Monday, December 22, 2008

Stop Going to Church

What? Stop going to church? What on earth are you talking about?

I'm talking about nothing on earth and something in heaven. It's time for the Church, the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ to wake up. WAKE UP! The Church is asleep and Jesus is fast on His way back for us (Revelation 22:20, Ephesians 5:27, I Thessalonians 4:17). Are you ready? (Mark 13:33, Luke 18:8, Ephesians 5:27)

Oswald Chambers in his devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, has much to say about today's topic:

"When you are face to face with a soul in difficulty spiritually, remind yourself of Jesus Christ on the Cross. If that soul can get to God on any other line, then the Cross of Jesus Christ is unnecessary. If you can help others by your sympathy or understanding, you are a traitor to Jesus Christ. You have to keep your soul rightly related to God and pour out for others on His line, not pour out on the human line and ignore God. The great note to-day is amiable religiosity.

The one thing we have to do is to exhibit Jesus Christ crucified, to lift Him up all the time. Every doctrine that is not imbedded in the Cross of Jesus will lead astray. If the worker himself believes in Jesus Christ and is banking on the Reality of Redemption, the people he talks to must be concerned. The thing that remains and deepens is the worker's simple relationship to Jesus Christ; his usefulness to God depends on that and that alone."

"The pietistic movements of to-day have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them; there is nothing about them that needs the Death of Jesus Christ; all that is required is a pious atmosphere, and prayer and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous, it did not cost the passion of God, it is not dyed in the blood of the Lamb, not stamped with the hall-mark of the Holy Ghost; it has not that mark on it which makes men say, as they look with awe and wonder - "That is the work of God Almighty." That and nothing else is what the New Testament talks about.

The type of Christian experience in the New Testament is that of personal passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other type of Christian experience, so called, is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration, no being born again into the Kingdom in which Christ lives, but only the idea that He is our Pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is Saviour long before He is Pattern. To-day He is being despatched as the Figurehead of a Religion, a mere Example. He is that, but He is infinitely more; He is salvation itself, He is the Gospel of God."

This last one is my favorite:

"Most of us are not spiritually coherent because we are more concerned about being coherent externally. Paul lived in the basement; the coherent critics live in the upper storey of the external statement of things, and the two do not begin to touch each other. Paul's consistency was down in the fundamentals. The great basis of his coherence was the agony of God in the Redemption of the world, viz., the Cross of Jesus Christ.

Re-state to yourself what you believe, then do away with as much of it as possible, and get back to the bedrock of the Cross of Christ."

"Do away with as much of it as possible." Stop going to church and doing the church thing just because that's the way you've always done it, the way you were raised, the way you've read about it in books (not the Bible), the way it was taught to you by those you love and trust the most. Start being the Church and get your churchiness right by taking direction from the Lord Jesus Christ alone. To start with, there may be much you have to repent from.

More on that later.

1 comment: said...

I believe we need fellowship one with another and this is what the church ought to provide but the fellowship I am meaning is not tea and biscuits and a chat about the latest gardening tip! There are some good churches out there which do operate on the NT teaching concerning God's will for His people, however sadly they are also very few and far between and man's legalism and traditions are very much the rule of the day in many mainstream churches in our villages, towns and cities. The church is not made up of wonderful stone carvery, woodwork and ornamental splendour but the people of God and each and every single child of God has their role to play in building the church (i.e. helping to point others to Jesus). Oh but legalism would be smashed down and love rule in its place - we would definitely see a world wide revival if this was to happen within these 'stone' buildings (and I don't mean the actual church buildings here!).