“The truth will set you free.” It’s time for Christians to gather and allow everyone present the freedom to obey the Spirit. When Christian worship is overmanaged and overcontrolled, there’s little or no room for the living Jesus to do anything.
Christians are trained to talk with God by giving Him a list of what we want, instead of having heart-felt conversation with Him. We need to discover the presence and the reality of the living Jesus, not just to learn information about Him. “O taste and see.”
True Christianity is based on Jesus’ manifestation, not on religious manipulation. You don’t make disciples by manipulating people with religion. You make passive, obligated church attendees.
Christians have the living Jesus to teach us the Bible. We need to be trained to listen to Him, not to a Bible-answer-man. Jesus said to make disciples, but it’s much easer to make sermon-hearers.
A biblical pastor guides people to discover and obey the risen Jesus. He doesn’t attach people to Himself or to a religious organization. Too few Christians have been taught how to learn directly from the risen Jesus.
True Christian leadership is through godly influence, not through titles or positional authority. Christian leaders are recognized by their fruit–the demonstration of their surrender to Jesus by their lifestyle and character.
When one person can control a church, people have no protection against bad leadership. Mutual accountability is safer. Christians need to be coached to follow the risen Jesus, not manipulated to follow a human leader.
Instead of depending on the living Jesus and the Bible for guidance, Christians have been trained to depend on a one-man pastor. When one person is responsible for explaining Scripture, he replaces Scripture’s authority with His own. We learn to follow Jesus through action, not just through instruction.
Christians need to put a spotlight on the living Jesus, not on church or preachers or politics or patriotism or pride or prophets. There seem to be bored Christians and Christians stirred up about politics, but where are those who are passionately excited about Jesus?
Discipleship isn’t manipulation or control. Disciples freely obey Jesus because He has become amazingly real to them.
Disciples are made by introducing people to the risen Jesus and the Bible, and by helping them to listen to and obey Him daily. If you aren’t following the living Jesus instead of your own desires, feelings, and opinions, you can’t help others follow Him.
Until we have the faith to daily do what Jesus commands, we’re only pretending to believe. It requires no faith or obedience to hear a sermon or listen to Christian radio, but discipleship requires both faith and obedience.
“Self-ized” Christianity that blends your feelings, opinions, and desires with the Gospel falls far short of the real thing. Too many Christians are incarcerated in religious pride, spiritual passivity, and church programs.
It’s time for faith and grace! Faith is believing in Jesus enough to obey Him. Grace is the supernatural power to do so.
Thanks for this post. I share your feelings. I pastored churches for 20 years, and finally stepped down, frustrated that we make church attenders not disciples of Jesus. We tried to step down graciously, and encourage people to look for something more than religion. People were uncomfortable with our change of direction, and people who had praised us, and showered us with gifts for years turned against us and tried to destroy us. We often feel alone in the world and wonder where the true church is, so reading your blog is a real encouragement. God bless!
Thank you for the encouragement. We are the body of Christ. No building or religious organization can take our place. You might find this helpful. Search: Beyond Church Ekklesia.