“What if the local church has so highjacked people’s lives that liberation from it seemed sinful?”
Most people are unable to differentiate between the cultural church experience on a given Sunday morning, and the biblical description of Jesus’ church and its role in the world. As a result the cultural trend focuses on GOING to church or DOING church things, rather than BEING the church. No matter how you slice it, the churchgoer has a default setting that tells them attending the church fulfills the requirements of mission and participation in the body of Christ.
As a result, the local church system is predominantly a cultural convention and institution of government, rules, and control, rather than a liberated, living being, that inspires, influences, and transforms the world for the good. This can be tested by looking at all those gathered across your cities on a given Sunday and asking: “What is the single greatest thing this local church system has done for the city?” Very few could lay claim to doing much more than barely paying their own bills, yet alone creating a presence that the city couldn’t do without.
I was able to see this while I served in church ministry for the last 25 years, but I never fully grasped it until I made the decision to stop participating in the local Sunday big show. Once I did that, I became aware of just how much of my life and my thinking was governed and emotionally manipulated by that system.
I’m not shooting down all local gatherings, some are certainly better than others. But on the whole, what I’m saying is true. The weening process is something I will write about in this blog and what I discovered I hope will inspire and challenge the status quo.
In the end, I still believe the greatest hope for the world is for the real Church to rise up, and for many local churches to close down. This would liberate millions into their lives to be the salt and light they are called to be, rather than a group of sleepy sheep who are anesthetized by “churchianity.”
I hope you’ll join me in this journey.