Week after week you sit peacefully in church. You think everything is OK. But do you really hear the groaning of our lost world? Can you hear the cries of young girls with unwanted pregnancies, the hateful words from the couple who once vowed to love one another, the tired excuses of the overworked, the driven, the defeated? Or, are their cries muffled by the gossip in the next pew, the self-seeking prayers, the unforgiving attitudes barely hidden behind a facade of outward holiness? Out of this chaos, hear a Voice of hope. It comes from One who seeks to rescue the wounded, liberate the enslaved, revive the disheartened. But his message is not just for the lost world; it's for the LOST IN CHURCH. If lately you've been feeling more hypocritical than holy, more apathetic than authentic, more critical than caring, if limits on what or how much you will forgive have crept in, if you've been seeking the gifts rather that the Giver, if you've found yourself spreading gossip instead of grace, and if you realize the intimacy you once had with God has dried up the journey with Jonathan Cash as his transparent words help to truly satisfy the longing in your heart and renew your relationship with the Lord. Your heavenly Father longs to restore your spirit and show you how to live as you find your way home.
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Escape From Churchianity
by Chip Brogden
It is important that we make a clear distinction between the True Church (the Ecclesia) and the Institutional Church, Organized Religion, or religion in general. The easiest way to begin is to discuss one critical thing that Organized Religion cannot do.
Organized Religion cannot impart Life.
An intellectual Christianity is what Organized Religion brings. It cannot impart Life. What do I mean by an intellectual Christianity? It is the ABC Gospel. Perhaps you have heard it. Salvation is obtained in three easy steps: "A" stands for "admit you are a sinner"; "B" stands for "believe on the Lord Jesus to save you"; and "C" stands for "confess Jesus as your personal Savior." What is wrong with that? Simply this: there is no Life there. "ABC" will not save us. With "ABC" there is no encounter with Jesus, Who alone is Life. There is only an intellectual acceptance and affirmation of what is presented as "Three Easy Steps". I believe this, I say that, and that makes me a Christian, right? No, it just makes you religious. There are many people who "get religion", but they don't get Jesus.
Organized Religion has caused Christianity to morph into Churchianity, a gospel which is easy to believe in but progressively more difficult to live up to.
Organized Religion can bring doctrine, teaching, and belief. Some of it may be morally excellent and good. Some of it may even sound Biblical, like "Three Easy Steps". Nevertheless, Organized Religion cannot impart Life. Why? Because it has no Life to give. Jesus Christ is the Life. And Jesus does not live within the matrix of Organized Religion. He gives HIMSELF. How can any man, organization, or movement claim to give away another man, much less impart the very Life of Jesus Christ? Only Jesus can give Himself as our Life.
You see, then, that the most anyone can do is point people to Jesus as the sole Source of Life. They may contact Life through us, but we cannot give them Life. To those bound by Organized Religion, Jesus cries "You search the Scriptures, because you think in them you have Life. You are content to read about Me, but you will not come to Me that you may have Life (John 5:39,40, paraphrased)." Come to Me! Not, "Memorize these Three Easy Steps and attend the Church of your choice this Sunday." Come to Me! He is Life.
The Church, the Ecclesia, is the synthesis of individuals who have the Revelation of Jesus and have come to Him to receive Him as their Life.
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One of the most important articles you'll ever read!
In the mid 1990s researcher George Barna startled the church with what he termed “one of the rudest awakenings I have ever received in my efforts to help churches grow.” It’s simply this: “Half of all adults who attend Protestant churches on a typical Sunday morning are not Christian!” Churches are filled with individuals who by reason of tradition, misinformation, demonic deception or something else have never come to a grace-based relationship with Jesus Christ. They are “lost in church.” Read on...
“I believe I will go to heaven because I live by the Golden Rule.”
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
~ Galatians 4:14
Much of the world knows the Golden Rule simply as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (see Luke 6:31). According to this verse, if we can live by this rule and love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves, we fulfill the Law. Ask those who claim to do this if they have ever lied, stolen, hated, or looked with lust. If they have broken any of these Commandments, then they haven’t loved those they have lied to, stolen from, etc. This will show them that they have violated the Golden Rule. They are under God’s wrath , desperately needing the Savior's cleansing blood.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. ~ John 3:36 (KJV)
From: The Evidence Bible - Ray Comfort
Faking Church: The Subtle Defection
|Don't worry-we're all faking church to some degree. None of us tell ourselves the whole truth, all the time, about our spiritual lives. But when we're just going through the motions...when the untruths begin to drain all the joy out of worship, when we're considering not even showing up on Sunday morning...it's time to get real again with God. Dan Schaeffer invites you to unflinchingly examine your heart, to ask questions you're not used to asking yourself, to explore motivations you've always taken for granted, and to challenge some of your longstanding assumptions about church and ministry. Exploring the common traps and misconceptions that seduce believers into becoming spiritual fakes, Schaeffer points the way for allowing the Holy Spirit to Create in you a genuine servant's heart. You'll need self-honesty. A determined will. And resolute prayer. But you'll never have to go back to faking church again.