Pastor Duke Taber is the pastor of Mid-Peninsula Vineyard Christian Church in the San Francisco Bay area and the owner of Taber's Truths.
Posted 6/27/15 at 9:46 PM | Duke Taber
This article was first published on Spirit Filled Christian Living
I have a dilemma. Since 1988 I have performed weddings and I have always had the privilege of pronouncing the happy couple officially married by using these words. “According to the power vested in me by God Almighty and by the great State of _______, I now pronounce you man and wife. You are now married in the eyes of God and man.”
Up until yesterday, I did not have a crisis of conscience. Until yesterday, the definition of marriage by the state and by my own religious beliefs were synonymous. Now they are not.
So now I have to ask some very tough questions of myself.
In order to answer these questions, a little understanding of the difference between civil rights and religious rights, the history of marriage, the history of conscientious objection, and peaceful civil disobedience is needed. FULL POST
Posted 5/22/15 at 10:35 PM | Duke Taber
Allow me to paint a picture if you will.
This is the story of a young couple, their closest family members and friends, and a crowd of onlookers.
The crowd has gathered, the stage is set. All the people are in their places.
Women are huddled in groups chattering softly among themselves. The smiles are gleaming brighter than the lights. It is the day they have all been waiting for.
Men are making jokes, and reliving stories of their experience with this type of day. They are handing out advice to the young man they are there to support. There is a lot of backslapping and fist tapping going on.
Finally everyone arrives and a quiet expectation fills the room.
A cute little girl comes down the aisle of the building they are assembled in followed by a boy holding a pillow with a couple of fake rings attached to it. It is obvious that he is not all that excited about being with the girl. She on the other hand thinks the event is all about her as she tosses the rose petals high into the air as she walks to the front. FULL POST
Posted 6/24/14 at 8:14 AM | Duke Taber
Friday I received an email from a concerned member of my church because of an email that was sent to them by Focus on the Family. Until now I have always held Focus on the Family in high regard. That does not mean I have always agreed with them, but I have always felt that they were an ethical ministry that worked in cooperation with the larger family of Evangelical Christians. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have believed that they would use painful and heartbreaking situations within the Southern Baptist Convention or the Association of Vineyard Churches for their own personal profit and gain but here is the letter.
How Should the Church Respond to Homosexuality?
"Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure."
God designed sexual expression to unite a man and a woman in marriage and to represent the union of Christ and His Bride, The Church. FULL POST
Posted 10/17/13 at 1:52 PM | Duke Taber
John MacArthur has just started his so called "Strange Fire" conference. Ignoring appeals from traditional Pentecostal leaders and those within the Charismatic movement, he has chosen to go along with his inflamatory rhetoric and diatribe. However this is nothing new. I am old enough to remember the last time MacArthur went on this rant back in the 90's with Charismatic Chaos. At the time I was just starting out in ministry and did not feel it was my place to get involved in the fray. This time is another story.
MacArthur continues to use the worldly tactic of using extremes to prove a point. He takes the opinions of a few on the fringes of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement and claims falsely that ALL fall into that category. Does he remember the 9th commandment?
However the question remains whether or not MacArthur is even credible about this subject. Apart from the fact that He takes the extremes and makes a point, his real intent and focus is to prove that the theory of cessationism is true. He has said more than once that there is no evidence of spiritual gifts being used in history after the last Apostle died.
Is this true?
If it is true, then MacArthur is credible. If not, then he is just as much of a false prophet as those he claims he is exposing. FULL POST
Posted 10/7/13 at 12:12 PM | Duke Taber
This article was first published on Taber's Truths Christian Living Magazine
The other day I had something interesting happen. I was on the phone to my friend Chris Michaels. We were talking about the struggles his church was facing in finding a pastor and how to support him once they do. In the midst of that conversation we started talking about crowdfunding. Now for those of you that do not know what crowd funding is, it is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.
All of a sudden the Holy Spirit started to speak to Chris and he got excited. Not only was there a way for him to help his church but there was a way that he could help others in the same situation. He could help people who had a vision to do something for God but didn’t have the way to generate the income to accomplish their vision. Because of our conversation, Fund My Mission was born. FULL POST
Posted 7/24/13 at 12:23 PM | Duke Taber
Ever since the founder of the Vineyard, John Wimber went to be with Jesus, there has been a question as to which way the Vineyard was going to go in relation to the gifts and operations of the Holy Spirit. This season of soul searching is normal for a group of people who lose a very gifted and charismatic leader. This year at the National Conference in Anaheim Ca., this question seemed to be resolved.
With video greetings from such notables as Jack Hayford and Reinhard Bonnke the Association of Vineyard Churches once again recognized that God had given them the genetic code of always being people with a passion and practice of walking in the fruit and power of the Spirit.
In John 15:4 Jesus makes a bold statement. He says that we cannot bear fruit unless we abide in Him. When we see ebb in the spiritual vitality of a church or in our personal life it can be attributed to one thing. We are not abiding as closely as we once were with Jesus.
The Vineyard saw this ebb and appointed a Holy Spirit committee to make recommendations to fix this problem, knowing that if a denomination of people feel the need to appoint a committee to study this type of problem then the problem is worse than they think. FULL POST
Posted 3/1/13 at 10:50 AM | Duke Taber
Last fall I had the opportunity to make a new friend in my life. Pastor Steve Sjogren was the guest speaker at our pastors conference. When I first started listening to Steve I was immediately struck with the fact that this man was not your normal guest speaker you would find at a pastors conference. Although he at one time pastored one of the largest Vineyard churches in our fellowship, the man I saw was what he himself would call an "irregular" person.
You see, a while back, while Steve was still pastoring the Cincinnati Ohio Vineyard church, he had a near death experience. That N.D.E. forever changed his life.
Recently Steve asked me to read his new book published by Thomas Nelson and review it. I told him that I am not a book reviewer but because we had become friends, I would share with all of you what I thought about the book. What I did not expect was to be so touched and transfixed by the book. I honestly could not put it down and I am not a big book reader. FULL POST
Posted 2/9/13 at 9:07 AM | Duke Taber
Many Christians have gotten a little fed up with Facebook. Whether they are finding that their posts mysteriously disappear, or are not shared with all of their friends due to Facebook’s decision to censor religious speech, (Facebook, Apple, Google censoring religious speech?) or they are tired of posts that use inappropriate pictures or language, or they just want a place where they can go to get uplifted and encouraged, Christians have been looking for alternatives to Facebook. It was because of this need that I decided to use the popularity of my own website Taber's Truths and our Facebook Fan Page to enter the Christian social networking niche and launch Christian Faithbook. However, since I have always had a big tent philosophy towards other Christians and Christian websites, I wanted to provide you with a list of the best Christian Social Networking sites for 2013. I have used a 3 point criteria for this list. I have made the decision on who to include based on the number of members, number of features, and whether the site is moderated to weed out spam and inappropriate posts and pictures. This list is not ranked, but just the 10 best Christian social networking sites I could find based on that criteria. FULL POST
Posted 1/14/13 at 2:10 PM | Duke Taber
Recently I was asked to chime into the discussion concerning some views and beliefs of Brian McLaren. He is called by some people, an Evangelical leader. Maybe I have gotten old. Maybe I am just too “old school” to understand certain things about what is called “post modern Christianity” or the “emergent church”. But to me, what I read and saw was not what I would consider views and beliefs that fit into the broad definition of Evangelical, of whom I have been a part for going on 34 years.
In an interview done by Glass House Theology, Brian was asked some questions that caught my attention. Primarily the question asked of him concerning his views on atonement. Here is an excerpt from that interview.
Q: In your book, “A New Kind Of Christianity,” you describe how, while a pastor, people would come to you and ask “good questions” that eventually unraveled your set doctrines. Can you tell us one that stuck with you and how it informed your reassembled beliefs? How did you make sense of this “unraveling?” Why was it OK that your belief structure evolved? FULL POST
Posted 12/17/12 at 11:08 PM | Duke Taber
The holidays can be no holiday for many people in our congregations. For those of us that are single, alone and especially for those that have lost loved ones, Christmas becomes an intense time of feeling the loss that we have experienced. As a pastor, and as a Christian single, I am challenged with not only dealing with my own heart issues concerning this time of year, but I am responsible for making sure that those within my flock are not left without comfort or resources to help them during their need. It is with this in mind, that I want to share with you both the things I have learned over the years that have helped myself and others deal with this time, but also what a dear friend and fellow pastor has shared as well on my website.
Probably the most important thing to remember when shepherding the grieving during the holidays is that what the person needs is not to be cheered up or help fixing the problem. The problem will never be fixed. It will never "get better" over time. It will become less emotional and less painful but it will never be better. You can never tell a mother that the loss of her son or daughter will get better. It won't. It just won't hurt as intensely as it does currently. So when you come alongside them to help them through this time, your job is not to fix the problem, it is to walk by their side as they experience the loss. FULL POST