Christianity -v- Churchianity

I wish people would stop confusing Churchianity with Christianity, it's annoying to me, so can you imagine what God feels about it?

The secular world has rejected Churchianity big time and wants to see it dead, but they have mistaken the actions of a dying religious system with the actions of Christ, who is far from dead despite popular opinion.

Our task is not to show 'Christians' how to live a better life here on earth, it is to prepare them for eternal life.

The only way I know to do this is to take the effort to show them how to obey Christ, not the church.

Historically churches have managed over the centuries, to accumulate detritus, which has affected their balance, and therefore their course and direction.

Good intentions turn into programs and get so large that they need steering committees to administer the funds and participants, with ever larger amounts needed to achieve.....

No program, however worthy, will ever change a persons life unless they have been introduced into the kingdom of heaven of their own volition.

Nobody who has not realised their desperate plight, can ever let everything they thought they were, drop off them like the filthy rags they are.

Pride is our number one killer.

Nobody lets me preach in their church, I upset folk and frighten the clients, which is fine, because just preaching would achieve a temporary change in some and a deeper entrenchment in others, but no real change.

Change needs time and attention, and they are too busy with their programs to allocate that time or attention to achieving real change, and besides, change is dangerous isn't it.

Change means that things will not be the same and when you have spent years building a ministry and church congregation, permanency is reassuring and safe.

The old adage tells us that if you feed a man for a day, he's hungry tomorrow, but if you teach him to fish he is set for life.

That's true, but unless you can show him Christ, he will fish away and eventually become bored of fish.

Then search out more exotic foods, perhaps never fishing again as variety spices up his life.

I've realised these last few years that I was discontent with the church as it stood, that all traditional churches were as guilty as each other, and that it was not my job to try and change them.

Our job is to help those who want to get what we have, despite the fact that we may apparently have less than them.

They need to be seeking a life, not a livelihood.


The Sheep and the Goats

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 

  • For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
  • I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
  • I was a stranger and you invited me in, 
  • I needed clothes and you clothed me,
  • I was sick and you looked after me,
  • I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 

When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 

When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

We do not give enough, I know I have not given anyway near as much as I should have, and that in spite of the fact that for most of my walk I have tithed faithfully to whatever church I attended, wherever it was.

But I had always kept my 'comfort zone' and when I could have given without causing me real shortage, I kept my hand in my pocket, secure in the knowledge that my left hand did not know what my right hand was doing.... yes it works both ways!

But God sees all we do, knows what we think and hears every word we say.

I was exposed and found to be naked and poor, wretched and blind, lonely and cold to the world.

Defenceless, and defeated by my religion.

That was a good start for a new beginning.

Believe me, you can never out give God, and every cent that you apply to bringing people closer to the kingdom will be invested, not lost.

So look at yourself, and your church, and if you are in ministry, then that as well.

Compare it to the bible, not what you know, have been taught, seen on God TV, or at a conference.

God is not in the self help business, our task is to help others, not ourselves, and when we accept that challenge and live it accordingly, THEN God will put our name on His eternal scroll, and we will be provided for, to do His work here on earth.

Which is not to be a soul winner, but to nurture those souls we can into the fullness of Christ.

Winning souls may boost our ego and church numbers, but unless they are heading towards the fullness, then they will be constantly dissatisfied but too intimidated to do anything about it.

We are not on commission, we are commissioned....to see folk right through into the kingdom, one at a time and with them all the way, through good and bad, and showing the Fathers love.

If you are in ministry, send a dirty, smelly old tramp reeking of booze into your Sunday meeting and get him to sit right down the front near the nice folk.

See whether you pass the test, whether you have taught them to respond like Christ or react like folk normally do.

Everyone you meet can either bless you or be blessed by you, our job is to evaluate what our position is and respond accordingly.

We should be doing one or the other, giving or receiving, in order to bless those who we can.


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Comments 30 comments

Unchained Grace profile image

Unchained Grace 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

If there was a button better than the "UP" button I woulda used that one because this Hub kicks hard and is straight up. I especially enjoyed the part of "The Sheep and the Goats"

John, I'll be honest. I don't even like the term (label) of Christianity being applied to myself or Unchained Grace Ministries any more because of the corruption and disinformation not to mention the fact mankind has planned God right out of the picture in favor of the almighty freakin' dollar and committees designed to steer other committees who invariably operate under their own understanding and stand on tradition.

I know the vision Jesus has put on me. My allegiance is with Him. Not Disorganized Religion. You are right. He's not into the "Self-Help" biz. He isn't there to run "How to Make Millions with Jesus" seminars. This gets dangerously close to spritual masturbation.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I don't trust religion. I don't trust people as a rule- or how far. I see too much apathy. I see too many violations of the Golden Rule. Just because people say they love Jesus doesn't make it so. Actions are the proof. People say you can't get to heaven with good works. There are too many confused interpretations of the Bible. Perhaps too many scribes who were not transferring the scriptures properly. Too many contradictions. What's the Golden Rule? That is THE LAW above all laws. Jesus said to keep that above all laws. People have too much confusion. The heart should guide if Jesus rules the heart.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

I was right with you all the way...until you said our work on earth is "not to be a soul winner". Jesus came to the sick, not the well. I think you meant, we're not called to merely "increase the numbers in the pews", which I fully agree. Judgment begins at the household of God, for we who are called by His name must bear witness to Him, not ourselves. Blessings ~~


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain Author

Hi JD,

You interpreted it correctly, "we're not called to merely "increase the numbers in the pews"

Soul keepers... not just winners

John


Sanctus Vesania profile image

Sanctus Vesania 6 years ago

I can see the dangers of those who hold to the 'soul winning' doctrine. Mostly because a lot of them are taught that the more souls they win, the more rewards they'll get in Heaven. I am always suspicious of those who will try to convert a person, and then throw a temper tantrum when they can't convert said person.

I usually want to ask them if they're genuinely upset for the person, or are they just upset, because now they won't get another giant diamond in their collection.

Only the Godhead can win souls, and the quicker we learn this, the better.


MrTooree profile image

MrTooree 6 years ago

So True !!! Thanks !!!


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida

Rated you up. So well spoken John! Churchianity! I love that word! That is what has been wrong, the Christian is not the problem, it is the Churchian, who has no idea what being a Christian means. If you are preaching anywhere, I will come to hear you speak. I wish you were in Florida, we could set up a revival!


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain Author

Hi Faybe,

You find the body of believers and God will get me there!

John


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada

aguasilver, the "church" is so happy with it's status quo...don't make me see, don't make me feel. don't open the doors or the windows... because then I have to be aware and make a choice...and they don't want that responsibility. They "think" they are okay because they are 'paying' someone else to do what they aught to be doing. And as long as that someone else is doing it and then (only then) bringing in the cleaned up, hopefully healthy, mature sheep they are happy. Will even put out the money for it. Good hub, puts the responsibility right on the doorstep of those who are truly responsible. Feed my sheep, look after my lambs, Jesus said, and that means going where they are...loving them as they are, being the hands on, willing to get our feet and hands dirty mentor, brother, sister, discipler.

Blessings aguasilver, UlrikeGrace


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

John my brother I have until this Hub of yours never heard the term "Churchianity" and even now I'm not certain I know what it is, or means.

Right or wrong and I know I will offend Catholics with this I have attended the Catholic Church for 62 years, and for 47 of those years, I have sung in choirs to praise my God.I attend Catholic church for the following reasons:

1. Because I love God,

2. Because I love the music I sing for God, in so many

different languages.

3. Because my voice and the music I perform for God, is my instrument, given me by The Power of The Holy Spirit, to reach others, and draw them closer to Him.

4. It is where I am most comfortable.

If you ask me though, Since my teenage years, since I started understanding the Bible and God's Teachings, not the Churches Teachings,I have discerned for myself that which is of "GOD" and that which is of the high and mighty church which seems only happy when they can dip into my pocket for money.

"I AM A CHRISTIAN" not a Catholic, though raised with the Catholic Church.

Brother Dave.


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain Author

My point exactly..."I AM A CHRISTIAN" not a Catholic, though raised with the Catholic Church.

I was fortunate in not having any doctrinal or denominational allegiances when I came to Christ, and I came to Christ, not the AoG church which I surrendered in.

Today I mix with Pentecostals (I think they are Pentecostal anyway) and most of my closer brethren are what I call PenteBaptists.... but I have friends in all camps, and like you they are Gods remnant, hidden amongst the tares and hirelings of modern Churchianity.

Churchianity is where people worship the church rather than the Christ.

I was born 'into' the Church of England, that bastard church born from Henry VIII and Elisabeth's treachery, for they took the name and tenets of the RCC and rebranded it to suit themselves.

I am no fan of the RCC, they are corrupt and have corrupted scripture, but as I said, all major denominations are equally to blame for the travesty that we call the modern church.

All ignore what Christ states and choose to believe what their creators spoke, not what THE Creator decreed.

Time is short, and we are all individually accountable to Christ for our confession.

I am minded to ponder the passage about millstones and little ones....

John


djbraman@gmail.com 6 years ago

We need to build an altar and put our mess on it, and return to our first love, for we have sold Jesus out, we have forgotten our first love, and my soul cries out for this nation to return to one nation under God, and the churches return back to what makes the angels rejoice, lost souls, and we have to have enough love in our hearts, that golden rule, to love others as ourselves and as he loved us. I hope I never forget how he lifted me up into a new life from the wretched heart that I was. The power of the blood still works. If we have discernment of what the problem is in the church then has he not called us up to the plate to be that difference and set apart? People don't care what you know until they know you love them. We need some shepherds that love the people enough to restore them from sinful life, instead of condemnation from each other, or caring more about their image and deep pockets.The power of the blood still works, it will wash you, give life to dead spirits, and raise you up into a new man. I hope I never forget the mercy and grace he gave me as wretched as I was. No carnal minded Christian will ever pull me from love of Jesus' church. So, by just leaving the church saying it full of sin, is that not selling him out? Yes, I will drink the cup he gave me, and I count persecution (up in the church) all joy because I work to lay up treasures in heaven that shortly here is going to be my eternal home. It's warfare in the church, but Jesus is the lover of my soul and I will never step off that foundation because the bible says, the gates of hell will not prevail against the righteous church. What the truth is we don't want to give up the "me" thing to do our reasonable service which is to be wholly consecrated unto him. I pray everyday for the this nation to turn and be a Godly nation again, and for the church to restore those who have left with the passion to love others as he loved us and gave his life's blood. Great article, I hope it causes people to fall on their knees and cry out for righteousness in the House Of The Lord again! Good article to cause us to ponder these things. We must not love things more than we do him and each other.


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain Author

Hi djbraman,

I would never tell anyone to abandon the church, I've lived outside the camp and its a cold and lonely place to reside. You learn to walk on your own, but not for nothing are we recommended not to forsake the fellowship of the saints.

Thanks for reading...

John


cheaptrick profile image

cheaptrick 6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

You know John...I Love your use of the word"Fullness",Perfect my friend.

When those who are on the Narrow Path encounter one struggling who is Off the Path they are compelled to help,but Only to the point of Not Leaving the Path themselves.I believe when Christ said"My soul sorrows me to the point of death"he was referring to those who would be lost as well as the condition of mankind.Just MO.

Thanks

Dean


coffeesnob 6 years ago

A healthy body is a wonderful place to find edification. I get what you are saying though. So many churches are not healthy (more concerned about the color of the carpet than the condition of their brother). I kept thinking how it is oft forgotton that we are the church. The apostles didn't got to church they tool the church to others. Fellowship is needed. Christianity lived out as Christ followres is far different that religous performance.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 6 years ago from Wales, UK

I miss church though. Not because I want to sing happy clappy songs, listen to a nice sermon, or engage in polite inoffensive conversation with plastic smiles. I miss being in a church where one is under no compulsion to attend every week or do the midweek meetings, or take some formailsed role, where the members are a bunch of mates. Oh one where God shows up would be a bonus too.

I've found places like these in the past, I'm hopeful for the future.


Rob Rumfelt profile image

Rob Rumfelt 6 years ago from Central Arizona

Jesus said to go and make disciples of all nations, not more church members. What the church needs today are more disciples who faithfully study the life, teaching and commands of our Lord. I highly recommend reading Dallas Willard's "The Divine Conspiracy" or Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "The Cost of Discipleship." Both books will give one a good idea of what discipleship is about.


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Awesome topic & great hub! Well written....


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

Agua, so many Churches have wandered from the true purpose. To edify believers, to come along side and disciple, to teach and to train, to worship God with true hearts and to PRAY corporately with great passion .. ahh that is KEY to God's Spirit to activate and bless believers who meet to glorify HIM. I just wrote a hub about a very humble man who sought God for the Church he was called to Pastor. He wrote a book .. it is truly annointed by God. My husband and I have been reading through it together. He has broken down with each read. I think you'd be blessed to read "Fresh Wind Fresh Fire" by Jim Cymbala.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Amen! It is what we do for others that counts above all else. There is not enough real discipling going on. This is an outstanding message perfectly delivered. Thank you.


debugs profile image

debugs 6 years ago from Odessey777, Umbris

I've lived a LONG time, since I was a kid in a Church, a Catholic one. It taught me to be fearful, threatened me with hell for something that I did when I was 3 years old, and frankly, I've given up on any church 25 years ago. Religion is the opium of the people.. Karl Marx was right. I love Jesus though, not those who misuse his name.


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain Author

Hi debugs, (are you a computer wizz?)

You are right, that's what this hub is about....Churchianity which inoculates people against Christ and into legalism.

But be assured, there are real believers out there and you should find them, for they share your love of Christ.

James & Mekenzie, thanks for your comments and support, hope you are both well with the Lord!

john


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

Another Great Hub! You can tell what kind of sheep you are by the shepherd you choose:)


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 5 years ago from Utah

I hear what you are saying. I love the new term "Churchianity". I have had conversations about this very thing. I understand what you are saying, and I agree, but I also see the need for organized religion because (ideally) that is the best way to help the most people. The problem with churchianity is that we have lost the love of God in our hearts. It's not a breakdown of religion that we need, it is a renewal of our faith and understanding what religion is really (or should be) about. I personally belong to a church with no paid ministry. We do our own praying. but when physical needs are there, we donate time and money. I like the tithing (10%) idea. ---you know balance in all things---both for time and money.


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 5 years ago from Malaga, Spain Author

Hi Hannah,

I was instrumental in a church in Spain for years, but now, here in SE Asia we have little real church involvement, though we visit some favorites, no 'body' has called out to us that it is home.

Unfortunately 'order' often stifles moves of the Holy Spirit, but I agree God is not a God of chaos.


Michael Milec 3 years ago

Right on, brother .

When the Holy Spirit moves, you can't be silent. More and more the believers' concern is : what am I doing here... Traditionally church business has distanced itself from the " instructions an directions" of The Lord Jesus Christ. That's not our concern each of us have been called to follow...

Long, long years back when pointing to those churches'non- believer conducts and called it " churchism" , the" leaders" got me out.

Continued to live life of righteousness soon I've realize, that Christianity has accepted " - ism" becoming as any man made movement, so in my vocabulary now there is a new word pointing to christianismus as something wher the name of Jesus is a talking subject.

Recently I've return to "public " arena , answering questions as the bystanders wander what I have to say to the church- Christianity subject, discovering only rising numbers of those walking with Jesus instead with the membership.

Encouragement is needed for those searching for clarification of their own discovery following the Truth instead of living in darkness .

Voted up. Continue in doing what the Spirt tells you to .


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 3 years ago from Malaga, Spain Author

Thanks Michael, I reposted this hub because i feel that the 'topic' is now moving to the forefront of what God is doing. We are approaching the removal of the tares, and God is calling His people OUT of them.

We all need to be on the walls shouting the warning.


Michael Milec 3 years ago

Hello John, my friend;

... What are we doing?-- is our " christian " comfort zone so much deteriorated, that " we" (Christianity,churchianity ) aren't even aware of its condition?!

This very hub has been re-posted some three months ago when my nonentity has commented on it, - since - no actions evident.

Reading anew, seems to be more perceptive than earlier.

Obviously , the time we live in is o need for a " voice of one calling in a desert.." Perhaps " two" , definitely multiple of voices; you're one of them...

Continue ,please re-airing everywhere you can, it's urgent ...

Up & useful

God's blessings upon you and yours

Shalom


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 3 years ago from Malaga, Spain Author

Thanks Michael,

I fear it is a message we all need to heed, but chose to ignore for to follow it through means a cost on our lives that most are unwilling or unable, due to circumstances to pay.

By circumstances I do not mean lack of wealth, I mean presence of wealth, job, family and social ambitions.

Our enemy has ensnared us with a remote control, good jobs and busy lives.


Rodneyo 19 months ago

Today many know the bible, but have never had God become real to them. Most people have never had God make himself known to them even through a beautiful sunset. To most God is just history, or he is way off in space somewhere. The importance is not in experiences, but instead experiencing God. I contend, you have to experienced God. Possibly he opens the scriptures to you, and makes them come alive; they became a "word" of God to you.

It would be like you and I having coffee everyday together, sharing life and all things included. We would age together and become deep friends. We may never have a spiritual experience, but we would definitely experience each other, as Moses experienced God at the tent, when Miriam and Aron spoke against Moses, and God spoke about how He and Moses were friends. Moses experienced God. God was experienced by everyone we read about in the OT and the NT.

You know the parable of the sower, the seeds sown by Jesus, and the seeds sown by the Devil. Those seeds manifest themselves for what they really are. These are people, could be religious, like the pharisees, who were called children of the devil by Jesus. They may be the nicest, sweetest people, but what seed are they of?

I fear that the so-called church, the large visible body that meets on the corner of every city in America is missing God. There are many within this so-called visible church (though fewer in number) that truly belong to Jesus, these are the invisible church. From my point of view, the visible church has sprung up not from experiencing God, but from its exposure to the bible "The Scriptures", but this is not necessarily so, of the invisible church "The Ecklesia".

For example most people throughout history couldn't read, we had no printing presses, and when printed most people couldn't afford the bible, this is seen during the dark ages, yet the ecklesia thrived. How? It wasn't because they had a bible; it was because God was real and made himself known to them. Possibly through someone who had a bible, but probably not.

Brother Lawrence / Laubach; in his book practicing the presence; makes the claim that God became real to him, by seeing a tree losing it leaves, knowing life would again come to the tree the following year.

Here forgive me.... Let me expound more and just be open, even though we don't know each other, possibly we can glean from one another as two who see the forest from different angles?

Could it be, that True and False Christianity...Are both produced by the Bible. Everything is about contrast (light, dark, evil, and good), or it's to express God's glory, and his many attributes...God even created evil for this purposes.

The contrast in Christianity is the true church, and the false church. The invisible ecklesia -vs- the large visible body of people in every church, on every corner. The wheat, and the chaff or tare. The good seed and the bad seed. The Pharisee, and Jesus, sheep and Goats, Light and darkness.

Today is a replay of the life of Jesus in his body singular (the one that died on the cross); now this body "His Body" is plural, many membered...The same prosecutions, torments, dying, will happen in us as it did in him. Now the Pharisees are the religious of today. True Christianity and false Christianity, is so close, to the real church, the real walk, the real life...So close that it could even fool the elect, if that were possible....

So how does God establish the tare, this large so-called church. Do we see it throughout time? Yes, and it all started with two trees. The tree of life, and the tree of knowledge. We see the essence of these two trees, in many forms. One is in the visible church, and the invisible church, the wheat and tare.

The large visible church exists and is sustained by the visible, tangible, written word (The Bible). They find themselves at home with the text, they can control it, they build laws, rules, religious rituals, and doctrines. By this same knowledge they also remove God, who is Spirit, out of their midst, issues of control, a form of religion, and rules, that denies the power thereof. There is no body ministry, led of God's Spirit.

Do you think this would all be obvious, and plainly visible, or only visible to us by discernment? It had to be hidden, even from those who were in the midst of it, or else they would not have participated. Both sides, real and false are hidden, even from themselves. If not hidden, you couldn't get anyone to participate in this plan of God.

I'm not against these people; most are genuine, nice, sweet people. But we are discussing truth here. Now God is revealing these things to us, and getting ready to reveal us to each other, to reveal the true church to herself, to reveal the false church to the true.

While most of the members of both groups are wonderful people and well intentioned, the visible false church, is still like the Pharisees of old. They search the scriptures daily, but won't come to Christ, that they might have life. In fact they were never destined to life, this is what the scriptures say, the body / the ecklesia / the invisible church has life, they were destined to life, from the beginning.

The true body, the ecklesia exist by "the word", they know a hidden walk, they know the masters voice. This has got to be the common denominator throughout time, since many could not read, and the few that could read, didn't have a copy of the bible. Yet the Ecklesia flourished, even in the dark ages, and in countries that never allowed sacred texts, like China, and Russia...

Today both flourish, and this thing called church, or churchianity, has said to all, we represent God. But they do not, and God is getting ready to show this world, his true church, the ecklesia....God's mercy, and the world demand such an event, to rid God, of the stain of falsehood. Whether that be TV preachers, or even all the pain caused to so many in the name of God by so-called Christianity, which was NOT Christianity, but instead, it was this false church the large, visible church, this system.

God is separating HIS people "The Ecclesia from this thing called church, "churchianity". He is building his kingdom, it is on the inside. That is what Jesus says.

There is no way for light and darkness to fellowship together and there is NO way all those people in all these churches are truly born again via an encounter with Christ. That encounter must take place...We must experience God.

So there is no way they can fellowship with you, or you with them, if you are part of that invisible "REAL" church, for what fellowship does light have with darkness. You might as well go to a Safeway store and try and "do church" with all the people there, it will not work.

Remember Jesus says "my sheep hear my voice", and man shall not live by bread alone, the word of the Lord came unto, peter rise and eat, ETC. You see what I mean? "The word of the Lord" via "The scriptures" can become a fresh word to you, but, we can not use the terms "The word" and "the bible" interchangeably.

The point I'm making is, there is a lot written in the bible about hearing, hardly anything about reading. Everything written in the bible was spoken before it was written. Genesis was spoken, and then written by Moses.

We must come to a common denominator, for people to receive Christ, to hear the message, or to experience Christianity, and it cannot be the bible, even though God has used the scriptures to do so on occasion. Still I love the scriptures, and they are true, they are God inspired. They have just been elevated to a position by this false church, where they have taken the place of God.

Also to express my point, do this: Every place in the scriptures where it says, "the word" or "the word came unto" replace every instance with "The bible"....It just will not make sense...

As far as people hearing "The word" vs studying "The scriptures" I see a big difference between the two. One is heard, one is read. Many can read, few can hear. One is always spoken, and one is written, but can be made alive to you, and become a spoken word.

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