We are hungry for Jesus. As Christians, we want truth and reality. We read the New Testament, and we see the way the early church lived. We see what the early believers had. And if we dare to be honest, we see that our experiences and practices don’t quite line up with the New Testament example.
Sadly, the majority of Christians don’t really see a problem with our current practice of “church” and Christianity as a whole. This is probably true for a few reasons. One reason is that most people are not aware of anything different than what they are already practicing. People tend to accept what they are used to. People tend to think that what has always been practiced in their lifetime is right, correct, and normal.
Jesus aggressively spoke against the traditions of men. Yet today, Christians are “going to church” the same way their parents did, and the way their parents did before them, without taking an honest look at the Bible and what it says about the way we should be meeting.
It takes courage to be honest.
Jesus spent a lot of time rebuking the religious leaders of the day and their teachings. Still today, most people at large are doing just what the religious leaders of the day say we should do. Because a person goes to seminary and is now considered a “trained and credentialed professional”, it does not mean their methods or ways are right. In fact, the role of the modern day church leader is found nowhere in scripture.
We place more value on an intellectual mind than we do a broken heart. We respect education more than power. “The things that are highly esteemed among men are the things that God detests,” (Lk 16:15). If a man today does not have a degree from a Bible college or seminary, he is considered not qualified to lead, yet Jesus used un-schooled fisherman to raise the dead and to establish the foundation of the church.
Our ways are backwards.
We assume that what is common, what is accepted, and what is widely practiced is officially correct.
Not so. There have been many times throughout history and in many cultures, when what was common place and widely practiced was absolutely horrible, yet everyone thought it was OK because it was what they were used to. This is true in our day and age in the church.
During this present day, there is very little being practiced in our church meetings that can be found in scripture, and we are suffering for it. We are currently in a “modern dark ages.” We are in a time in which Christians everywhere have accepted unbiblical practices to be the norm. When the true Biblical concepts are read, concerning what should be our practice, everyone nods and agrees – in concept. But our destructive ways continue.
Christians are starving spiritually. Committed to “being fed” Sunday after Sunday, many Christians are spiritually impoverished and they don’t even know it. We are used to eating crumbs. The modern day malnourished believer contributes to the making up of an entire church that is mostly powerless.
The church of the West has largely become a hybrid. The church has mixed with the world and the culture of the day. In many ways, we have accepted the ways of the world and have left the scriptural example. Because of the money and means we have here in America, we then propagate our hybrid ways to the rest of the planet and call it “mission work.” We now have new believers in many parts of the world trying to mimic a church pattern of error we follow in America.
God will always love and bless His people. He is so kind and compassionate that he will give to us and even bless us in the midst of our ways. But there is a better way than our current practice – a Biblical way. A way that God intended. A way which quickly grows and strengthens the disciple. A way that keeps families strong. A way that brings honor to our King. A way in which would cause the world to marvel in awe at the church, as it once did – and be drawn to it, rather than make fun of it.
The power and Spirit of the living God is within us. We have a clear example in the Bible of what to do and how to conduct ourselves. So what’s the problem? Why are we not seeing the Biblical example being lived out in our day?
There are a lot of ideas out there. Since 1987, I have come across a variety of ways that people believe we are to “have church”. But when we look at the plain and simple direction of the New Testament, many of the ideas that are out and that are being practiced in traditional church settings and in many home gatherings simply don’t match the examples of the scripture!
We as the church, are a colony from heaven. We are to fervently love one another, from the heart, and on a daily basis. We are to live and share life together. We are to be devoted to prayer and devoted to one another. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit within ourselves individually and He is to fill our meeting rooms. We are to speak the truth to one another in love. We are to continually participate in our various functions and gifts, and not just in church meetings. We are to be truly “knitted together” in heart. Vulnerable and transparent, in the Holy Spirit, we are to bear our souls to one another. We are to live a life of confessing our sins and weaknesses, bearing one another’s burdens. Walking in the light and with intense accountability, we are all to be built up from the entire body.
We cannot be adequately fed from only one man, for only one hour, on only one day of the week. No matter how good of a man he may be.
The church of Jesus does not need money to run. Nor does it need a denomination (division) to be affiliated with. We do not need a building, a board of directors, an agenda, or a marketing plan in order to survive. But rather the Spirit of God, the power of the gospel, the love of the brethren and the authority of the scriptures are to drive our very existence.
We are to call no man leader, teacher or father (Matthew 23:8). For there is only One who is our Father and we are all brethren before our God. There is equality at the foot of the cross. From the crack house to the White House– all will stand before Jesus and bend the knee. Arrogant men, ambition, the need to have position, the need to have a title, and the need to be recognized as a “minister” or clergy has no place in the church of the living God.
We in the modern day church have sold out for what is flashy, for what is big, and for what makes a good show. The louder the music, the catchier the tune, the more people who attend now days makes for a “better worship experience”.
We are sending unseasoned people (mostly teenagers) out of the country on “mission trips” who are not living the life of Christ and won’t share their faith with their next door neighbor. The thrill of going to another country to do missions seems to be more exciting than sharing our faith in the checkout line at the grocery store. We have resigned ourselves to shallow relationships, sitting on pews with people we don’t really know, listening to an intellectual stimulating speech once a week, and farming our children out for somebody else to teach them the ways of God and of life. Godly sorrow, humility, and corporate prayer are all becoming rare commodities.
We should not be able to wait until the next time we can get together with our brothers and sisters. And when we do come together, we are to encounter the Spirit of the Living God. With Jesus in our midst, satisfying us, feeding us, speaking to us, filling us, encouraging us, and leading us, we are HIS BODY. Infused with His life, we are to be in sync with the head. “Membered” and planted with one another, we are to build each other up. We are to be a continual love feast in the Spirit of God, a safe place of growth, a home of strength and of security.
You have only one life to live. You’ve got one shot at this. And the time is short. It’s not too late. But it will take courage.
The job we have before us is a job of undoing. Hopefully, this website will be a source of direction – a guide for those of you who want something more.
If you find yourself defending your own experience while reading this, this website may not be for you. If you are satisfied with your current experience of church life and don’t see what the big deal is, then my prayer is that these writings will arouse you from your sleep. Jesus and the church are not to be just a part of our lives but, the only life we’ve got.