A Look at What Christianity Was Meant to Be!
Christianity is meant to be a simple life changing experience but has become more like a circus
Christianity is not a spectator sport!
There seems to be a tendency both historically and in present practice for Christianity to turn into a performance with actors and spectators. The priest, preacher, pastor, etc. takes on the role of entertainer and tries to draw in the crowds so that the “church” can grow. As the membership becomes bigger the income also increases. The practice is a kind of pitch up, pray and pay situation, to put it honestly. There are also other attractions added to the performance to provide a pretty backdrop - the building/altar/stained windows, music, choirs, etc.)
This was not what it was meant to be. Jesus called out and prepared disciples for a mission and then sent them out to fulfill that mission. The Apostle Paul describes it as using your gifts in helping the body to grow. (Rom 12:1. "Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters , in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your proper worship as rational beings.") He then continues to list seven important area where Christians are gifted and need to serve. If you find your area of giftedness and serve then the church, the body, functions as it should. "Going to Church" is missing the point. Christians are the church. Only when each part of the body is functioning in the way that it was intended to function can the objective of Christ’s coming be achieved.The world is in a mess as every newscast and daily newspaper will tell you. Often you don't even have to look further than your own life and daily world to see that this is so. When greed, selfishness and other sin is in control then it becomes a bad place to live.
In Galatians Chapter 5 Paul describes how the Holy Spirit produces fruit that is needed in every life to make the world a better place. ".. love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Galatians 5:22.23- TNIV translation) So a better life, and also a better world is produced when people follow the way of the spirit. Yes, worship as a congregation is important but it should be "..to spur one another up to love and good works". (Hebrews 10:24) But when it loses its purpose and become a place of entertainment it is useless.
So Jesus brought into the world a message of a better way of life. This is not what we do on Sunday but what we do every day of our lives, in every relationship that we share with others. Christ came not to take us out of the world but to help us to make the world a better place, for ourselves and for others
Luke records the purpose clearly in his Gospel (Luke 19:10), “Jesus came to seek and to save the lost”.It is only when people can see that you and I do in fact produce the fruit of the spirit in our lives that we make an impact. Going to "church", even on a regular basis, is not going to do this. It is only when Christianity rediscovers its mission and every member finds their place as a "royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9) that it will make the impact in a lost world that it was meant to make.
It all starts with you and me!. Don't be another spectator that enjoys the spectacle. Rather roll up your sleeves, read your Bible, pray and then change your life on a day to day practical way. That is what Christianity was ment to be, a working, life changing, fruit producing life.
Reference: TNIV New Testament-Zondervan