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Author's Brief Testimony

A Brief Look at Paradigms

3 paradigms of Wisdom: worldly, religious, & Christian

"Paradigm" is word that not everyone may know. We are nevertheless all powerfully affected by our paradigms. There are paradigms which guide our thoughts and understanding in art, culture, religion and technology in every age. We become victims of these understandings which we come to accept as laws or "facts" when presented by teachers or leaders. A Paradigm is a system of accepted understanding that attempts to answer 'the way things are,' or answer questions about essential facts. We rarely question or think outside of these premises or to escape from the paradigms that are set in place for us. It takes imagination and even courage to reexamine paradigms critically. Outside of a paradigm is where invention and discovery occurs. Paradigm break-throughs lead to advances in science, art, or religious thought.

  • Paradigms: define our understanding. They are pre-suppositions of how things are or how things have to be.

  • Paradigms: limit our ability to function outside of that paradigm - or receive understanding outside of the paradigm. They are in a sense glass walls or ceilings in the domain of that paradigm.

  • Religion is among the many domains where paradigms exist

  • People who are paradigm breakers may be considered radical, even blasphemous or heretical

  • Paradigms of science or cosmology have often been in conflict with religious teaching and dogma. Religious authorities were frequently intolerant of new ways of thinking. Whether about the earth and solar system as envisioned by Copernicus or Newton or teachings that are outside of their own orthodoxy. Old ways of thinking do not receive a new paradigm without resistance and tension.

Examples of religious paradigms
1. The Church is the "house of God"
2. A Church is where you go to worship.
3. All human beings are the children of God
4. Religious (Spiritual) knowledge is the domain of the clergy or priesthood
5. Heaven is the place you go when you die
6. Believers should submit to the headship (covering) of a church authority or pastor
7. The saints and disciples are Biblical personalities from another by-gone age
8. Signs, wonders and the miraculous have passed away in modern times
9. God does not speak to human beings in the He way did in the early days of the church.
10. The new covenant excludes the root and foundation of the covenants of Judaism. Some outside-the-paradigm view points
11. Priests or sacramental rites provide a guarantee of good standing with God.
12. Duties in the form of 'good works' will help us to win favor with God and give us spiritual stature.

Biblical Support For Contrary Views to the Above Paradigms.

  • 1. The church is comprised of each person who believes and has been born into the kingdom of God. Each believer is described as a 'living stone' that forms the greater house, also known as the body of Christ

  • 2. You do not go to a church rather each believer is a component of the the Church (Ekklesia Christ's called-out body.) You and others are called to come together in Jesus' name. Whenever two or three gather in His name, you become an assembly of believers Christ the Messiah is manifested. The Ekklesia. He has called us OUT of darkness into the glorious light of the sons and daughters of God. (See link: Why Should Christians Gather?)

  • 3. The Jews sought to stone Jesus when he inferred that God was his father. There was no such designation as 'children of God' until Jesus pronounced this doctrine on our behalf and taught his disciples to pray, " Our Father... " Furthermore, no man comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ, the door. Others in the world are not children of God. Jn 1:12 - for those who believe on His name he gives the power (exousia = authority) to become the sons (children) of God

  • 4. The priest hood has actually been eliminated in the new covenant Gospel of the Kingdom. In the days of Moses, the people of Israel rejected God's plan to become a nation of kings and priests (Exodus 19:) and demanded that Moses and Aaron become the intermediaries before God on their behalf. Since the founding of the church (also the day of Pentecost) The fire of God fell on each believer and they received the Power (Gk.dunamis) to be witnesses of the wonderful works of God. Gradually after the original apostles passed from the scene, the priesthood insinuated itself back into the world of Christianity and has held believers captive until this time. The ecclesiastical traditions of formal religion dominate the whole world of Christendom today.

  • 5. Heaven. Jesus prayer among other matters, essential to the life of faith, about connecting the realm of the heavenly (The Kingdom of Heaven) which is the realm of the Spirit with this world. Let thy Kingdom come. Let Thy will be done. On earth as in Heaven! This revelation of the Kingdom can be experienced to various degrees in this present dispensation, while we live as people 'born and led by the Spirit.' We have overlooked that which is that which prevails at the present most fundamental in the religious experience. (The Lord's prayer or the Disciple's prayer.) Heaven is a continuing reality but on a Spiritual (non intellectual) plane. Heaven was presented by Jesus as accessible by his disciples. How can heavenly things become accessible? Only through a Spirit-born and spirit-governed life in which the natural man has been transformed. The "new man" with his natural limits subdued and crucified by the POWER OF G-D. Access to heavenly things is gained by losing one's self awareness, self-identity and self-governed life. Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am you may be also. - -" To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord - - I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day - - I heard - - and behold - - I see - -. Physical death is the ultimate loss of self control. "Carrying the cross" is about losing our preoccupation with self so that Christ's life may manifest within us.

  • 6. The concept of pastoral authority (or covering) is a feature of the tradition-bound, priest-led institutional church. From early times priests were designated clergy and the general congregation of pew-sitting listeners was designated laity. In this system the laity functions primarily as a personal support system that supports the institutional church. (Ownership of a flock of God permits the overseers to make merchandise of them.) Pastoral leadership should not be a distinctive superior class but as examples to disciples who are maturing in their own leadership. John writes regarding this misuse of authority: Read about Diotrophes in 3 John and in The Revelation see: (Nicolaitinism. See.. Rev. 2 and Rev. 3) This is the answer to the question of human headship; The Lord is my shepherd - My sheep hear my voice - - There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Also we are told in Luke's epistle (Gospel of Luke) That we are not to call any man "Father," "Master," or "Rabbi," Matt. 23: 7-11. I make the assumption that the term pastor fits the criterion of religious titles that set leaders apart. Servant leadership is the correct model.

  • 7. We who believe and have received the transforming gift of New Life, are called to be Saints, for we are all called to be "in Christ Jesus", seated in heavenly places. We are exhorted to grow up in the knowledge of Him until we reach the fullness of Him. (Ephesians 4:13.) The only question is how do we grow and how are we discipled? The pastoral leadership (discipleship) paradigm is only partially effective as it does not prepare all brothers and sisters for leadership and full participation in the things of God. There is a continuing notion that some are called into the ministry and then seek to be trained in "the ministry." I have heard this countless times. Discipleship is what the great commission seeks to produce. "Make disciples of all nations - - ." (Matt. 28:19) Discipleship is best realized through Koinonia meaning mutual participation and sharing of the God life in fellowship. (It is my position that there is no Ekklesia without Koinonia!) Those called out of the world into the body of Christ have within them the essence of Jesus' love. These believers are drawn to value and share their fellow brothers and sisters that make up the body.  A number of authors are adding to the same message that I promote here. We see liberty in the body being promoted and the trend to come out from institutional religious systems." Mega Shift" by James Rutz and other web published writings which teach the full gospel message free of institutional religious connection: One of my own published titles is found under the title, " The Gospel Without Religion."

  • 8. Signs and wonders and miracles are either part of your religious doctrine or they are not. Those who exclude this from their doctrines do participate in the living reality of a church that is that first delivered to the saints. (Jude 3) Miracles and supernatural that was part of the Pentecostal awakening movement that began in the recent century in 1906. But experiencing the supernatural seems to be waning among the Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians today. If your paradigm does not allow for the supernatural you will not see it because you are essentially saying No to the experience. Today more supernatural signs and wonders are in evidence than ever before. There is no more powerful key concepts to understand than Paul's statement that the gospel is the "POWER OF G-D" I have never heard a substantial teaching on this phrase. Yet it is a key to our understanding the promise of the gospel. The Power of G-d is all about what G-d does, is doing, and will do. It is not about our ability to understand the Bible, solve problems or transform ourselves. The "new creation" is a product of the power of G-d. Spiritual gifts are a product of the power of G-d!

  • 9. The most amazing thing any believer can ever discover is that God can and does reveal himself to us individually. The miraculous and revelation awaits any who through the power of the Holy Spirit seek first the kingdom and knock at heaven's door. Hebrews 11:7 is a powerful key concept in realizing that some seem to never believe or receive the gift of salvation. "- - whoever comes to G-d must FIRST believe that he is and that he WILL REWARD those who diligently seek him. (!) Hebrews 11:7

  • 10. The paradigm of the Old covenant (Judaism) is the root into which Christianity has been grafted. Christianity is actually nothing more than Messianic Judaism in which we discover the wholeness and fulfillment of God's word in which the Mashiac was foretold and depicted in typology, from Genesis to the prophets and in the Psalms. He fulfills the promise of the "One new man," Jew and Gentile joined under the Messiah. It is unfortunate that the terminology of the Messiah was traded in for the Greek term Kristos (the anointed one) This designation has reinforced the deception that Judaic foundations has been replaced by Christianity with a rejection of anything Jewish. We Gentiles by the grace of God have been grafted into the vine of Israel. To disregard this HERITAGE of our root and foundations is unbiblical and damnable. The Gentiles in the age of the church is a distinct chapter and expression of God's planned time-table in restoring his people Israel, The physical kingdom and rule of the Messiah upon the earth is the culmination of G-d's plan. It will be the reign of the Messiah for 1000 years upon the earth.

  • 11. Religious studies have prepared scholars to ordination thus to qualify to become priests and overseers. They erroneously give the laity to understand that they posses a particular power and authority that the church goer does not have. We may well place our faith in a priest to communicate with God on our behalf. If only the Christian world knew and understood that there is but "one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus."

The great questions of life that philosophers ask is:
"Who are we? 
Where do we come from?  Where are we going? Where will we go to seek wisdom and answers to these mysteries? 
Do we inquire according to secular wisdom, or religious teachings? Or is there another? How does Godly Wisdom contrast to secular wisdom? How does Godly Wisdom contrast with "religious" wisdom? 3 PARADIGMS OF WISDOM AND TRUTH

The Paradigm of Worldly Wisdom Contrasted to Godly Wisdom
For it is written, I will destroy the  wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. (1Cor:1:19:KJV) For  after that in the wisdom of God the world by  wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (-1Cor:1:21:KJV ) THE PARADIGM OF WORLDLY WISDOM Worldly wisdom extols and rewards self-exaltation and individuality Godly wisdom (the Truth) says deny yourself take up your cross, die to yourself. In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom no man is "good "Worldly wisdom is based upon observation and the appearance of things  Godly wisdom (the Truth) The unseen things are eternal and have a substance yet to be known by human reason.

Worldly wisdom is based upon "scientific" principle and measurable phenomena. Godly wisdom (the Truth) teaches that if you believe in the unseen you have faith and will see the results manifested. Worldly wisdom is characterized by the domination (rulership) of the strong and the mighty over the weak.
Godly wisdom (the Truth) teaches that God chooses the weak and the insignificant to shame the wise and strong. 
Worldly wisdom devalues humans with few assets, (the poor) having childlike meekness and simplicity. Godly wisdom (the Truth) reveals that the greatest in the kingdom of God are like children. Humble, trusting, and meek.
Worldly wisdom values and rewards intellectual achievement, scholarship and leadership attributes.
Godly wisdom (the Truth) teaches that the wisdom of man is foolishness to him.
Worldly wisdom recognizes classes as inferior or superior rank and class, this is respect of persons.
Godly wisdom (the Truth) teaches that those who are  poor shall eventually receive the blessings of the kingdom. The proud and the mighty he scatters and turns away.
Worldly wisdom's view of the "vast timeless universe" diminishes or negates the need of a savior.
Godly wisdom (the Truth) teaches that God created the heaven and the earth by wisdom and all things that are in it. And he called his creation "good."
Worldly wisdom values "self preservation" as a principle
Godly wisdom (the Truth) speaks of self sacrifice as a divine virtue
Worldly wisdom believes life may well be over when one dies
Godly wisdom (the Truth) we are eternal beings who retain our own soul's personal identity forever. Some will inherit eternal blessings and others will  inherit eternal separation from God.
Worldly wisdom presumes that God regards any and all religions or faiths as equally valid.
Godly wisdom has limited the way to a narrow one. There is one narrow way and one name only by which sins may be atoned and we may be saved. Jesus Christ.
There is only one mediator between God and man. This Jesus is the son of God, the king of the Jews.
Worldly wisdom presumes that God does not favor any one nation over another.
Godly wisdom (the Truth) reveals that one nation has been designated as the chosen people of God. The Bible has established upon infallible promises, Godly wisdom (the Truth) reveals that one nation is the chosen people of God.
Worldly wisdom would suggest that whichever God we name that it is the same divine being but simply designated by many names.
Godly wisdom (the Truth) though there are many Gods there is but one God who is above all and we can hold no God higher than He. There is no other God above Him. Those who name other gods are idolaters and their fate is judgment and destruction.
Worldly wisdom presumes that God is essentially impersonal.
Godly wisdom (the Truth) says that we can become sons of God. Adapted  into the family. We are called to inherit the blessings and partake in His  divine nature. 
Worldly wisdom (allowing religious belief) believes that all of the human race are automatically  "children of God"
Godly wisdom (the Truth) Whoever believes on the Son of God, Jesus Christ, shall have eternal life. Whoever has not the son has no life but the condemnation of God remains upon them. (John 3:18)

Paradigms of Religious Wisdom:
In the religious paradigm the religious life centers around a "church house"

In the religious paradigm the church building is called the "Church"

In the religious paradigm the traditional church features such elements as: pulpits and pews, stained glass windows, organs and 'sacred music'  solemnity and formalism, Ecclesiastical garb, robes, orders of service, ritual, - - designated ranks of clerical authority.

In the religious paradigm a formally trained priest or clergy "officiates" over the "services"

In the religious paradigm a formal address or sermon delivered to the faithful is called "preaching"

In the religious paradigm one or two hours a week meet one's religious requirements, involvement 

In the religious paradigm only the professionally trained clergy are qualified to "minister" 

In the religious paradigm there is "respect of persons" - - a heirarchy of spiritual rank or authority 

In the religious paradigm members may be totally disassociated in worship or prayer 

In the religious paradigm a person's spiritual life is largely governed, directed or sustained others 

In the religious paradigm the exploits of God and Saints are in the dim past 

In the religious paradigm people are taught how to please God with certain deeds or obligations 

In the religious paradigm there are may be particular duties required to attain "good standing" 

In the religious paradigm one often does not experience God but only hears about God 

In the religious paradigm one often doesn't know if he/she qualifies for a heavenly reward, (is saved)

In the religious paradigm Bible doctrine plus traditional teachings form core doctrines 

Paradigm of Godly Wisdom, (Modeled by Jesus)
In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom there are paradoxes to the natural  instincts or wisdom of man  the least shall be greatest; 

The first shall be last;  many called but few chosen; we must die (to ourselves) in order to live; 

We must hate the things of this world;  we must be like a child, God has hidden wisdom from the wise;  the unseen things are a greater reality than the seen. etc.
n the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom man in his natural abilities (I can do nothing of myself) can do  nothing of value for the kingdom of God 

In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom, the spiritual man is totally  dependent upon the guidance of the Spirit

In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom we are in a perpetual spiritual  battle for survival and dominance in life

In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom there is eternal life, promised  rewards and consequences

In the Jesus, Spirit-led model Jesus preached to those outside pertaining  to the Kingdom of God and taught his followers

In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom only those who are born of the Spirit and led of the Spirit are the Children of God

In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom people are discipled; disciples are nurtured and matured and prepared for ministry

In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom ministry is through the leading of the Holy Spirit 

In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom true worshipers worship in  Spirit and in Truth 

In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom, wisdom and insight is hidden from the double minded and the unredeemed

In the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom we could memorize the Bible and not fully know God and the truth- only the Spirit reveals it.

See Above Link to Chapter 13; Religious Terminology

Next Chapter

E Book 1: The Gospel Without Religion

E Book 2:

A Disciples Handbook

E Book 3:
Mysteries in the Bible Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles

Mysteries in the Bible Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles
Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles


Resources: Understanding Home Fellowships

Frank Viola Interviews a typical church-goer

(Discussion of Open Church)

Update 08-2023