3Circles Church Communities

Spirit-Centered Communities

This is no fly by night idea of mine, to create Spirit-Centered communities. Back in the 60's I had lived at Morning Star, a hippy commune outside Occidental, CA and visited Wheeler's Ranch just over the mountain. Then, in 1970, before my rebirth in Christ (Nov. 1973), I felt God's leading to start a community and a group of 22 carved the beginnings of a community out of the wilderness of a virgin British Columbia forest. In March/April of 1974 I was invited by an existing community to come and teach them what I knew about God and community. Most of their members had recently been converted via a Christian rock music fest, at the Born Again Barn. Then around the first of May, 1974, while me and my girlfriend (and soon to be wife) were visiting a couple I had met previously, God once again intervened, making it very clear to all 4 of us that we should start a Christian community. And so it was that Northwood Christian Community was founded on a farm on Mt. Hanley, just outside of Middleton, Nova Scotia. It was June of that same year that I was taken to heaven and told that founding communities would be my life's work.

Of course, all those communities were short lived. The reasons are obvious to me now. Receiving a call to do something is a call to begin planning what one has to do, but back then I was too young to understand the importance of planning and patience. I also had little understanding of people and how easily people are led astray when their faith is based on a man-made book about God and God's words rather than on direct, daily communication with the Living WORD of God. I now realize that those who are Bible-Centred (Protestants) or Church-Centered (Catholics) have never been taught how to meditate, how to stop all the stress filled chatter in their brains, how to listen to God and thereby hear God's Living WORD.

Little did I know when I vowed to start my next community in God's timing, it would be 33 years before that time arrived! So now, as I enter my 34th year following my heavenly sojourn in June of 1974, all the pieces are finally in place. There were many things that had to be accomplished along the way, like going back to school, studying computers and starting my own ISP (Internet Services Provider) company. It would take volumes to list all the many, many miracles it took to get here. You can read some of the highlights by checking out the "Our Mission and Who We Are" section of this website.

Each time I started a community it was like being at the center of an energy vortex. I believe God provided this dramatic increase in energy so that we could draw to ourselves what was needed, for the quickening of our minds so we could know God's will and to provide knowledge of needs that only God could know. I remember one incident at Northwood that demonstrates the immense power one steps into when building an intentional community. All four of us were gathered for prayer. Suddenly God's presence was felt so powerfully that all four of us began to shake. Individually we hadn't yet learned to handle such abundant energy, so we did what came naturally… we held onto each other. That helped focus the energy and lessen the shaking. During this entire time no one could speak and we were immersed in total peace and joy. Even if we wanted to we could not, such was the power of God's presence.

It was in the midst of that anointing that God spoke into each of our minds the same thought. I went to get my shoes because I knew I had to go and visit some couple I barely knew and had only recently met. As I was putting on my shoes I saw Joe coming down the stairs with his own shoes and without speaking a word he also dressed. Then we both went out to the car. We didn't say a word to our women about where we were going because there was no need to, we knew they knew. It was 2 am.

As we were driving, after some time had passed, Joe spoke for the first time. "This has got to be God because I would never go to anyone's house at 2 in the morning"! When we arrived at the converted school bus we knocked on the door. A light came on, the door swung open and he said, "Yeah, what do you want"? I then said, "I don't know, we just know that God sent us". He immediately dropped to his knees and began to weep. Later, as we sat with him and his wife around their table, he confessed that they had had the biggest fight of their life. He was so upset that he had cried out to God, saying, "God, if you're real, please send someone to help us". And so God did.

I have often wondered whether anyone would have come if we hadn't. I have concluded that since no else came, we were the only one's who listened to God and obeyed. I believe the call went out to many others, but because it was so late or because they weren't sure if that was their mind playing tricks on them or if it was indeed God, no one else obeyed. This is but one small example of the power of a faith-based, Spirit-Centered community.

So, what exactly is a "Spirit-Centered Community"? Since there are few intentional communities and none exactly like our proposed communities, let me begin by talking about what is familiar to most people: camping and "Church". From these I can draw descriptive parallels and hopefully convey the heart of what a 3Circles Church Community is all about.

Every city and town has their share of churches and they are universally recognized. However, a 3Circles Church Community will be nothing like a traditional church and the reasons why are profound. I am going to shock some of you when I say this, but those religious buildings universally described as a "Church" are in fact NOT a Church. They do, however, temporarily house the church, which is in truth, the people. This is the main reason I've coined the phrase, "Be the Church", to put an end to this widely held misconception.

Do you remember summer camp when you were a kid? If you were a boy or girl scout, or you attended YMCA or YWCA summer camp, then you understand the special camaraderie that is shared there. Maybe you've gone on spiritual retreats, which are a lot like camping without the tents or camp buildings. Or perhaps your family was rich enough to afford a vacation home, where you invited a few other close friends and their families to share the experience of "roughing it" in some scenic area. In all of these scenarios you would have had the privilege of experiencing a small part of what it's like to live in a faith-based intentional community. Camping creates magical moments that are unique and shared, moments that are never forgotten because they touch us deeply. Now imagine experiencing that heightened joy and love every day, for the rest of your life!!

When Jesus launched his ministry at the age of 33, his first act of love was to gather a group of disciples - male and female - creating a faith-based community. It was not a religious community because religion is an institution where people practice forms of traditional godliness, knowing little of the great peace, joy, and power of being spiritually connected directly to God.

This first community of believers was a Spirit-Centered community. They had no bible, built no church buildings, and believed God spoke a Living WORD into their hearts and minds. Jesus told his disciples that he spoke in parables to the masses because he knew most of them were not ready to hear, see or understand the mysteries of God. However, to those who were drawn by the Holy Spirit and chosen by him, he explained their inner meanings (see Matthew 13:10-16).

By living in a close knit community of the faithful his disciples discovered that indeed, "many hands make light work". They were able to break free of life's normal "spend every waking hour just trying to survive" treadmill. Although there was no requirement to do so, each disciple shared what little money they could bring to the community through their trades (tent making, fishing, etc.), so that more could be accomplished by all. Thus their time was freed up for travel, preaching, prayer and wilderness times alone with God.

Living and working together means having more time freedom to help one another too. The creation of such a purposeful community of the faithful brings both individual and group empowerment. This is the "ship" part of worship, or "worth-ship". This was the first true "Church". Jesus and his disciples ate together; they traveled together; they taught together; they worked together, they worshipped together, they healed together; they prayed together; and they even shared a common purse (I do not advocate a common purse, but that is what they did during that time in history, when men and women had very few possessions or money).

By this first act of love, Jesus revealed that a community lifestyle is the ideal way to manifest God's LIFE in the hearts and minds of its members. It is no accident that his disciples talked about believers as "the body of Christ", and called this body the church. "And he [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:18). In the Bible we learn that a church was NOT (and is not now) a building. It is a body of believers gathered together, manifesting God's light, power and love in their midst.

In Ephesians chapter 4 we see the archetypal model for this church. It reveals how this living church should function. It tells us that such an ideal church produces fruits far different than today's churches, fruits such as a "Unity of the Spirit", "a bond of peace", "forbearance and forgiveness". Of course the purpose of all this is LOVE. As Jesus often said because, it sums up his entire ministry, we are to love God with all our heart, mind and soul, and love our neighbor as our self.

Here is the passage I've been quoting from, Ephesians chapter 4: "Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all"… 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. 17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart".

That is a description of an ideal, of how people should live. Wouldn't it be great if you lived among people who truly and always "spoke the truth in love"? It would most certainly be different wouldn't it? Can you imagine living with a group of people who always had your best interests at heart, who understood that the purpose of the community was "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (which is one another)?

But in spite of such passages having been preached in traditional churches for over 2000 years, one would be hard pressed to find such a community. That doesn't mean they don't exist, because they do, even in today's modern world. And I'm not talking about the Amish. I've visited some over the years and as already mentioned, I've also created or helped create a few. So what sets us apart, what makes a 3Circles Church Community different?

The first and most obvious difference is the lifestyle. Instead of living like goats, we choose to live like sheep. Goats are notoriously independent creatures who wander far and wide if you let them. It's not easy to keep any animal penned in but goats are well known for their ability to escape from the best built fences. That's because goats value their independence more than they value the community of goats. Sheep on the other hand, value the flock, the community of sheep, more than then they value their individual independence.

In the Bible Jesus speaks about two kinds of leaven. The good leaven Jesus likened to the Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God. "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened" (Mt. 13:33 or Luke 13:21). For those of you unfamiliar with the making of bread, leaven is yeast, it is what consumes the sugars and breaks down the gluten, producing the gas to raise the dough and elasticity to make it stick together. When a bread maker adds the leaven it is a very small amount compared to the flour and other ingredients. But once added it will spread throughout the entire dough mixture, until it becomes part of the bread and cannot be distinguished from it. The bad leaven is hypocrisy, specifically the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, who were highly educated religious men, experts of the Old Testament scriptures who "omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith" (Mt. 23:23). The Pharisees were thus distinguished as "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" and one of his later disciples, Timothy did not mince words, stating, "from such turn away" (2 Timothy 3:5).

I KNOW, with absolute certainty, that this is the reason Jesus told his followers to be like sheep, so that we might avoid such the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, so that we might be leavened by the good leaven which brings with it all the power of God's love and unity. This is what the kingdom of heaven is all about. It is not about religion and religious forms it is about loving and empowering one another. This is also why Jesus told his fellow Jews that he would have gathered Jerusalem's children like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but because they would not allow this, their homes would become desolate (Mt. 23:37).

For humans, living like sheep in a close knit community of faith where values are shared and love is abundant is how we help one another overcome all the snares and temptations of this world. As this leaven of love works into our heart we are transformed on a daily basis. But those who live as goats and come together a few times a week to pretend they are sheep are "infected" by "the leaven of… hypocrisy", which Jesus warned us to avoid. Those who say they love one another but then choose to live far from the one's they say they love are no different than those foolish couples who believe they can still maintain their love while both maintain separate careers in different cities.

About now some of are probably remembering what it's like when your relatives come to visit and you're thinking, "Why would I ever want to live in a close-knit community"!! Well, I've had many unpleasant experiences with relatives and so-called friends but I've also had the experience of living in faith based communities. And this is not an accurate comparison. First off, when relatives come to visit you usually share your house with them because it's expected. This inevitably gives rise to all kinds of territorial problems. But in a 3Circles Community, where each family owns their own home or rents their own apartment, just like they did in suburbia, in the city or in a rural setting, they have access to all the resources of their extended community family. Those resources will include apartment buildings or other housing built specifically for community guests. If relatives come to visit, they won't have to stay in your home and you won't have to feel obligated to accommodate them because they will be sharing each day of their visit within easy walking distance. There will be plenty of activities to keep them occupied too, for adults and children.

The most important foundational belief outside of believing in Jesus Christ is our belief in the Holy Spirit as teacher. This is how unity is achieved without the need to force people to believe exactly as we do. The reason is simple. There is one ultimate source of truth that cannot be distorted by the interpretations of other men and every believer has access to that truth. This truth does not deny the God given inspiration that went into writing the various books of the Bible, but neither does it deny that the men who wrote it and translated it brought with them their own limited perceptions, misconceptions and errors. I can easily prove this to anyone with an open mind, as long as they haven't been brainwashed by years of traditional church going and parroting their denomination's scriptural interpretations.

If one's faith rests upon the bible then one is forced to enter into an endless wrangling over words in order to defend one's bible-centered beliefs and interpretations. But if one's faith rests on the Living God and the teachings delivered to mankind through his Son, Jesus Christ, then there is no threat in understanding these truths. Some of you might be thinking ahead and saying to yourself, how would I know if the teachings in the Bible are the actual teachings of Jesus Christ? No problem. Jesus told us, just before leaving this earth, that he would provide the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).

Being Spirit-Centered means learning how to meditate, learning how to still the mind, by spending at least one hour a day alone with God, listening to what God reveals. In the past this was more art than science by today there are inexpensive bio-feedback devices which allow us to monitor our brain's activity and thereby assure we are "doing it right". By training every member in this way, we are able to focus every member on that one universal channel of communication, direct from God to us via the Holy Spirit.

In this way each of our 3Circles Church Community members will learn spiritual discernment. They will "hear" with spiritual ears the Living WORD of God. This is the true meaning of "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD of God" (Romans 10:17). Faith doesn't come by seeing the written word of God, else everyone who read it would have faith and that is obviously not true. Faith comes by HEARING… with spiritual ears. And HEARING with spiritual ears comes only to those who learn to "Be still and KNOW God".

Ask yourself, did you get your ability to hear with your physical ears when the written word, the Bible, was read to you for the first time? Of course not, those of us who are not hearing impaired have always had the ability to hear, because we were born with that ability. When the Bible says "HEARING comes by the WORD of God" it is talking about our spiritual hearing. Those who daily practice meditating will soon learn to still their mind and thereby tap into God's presence, power and purity. This is how we truly KNOW God. We can read the bible all our life, we can study at a prestigious seminary and in the end only know ABOUT God. To truly KNOW God, we must break down those barriers preventing us from sensing God's presence, preventing us from being immersed in, and transformed by, God's glory. We practice being STILL… we experience God's presence… we come to KNOW God and God's Living WORD… we increase our ability to HEAR with our spiritual ears as we, by faith, act on what we are told. In this way we gain spiritual discernment, the ability to distinguish God's WORD to us from our own self-generated thoughts. Without spiritual discernment, given to us by God, we would be at the mercy of every wind of doctrine.

Obviously, there are many things we still have to learn from others and I am not saying we have no need of teachers whatsoever. Archaeology, history, geology, science, art, the list is long in terms of our need for teachers. But when it comes to knowing God, there is only one teacher that can cut through all the theological doo-doo, the Holy Spirit.

In terms of relying on other teachers we can see among the religious and spiritual two ends of the same spectrum. On the one end we have fundamentalist Christians, and on the other end, the New Agers.

Fundamentalist Christians are fearful of their God given spiritual abilities. They fear being led astray by inner promptings wrongly assigned to God or false teachings by others. So, long ago they chose to misinterpret key scriptures and put an end to anyone being able to add to the "word of God". In other words, they chose to believe that God no longer speaks his WORD to men and women except through the Bible. The misinterpreted quote is from Revelations 22:18, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book". It is obvious that the Apostle John is warning against changing the words of his prophecies, NOT against adding more prophecies or adding to the WORD of God. Actually, there is a lot of hypocrisy surrounding this interpretation, because among evangelicals there is a common practice called "receiving a word of knowledge". This is in truth, receiving the Living WORD of God, but to prevent a conflict with their interpretation they have conveniently called it a "word of knowledge".

Our ability to KNOW God is determined by how well we learn to be still, how well we learn to listen to God. After reading the written word (the word about the WORD) we must remove our focus from all things earthly, including those written words, and focus on the Living God and God's Living WORD. If we do not, we cannot enter into the "Kingdom of heaven". And those who teach others to focus on the written word, thereby making of the Bible a "holy" idol, have substituted the written word for the Living WORD of God. Yes, the written word about the WORD is truly inspired and worthy of study, for it can awaken a desire to know God. The written word also teaches us about righteousness and provides a standard of good conduct. As such, it can be used to reprove those who have strayed from the path of righteousness. But the Bible is not, nor can it ever be, a substitute for a personal, abiding relationship with God and Jesus. Focusing on the Bible as the word of God prevents us from abiding in Christ, prevents us from experiencing what Jesus prayed for us to experience, the same oneness with God that he experienced.

But when the written word (the Bible) becomes the center of spiritual life, as it has for every denomination and non-denomination out there, we are no longer Spirit-Centered, we are Bible-Centered. Those who so teach have joined the fraternity of the Pharisees, of whom Jesus said, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in… [you] have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done… Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel… ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (Matthew 23:13).

Why were the Pharisees unable to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven? They couldn't enter because they, like our religious leaders today, were focused on the written word. In the Pharisee's case it was the Old Testament, but the result is always the same regardless of which scriptures become our focus. As Paul himself said (and Paul was a former Pharisee), "The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life". It is obvious to me now but it has taken decades to unlearn what I was taught as a young Christian. For I have learned that whenever the Bible run's counter to what the Holy Spirit is teaching me, I need to rethink what I believed. In other words, we don't filter the spirit through the Bible we filter the Bible through the Spirit! When we fail to do this we are unable to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and worse, we keep others from entering as well. Those who prevent others from entering into the Kingdom of Heaven have cut them off from heaven's "PEACE that passes all understanding", from heaven's overcoming power of LOVE, and from heaven's "JOY unspeakable and full of glory" because people cannot enter into what they do not know or understand.

Let me give you an example of receiving God's Living WORD, how it enabled us to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and how eventually a traditional local Baptist Church destroyed the work God was trying to do. When four of us started Northwood Christian Community back in 1974 it was because we got zapped by God's Living WORD. Our spirit within leaped for joy when we met for the second time. Both of us couples had converted from Eastern religious philosophies to followers of Jesus Christ. From the first moments of our second meeting the Holy Spirit revealed to all four of us that we should start a Christian community. We knew this was God because the WORD delivered to us was accompanied by great love, power, peace and a joy unspeakable. There was a rock solid certainty too, one of those moments when you KNOW, beyond any shadow of doubt, what you must do. And yet, 6 months later it was over. How it ended is a life lesson I shall never forget.

Shortly after moving to Northwood, I began actively reaching out to local hippies about my Christ experience. That was my ministry at the time. And Joe was actively seeking to establish his own ministry as an associate Pastor and eventually Pastor. Both of being young Christians meant we didn't have a clue as to the power trips and political maneuverings that are standard within every congregation. In our short 5 months as a community we saw unbelievable outpourings of God's power and it was way beyond anything either of us had experienced as members of traditional church congregations. You'll hear about some of those stories on other pages within this website.

Shortly before Joe and his wife decided to end what God had so obviously called us to do, Joe met with his Baptist Pastor. The Pastor had sowed seeds of doubt about our community being God's will (he said something along the lines of "surely if it was God's will, God would have brought others and supplied the elders you need to function as a Christian church"). Then he made offers to buy us off and force us to quit competing with his church. He offered Joe money for completing school and to help his young family survive. The pastor offered me much needed money for my ministry.

But I understood what the pastor was doing. He wanted to stop what God had so obviously started, just so we wouldn't be competing for church members in this small rural community. To his way of thinking, being immersed in the traditional church, our community idea couldn't be God's will. So, I told this pastor no and Joe said yes. Soon after Joe asked me and my fiancé to leave (they owned the community land and they rented the house). For years I was unable to understand how Joe could turn his back on something that he himself continued to admit was God's will (over a period of years, whenever we would see each other, he would bring up the community and tell me how he hadn't given up on it because he knew it was God's will).

But I understand completely now. It was the leaven of the Pharisees working through that Baptist Church, the leaven of hypocrisy that could so easily deny the will of the Living God in order to serve its own religious, denominational purposes. My choice temporarily led to a lot more suffering. My friend's choice led to his becoming a Pastor. But in the end I have absolutely no doubt that it was I who made the right choice.

Years later God worked another miracle in relocating both our families to within a couple hundred miles of one another, on the east coast of the United States (all 4 of us were born in the US). I'm not sure how I found out now, but I remember that at the time it certainly seemed providential. I imagined we would continue our friendship in earnest now that we were so close. But my letters went unanswered and I wondered why.

Then one day, as me, my wife and children were returning from Virginia Beach in the wee hours of the morning, I realized I was starting to fall asleep at the wheel. I was going to just pull over and get a few winks when I realized we were very near to Joe's place. So I called him to tell him of our predicament and not wanting to impose I asked if we could just crash on his floor till morning. There was a silence followed by all sorts of excuses. "Sorry, but my son just had a tooth pulled" and "My wife's not feeling good", and several others. I finally realized just how much Joe had changed. Years previous Joe wouldn't have hesitated to open his house to a total stranger, let alone a brother in Christ. I countered his excuses with insistence, telling him we really didn't want to stay, that we would be out at first light and we would sleep on the floor on top of the sofa cushions. When he then insisted it wouldn't work out, I knew this was not the same Joe I had known when we first founded Northwood Christian Community. I quoted a passage from I John about those who have this world's goods and meet a brother in need, only to send them away with just some prayers, the conclusion being that such a person doesn't have the love of God in their heart. I then hung up. Joe has never tried to contact me or apologize.

This was one of my hardest lessons, but it revealed to me the truth of Jesus' warning, to beware the leaven of the Pharisees. For once a person realizes the truth about the importance of living in a community of the faithful, especially if they have heard God's clarion call to build such a community, they cannot go back to a traditional, denominational church without the leaven of it's hypocrisy working its way into their mind, heart and soul. There are other differences, based on principles God has given me. I've summarized those under the menu entitled, "Rules, Principles and Laws".

Finally, here are the most basic foundational beliefs we expect others to agree with.

3Circles Individual Foundational Beliefs:

1) I believe in a power greater than myself, a creative force, a force which science is continuously proving operates by intelligent design.

2) I humble myself before that power and by quieting my mind I listen, so that I might come to KNOW what is best and what is true in life.

3) I compare myself to the perfection of that power rather than the imperfection of other humans, for the first leads to humility while the second leads to vanity and haughtiness. Through this self-discipline I have learned that no human is perfect, fully holy or totally good. Therefore, in this aspect I am equal to all others and must never respect some more than others.

4) I choose to practice the Golden Rule, to do unto others even as I would have them do unto me because I know that I, along with all other human beings, am created in the image of that intelligence which designed me, with the same qualities of creativity, sovereign free will, and physical adaptability to all environments. Therefore, I have not only the adaptability but also the consciousness and the conscience to rise above my circumstances and be a good steward of that environment which sustains me.

5) I continually choose freedom and to help others become free: physically free, mentally free, and spiritually free. I understand this principle, that whatever I put my time and money and resources into, that is what I have chosen to empower. Furthermore, I realize that whatever I empower I give some measure of power over myself. Therefore, from this moment on, I choose only to empower that which serves to make myself and others free, thereby creating a better world.

6) I accept that I am a spirit being in a fleshly body and that every spirit being has a purpose, therefore I ever seek to understand my life purpose and to help others to find theirs, that each one of us might find happiness and joy, the purpose of which is not to be free of pain or sorrow, but rather to transform sorrow into joy.

7) Having a free and sovereign will, I know that the idea of fate undermines that truth and renders it impotent. I understand that not everything happens for a reason, for the will of another may rob me temporarily of my own free will. Therefore, though not everything is part of God's plan, whatever happens I will integrate it into God's plan and work it out to the good.

8) God created male and female by design, not just for procreation but also for our enlightenment. Therefore, contrary to popular opinion, women need men and men need women. We make a conscious choice to embrace our differences, to understand how the opposite sex is vital to our psychological and spiritual wholeness. This is not only for our own well being, but also that there might be a good attitude of respect towards each other, order in the home and the harmony of love through all.

9) There is a hierarchy to all of creation; there is also a hierarchy of effectiveness in our prayers and meditations. By this understanding we come to realize why some prayers are harder to make effectual than others and we learn how to pray with power.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the "body of Christ" described in Ephesians 4 is what church should be. Each of the "members" of this body has their own God-given purpose and contributes to the life of that "body". However, our beliefs are obviously different from traditional Christian beliefs. Those who have never learned to meditate, who have never discovered how to abide in the Spirit of Christ, will think we are wrong. Some, those who are the most fundamental and legalistic in their beliefs, will even think we are evil. It is almost certain that the vast majority of traditional Christians will be afraid of us and refuse to fellowship with us. What I am preaching are the truths that would end their comfortable little world as they now know it and they do not want to change. But those who take the time to learn about us and visit with us will change their mind. Those who do not will continue in their self-righteous deceptions. And this is why creating such Spirit-Centered communities, 3Circles Church Communities, is my God-given life's work.

Leroy E. Grey

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