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.