Perhaps Bill Hybels shows that the “Big Man On Campus” way of doing church is flawed. Here’s are some insights inspired by Bill’s alleged backstage harassment incidents at Willow Creek.
- Religious leaders who have power over a congregation and little or no personal accountability to them can easily sexually harass people. They can also get exposed by courageous people with a “me too” hashtag by their name.
- Colorful, dancing stage lights and comfortable, “seeker-friendly” church are a poor substitute for Christ’s light. Too many Christian leaders, like a comet’s elliptical orbit, breeze by Christ on Sunday morning and then go far away from Him during the week.
- When the Spirit’s not freely flowing, there’s not much spiritual growing. Christian growth needs the irrigation of the Holy Spirit, not the ear oration of one man’s sermons.
- Christianity presented as theory is weak, but experienced as Christ’s living presence it’s revolutionary! Every transformative encounter with Christ is worth thousands of informative sermons about Him.
- When there’s no sensitivity to the spontaneity of the Spirit, church becomes structured and stifled (and often controlled by one man). Making one man the Christian expert shuts down a church’s sensitivity to the spontaneity and conviction of the Spirit. It also isolates that one man and makes him vulnerable to being manipulated by his own pride and power.
- To try to keep people entertained some churches have resorted to “haha moments” instead of “aha moments.” However, people need “Christ-ahas,” where His presence and reality transform their soul, not just religious entertainment or information about Him.
- Early Christianity wasn’t about robotics (repeating things by rote after a celebrity preacher). It wasn’t about an outward form of religion. It was about Christ’s fire, conviction, and accountability surging in human hearts!
- The Bible says, “Behold the Lamb of God,” not “Listen to sermons.” It’s time to “Look unto Jesus,” not to religious celebrities. Spiritual transformation happens when the risen Jesus is continually kept clearly in sight, not hidden behind a Big Man On Campus preacher.
- Sermon-hearing is like trying to see the beauty of Christ through another flawed person’s eyes. Perhaps it’s better to see for yourself. The spiritual unsighted are sometimes surrounded by the living God, yet completely unaware of His presence. People need spiritual vision, not religious talks. To see Jesus, step out of any darkness in your life, open your spiritual eyes, and look at His light shining in your conscience.
- Humans have the ability to resist and overcome compulsions, desires, and feelings. We don’t have to give in to them! To be unaware of your mental and emotional programming is to be a blind victim of it. Without sexual restraint and accountability, consensual easily becomes compelled.
When Jesus lights up your heart with His fireworks, releasing aha moments in your soul, you graduate from “seeker-friendly” Christianity lite. Christianity becomes an everlasting well of love, joy, power, and peace; not people saying “O well,” after hearing one more sermon. Sermons slide through the mind, seldom sticking within, but direct encounters with Christ are unforgettable.
When your relationship with Christ is an inner delight instead of a religious rite, it’s hard to be quiet about it! Hopelessness stands on a person’s unawareness of life’s myriad of possibilities. A strong inner awareness of Christ’s presence, forgiveness, transformation, healing, and love makes life amazing, regardless of the darkness around us.
In the New Testament the body of Christ met with surrender, openness, and accountability to God and one another, not as an audience to listen to a Big Man On Campus. For two thousand years, millions of people have had a Christ-realization moment when Jesus became real to them and obeying and being accountable to Him became the most important thing in their life. Have you?
Church has theorized, theologized, mythicized, and religionized Christ. It’s time to “realize” Christ by letting Him take absolute control. (That’s what “Lord” means.) Being continually in love with Jesus is a supernatural joyride through the trials and struggles of life.
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