When presentation and pretense are prioritized above the spontaneity of Christ’s presence, religious organization overrides the Holy Spirit. History reveals that when revival (a mighty move of God) starts, established churches work to curtail, coral, and control it.
So many pastors are falling off their pedestals. Perhaps it would be better if we followed and obeyed the living Jesus instead.
Membership in Christ’s body is spiritual, not organizational. It is being connected to Jesus, not to a religious institution. In the 21st century thousands of disagreeing institutions self-identify as church. Putting a label on a religious organization doesn’t mean that it is aligned with the living Jesus. Many of the organizations that are called church today are do it yourself, one man in control structures that are not affiliated with any historic church.
People who experience the risen Jesus encounter much more than a subjective experience. The objectivity of their inner experience amazingly matches Scripture and the experience of multitudes of people from various cultures around the world. They have an internal kinship.
The goal of Christianity is ongoing intimacy with the risen Jesus (not church attendance). When individuals are being led by the Spirit to experience and follow the living Jesus, they experience instant spiritual kinship. When we surrender to follow and obey the risen Jesus, He overrides our individual tastes, desires, and preferences.
Jesus said, “Feed My sheep,” not anesthetize them with lethargic sermons, lazy liturgy, or contemporary Christian entertainment. Even when church is beautifully programmed with inspiring music, art, and oratory, it can’t compare with one moment of direct revelation from the risen Jesus. Perhaps God sees programmed worship the way you would see someone who follows a detailed program to tell you they love you. The Bible shows us the difference between God’s inner promptings and our personal whims.
Religious hierarchies tend to keep Christianity subservient to institutionalism, human control, and politics. Spiritual baby food is good for a season, but not for a lifetime! When we don’t want to wait for Jesus to show up, it’s easy to rely on sermon hearing, liturgy, and church programs. Church attendance can easily become a substitute for “Christ in you.”
Because Christians are taught that we have to physically die to live in Heaven, we settle for outward religious ceremonies and activities that can easily turn into pretense (mere outward form void of life-changing inward reality), and we tend to overlook the actuality of the invisible presence of Heaven in our midst. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray for God to manifest Heaven on earth, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” He didn’t ask God to take us to Heaven as just a retirement place for us to be when we die.
A place has been prepared for the members of the body of Christ. Our place is under the direct Headship of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ (in the world, but not of the world)–being led from within by God’s Spirit–living in the kingdom of God (focusing on and obeying His inner promptings), experiencing Heaven here and now!
Instead of writer’s block, I often experience writer’s flood–ideas coming so fast I can hardly keep up with them.
Program? Jesus said, "I am the way." Sermon? Jesus is The truth. Liturgy? Let Jesus be Our life. Being religiously Institutionalized Can close Our spiritual eyes So that we don't realize And rely on The daily presence of Jesus.