On Sunday mornings, in almost all churches, the “Lone Lecturer” rides again. “Hi-yo, sermon! (And if you disagree, you may be asked to leave, pronto!) It’s easy to think, “We do church the right way,” but is God limited to only one way? Surely church can be more than a lone lecturer and a group of loyal but lethargic, lay listeners!
Sometimes pastors tell people, “Don’t be a lone ranger,” and then they invite them to come hear a lone lecturer (themselves). So, what do lone ranger Christians and lone lecturer Christians have in common? They both work in isolation. However, if church would finally lay aside the unbiblical concept of laity, spiritual awakening would occur. Here a couple of pastor quotes criticizing the “lone ranger” idea.
“No Christian can be a lone ranger. We won’t make it on our own. We need each other to cling to Jesus.” –John Piper
“As Christians we’re called to belong, not just to believe. We are not meant to live lone-ranger lives; instead we are to belong to Christ’s family and be members of His body.” –Rick Warren
Lone ranger Christianity is unbiblical, but why don’t pastors ever criticize the other unbiblical concept of “lone lecturer”? (The Bible tells Christians what to do when they meet in 1 Corinthians 14:26.)
This quote from Bob Dylan explains how many people also feel about the “lone lecturer” concept:
“The Lone Ranger and Tonto are riding down the line, fixing everybody’s troubles everybody except mine.” –Bob Dylan
Many Christians need personal ministry, not just a lecture. Even more, they need to be given the opportunity and the confidence to minister to others. Perhaps it is time to break out of the traditional “lone lecture” church model.
Here’s how church usually goes: People repose in rows to hear what one man knows. The “Basic Church Program” seems to be: *Sing *Sit *Donate *Listen *Leave — (Variables: *Announcements *Readings *Rituals.) Attending church is like auditing a class. There’s no accountability to learn anything and no assessment or grade given.
However, Christ as a sermon topic can never compare to Christ, the risen Lord, speaking directly to your heart! When we meet to hear words about Jesus, but don’t meet with Jesus, we miss the purpose for meeting. Mt. 18:20.
Instead of living water rushing out of people’s inner being (John 7:38), church seems like a crowd watching a single faucet drip. Surely Jesus doesn’t want us to gather in His name and be monotonous!
You might need a preacher to explain the Christ in distant Heaven; but the Christ who lives inside you can speak for Himself!
Don’t let anyone give you a spiritual lobotomy and turn you into an empty bot. MDiv, DMin, PhD? The only degree that matters in Christianity is the “degree” of your surrender to the risen Jesus.
Since all Christians have direct access to King Jesus, there is no need for a religious hierarchy. A “Christian hierarchy” is an oxymoron like a “humility hierarchy.”
The fingers on a hand (although all different) listen to the head, and act as one. Perhaps the various members of the body of Christ could listen to our Head, Jesus Christ, and do the same.
So, why have we complicated and obscured the simple message of Jesus by building multitudes of independent religious institutions around it. (When the living Jesus isn’t allowed to freely flow through everyday people, Christianity becomes an institution.) To formalize and systematize Christian worship seems to take away from Jesus being the Head of it. When we begin to see through Christ’s eyes (and not our own) we will see as one body, not as thousands of religious organizations.
Human explanations have divided Christians; however, divine revelation can unite us as one! Let’s listen to and obey Jesus! Church tends to limit divine revelation to the distant past and settle for human explaination today; but that’s not biblical!
The world’s greatest apathy is God-neutrality. Churches seem to want God’s neutrality; not the totality of complete surrender to the reality of the living Jesus.
What would happen in a church if Jesus suddenly opened the eyes of the bland? Let the Spirit’s inner rivers freely flow and soon they will manifest a manna-fest of God’s revelation inside you.
The Spirit gently soothes and guides your heart; but the demons prefer to divide and torment your heart. The Holy Spirit gently prompts you; but the demons prefer to stomp you. In your conscience you can hear Jesus giving you wisdom and direction so you can avoid evil, self-destruction, and guilt. Obey Him!
Even if you don’t believe in prayer, it makes much more sense than worry! If your lifestyle doesn’t show Christ, you might not know Christ.