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Relationship views everything in terms of a “person.” Religion views everything in terms of “place” or “thing.”

For example, people say, “I miss corporate worship.” They are basically saying that they see worship as a “place,” something to attend, a “thing” to be done, certain songs to be sung, certain “things” you have to do.

People who see worship as a “person” worship the Lord wherever they are, in Spirit and in Truth. Worship is deeper than singing songs with other people. When you see worship as a “person” you never express a loss, missing something or needing something you don’t have. You are satisfied with the “person” Who is with you always.

If you are satisfied with the “person” it doesn’t matter if you go to church or not. Going to church will not add to or take away from that “person.” If you are not satisfied with the “person” then you feel compelled to go to the “place” or do the “thing.” That’s what leads people to say, “I’m going to church, and you should go too, because that’s the ‘place’ God wants us to go and that’s the ‘thing’ God wants us to do.” However “places and things” do not lead us to the “person” and they can very often substitute for the “person.”

Even the Jews were so stuck on the “place” (Jerusalem) and the “thing” (the Temple) that they missed the “person” (Jesus). So God took their “place” and their “thing” away in AD 70 to show them (and us) that He wants us to be stripped down to a “person.” Yet here we are, in AD 2016, making the same mistakes. We haven’t learned anything.

If you are really touching the “person” then something like, “I miss the corporate worship” will never come into your mind or come out of your mouth. At its root, religion expresses itself as something lacking in your life when Jesus isn’t enough.

Chip Brogden
CHIP BROGDEN is an author, teacher, and former pastor who shares "real, simple, truth" about a Christ-centered faith that is based on relationship, not religion. Learn more »

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