For centuries, pastors, preachers and Popes have used the Scriptures to justify a view of the spiritual universe that is erroneous. It is a line of thinking in which everyone and everything connected with God is supposed to revolve around the Church: build it, support it, attend it, and invite people to join it. Christ, mistakenly credited with having founded the Institutional Church, is obliged to protect, defend, love, honor, cherish, bless, and provide for it. Those who challenge this view are seen as rebellious heretics. Somewhere along the way, a religion ABOUT Jesus became more important than a relationship WITH Jesus.
The truth is that God never called us to a Church-Centered Faith. From the beginning, God has called followers of Jesus to a Christ-Centered Faith: a way of living that revolves around Christ having the central, preeminent, and most important place in a person’s heart. The Assembly of Called-Out Persons (the Ekklesia) was to be both a spiritual and a practical community of Christ-followers who had entered into a new covenant with God and with one another: to value, believe, teach, practice, and experience a Christ-Centered Faith that is based on relationship – not religion!