-20 are used to demonstrate that, for example, the unbeliever is incapable of choosing God of his own free will since they say that the unbeliever cannot receive spiritual things, does no good, and is a slave to sin.

        Libertarian free will says that the person's will is not restricted by his sinful nature and that he is still able to choose or accept God freely. Verses used to support this view are John 3:16 and 3:36. Two subdivisions of libertarian free will would be "open absolute free will" which says that man's choices are not knowable by God until they occur and "non-open absolute free will" which would state that God can know man's choices, but He cannot determine them.

        The Biblical position is compatibilism. Since the Bible clearly teaches us that the unbeliever is restricted to making sinful choices (1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:10-12; Rom. 6:14-20), then we must conclude that anyone who believes in God (John 3:16; 3:36) does so because God has granted that He believe (Phil. 1:29), has caused Him to be born again (1 Pet. 1:3), and chosen Him for salvation (2 Thess. 2:13).

        All the cults and false religious systems teach the libertarian view of free will that salvation and spiritual understanding are completely within the grasp of sinners (in spite of their enslavement to and deadness in sin). For them, salvation would be totally up to the ability of the individual to make such a choice.

        Man Apart from God: Jer. 13:23, Rom. 8:7, Rom. 5:10

        Verses related to free will choices of sinners: John 1:13,Rom. 9:16, Rom. 9:18, 1 Cor. 2:14, Phil. 1:29

        Like

      • rosinavoz says:

        This might not have gone through so I am trying it again.

        How can God be sovereign if He is not in complete control of every single aspect of His creation? What kind of god would that be?

        As to free will, the only One in the universe who has complete free will is God Himself. Yes, Adam did choose to sin. He was created good, but he was not perfect in holiness like God. God created a world in which the ability to rebel against Him was possible. Yet, He was not responsible for that rebellion once it was committed. Sin originated with Lucifer, who was the first to rebel, and entered the world through Adam who likewise chose disobedience. Adam was free to choose between good and evil.

        As children of Adam, we do not have the same kind of free will Adam had. We were born into this world as sinners who live in total rebellion against God. (And that sin nature becomes very apparent even in early in childhood.) We do still have a free will, but we are only free to act within our sinful nature….free to sin. The Bible disagrees with your teaching that everyone has a 'God-shaped hole' in their hearts….that everyone is seeking after God. Yes, they do sense something is missing and try all kinds of things to fill that void because we were created in God's image and for fellowship with God. But men don't seek God…they seek every evil thing instead.

        Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
        Romans 3:9-12 “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; NO ONE SEEKS FOR GOD. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
        Ephesians 4:18: "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart."

        The Bible talks constantly about how man is DEAD in his sins, a SLAVE to sin. Unlike Adam, we are unable to choose to do good. In our unsaved state, we are self-centered God haters. But here is the solution to man's problem: 2 Timothy 2:25-26 -"if God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil…' God must intervene through the power of the Holy Spirit to make us into new creatures who want to please Him.

        Explanation of Free Will (Matt Slick at CARM.org)

        Free will is the ability to make choices without external coercion. There are debates as to what extent this free will is to be understood as it relates to people. There are two main views: compatibilism and libertarianism.

        The compatibilist view is the position that a person's freedom is restricted by his nature as is described in Scripture. In other words, he can only choose what his nature (sinful or regenerate) will allow him to choose. Therefore, such verses as 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:10-12; Rom. 6:14-20 are used to demonstrate that, for example, the unbeliever is incapable of choosing God of his own free will since they say that the unbeliever cannot receive spiritual things, does no good, and is a slave to sin.

        Libertarian free will says that the person's will is not restricted by his sinful nature and that he is still able to choose or accept God freely. Verses used to support this view are John 3:16 and 3:36. Two subdivisions of libertarian free will would be "open absolute free will" which says that man's choices are not knowable by God until they occur and "non-open absolute free will" which would state that God can know man's choices, but He cannot determine them.

        The Biblical position is compatibilism. Since the Bible clearly teaches us that the unbeliever is restricted to making sinful choices (1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:10-12; Rom. 6:14-20), then we must conclude that anyone who believes in God (John 3:16; 3:36) does so because God has granted that He believe (Phil. 1:29), has caused Him to be born again (1 Pet. 1:3), and chosen Him for salvation (2 Thess. 2:13).

        All the cults and false religious systems teach the libertarian view of free will that salvation and spiritual understanding are completely within the grasp of sinners (in spite of their enslavement to and deadness in sin). For them, salvation would be totally up to the ability of the individual to make such a choice.

        Man Apart from God: Jer. 13:23, Rom. 8:7, Rom. 5:10

        Verses related to free will choices of sinners: John 1:13,Rom. 9:16, Rom. 9:18, 1 Cor. 2:14, Phil. 1:29

        Like

      • godsfingers says:

        Consider this Romans 11:20-21 “But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. o not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches,He will not spare you either”

        Romans 11:2 ” God did not reject His people, whom He foreknew.”

        Romans 10:13-14 “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they ave not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

        Romans 10:8-10 “The Word is near you; it is in your heart, that is, the Word of faith we are proclaiming: that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (nothing about a gift of faith here either)

        If you would study the entirety of Romans 9-11 you will find that Paul is building the dichotomy of the Jews ( the promise, predestined, God foreknew) to the Gentiles grafted in. It is from replacement theology that comes the practice of parsing Jew subjects into Gentile placement. Parsing verses is dangerous and causes ignorance. When you continually build heresy on little pieces you will find your self on the outside looking in.

        I don’t have time to reference all the verses you pulled out of Matt Slick’s site ( he is not an apologist he is a polemic) . Try finding these on your own in the context. Why waste my time going against a cult practice. I picked one, Romans.

        Consider this Romans 11:22, “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, PROVIDED that you CONTINUE in His kindness. Otherwise, you also WILL BE CUT OFF.” Your verses get lost in the context, to your loss.

        Like

      • rosinavoz says:

        Yes, they do sense something is missing and try all kinds of things to fill that void because we were created in God's image and for fellowship with God. But men don't seek God…they seek every evil thing instead.

        Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
        Romans 3:9-12 “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; NO ONE SEEKS FOR GOD. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
        Ephesians 4:18: "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart."

        The Bible talks constantly about how man is DEAD in his sins, a SLAVE to sin. Unlike Adam, we are unable to choose to do good. In our unsaved state, we are self-centered God haters. But here is the solution to man's problem: 2 Timothy 2:25-26 -"if God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil…' God must intervene through the power of the Holy Spirit to make us into new creatures who want to please Him.

        Explanation of Free Will (Matt Slick at CARM.org)

        Free will is the ability to make choices without external coercion. There are debates as to what extent this free will is to be understood as it relates to people. There are two main views: compatibilism and libertarianism.

        The compatibilist view is the position that a person's freedom is restricted by his nature as is described in Scripture. In other words, he can only choose what his nature (sinful or regenerate) will allow him to choose. Therefore, such verses as 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:10-12; Rom. 6:14-20 are used to demonstrate that, for example, the unbeliever is incapable of choosing God of his own free will since they say that the unbeliever cannot receive spiritual things, does no good, and is a slave to sin.

        Libertarian free will says that the person's will is not restricted by his sinful nature and that he is still able to choose or accept God freely. Verses used to support this view are John 3:16 and 3:36. Two subdivisions of libertarian free will would be "open absolute free will" which says that man's choices are not knowable by God until they occur and "non-open absolute free will" which would state that God can know man's choices, but He cannot determine them.

        The Biblical position is compatibilism. Since the Bible clearly teaches us that the unbeliever is restricted to making sinful choices (1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:10-12; Rom. 6:14-20), then we must conclude that anyone who believes in God (John 3:16; 3:36) does so because God has granted that He believe (Phil. 1:29), has caused Him to be born again (1 Pet. 1:3), and chosen Him for salvation (2 Thess. 2:13).

        All the cults and false religious systems teach the libertarian view of free will that salvation and spiritual understanding are completely within the grasp of sinners (in spite of their enslavement to and deadness in sin). For them, salvation would be totally up to the ability of the individual to make such a choice.

        Man Apart from God: Jer. 13:23, Rom. 8:7, Rom. 5:10

        Verses related to free will choices of sinners: John 1:13,Rom. 9:16, Rom. 9:18, 1 Cor. 2:14, Phil. 1:29

        Like

      • godsfingers says:

        Your fixation on key verses and requirement of me to do the same for doctrine is disingenuous. How many times do I have to bring to you the if, and, or else scriptures? Take this for example. 1Peter 3:21a (you like this “a” thing to split verses so I’ll do it.)
        “21a and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also” there you have it, Sola scriptura, doctrine complete, you go Lutherans. Pretty foolish? You betcha.

        Let’s go to 2 Peter

        1:5 “make every EFFORT to add to your faith…” 1:8 “For IF you possess these qualities in increasing measure THEY will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive…”, 1:9 “…he has forgotten that he has been cleansed from past sins.”, 1:10-11 “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to MAKE your calling and election SURE. For IF you do these things, you will never FALL, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom…”. So which part of what YOU call works did you miss?

        2 Peter 2:3 “In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.” (the Eph 2:8 Greek manipulation thingy, there is only one gift of faith, given to one and not another 1 Cor 12:9)

        2 Peter 3:14 “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every EFFORT to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with Him.”

        2 Peter 3:17″…be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and FALL FROM YOUR SECURE POSITION.” If you can fall, then your definition of secure is not the same as that used by the apostles.

        What amazes me is that until I read Jack Kinnsella teaching OSAS I’d never heard of it. Until I read you folks I’d not heard of Aramanianism. I’ve never heard preaching against itulip nor have I heard preaching about free will (that’s why I would have to waste my time looking for specifics). I’ve just sat under Bible teaching and studied myself.

        When I waste my time on the links you provide I see a war going on, from the pulpit, perpetuating a 600 year old war against Jacob Arminian. If you don’t follow tulip then you’re Armanian. And that’s what you do here. The divisive folks are you. You repeat yourself again, even though I’ve shown you the the transcendental experience you describe in Eph 2:8 is a falsehood,a made up story, you can’t have two gifts of faith, you continue in your falsehoods throwing rocks. I feel sorry for you, it’s what you are taught to do but it is you folks who are making war on the saints and causing division. There’s enough stuff out there as it is (rob bell, rick warren, john mcarthur, et al) without the heresy you write here.

        I have complete assurance of my salvation in Christ through faith, I go to bed in peace, but I also know that if I return to my old ways I risk, and at some point cross a line and fall away. No man puts his hand to the plow and looks back. Why? Because he plows in the direction he’s looking.

        Like

  13. Grant says:

    So we have been through 7 churches in our area in the last 8 years. I live in a small town in Ireland and it is pervaded by the american apostasy!!! Here's the tragic why… the first was the Catholic Church, no explanation required as my wife WAS catholic until we were born again… the second was a Bill Johnson / toronto blessing look alike… the third was a Kenneth Copeland "we are gods" word of faith… the fourth was a Methodist "the holy spirit is what?" church which was dryer than toast!… the fifth was another toronto blessing disaster with "we owe Israel everything twist" (FYI I am not anti Semitic!)… the 6th was unfortunately wooden, not unlike the Methodists but with modern Hillsong music. Yippee!… the 7th had been the best UNTIL we discovered that they were just about to launch the Ed Silvoso transformation NAR Garbage on the flock – we told the pastor the truth about Ed and the NAR but to no avail… so, it is not exactly fair to say that there is no perfect church – I understand and accept that. However I do not accept that EVERY church within 50 miles of our village is destroyed and tainted by this great apostasy. So, don't tell me that "the home church" is bad – what other choice do we have – should we like everyone else embrace this nonsense? I think not – "as for me and my household, we shall serve THE LORD!!" even if that means we are pariahs.

    Like

  14. tonibrown64 says:

    I agree, Grant.
    The problem is not only in Ireland but all over and I have also been contemplating staying home and studying God's word along with viewing sermons from a couple solid biblical pastors on Sunday mornings- I long for fellowship with other believers but not at the expense of listening to or cowering into a corner while troubling ideas are put into practice. I attend a solid church of expository preaching but I have not heard one word about the attack on God's word with regard to the gay agenda which continues to creep into the professing church. Pastors are not reminding the flock "Thus saith the Lord"- I have not heard a powerful sermon on Romans 1 or Ephesians 5 to strengthen and encourage me to stand for His eternal truth! Why? How can they remain silent on the issue when the sheep are being bombarded daily with gay affirming propaganda that falsely appeals to their emotions, leading many to doubt the perfect truth of God? And much of it is coming from inside the "professing" church. Is this how the Apostle Paul would have reacted to such an attack? I think not.

    Like

  15. Tony says:

    I think it is a great idea. God and Man united – with no church institution to interfere with that communion. As the author says "For them this truly is a ‘wilderness’ experience – alone with God." Check out http://www.truthoutsidechurch.com

    Like

  16. Tony says:

    I think it is a great idea. God and Man united – with no church institution to interfere with that communion. As the author says “For them this truly is a ‘wilderness’ experience – alone with God.”

    Like

  17. Karen says:

    Grant, you addressed an excellent point in the fact that most institutional churches, especially here in America are LED by men and women. Whether we praise, glory, and laud the pastor and his family over others, or the leadership is lifted high and held in higher regard than the sick, the poor, the orphaned and the widows, or be it a Bible study that is led by a man or woman promoting some "Bible study" program from a human resource…..one of the last so called Bible study was led by a woman who used Jonathan Kahn's "The Harbinger" as her mode and method of indoctrinating the blind sheep into Judaism.

    Most American churches have prostituted themselves out in worshiping man; man's wisdom, man's works, man's ways with little regard and glory given to Almighty God. How many church signs have "JESUS" listed as their Teacher on their "church signs" proudly displayed outside of their church buildings? It is always a man or woman's name listed, and you will never hear the Name of Jesus and His Glorious teachings coming out of the mouths of the faithful pew sitters on any given Sunday for most, if not nearly all, never read, study, or meditate upon the Scriptures for themselves.

    People leave their faith in the hands of a man or woman who love lording it over the sheeple people.

    Like

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