Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Growing in Grace Together - Lucas Miles

It's time for another Growing in Grace Together podcast! It's been a while, and I'm very happy to get back into the swing of things with my very special guest, Lucas Miles. Lucas is the President of the Oasis Network for Churches (OasNet) and he is helping to spread the message of God's goodness, love and grace in many ways. In this podcast Lucas shares about his involvement in church planting through OasNet, nationally and internationally, in order to spread the message of God's grace and to connect people together. We also chat about the upcoming Oasis Grace Conference in October 2013, which is something many Growing in Grace listeners will want to put on their calendars!

Listen in to find out what other nuggets of grace Lucas has to share, as well as the many resources that can be found through the OasNet website.

Growing in Grace Together - Lucas Miles (20 Min, 14 MB)
(Click to Play or Right-Click to Download.)


  1. Joel, I have appreciated the Growing in Grace podcasts for some time now, and have really appreciated the encouragement and refreshment that I get from them. Most of all, I appreciate the fact that you guys support what you say with scripture and not simply what seems to sound right to you. With that, todays podcast really caught me off guard. I really appreciate Lucas's heart for sharing the gospel, but disagree strongly with his take on organizing ourselves. First; I really didn't appreciate the suggestion that people who don't support organization have somehow fallen prey to "ploys of the enemy;" that is is "a response of immaturity," and that they operate out of "selfishness." Saying such things only puts believers at odds with one another, which goes against much of our purpose, as the body of Christ.

    Second; I acknowledge that many people have been hurt within the "church," and no doubt, there are many who have left church in response. However, I think it's naive to think that this is the primary reason people are leaving organized church. I've heard, several times, the expression Lucas used, that people are "throwing the baby out with the bathwater." People who use this expression seem to think that the organization is "the baby." However, to those who feel led to leave the organization, the institution is the bathwater and JESUS is the baby. Most people leaving the organized church are not dumping their faith in Christ, and aren't just secluding themselves from the body. Quite the opposite, in fact. Most who are stepping away are seeking what it is to have a truly Spirit led relationship with God and what is is to BE the church. They are seeking and finding expressions of church that are more representative of what people feel Christ has called us to.

    Finally; to my knowledge, when it comes to organizing ourselves, there isn't really much said in the New Testament about how, or if the church should organize itself. 1 Corinthians 14 gives us a very loose description, but that description looks very little like the modern institutional church is structured and operates. I would suggest there is evidence to support the belief that we are to be as loosely organized as possible. One of the major things Christ did was to dismantle the organization of the systems of the day, which were built around man's wisdom and traditions. Then he proceeded to tell the disciples not to let the people call them teacher, pastor, rabbi, because we are all brothers and have one teacher, Who is Christ, Himself. If anything; it seems that Jesus was sending a message that things were going to be different now and that we were no longer to structure ourselves around systems, but entirely around Him, so that He could be free to lead us, Himself. Having said that, Lucas's foundational reasoning for supporting organization was disturbing to me. He pointed to the successes of political groups, terrorist groups, etc, to suggest that it is a more effective way to spread the gospel. Are you kidding me? When did Jesus EVER point to a world system and suggest we should go and do like they do? During the early church, the gospel spread like wildfire, yet it was as disorganized as it could possibly be, from a modern "business" perspective. When it comes to organization; the modern church has maximized it to the level of some of the most successful organizations ever to operate on this earth, and from a $$$ standpoint, they appear to be quite successful. However, with all of the organization and all of the dollars coming in; the church is shrinking by the millions. Yes, people are hearing the gospel, but for the amount of investment we make in organization, I am sceptical that it is a "more effective" way of truly reaching people with the message of the gospel and helping lead them to the One who can help them truly...grow in grace. :-)

    1. Kevin, I can't agree more. I believe the book of Hebrew chapter 9 deals with this metamorphosis of the old temple into what today is referred to as the "church". Not only is it illegitimate but nullifies the very work Jesus came to do wrt us becoming the temple. This new metamorphic church assumes the role of Christ and justifies it with phrases such as corporate, body etc...They assume to hear from God on our behalf and in so doing prevent individuals from understanding their unity with God, as their model is based upon old covenant principles where priests, prophets and the like were the only people who heard from God. I truly believe this 'monster' of religion prevents individuals from hearing and experiencing God on their own and within themselves (just like the people of the Old Testament times were used to)!! Nuf said.

  2. Kevin,
    I couldn't agree more with your post above and I was thinking the same thing. You put it into words well! I am one of those people who suffered much mental and emotional abuse at the hands of the organized church and I cannot go back! Too much hurt and pain! This guy talked a lot of how he is one of the lead pastors and all that he or the organization has done. I didn't really hear anything about what Jesus did, just a lot about him and his "church." I don't like it at all! Just my take on it.

    1. Agreed. I noticed several abusive labels attached to me as I'm one of those against institutions not because they abused me in the past, but because I believe I see them for what they are. People look at Christ and get stuck there. Very rarely do they understand the truth that Christ has actually taken us to the very presence of God IN us. It's because of His grace that we are united with God, as Jesus prayed in John 17. But that's seen as blasphemy, simply because it's too radical to see and it would also remove the need to have the institution stand between us and Father, as a mediator. This message of grace is founded upon the covenant God made with Himself (Galatians) and not upon some institution and it's opinion of 'lone ranger' Christians, something they would not understand in any event. We're not 'lone rangers' that's the irony. I'm not institutionalized but share a wonderful friendship with people who understand the necessity for individuals to unite with God, as His plan has been, and not be manipulated by systems or structures as these see fit. Centuries have past where individuals were isolated from fellow believers due to pro-communist countries, and as a result of their faith. What does this make them? Lost?? I think not. I'm extremely disappointed that this message is deemed to be 'grace' and in the words of Lucas Miles 'the only church' that builds upon this grace message. Good for you Miles, but I think ;'sad that this man has such a high opinion of his grace message which is nothing but manipulative and hierarchical and guilt ridden.' Sorry but I'm also being honest.

  3. Again, if the 'organized church' topic had been the main point of our conversation, I'm sure much more would have been said by both of us to express the good and bad of both organized and unorganized church. :)

    The bottom line for me is that "organized church" isn't the problem. The problem is people not loving and building one another up, whether they're organized or not.

  4. I am not against fellowship, I am against hypocrisy,
    And Joel and all let us not forget what happened in Christ's day
    Matthew 23
    [ A Warning Against Hypocrisy ] Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. ...

    today we have the word to read for each of ourselves and know truth the truth that sets each of us free.

    Matthew 6:2
    “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
    Matthew 6:5
    [ Prayer ] “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
    Matthew 6:16
    [ Fasting ] “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
    Matthew 23:13
    [ Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees ] “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
    Matthew 23:15
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
    Matthew 23:23
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
    Matthew 23:25
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
    Matthew 23:27
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
    Matthew 23:29
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.
    Matthew 23:29
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.
    Luke 13:15
    The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?

  5. and it still is going on today, and am glad the Biblr is available for all to read it for thermselves. The Church today is the 11th institution of the United States, and so Church and state are not seperate from each other, today it is a real money maker, and one may start out with care for God, but money many times gets in the way as it did during Christ's walk here on earth. Job security got them to put Christ on the cross, becausae no one was going to synogogue, and even Stephan got stoned to death by the religous leaders after the resurrection for saying God does not reside in buildiings. Another Job security motive to kill Stephan and Stephan did not even fight back saying forgive them Lord for ths sin. Which later affected Saul deeply who saw this stoning, being perplexed why did he go to his death also.
    Then Saul who became Paul would not take money, for preaching the Gospel, he continued to work as a tent maker, because he did not desire to harm the full Gospel as it is today. You know this yuorself and, I know yuo arer oif the truth, never asking for a dime as Steve Mcvey will not either, and ptp ministries asks for donations and states clearly only if it is on your heart never by force, free will givinig, no tithing, none all said in love to you brother in Chirst

  6. I appreciate the understanding, Joel! I guess i'm just trying to be honest, I know what you are saying and i'm thankful for what you and Kap are doing and to me, that is better than going to a building on Sundays. You guys are humble and honest and you don't try to manipulate people. You sincerely spread the gospel and I feel you represent Jesus more than the institutional church does. I can't stand it when the leaders of the organized church talk about all They have done for God and how they do this and they do that and the unspoken message they give off is if you would just do what were doing and be just like us, then God would be so happy/proud of you. I think Jesus gave warnings like Howard pointed out above because Jesus is the only leader that won't abuse his authority over people because we are all his children and he loves us all.
    I think the leaders don't come right out and say abusive things but its the subtle messages of ...if you would just do ---- or if you would just do -----. It's a performances trap. Check out Wayne Jacobson was a former pastor for many years and left organized religion and basically he does what you guys do. He is honest and real and authentic and in this world that is like a spring of water in a desert of religion for a thirsty soul!

    1. Amen and over and over 100,000 times
      I give what I have never as a tithe, and wahtever I have I give it is not limited to Money. We all here share and this in itself is a blessing to life everlasting
      I go by this when asked for donations of money, first I discern what and how I am being asked if it be a free will donation as ptp ministries has been, gracewalk as well, here with Joel and Ksp, no strings attached. When I hear tithes and offerings I know what is behind on that motive. I listen to God who resides in my heart to tellme what to do and when, I am always learning to listen, and willing to always sift all that is said to me around me to the hidden man of my heart where truth gets seperated from error
      2 Cor 8,9 and 10 is the best description for free will giving, to me very enlightening

  7. So who or what do we do in order to discern what is what and who is who, I surely don't want to get fooled again do you or anyone here?
    Wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove comes to mind, and we have by belief God's installment the Holy Ghost as Paul referred to that as the hidden man of our hearts. So we will know the truth and the truth does set us free, if we will take bad experiences as learning lessons and not as hard hearts. I remember a deception that happened to me and while confronting the person, about it they said I did it, I allowed it by loaning them the money, it was my fault. I thought about this to learn from it without a hard heart for that person, and learned a valuable lesson, and i take this with in no hardship or unforgiveness, I did not see what I was suppose to do at that time and if I ever do it again I am to do it with no expectations in return whether it is agreed on to have a return or not. Freedom we are called freedom we will do as to love all as God loves us
    Thanks Joel and Kap for all you all do here, oh and pray for me as I now have been diagnosed with degenerative Arthritus in the hips, trouble walking now as I am about to also go through with the last surgery of the last surgery of foreigners gangreen, yet God has got me here for some reson, not yet time to go home as of yet, God rule and I am submissive even if I don't like it, learning I am