Here are the primary takeaways from my morning meeting with The Boss today…

Elders must hold firm to sound doctrine and the trustworthy Word as taught and emphasized by Jesus of Nazareth. The protocols, norms, and decorums of American Christianity don’t get to dictate what is truly and forcibly meant by ‘sound doctrine’, but rather JESUS OF NAZARETH’S style, manner, points of emphasis, controversial conversations with the church leaders of His day, etc. dominate and define how we understand and live-out SOUND DOCTRINE. And like Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Scribes of His day, so we are commanded by The Boss to rebuke those who contradict the style and substantive story-telling and strategies of Jesus of Nazareth.

For there are many empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to man-made myths and the commands of people who turn away from the style and substantive story-telling and strategies of Jesus of Nazareth. They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Be ready for every good work. Speak evil of no one. Avoid quarreling. Be gentle. Show perfect courtesy toward all people. Always remember that you yourself were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, enslaved to various passions and pleasures, passing your days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating. But when the goodness and loving kindness of The Boss appeared, He saved you, not because of works done by you in righteousness, but according to His own mercy! …So being justified by His grace you might become an heir according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and YOU MUST INSIST ON THESE THINGS, because these things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning them once and then twice, have nothing more to do with them, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

There are people (sometimes people named Artemas or Tychicus) who will help you and sub for you from-time-to-time (#It’sATeamEffort!). Do your best to carve out time to be helpful to, and helped by, good mentors …for example, spend the winter with your helpful mentors in places like Nicopolis, Greece (or wherever). Do your best to speed people (sometimes name “Zenas the lawyer” or “Apollos”) on their way; and see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.