Pragmatism in the Church Part 2 Dress,titles and traditions

Pslam 26:8 Lord I have loved the habitation of they house, and the place were my honor dwelleth.

Last time I wrote on pragmatism I spoke about the actual building structure and the style of the sanctuary, or as some emergent churches like to call it, “the worship center.” Next, I would like to address how some pastors present themselves in attire, titles, and traditions.

You can find a variety of dress in the “pulpit” from very casual to the pomp and circumstance of robes and hats. Then you have the practical and respectful attire of the suit coat and tie. Keeping in mind the verse I just shared with you, especially the latter part of the verse, and the place were my honor dwelleth. We will examine what is a proper way to dress and what are appropriate titles, and traditions.

Religious Garb

Here we have the religious garb. This type of dress is all about tradition and symbolism. People will wear this because they think it gives them authority. These men are not called by God, to be a pastors or leaders in the church, but they think God has ordained their ministry. The more symbols and traditions your church holds, the more apostate they are. They are religious and depend on their deeds for their entrance into Heaven or they use these symbols to conduct religious ceremonies based on their own traditions. They think these symbols and traditions bring them closer to God. They may also do such things as light candles, say canned creeds and prayers. They have labyrinths and stations to mindlessly recite empty words too, or worship as if it is God himself they are addressing.

A New Kind of Pharisee | The Cripplegate
Here is a picture of the Pharisees and Sadducess

The Pharisees and Sadducess are the religious people of Jesus’s day. Jesus rebuked them harshly.

Matthew 23:1-39 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practiceThey tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[a] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi[b] by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23%3A1-39&version=ESV

This passage brings to mind many churches I personally have attended. The Catholic Church, St. John’s of Archbold, and recently Archbold Evan. The Catholic Church calls the priest Father, which goes against this passage above. Jesus was not talking about our earthly fathers, but our spiritual Father. This entire passage is the entithisis of the Catholic Church.

Then you have the churches that love to flaunt their good deeds. They have ministries that give to the poor and help out their communities and everyone knows about it. They do not follow the passage in Matthew 6:1-4

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:1-4

I know personally that St. John’s does not follow the biblical teaching of how the elders and deacons are to be according to the Bible. They are not big on the gospel, sin, or repentance. They are big on doing good deeds for all to see. They support organizations that help the poor and needy, but do not share the gospel. They have canned prayers and creeds. They are big on religious symbols and traditions. They boast in the ways they help the community.

Archbold Evan just did the same thing recently, and showed a video at a Sunday morning service of Jesse giving money to the homeless shelters, worse he then this, he put a burden on his people. He said, now that they have given money to the the homeless shelters his congregants are on the hook to helping out these homeless shelters, because they are going to come to Archbold Evan for help. This is the legalism Jesus spoke against! It’s good to help out the poor, but it’s how you do it that is laid out in God’s Word.

Our church helps out people in need but we don’t advertise it and we (congregants) know nothing about it. We trust that our deacons are allocating the money where needed. We have two ladies groups that work to support fellow believers needs in our church body and our missionaries. The main focus of our church is supporting missionaries that share the Good News of the Gospel. Sharing the Gospel is the greatest and best work a Christian could ever do!

1 John 3:14-19

14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth!

Pastor Judah Smith - Saint Laurent boots - Topman jeans // PREACHER STYLES  | Mens fashion streetwear, Hipster mens fashion, Saint laurent jeans

Then you have the casual and jean wearing pastor

What Is Appropriate To Wear In Church? (2 Reasons It Doesn't Matter And 3  Guidelines) | Pivot | A Blog by Karl Vaters

Going back to the first point from Pslams 26:8, a place were my honor dwelleth. I think most people if they think this through, can conclude that a pastor who dresses casually is not showing honor to the Lord or his dwelling place. Is your church building a place that honors God? Are you dressing in a way that honors God. If you would wear a suit and tie for a wedding or to meet a president, prime minister, or to stand in front of a court judge, how much more should you show respect for the King of Kings? Are you being honoring? I would say NO! Your are trying to be hip and relevant to attract people? When you do this you are saying I don’t take my job seriously and nor do I respect God enough to dress my best. Not in a pious way like some, but in a respectful way. You are also showing how superficial you are and people who are true disciples of the Lord can see right through this. The true Christian who wants sound doctrine can not take you seriously if you are drawing attention to yourself rather than the word of God. I have seen men wear jeans so tight that could cause lustful thoughts, or draw the attention from God’s Word. When I worked at Serenity Haven, the women would come back to the facility from Archbold Evan and comment on the pastors looks in a lustful manner. They were not respectful comments like that pastor looked handsome in his suit. Their was no mention of being saved, sin, or conviction of their eternal destiny.

John F. MacArthur - Wikipedia
Paul Chappell - Wikipedia
The Liturgy of Lloyd-Jones | Brian J. LundSpurgeon's Message to the Pastor: Take Care of Your Family - B&H Academic

Here are some men you may or may not know. But they do not like lofty titles, because they are/were just faithful servants of the Lord. They were called by God to their position of pastor. To rightfully divide God’s word with humility and reverence for the Lord. They also excepted the title of pastor, and didn’t try to drop it so not to offend people. When you are pragmatic you can change how to do church so that you get people to follow you and not God. Pragmatism is ungodly and worldly. The Bible says to separate yourself from the world, to come out from among them. Not so people will revere you but God!

How Dan Southerland’s seeker-strategy shapeshifted the Church

The Biggest Problem in the Church… Pragmatism Part 1 The Church Building

This is a topic has been heavy on my heart for a while and I honestly think this is the biggest problem in the church. It;s has been the problem in the church since Adam and Eve. Satan is not that cleaver and comes up with all kinds of ways to deceive people, that are not new, just repackaged. So what is pragmatism? Pragmatism is a philosophical movement that includes those who claim that an ideology or proposition is true if it works satisfactorily, that the meaning of a proposition is to be found in the practical consequences of accepting it, and that unpractical ideas are to be rejected. Seems harmless enough right? Well, let take a closer look.

Tim Challes, Christian blogger, and author explains the history of pragmatism this way. Pragmatism is rooted in the philosophy of men like John Stuart Mill who had a great formative influence in philosophers like John Dewey who applied pragmatism to education and William James who applied it to religion. These men taught that the only way to determine truth was by practical results. Having been founded by philosophers, pragmatism was cemented into the Western mindset by the Industrial Revolution. Pragmatism in industry has changed the way we live. James Boice says “The goal is to find the fastest, least expensive way of producing products and getting things done. Pragmatism has improved living standards for millions who now enjoy the benefits of home ownership, adequate clothing, indoor plumbing…and abundant food.” (Whatever Happened To The Gospel of Grace p.50) This has been achieved, of course, at the cost of quality and craftsmanship.

Pragmatism is defined by Webster’s as “the doctrine that practical consequences are the criteria of knowledge and meaning and value.” In short, truth is determined by consequences.

One would have to ask if this really is how the Lord wants us to live our lives let alone conduct our churches. In other words, does the end justify the means? Does the Lord want obedience for results? I have heard many excuses from Christians about why it’s important to have all different types of churches. I’m not talking about the layout of the foundation of a church building or the color scheme a church uses. I’m talking about pragmatism. Setting up a church in a worldly way to bring people into your church by trendy movements and cultural expectations. I’m not trying to be nit picky but pointing out that when we do things, it should be according to God’s Word and the standards and principles that He has established in His Word. Not the style or trends of culture.

Let’s take at the Church building itself as and example of this.

Alter

Lowville Baptist Church

OR

15 Creative Church Stage Designs | Church Revelance

Stage

Let me be blunt. Which one glorifies God and His Word? Which one glorifies man? Which one is about God’s Word? Which one is about entertainment? Which one is about excellence and craftsmanship? Which one looks like a Holy Ground? Which one looks more like the character of God according to His Word? Which one looks like the character of man?

In many modern churches there is not even a pulpit!!! Preaching is out of vogue today.

Compair this to the Westminister Chapel where Martin Llyod Jones Preached!!!

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones - Home | Facebook

Which church do you think God’s Word was the main attraction? The pulpits where bigger than life and set up high at Westminster. Why? Because of who God is and how lofty His Word is, because God is Holy and the sanctuary is to be a “holy ground.” It’s not a place the preacher was revered but God! A place where God’s Word was revered and obeyed. The Sanctuary could not be turned into a basketball court!! The Bible was the main attraction, not the worship band, the worship center, the coffee bar, or the children’s play area. This my friend is a proper meeting place, a place a believer can hear and receive the preaching of God’s Word.

An Introduction to Pragmatism

Archbold Evans Imagine Campaign

Jeremiah 23:16

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.”

King James Version (KJV)

On January 6, 2020, Jesse Kahler the pastor of Evan Church started off the year with a the challenge of using one’s imagination to pray big! He read a children’s book without words to encourage his congregation to have a sanctified imagination. He calls this a vision, a God infused “lets dream.” Jesse also chided some children’s books for hemming in imagination.

But just like John Lennon’s song “Imagine,”  Pastor Kahler’s vision for their church is just as twisted and convoluted as Lennon’s song. (This is a different blog post) 🙂

Jesse also spoke about a trip he and some of the staff took to Houston to have some kind of experience. They wanted to see if the experience would be a powerful thing their church could do. They were listening and experiencing and imagining if this experience would work in their church. There was no clarification of this so called experience, nor was there any scripture to back up their “experience.” How do you know this is what God wants? How does this line up with scripture? Did you compare what you were learning to the Bible? Because NONE of this is biblical.  The Lord cares about obedience not experience.

One of Pastor Kahler’s favorite words to use is lean. “Let’s lean” in, “we are gong to lean in on” or “lean into.” This may not seem like a big deal, but this phrasing is a subtle way of not standing strong on God’s Word. It’s more of a suggestion than a command. During his sermon he stated that, “we are going to be leaning in on imagination when it comes to the things of God.”  I wonder if he even did a bible study on what God has to say about imagination?

The Bible says,

Genesis 6:5 KJV
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 8:21 KJV

And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in hi heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s said; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Deuteronomy 29:19 KJV 

And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst.

Jeremiah 9:14 KJV

But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them.

Luke 1:51 KJV

He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Here are just a few of the verses about imagination that Jesse did not explain to his flock. He would have been more biblical if he would have encouraged his congregation to do what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, Cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Instead he miss used Ephesians 3:20-21 to promote his un-biblical type of prayer of using the imagination. He then encourages his congregation to ask God for what they can only imagine. Jesse then speaks for God by saying, “not only is God able, but he wants to do more.”

Using Ephesians 3:20-21 out of context is a gross, misrepresentation of this passage.  If you look to who the Apostle Paul is speaking to, this passage is correctly put into context.  Saint Paul is speaking to the Gentiles.  In Ephesians 2: 14 the Apostle Paul states, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:16-19, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.  Then Ephesians 2:20-21 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that workesth in us, Unto him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

This entire passage is about GOD and HIS GLORY, not your wants and desires. The Apostle Paul is praying that the attributes of God would show through in the lives of these Gentile believers, not that God will grant you all your wants and needs.  This passage is about bowing your knee to the Almighty God in obedience out of love for the Lord, not that your imagined prayers would be answered.

Jesse then quotes the bible verse, “your kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven” to support his own vision! This is also taken out of context.

Jesse then goes on to explain how the Apostle Paul became like a 2-6 year old child in his prayer life. Jesse states, “If you pray like this child you say, I don’t want the $5 Lego set, I want the $50 Lego set! These types of prayers are superlative prayers, imagined things.” This in not how the Apostle Paul prayed.  God is not some cosmic genie that is going to grant your every wish. What Jesse DID NOT say is that we are ALWAYS to pray for GOD’S WILL, not what we want. Jesus prayed and said, “not my will but your will be done,” to His Heavenly Father. “Your kingdom come your will be done!” The Bible is very clear that we are always to pray for God’s will.  And yes we are to pray about everything!!

Jesse also alluded that one of the parishioners would not have been healed if they did not pray for him. This is just absurd, God is sovereign and the glory should go to God for healing this man, not to the people who prayed for him. God always answers prayers sometimes it’s yes, no, or wait.  So praise the Lord that he was healed!!!

Jesse NEVER explained why we pray to the Lord and how it should be done in a biblical way.

My prayer is that the people who attend this church would read their Bibles and see if what is being said is true according to God’s Word. Be a Berean.

Archbold Evan is more of an Seeker Sensitive Church, than a biblical church and it’s sad to see how pragmatic the church is. They seem to care more about THEIR vision than God’s Word. It’s a scary thing to be under such un-biblical teaching and to be going against God’s Word. There are many people who will not enter the narrow way, they think they are saved but they will be in Hell, because they put their trust in a person, church, experience, an emotional feeling, a creed, a baptism, a confirmation class, etc… and say they are going to Heaven when the reality is they did not trust in Christ alone for their salvation.  They never examined themselves to see if they were in the faith, they are not a doer of the Word of God.

Here is an article about the Seeker Sensitive Church.  Much of what is described in this article fits Archbold Evangelical churches model.

I Did it My Way

1 John 2:15-17  

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world.  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

As I look across the landscape of Chrisitanity I can’t help but think, “what in the world is going on!??”  So many professing Christians have become enamoured with themselves.  They attend chruches that make them feel good.  The lights are dimmed and the stage is set for a performance instead of a sermon. Many church’s have gotten rid of their pulpits and pews. The church has become a mall type building complete with a coffee bar, a indoor playgrounds, and the sanctuary can become a gym for your recreational needs, complete with basketball hoops and soccer nets.  The sanctuary is no longer a holy ground, to which the God of the Bible is worshipped. Don’t get me wrong none of these things are bad in and of themselves, but where in the Bible is this type of chruch building supported?  Other chruches have become like the YMCA or a community center instead of a place that the saints meet to worship God.  Pastors are dressed in their casual clothing as if this is just another place to “chill.”  I just find this so cavaliar and irreverent.  Like wise this is how worshipping THE KING has become.  Cavalier and casual.  The chruch has started to worship emotionalism and pragmatism, convincing itself if they just sound sencere then they will convince people they are Christians, even if they look and act like the world.  No where in scripture does God tell us to be like the world and to follow our heart. 

The church reminds me of that old Frank Sinatra Song…. “I Did It My Way”


https://michaeljeshurun.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/i-did-it-my-way.jpg

Arcbold Evan’s Works Based Gospel?

If you are a Christian it’s important to be in God’s Word everyday. You are accountable to what you take in and listen too. In a recent sermon done by Pastor Jesse Kahler, on September 17th he spoke about what it mean to be born again.

“When a person is born again by the very sprite of God we call that how they are saved. It’s something God does in a person, and has everything to do with their understanding or significance they give to Jesus Christ. His life, death, resurrection. When that becomes so significant to them and that’s how they are finding forgiveness of their sins, that’s what they are trusting in after death, we would say they have been born again. They become awaken to God.”

*bold emphasized

This is a HUGE problem, because this IS another Gospel. One would have to ask one’s self. How much significance do you have to give to Jesus? How do I know Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection has become significant enough to be saved? This is what the Bible calls a different Gospel! This is a gospel based off of feelings, experience, and NO assurance. Considering Pastor Jesse uses terms such as “lean into,” “experience,” “feel,” “unleash” “it’s like,” “it’s as if,” in his sermons often, his seeker friendly “gospel” is based on feelings and not knowledge.

Galatians 1:6-9

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Here is what it means to be Born Again!!!

How does that come to be? Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” When one is saved, he/she has been born again, spiritually renewed, and is now a child of God by right of new birth. Trusting in Jesus Christ, the One who paid the penalty of sin when He died on the cross, is the means to be “born again.” “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

If you have never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, will you consider the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to your heart? You need to be born again. Will you pray the prayer of repentance and become a new creation in Christ today? “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).

As you can read for yourself being born again has NOTHING to do with mustering up enough significance in Jesus, but everything to do with repentance and trust in Jesus as the perfect payment for your sins.

https://www.gotquestions.org/born-again.html

Archbold Evan Me Centered Doctrine

The Value of Truth | Philosophy Talk

James 3:11 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

The leadership at Archbold Evan has been a contention for many in our community. Some may think that I’m the only person who criticizes the leadership, but the more I talk to people the more I’m finding out that many have some serious concerns about how they handle God’s Word. My husband has reached out to the leadership and Jesse Kahler. Jesse did meet with him once, but the last two times has been nothing but the unwillingness to discuss what the Bible says.

Archbold’s Evan’s Claim

At AEC we focus on simply exposing what the Bible says in each passage while keeping in mind that all passages connect to the overarching story of the whole Bible.

The wording here is just weird. They simply “expose” what the Bible says. The word expose means to uncover or reveal something, or to uncover something. God’s Word, used in this way, implies that it’s a secrete or a mystery to be solved, or even scandalous. To me this is a manipulative way to handle God’s Word. When people use this type of method it can lead to the Bible being about you and your experiences rather than who God is and what He wants to tell us.

VS

Expository preaching is a form of preaching that details the meaning of a particular text or passage of Scripture. It explains what the Bible means by what it says. Exegesis is technical and grammatical exposition, a careful drawing out of the exact meaning of a passage in its original context.

As I have mentioned before Evan uses a method call the Discovery Method, which is a man centered idea and not a biblical one. You can read about it here https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/2988a589/files/uploaded/discovery-bible-study.pdf

The Discovery Bible Study MethodThe goal of the Discovery Bible Study is not to conduct a one-way Bible lesson, but instead to show students how they can learn from and make sense of Scripture and to introduce them to different Christian disciplines, such as worship, prayer, community, service, and accountability.

The Bible is a ONE WAY method of how we should be understanding God’s Word. God’s Word is Him speaking to us and praying is us speaking to HIM!! Here is some scriptures that tell you how to teach God’s Word.

Exodus 4:10-12 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

2 Timothy 3:16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,

1 Corinthians 2:14 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Here are just a few scriptures that tell us how to teach and preach God’s Word. No where in the Bible does it say to expose God’s Word as if is hidden.

Here are some scriptures that uses the word Expose

Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them

John 3:20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

The word expose in the Bible is about revealing darkness, wickness, and sin. As we reveal sin in the lives of people we call them to repentance and faith of the finished work of Jesus on the cross as an atonement for our sins.

This blog post is about EXPOSING the bad doctrine at Archbold Evangelical Church.

Dear Christians open up your Bibles and test what your pastor is saying to God’s Word. It is a way to worship the Lord in truth and in love as the Bible tells us to.

1 John 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

This will be one in a series I will be doing about Archbold Evan. I pray this will be edifying and helpful. – Katie

John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

St. John’s Christian Church’s Gospel

There is a famine in the land, that is for sure. As I examine some of the doctrine in Church’s in Archbold I would like to make a point to say that I am not doing this out of hate. It comes from the heart to those who are deceived and on their way to Hell because the full Gospel is not being preached. I have been called judgmental and a Bible bully, but eternity is nothing to mess around with and we must understand the need for souls to be saved. Our family attended St. John’s Christian Church for about 5 years. We made many wonderful friend’s at this church and we miss them dearly. I’m also praying that through this blog a person will see their need for a Savior and repent and put their trust in Jesus, for their salvation. Let’s take a look at the theology at this church.

If you look at St. John’s website you will see that their statement of faith is very vague. It reads….

Statement of Faith

This church acknowledges as its sole Head, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of all people. It acknowledges as brothers and sisters in Christ all who share in the confession. It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers. It affirms the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two Sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion.

The statement of faith does not include scripture, this is the first problem. Jesus is the Savior for all people, BUT their are many who will be in Hell because they reject that Christ is the Savior. Matthew 7:13 says, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.” Clearly, not all will be saved. This passage is talking about the road to Hell. I personally know that they do not talk about God’s wrath or Hell because they say it will turn people away from Christ. The doctrine of Hell was mentioned more by Jesus than the doctrine of Heaven. If Jesus is not afraid to mention it, neither should we be. Jesus came for this perpose ONLY to save us from the wrath of God! It’s a very important doctrine and if there is no mention of this doctrine then you are leaving out part of the Gospel.

The second statement mentioned is also a very vague statement.

1. It acknowledges as brothers and sisters in Christ all who share in the confession

What confession? I’m guessing the apostles creed which is the next section in thier bliefs statement. The apostles creed is something that is repeated frequently at St. John’s. It’s also something I repeated everytime I attended Mass at the Catholic church. Just because you repeat a creed over and over again does not mean you are saved. This gives many a false sense of eternal security. It’s being saved off of the back of a religious insitution and a creed, not in your own personal confession in Christ as a wicked sinner that needs to repent and trust in Jesus alone for salvation. If a person is trusting in a creed they repeat, a baptism, a church membership, a family affliation, communion, or any other type of work, you my dear friend are a lost person bound for Hell.

Isaiah 64:6

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.

Ephisians 2:8-9

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God
Not of works, lest any man should boast.

In my experience of attending this church I would say that they are ashamed of the full Gospel. I know that the Christianity that is taught there is that your actions and “living out” the Gospel will be enough. Just do Christian things and people will be saved. Roman’s 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” So it’s not true that that Holy Spirit will go around saving people if we just act like Christians. Don’t get me wrong we should act like Christians so that our witness for the Lord will not be tanted, but it NEVER saves us. Their are many kind and loving people out there that reject God, that does not mean they are saved. God’s Word tells us to open our mouths and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ! We must be harvest workers. Matthew 9:37 says, ” Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” If you are laboring in good works and not sharing your faith by opening your mouth, your work is in vain! This is exactly what they do at St. John’s. I never heard the Gospel at St. John’s. Pastor Erich always talks to his congregation as if they are all saved. This is NOT being a good shepard of the souls to which he pastors too. He is leading his flock astray and giving them a false sense of assurance.

2. It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world.

This statement is also missing scriputure to back it up. I’m not sure what “creative” work means. I do know that the general idea is let the spirit will lead you to do what ever it wants. The problem with this is that it is null and void of sound doctrine. God’s Word, the Bible, should be our standard and it’s sufficient. The Holy Spirit convicts you to obey God through His Word. It begs to question which spirit are you following? The Bible says to test all spirits to see if they are from God.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

I can tell you that they are creative in doing what they wish, and which doctrine to follow in the Bible. Unfortuatly, God is not pleased with this. Just because a person is a pastor does not mean they are a Christian. And just because a person calls themself a Christian does not mean they are.

Matthew 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

3. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers.

I find this to be a HUGE problem. Once again, it’s difficult to truly understand the meaning of this statement, that is not backed up by any scripture. They say ancient creeds of the reformers, but what about what the Bible says?

4. It affirms the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own.

Problem….. no scripture. Again each generation is responsible for make up their own faith? OR the faith to which the Bible lays out? In my own personal estimation they, again, claim that anyone that attends church is saved and is going to Heaven.

5. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two Sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion.

The first part of this statement is true the ordinances of Baptism and Communion are what Christian’s should be practicing, BUT only according to what the Bible lays out for us. Honestly, it would not matter what the of the confessing church does or does not practice. The Bible tells us we are to practice baptism and communion, this is why we practice them. And Baptism is done as the first thing in obediance to the Lord after salvation. Baby baptism is not biblical and it definatly does not save you. I have heard people say that they were baptised as a baby and then re-affirmed their baptismal vows when they went through confirmation. This DOES NOT save you!!! If you are trusting in any of these traditions to get you into Heaven, you my friend are a lost person. This is a different gospel. I also know you become a member of St. Johns through confirmation class, not through repentence and trust in Jesus alone for the salvation of your soul. When I believed in Christ for salvation, this is when I became a member of the church. I then followed my confession with believer’s baptism as a public confession of my faith.

As far as I know this church has not repented of it’s false Gospel. This chruch has some other serious doctinal issues that need to be addressed, but I will save this for another day.

I pray this review is helpful and if you are a Christian you will examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. The Lord will be returning soon. May the chruch be found pleasing in His sight.

The Police Officer, Protester, and Victim

One of America's closest and most dependable allies. Rendered ...

 

I have been thinking about these protests and I do have opinions about these protest.  I realized yesterday that my opinions are just that… opinions.  I know there is a lot of misinformation and we truly do not know all the facts of the situation.  I started wonder how Jesus would have dealt with these types of issues?  Make no mistake, during the time Jesus walked this Earth, there was a lot of civil unrest.  The Roman Empire was oppressive. There was the zealot Jews that wanted to over through the Roman government.  There was the religious Pharisees and Sadducees.  Women where not considered equal in value to men.  Then their was the riff between such groups as the Jews and Samaritans. There was violence and debauchery in the streets.  There was sickness and disease. I’m sure that the times we live in today are very similar to the times to which Jesus came to this World.  In fact, I think it was worse than what we experience now in our own country.   I also think Jesus had an opinion about how the Roman government was ruling and he probably discussed this with his friends, just as we do.  But he did not express his opinion as authoritative in the Bible.  He told us to pay our taxes, obey the government, and pray for our enemies.  He told us to share the Gospel with them.

So what did Jesus do?  He knew that only the Gospel could change the situation and change hearts.  He preached the Gospel.  Even when he was healing people the Gospel was the focus.  He came to seek and safe the lost, the healing was to prove He was God. He came to be a servant, as an example of how we are suppose to treat each other, but ALWAYS with the Gospel as the main focus.   Jesus’s opinions about the political climate was irrelevant, that’s why they are not recorded in scripture.  He came to seek, save, and make disciples.

We also need to realize that putting our two cents in does not matter in the big picture.  In some cases it only makes the matter worse.  We loose our focus on what we are suppose to being doing as Christians.  We start to play into the narrative of the World and  we start to take sides.  George Floyd was a sinner and his death seems tragic.  But what is even more tragic is that he may have died with out Christ.

Or pastor preached on forgiveness this past Sunday, and it can be a very difficult thing to do, to forgive.  How do we forgive?  Matthew 18:27 says, “Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion. James 2:1 says to show no partiality.  I wonder if we are moved to compassion for all involved?  Do we love the police officer that killed Floyd?  Do we love to rioters?  Are we praying for all those who are showing their own partiality by taking sides?

I realized myself that I was getting caught up in the fray.  I still have a very strong opinions, but I realized it’s not going to change other’s minds.  I had to ask myself if I was helping or hurting the cause of Christ?  I had to answer no, I was not.  I was just adding to the ciaos and confusion.

Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond or free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all on in Christ Jesus.  If you are a believer it does not matter the color of your skin, your sex, or your circumstances.  It does not matter what sins you have committed against God.  Those who have repented and trusted in Christ are covered in the blood, and they are free!

So my question Christian is are you moved to Compassion?  Jesus is and was.  Are you sorrowful for George Floyd because of what happened to him?  We should be, but we should be more concerned about his soul.  We do not know if he is in Heaven or Hell.  Do we have a godly sorrow for the people that are lost, even if they are on the other side of the political isle from us?

Are you moved to compassion for Derek Chavin the police officer charged with the death of George Floyd?  Jesus died for him too.

How about the protesters and rioters?  Jesus loves them.  Or job is to be moved to compassion so we have a heart of forgiveness to these people that are hard to love.  They are image bares of God and they too need to be reconciled with God through the Lord Jesus.  And we, as Christians, are the ones to bring them the Good News of Jesus.  Be moved today.

 

 

Archbold Evangelical Church’s Gospel

This examination of AEC is looking at the doctrine of this church and not condemning any individual person. The Gospel is the MOST important doctrine in the Christian faith and so it’s VERY important we get it right.

After listening to Pastor Jesse K. for several weeks and having attended this church. I have become very concerned about how he handles God’s Word. I’m also not saying that Jesse does not love the Lord. I’m just pointing out some of the doctrine I have heard coming from him. He admittedly teaches the Bible using the Discovery method and not according to how the Bible says to do it. At this point I don’t think he is purposely leading his flock astray, but is some cases his theology and doctrine are going in the wrong direction. It’s important to be like the Bereans of Thessolonica, I am comparing what he is saying to scripture. Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. May we all be like the Bareans!!

This is a look at the sermon from May 3rd. The title of the sermon is EVERY SEASON, STAGE, SITUATION…THE GOSPEL by Jesse Kahler.

The sermon series is called DNA and it’s about the core values of their church. This sermon was or should have been a VERY important sermon because the Gospel is what saves souls. I am looking at what he is saying as a person who reads their Bible every day and some of this sermon does not match up. In some cases I am guessing at what he is trying to say, and will clarify this through out this examination. The sermon is convoluted and in some parts heretical.

Around minute 36:00 he uses Luke 11:24-26. He admits this verse peeks his curiosity and it’s not really clear what Jesus is getting at, but it’s clear enough for him to talk about the Gospel. My recommendation is that he could use a very clear verse about the Gospel to talk about the Gospel. If he didn’t understand this verse he should have studied it and tried to explain it rightly. I personally did not find the passage difficult to understand and if it was explained correctly it would have been a very powerful passage to talk about the Gospel. I put a link of a good sermon on this passage at the end.

What I believe Jesse is doing is using Eisegesis (/ˌaɪsɪˈdʒiːsɪs/) which is the process of interpreting text in such a way as to introduce one’s own presuppositions, agendas or biases. It is commonly referred to as reading into the text.

LET'S TALK THEOLOGY 003 — EXEGESIS VS EISEGESIS - OLOYE Oluwadara ...

Jesse usually does this in most of his sermons, although not always. His preferred method of interpreting scripture is the Discovey Bible Study method. It is explained in this way. The DBS is much like a cake: it needs to be tasted first in order to really “get it”. Then, after tasting it, a discussion of why it was so good and how it was made is more profitable and enlightening. It’s the “tasting” that makes the difference, as the ingredients below don’t “wow”or convince. But like most good cakes, it’s about simple, good ingredients—mixed in the right way and in precise amounts–that make it work. The same is true with the DBS.

This way of reading the Bible is like a “magical” method and hopefully if you just put enough good scriptures together you will be enlightened!! This is NOT the best way to study the Bible.

The way the Bible tells us to study God’s Word is found in 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The Bible says God’s Word in Hebrews 4:12 is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 2 Timothy 2:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

There are many more examples but I think you get the point. We are to use the Bible as tool like a sword, and it’s to be applied to our lives.

Jesse is going on to explain that “house and finding it swept and clean” in Luke 11:24-26, is like the Gospel, kind of. He goes on to explain how we treat the gospel like a new piece of furniture in a cleaned up house. He used Luke 11:24-26 to come to this understand? Okay? I’m just confused with this analogy.

He gives examples of the what people think the Gospel might be. The first is asking Jesus into our already crowded heart. The second is Jesus filling the God hole in our hearts. The third is we accept the Gospel as a child taking that first step onto a ladder and we move on to higher and loftier things. I would say the third option is the closest. We must have child like faith and then their is sanctification, or moving up the “ladder.” We ARE suppose to move onto higher and loftier things. The Bible says to be holy as I am holy. The Bible also says to move from infant milk to the meat of God’s Word. Jesse says that none of these are right. The fourth option Jesse gives is only using the Gospel when needed and then putting it back and pulling out some other religious thing when it’s needed. I don’t know what he is talking about but lets press on.

At minute 32:00 Jesse starts to go into what is means to live out the Gospel without ever giving the Gospel. He explains it’s not about a bunch of don’t do this or do that, it’s more. He then explains that Morality living and Relativity living are two ways people live. I would agree with him on this point, but not his definition. Morality living is trying your hardest to be a moral person to gain your own righteousness into Heaven. This person is trying to work their way into Heaven by being a good person. Relativity living is when a person makes up their own truth and their is no such thing as objective or absolute truth. He goes on to say that these ways of living are bad, and he would be right about that. But he NEVER explains why! I can tell you why because this type of “living” or I would say belief ends your soul up in Hell for eternity. The Bible says, in Romans 3:10-12, “As it is written, There is non righteous, no, not one: There is non that understandeth, there is non that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. And Romans 3:23, “All have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.” These verses explain the condition of our hardened hearts against God and that there is absolute truth, and that sin destroys the soul.

We are coming up to some troubling parts in the sermon. He states that one of the core values of their church is Gospel living, but never explaining the Gospel. At minute 35:00 Jesse explains they are not trying to persuade people to except the Gospel as a part of their lives and that the Gospel is much more than a piece of furniture. What?

I can tell you we persuade people at our church to accept the Gospel as part of their lives! We beg and plead with them to think about their eternity. We don’t want people to be separated from God for eternity. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. Galatians 1:8-9 says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

So, I would say it’s important to persuade people AND to keep the Gospel. If you think you are going to be saved any other way but by God’s grace then you have a different Gospel.

At 36:30 Jesse states, “Apparently the Gospel IS NOT something we need to believe in to get to Heaven but it is something that is to guide our lives or conduct. It’s away in which we live.”

So my question would be, what exactly do we need to believe in to be saved? How are we going to get to Heaven? To me this is talking out both sides of the mouth. We are either saved by grace ALONE through FAITH or we need to be moral or living a certain way. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The thief on the cross certainly did not get a chance to live a Gospel centered life, but he was still saved because of his belief in Christ. A person must be so careful not to add or take anything away from the Gospel because you will have a different gospel.

At minute 37:00 Jesse tries to explain that we can all fall out of Gospel living and we should never treat it like the Mosaic law. A few problems with this statement is that we are not saved by the law this is true, Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. BUT true born again believers wish to follow God and keep His laws, including the Mosaic Law! This is our fruit! Pslam 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day! As Christians we MUST love the law and all of God’s precepts and principles if we love the Lord, and live by them. Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. We are saved from being slaves of sin to slaves of righteousness, which brings us true happiness and joy. Ephesians 6:6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”

At 38:40 Jesse did a good job explaining that when Peter excepted the Gospel he then delighted in a Holy way of living. But…. Ugh! He slowly says this, “The Gospel is a way of living.” NO, NO, NO that is not the Gospel! When Jesse uses the word IS he is making a definitive statement, so he should make sure that he actually states what the gospel is. Then he says if you do not understand him he can give you his sermon notes.

At 39:11 Jesse explains that Gospel means Good News, this is TRUE 🙂 Then he very badly compares the Good News to the Old Testament. Jesse says at 39:45 that the messenger came to David and said Saul has died. Jesse equates this to the Gospel the Good News. Nope, still not the Gospel. It may have been good news that King Saul died, just like announcing you are having a baby is good news, but it still is not the Gospel.

At 40:00 Jesse does give part of the Gospel and explains that it’s Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. Then he says Christian means little Christs. That is not what it means we are not little Christs or little Gods. We are believers in Christ and his work done on the cross for the atonement for our sins. We are FOLLOWERS of Christ never God in any way!

Humble living is Gospel living at 45:45, but it’s not morality. I would argue that it is a moral attribute. The definition of moral is doing what is right or wrong. It’s right to be humble. I know lots of humble unsaved people who can put others first, this does not mean you are saved. Humbling yourself is about dying to yourself and your sinful ways and bow the knee to God’s will and obey Him. And we know how we are supposed to obey by reading his Word, the Bible. Being humble is the opposite of pride. A proud man who can not admit he sinned against God and that he is wrong will never see Heaven.

Jesse does talk about being sanctified by the Gospel, this is good 🙂 and true.

At 47:45 Jesse talks very quickly about the Gospel. You are saved by faith, by grace alone. Then he quotes Don Carson. “The gospel is God’s comprehensive good news that not only initiates Salvation BUT orders all our life in this World and the next.”

Is this the Gospel? Nope. He should have put a period after good news and left of out the word BUT, that is adding to the Gospel. The part he sped over very quickly is the Gospel. You are saved by grace through faith alone. What he should be talking about is sanctification. They are two different theological principals and should never be put together in this way especially as the gospel. If you do this you will add works to the Gospel. The Gospel justifies us, and making disciples is about sanctification. If Don Carson is talking about being right standing with God so that we can be in Heaven then that’s good, but it’s really not clear.

Jesse continues discrediting morality and cleaning up your life. I would say if you are not living a moral life, one might wonder if you are actually a Christian. Jesse does say if we are saved by the Gospel then we should live by it. I agree with this but again confusing to what he means by his wording.

At the 51:00 mark Jesse uses lots of scripture to try and help us understand Gospel living. He still does not explain it that well. Romans 1:16-17 explains, not the Gospel, but the power of it to those who have Faith and believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay our sin debt. It’s like the old hymn, “There is power in the Blood!” It has the power to wipe all our sins away, so we maybe able to stand before a Holy God on the day of Judgment and be righteous in His eyes, even though we have sinned against Him.

Announcement!!! Here we go The Discovery value channel. (Ok a little snarky, sorry. Can you tell I really do not like the Discovery method?) At minute 52:00 Jessie explains this core value of their church this way, “It’s a way we discover life through faith the continual succession of discoveries about Jesus Christ. He then repeats it again. He then says this is how all good churches do this gospel living thing. Well, our church does not use the discovery method, praise God, or I would still be lost, and I would find a different church. We stick with how God wants us to interpret the Bible. With scripture interpreting scripture and rightly dividing the word of truth. This is just another example of eisegesis. When it’s done this way it makes it very confusing and vague, not knowing what you truly stand on. Ephesians 4:14 says, “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.” The discovery method will inevitably toss you every which way. Expository preaching and dividing the word of God correctly will is the best way and only way and is most honoring to the Lord.

At 53:15 Jesse says the Gospel is as important to every person, in every life, at every stage. Well….what about those who don’t believe? What about those in your church who just go to church but have not believed to Gospel? So it’s not important to everyone? There may be many lost people attending your church!!!

Jesse quotes Tim Keller at 55:25 who is a progressive Christian, and apparently uses the discovery method. Here is one article about him https://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/03/24/tim-keller-problem/

The quote Jesse uses from Tim Keller is vague. It says, ”The Christian Life is a process of renewing every dimension of life by thinking, hoping, and living out the lines of the gospel. The discovery of new implications or new applications of the gospel!” So what exactly does this mean? What are the lines? And what new discovery (here is this word again) or new applications will we need to be saved from eternal damnation? Am I going to find some new revelation or promise that is not in God’s Word that I need to apply to my life in order to be saved? He then goes on to apply this theory of the gospel as seasons in life. This just does not make sense. The season that best explains this entire sermon is being in season of confusion.(56:13). This is certainly a season I feel like I am in as I listen to this sermon. At this time he starts speaking about discovery and says it multiple times. He talks about all the things we might discover. Many of the things he is talking about is sin if you are not practicing biblical principles. Being too busy is not a sin unless you are avoiding God by doing this. Not doing enough is a sin if you are being lazy. Distractions he calls a sin, but in what context and Bible verses do you have to back this up? I agree distractions can be a sin if we are being too busy to read our Bible’s, pray, or take care of our families. Context! Context! Context!

57:50 Jesse explains that this crazy concept of the Gospel applies to your life no matter what stage of life you are in with unique applications and discoveries. Okay? The Gospel is NOT a discovery or an application NOR IS IT CRAZY. It is the Good News that Jesus being born of a virgin, died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day. Jesus gave his own body as a living sacrifice to pay the punishment for my sin and the sins of the world. He was the sacrificial lamb! THIS IS THE GOSPEL!! It’s NOT an application, like applying a face mask to your skin. And is certainly is not some discovery! It is the belief and trusting that Jesus paid it ALL!! Just in case you have not figured this out yet. This is frustrating because he does not revere the Lord with with words!

At 105:00 Jesse says that Baptism and Communion are dramatic expressions of the gospel. He talks about this being important to the gospel. He says that older believers cry because they remember when they got baptized. Okay, not a hill to die on, but I cry because of joy I have that the person is going to Heaven!!! He also says the communion helps us to experience the gospel of Jesus Christ!! What are you talking about? By taking communion are we saved? No! We are also not saved threw baptism!!

During communion he tells us not to take it if we are confused by the gospel and if the gospel is not our lives. I actually agree with this part, even though if I was new to Christianity I would have no idea what he was talking about. He says, “If you are unclear about this gospel thing do not take part of it.” Ugh! I just find this language to be very flippant and it is not reverent of our Holy God. He should take his own advise. He talks about the drinking of the cup helps us experience true forgiveness and equips us to forgive others. Not sure about this statement either.

I’m praying that someone will speak with Jesse about some of these issues. It grieves me how he miss handles God’s Word.

Here is a link to a conversation my husband had with Jesse, you can access it by copying it a pasting it. I put this here to let people know that we have tried reaching out to him like the Bible tell us too.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IlbUaw-JqZIs5Jp8Gw6ncAVaIcIxbS8i/view?usp=sharing

AEC has blocked us from making comments on his sermons on social media.

Here is Jesse sermon https://youtu.be/01fTqpBe8S0

Here is a really great sermon of Luke 11:24-28 by John MacArthur

https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-161/the-danger-of-moral-reformation