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Posts Tagged ‘christianity vs. churchianity’

The Real Thing Vs. the Conventional Fake

The Real Thing Vs. the Conventional Fake

We were invited to attend a multi-denominational open air “worship service,” as they like to call it, this afternoon, by some very dear friends of ours, and we attended.
What it did for us, was make us realize that church simply is not our thing. It may be good and okay for a lot of people, but then there are a lot of people who also like to crowd together in big stadiums to watch 23 people chase a leather ball, or rattle their heads to the sound of bands like AC/CD or Nine Inch Nails.

As far as the music goes, we have heard better, and we have definitely seen more fire – at least I have, and as far as the ideology behind so-called church services goes, my conviction has reached its peak today that the one thing the world doesn’t need is another sermon.

What the world doesn’t need is bunches of Christians rotting together and singing lukewarm songs to God and calling that “service” to God while the world is going to pot around our ears. Maybe there are people who need that sort of religion, just like other people need opium, whiskey or cocaine, but I don’t.

I guess perhaps God put us here for the handful of people on this globe who may come to share our view that church sucks, but Jesus doesn’t.

Jesus is totally and absolutely the Real Thing as far as I am concerned, but the way most people claim to be “serving” Him falls light-years short of getting anywhere near cutting the cake.

What the world needs is something different, something other than “church services.”
What the world needs to see is a true Christianity based on the principle of being living samples of obedience to God, and not another bunch of spiritual cowards comforting each other over the fact that they’re going to go to Heaven despite the fact that they’re not really obeying God, since they feverishly try to ignore the things He said that don’t agree with their lukewarm and selfish life-style.

I’m not writing this in order to purposely aggravate anyone, but because I’m upset and determined that I’ve attended “church” for the last time in my life today, hopefully.
It just doesn’t cut it. It’s miles and miles away from what “ecclesia” (the original meaning of “church”) is really supposed to be.

Maybe it’s your thing. Good for you. And maybe you think you should get as many people to participate in that sort of “service.”
Personally, I’d rather stay on the lookout for something more innovative, something more original, something more like the Real Thing, even if totally unconventional and unheard of, possibly even maligned and persecuted and rejected, like the Early Church, the original Christians and full-time followers of Christ as described in the Book of Acts
Or the bedraggled band of followers of St.Francis

Give me any type of radical, alive and white-hot form of Christianity, but not that conventional humdrum they call “church.”

Sorry if that means another bunch of friends running out the door and in the opposite direction…

But I’d rather go out and find myself some new friends then, who agree with me that church sucks, and – if they don’t know it yet – prove to them that Jesus doesn’t.
Probably a lot of people think Jesus sucks because of the way He’s portrayed in the churches, or simply because they’ve had the same feeling we did when they attended church…

Maybe it’s simply a matter of taste, the way some people like the music of Britney Spears or Madonna and others say, “No, thanks!”
Maybe the “pop culture” version of Christianity simply isn’t the Real Thing as far as some folks are concerned…
And maybe the world is just waiting for them to show them an alternative…

Maybe they’re just waiting for a handful of believers with a little bit of genuine discernment to detect that there must be something fishy, something wrong about the conventional way, that would confirm the way they feel about it: “You must be kidding! This is supposed to be IT? That’s the way the followers of the greatest Revolutionary of all times are supposed to act? – No way, dude!”

No wonder a lot of people don’t want to know much about Jesus, if He’s anything similar to the bulk of His supposed followers.
No offense, folks, but I think there’s lots of room for improvement, and while you’re at it, next time, make it a revolution, and not another mere reformation.

You can count me in…

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Modern Christianity

Modern "Christianity"

One of the apparent differences between what Christianity during the first centuries of its existence had to deal with and the problems it faces in the twenty-first century is that during its beginnings, Christians were surrounded by a large majority of people who sincerely thought that practicing a religion was perfectly legitimately done by offering incense and sacrifices to carved images of what we now call Pagan deities, be it their Greek versions of Zeus, Apollos, Aphrodite, etc., or their Roman or Babylonian counterparts.
One of the debates that kept St. Paul and his brethren busy, for example, was whether it was alright to eat food that had been offered to idols, maybe similar to the way we would wonder whether we should allow our teenage son or daughter to attend a rock concert of a questionable act that has been known to promote sodomy or witchcraft…

While the carved images of bygone days have long been history, only to be found in museums, I can’t help but wonder sometimes whether we really made that hurdle to overcome idolatry the way we may think we did…

Christianity wasn’t always as enlightened as it is today. When Mohamed came along, he was so disgusted by Christians bowing down to their statues of Mary and the saints, he swore to wipe that bunch of idolaters from the face of the earth.
Centuries later Martin Luther felt much like he had to do the same thing, and that Christendom was anything but a compliment to its Founder, but was content to reform the church, instead of starting a revolution.

Half a millennium later the majority of practicing Christians seems to have gotten the point that we don’t need any visible, carved images of God or any of His earlier followers in order to worship Him, and idolatry finally seems to be a problem of the past.

Or at least we got the point that it’s pretty dull to worship stuff hewn out of rock.
No, we’ve become a lot more versatile than that.
Much more innovative.

We figure, we’ve really got the scoop on the ancient Babylonians, Greeks and Romans, who worshiped sun, moon and stars, or statues of made-up gods and goddesses, and look down on them for being so dumb and Pagan…

In a world of talking images remotely controlled by buttons on a magic little tablet in our right, some holy grail filled with Budweiser or our favorite drink in the other, idols have become a lot more sophisticated and entertaining than statues hewn out of rock from a time when that’s just what a lot of folks earned their living with (no wonder they called it the “Stone Age”?).
We’ve got dancing pop stars, athletes, movie demigods and politicians dishing out promises that sound as glorious as the Promises of God Himself; and if we’re not into standing on the sidelines of some other sucker’s parade, we’ve got a moving, roaring idol in the garage that we spend our weekends polishing, or some other great achievement and fruit of the sweat of our brow.

Of course, then there are the more pious ones among us, who would never attend a Rolling Stones concert, not even care for Taylor Swift, but devote our time to listening to the Christian versions of Pop or Rock music, or attend mass happenings with star preachers pacing from one end of the stage to the other with the same type of headsets we already adored on Madonna or the Jackson offspring, only in this case to chime in the Hallelujahs and Amens from the tens of thousands around us at the event… something we usually don’t say when we’re at the mall or in school or at work.
After all, there is a time and a place for everything, and the time and place to worship the Lord is Sunday mornings, or at that other big organized event, but we don’t want to trouble our neighbors with our belief and love for the Lord. It probably wouldn’t be the Christian thing to do. In the 21st century.

But sometimes – just sometimes, I’m tempted to wonder how Jesus would fit in to one of those mega churches with tens of thousands making all that racket about Him, the Good Shepherd Who left the 99 in the fold in order to find the one lost sheep
Him, Who didn’t have a church to attend, only an occasional synagogue or temple He got kicked out of, threatened to be stoned to death by His brethren.
Him, Who didn’t have a place to lay His head, considering the foxes and birds more blessed in this aspect than Himself.
Him, Who urged His followers to forsake all their possessions if they wanted to be His disciples and to become fishers of men.

But you don’t become a fisher of men by assembling in huge gatherings to sing songs and listen to sermons in order to make yourself feel good.
The lost sheep are found on the highways and hedges of this world, and just like Mohamed of old, they’re not very impressed by people worshiping their own “Christian” versions of the very same things the world around them worships…
They may not be able to tell what the Real Thing is, but they sure know when it ain’t.

No, we don’t worship stony, graven images anymore, Hallelujah! But are we free from idolatry in this, our enlightened 21st century? You tell me!

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Can you blame anyone for refusing to subscribe to Christianity these days? With some of the biggest culprits & perpetrators of evil posing as Christians, including some of the greatest dorks this world has ever seen running entire superpowers, and the majority of believers falling for their scheme & voting for them… I can’t.

On the other hand, what are you really buying into when you join an average Christian church, these days? Does it even remotely resemble the life-style of Christendom’s Founder and His original followers, or is it just some artificial mock-up of the real thing, just as you get a made-in-America mock-up of nearly everything else on the planet?

No, I’m not blasting Christianity, I’m just trying to make you aware that there is a counterfeit version of the Real Thing around that everyone’s buying into, that’s poisonous. Not all that glitters is gold.

I’ve written before about how I perceive some outstanding Muslims or Hindus to have been greater saints or even better “Christians” than the majority of their officially pious & cross-flaunting counterparts, but I’m coming across more and more situations in real life that seem to confirm my theory that God doesn’t judge you by your tag.

Of course, we Christians have the excuse that the Devil’s on our trail and works a lot harder at stopping us from being good than perhaps the average Joe who has no reputation or standard to defend. But then it seems like an awful lot of us Christian soldiers aren’t very much of a bunch of fighters. We have big mouths & think we’re the greatest, sort of like the U.S. Army in little tiny 3rd World countries. But when it comes to really fighting a real foe we turn chicken & run, deserting our friends who bought into our “We’ll defend you from the bad guys” lines, when all we were interested in was their resources & 30 pieces of silver.

No wonder the Chinese are laughing at the elections in America, just as they’re probably laughing at the Western plastic version of Christianity. They’ve seen real Christians refusing to deny their faith for decades in their own prisons, and they can tell the difference between real fighters and a bunch of big-mouthed pussies (in the sense of little kittens – no offense!)…

As long as Christians in the world are at large more selfish and materialistic than their Hindu counterparts, more idolatrous in the worship of the things made or bought by their own hands than any Muslim, and greater opponents and obstacles to peace than the Buddhist population of the world, faith in Christ will never be an attractive alternative to members of other religions.
As long as Christians, in their actions are living a lie that brings death to the world, we’ll have a hard time convincing them that Jesus is indeed the “Way, the truth and the life.”

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