A delusion for American Christians is our confidence that our institutional church truly represents the Body of Christ, and that the life it advocates is truly the life of the Kingdom of God. Both the pulpit and the pew believe those convenient lies. There are exceptions to that but we don’t often see them.
This week I saw again how we embrace an institution-centered model of “church” in place of the Christ-centered model of the New Testament Church, the Body of Christ. Our spiritual identity is more in the institution, and we live with a greater consciousness of its purpose-statement, resources, activities, and authority.
We are much like the religious Jews of Jesus’ time, where knowing the printed word and following it legalistically before man is more important than abiding in the Living Word, Jesus. See John 5:39-40 and John 15:1-11. https://biblia.com/bible/esv/john/15/1-11
We have replaced the glory of His Presence and His abundant life, with our beautiful campuses, dogmatic belief systems, appealing programs, and professional staff. We are proud of them even if they are more likely to draw eyes toward us than toward Him.
We are more vested in advancing our “kingdom” than His, directing most of our creative, economic and people resources inwardly to support and expand ours, rather than outwardly to extend His. We falsely believe that they are the same.
Jesus IS building His Mt. 16:18 Church, but it’s not “the church” as most Americans know it.
The Letters to the Seven Churches of Revelation 2 and 3, with their accusations and dire warnings, are to be taken seriously. We must repent and turn toward Jesus.
Jesus learned obedience through suffering, and my sense is that God will graciously allow suffering to come upon America to give us opportunity to become more like Him.
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him” Heb. 5:8-9 nasb
God will soon, similarly prepare us to advance that glorious Gospel. Get ready.
Seek Jesus, refute me or rebuke me, but please don’t do nothing. I will probably not post again for about a week.
Kidron, Ohio USA
August 28, 2021
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