I met Christ in the Spirit-led atmosphere of the Jesus Movement and never adapted to programmed, preacher controlled meetings. That’s one reason I think differently than institutional religion does.
I find a religionized Jesus to be tame, benign, and boring, but the real Jesus to be wild like the wind, contagious, and life-shaking! I have a passion for what religion thinks is impossible — Christians meeting without human control, completely led by the Spirit!
Some preachers act like Christ is limited to Heaven; others like He’s stuck in a church program. He’s not! Jesus is the Super Charger. You can’t stay plugged into Him and not get charged up!
When church is full of compromise, the results should be holy outcries, not religious disguise! Perhaps it’s time to take off religious brakes (and human programming) and let the living Jesus do whatever He wants to do in Christian meetings!
If church pursues the comfort of the crowd rather than the vitality of the Spirit, compromise crowds out conviction and commitment. Jesus radiates power and vitality. That’s what we all need–not talks about Him–but His radiant reality surging through our heart. (Religious talks should never be substituted for dynamic demonstrations of the Spirit’s power. See 1 Corinthians 2:4.)
Building a church around one man is like trying to build a house with one nail. The Bible says, “Teach and admonish one another.” After years of a preacher speaking to you, maybe it’s time to let Jesus speak through you. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” (The Bible is a practical handbook to be lived out, not a doctrinal textbook to be examined, analyzed, and picked apart.)
The “let the preacher do it” mentality creates religious formality and quenches the Spirit’s vitality. The purpose of preaching should be to train people to personally interact with the risen Jesus, not just to give information about Him. When you make in person friendships with people, you don’t demand proof of their existence. Make friends with Jesus!
The Bible writers wrote to bring you into their experiences, not just to tell you about them. I encounter Christ in its pages. Perhaps we have trouble letting Christ control our lives because we haven’t seen an example of Christ’s direct control in church.
The most I have seen preachers involve people in sermons is to make them repeat things: “Say, ‘This sermon’s gonna be good!'” Religious hierarchy can create uniformity but it can’t create heart-to-heart unity.
Trying to fit a relationship with Jesus into a Sunday script is like trying to fit a marriage relationship into a script. It’s a disservice to present Jesus as a mere historical or religious figure when He is more alive and present in the 21st century than any of us are! Sweet sermons, fog machines, liturgy, pomp and circumstance, and/or cool campuses, can’t make dry bones live.
Church seems to have become an army confined to camp. It appears to be self-quarantined from the risen Christ, continually hearing the Word without doing it. The prophets spoke boldly against the practices of ancient Israel. The modern church needs that kind of prophets!
Don’t just go to church services. Be obedient to the risen Jesus, everywhere you go! Religion is a poor substitute for intimacy with God. The greater the grace a person has received, the greater the godliness in their life.