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If God would grant you a moment by His side and allow you a fleeting glance at His Church you would at once understand what a pitiful substitute we have in Organized Religion. There is no vanity so deep as religious vanity, nothing more sickening and diametrically opposed to the heart and ultimate purpose of God.
I can appreciate your viewpoint because for many years I shared it, as a pastor and teacher in Organized Religion. But I no longer have that viewpoint, and so I disagree with your conclusions and your advice. Here’s why…
The time it takes varies from individual to individual, but each one of us facing the cumulative effect of unmet expectations reaches the same fork in the road. Eventually the focus of our attention shifts from what people have done, to what God has NOT done.
Those who ballyhoo the spiritual benefits of joining a church should be reminded that we are already joined to the Body of Christ, the Ekklesia, and are already realizing every spiritual benefit of membership in HIS Church. The only qualification for such membership is a New Birth.
Children are led by God in a childish way, but as a mature believer the Lord will lead them in a mature way. Over time we are expected to know God’s WAYS as well as His WILL. When we know the ways of the Lord we will speak and move in harmony with His Spirit without having to consciously stop and ask for guidance.
It is said that familiarity breeds contempt. In the beginning we coveted the presence of the Lord, but today perhaps we take it for granted. In the beginning we were awed by Him, but today perhaps we are not so amazed. His visits become more routine, more ordinary, more commonplace. The Lord is taken for granted.
The good news is that even if the Ekklesia has been underground, it is still growing and developing. When the season is right it will burst forth and once again those who have eyes to see will indeed discern the blade, the ear, and the full corn in the ear.
When we pray “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,” do we really know what we are doing? This kind of prayer is not a frivolous thing. It is calling for a revolution in the way things are. It is commanding all that is to make room for all that is to come.
To the rest of the world, the autistic savant is a bit of a retarded genius, an unfortunate mixture of idiocy and brilliance, caught up in a world of its own. The prophetic savant bears a similar stigma. But if you engage him at all, you soon discover that he sees all of this as absolutely normal; the way it is supposed to be.
What’s wrong with the Church is that Christ is not preached, the Cross is not taken up, and the Self has not died. So if I am to suffer, let me suffer for preaching the foolishness of the Cross.
So many times I do something thinking it is Good, thinking it is really Spiritual and Holy and Pure, but it results in Death. It is Death because it is “me” doing it. For many years that was the way I pursued the ministry. I was very busy doing things for God, and of course I thought I was a good, spiritual person. But I am in the flesh whenever “I” am doing anything apart from Jesus.
Most of our fears are a consequence of not knowing God well enough. Fear comes from uncertainty. If we are confident, secure, and certain about who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us, then we won’t be worried about what the devil might do, and we won’t be worried about what other people might do.
In our daily life we come up against situations that we cannot overcome in our own strength, or with our own wisdom. We need a strength and a wisdom that comes from Above, that comes from Beyond, that comes from Another outside of us and yet rises up from within us....
The Sabbath (and every other thing in the Old Covenant) points to a spiritual fulfillment in Christ. Jesus is not bound by any rule, or regulation, or tradition, that says thou shalt, or thou shalt not. He is Lord over the Sabbath; the Sabbath is not lord over Him.
When the servant’s eyes were opened, he saw what Elisha saw. When Elisha said, “The ones with us are greater than the ones with them” it must have sounded like lunacy. It cannot be understood with words alone: the eyes must be opened.