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apothanein kerdos
Jul 19th 2008, 09:18 PM
First and foremost - please, please, please, please, please, please...I beg of everyone, don't come back on this and say, "Well, Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship!" Christianity is a religion - it has a system of beliefs that place a higher supernatural authority above the affairs of earth, it is a religion. With that said:

Does the following sum you up? Likewise, do you believe the following is accurate?

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about the style of music we sing than about the lyrical content or if the music glorifies God.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about whether Christ comes back before or after seven years of Tribulation than they are about the billions of people in need of help in the here and now.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about your apparel having John 3:16 on it than your life demonstrating it.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with the spirituality of something rather than realizing God created it.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with the size of their buildings and membersí pocket books than they are about the size of their membersí hearts.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about their rights as United States citizens than they are about their duties as a Christian.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about what God can do for us than we are about what we can do to further Godís purpose.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with faith healing than they are about healing a broken spirit.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about financial prosperity than they are about being content with what God has given them.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about the proper apparel in church than they are about the salvation of the person visiting.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about being relevant to the culture than making the culture relevant to the Gospel.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about rules and regulations than they are about the grace that sets us free.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about banning homosexual marriages than they are about reaching out to homosexuals and helping to free them from their sin.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about themselves than they are about Jesus.

Bethany67
Jul 19th 2008, 09:29 PM
Ouch - a lot of that is very true. Tony Campolo had a very pithy comment on this kind of thing and the fact that children are starving to death while we live in our Christian ghettoes and navel-gaze; I won't post it because it contains a profanity, but it can be found on the Wikipedia page about him.

Furthermore, because what we have in a lot of Christianity is 'sanctified secularism,' the unsaved are prone to look at Christians and think 'Why bother - they don't have anything different to the rest of us.'

But, as with all generalisations, it's of necessity not accurate of everyone. Christendom is so sprawling it's not even possible to talk about the single 'culture of Christianity.' When I read 'The Heavenly Man' by Brother Yun, I was struck by how persecuted Chinese Christians would look at us in our comfortable Western lifestyles and actually pity us.

manichunter
Jul 19th 2008, 09:41 PM
First and foremost - please, please, please, please, please, please...I beg of everyone, don't come back on this and say, "Well, Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship!" Christianity is a religion - it has a system of beliefs that place a higher supernatural authority above the affairs of earth, it is a religion. With that said:

Does the following sum you up? Likewise, do you believe the following is accurate?

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about the style of music we sing than about the lyrical content or if the music glorifies God.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about whether Christ comes back before or after seven years of Tribulation than they are about the billions of people in need of help in the here and now.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about your apparel having John 3:16 on it than your life demonstrating it.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with the spirituality of something rather than realizing God created it.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with the size of their buildings and members’ pocket books than they are about the size of their members’ hearts.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about their rights as United States citizens than they are about their duties as a Christian.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about what God can do for us than we are about what we can do to further God’s purpose.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with faith healing than they are about healing a broken spirit.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about financial prosperity than they are about being content with what God has given them.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about the proper apparel in church than they are about the salvation of the person visiting.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about being relevant to the culture than making the culture relevant to the Gospel.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about rules and regulations than they are about the grace that sets us free.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about banning homosexual marriages than they are about reaching out to homosexuals and helping to free them from their sin.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about themselves than they are about Jesus.

I can add that I am a part of a religion that cares more about the churches we build than the people within the churches. We build million dollars assemblies, go into debt to secular cooperations, and spend thousands on utilities while the true church (the people) are not taking care of. Churches the building are full of starving, almost homeless, and without utilities churches the people who go without while we continue to feed our golden calves. The golden calf being the buildings we seek and not the needs of the people.

I can add that I am a part of a religion who is more concern about grace, getting off for wrong doing, than about keeping the commandments, not doing wrong in the first. Grace should be a last resort, not something we keep at the ready. We should keep the commandments at the ready as the Scripture say on our door post, bed post, and hanging off our clothes.

Literalist-Luke
Jul 19th 2008, 11:29 PM
First and foremost - please, please, please, please, please, please...I beg of everyone, don't come back on this and say, "Well, Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship!" Christianity is a religion - it has a system of beliefs that place a higher supernatural authority above the affairs of earth, it is a religion. With that said:

Does the following sum you up? Likewise, do you believe the following is accurate?

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about the style of music we sing than about the lyrical content or if the music glorifies God.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about whether Christ comes back before or after seven years of Tribulation than they are about the billions of people in need of help in the here and now.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about your apparel having John 3:16 on it than your life demonstrating it.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with the spirituality of something rather than realizing God created it.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with the size of their buildings and membersí pocket books than they are about the size of their membersí hearts.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about their rights as United States citizens than they are about their duties as a Christian.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about what God can do for us than we are about what we can do to further Godís purpose.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with faith healing than they are about healing a broken spirit.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about financial prosperity than they are about being content with what God has given them.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about the proper apparel in church than they are about the salvation of the person visiting.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about being relevant to the culture than making the culture relevant to the Gospel.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about rules and regulations than they are about the grace that sets us free.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about banning homosexual marriages than they are about reaching out to homosexuals and helping to free them from their sin.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about themselves than they are about Jesus.Outstanding post. Well done. :thumbsup:

crawfish
Jul 20th 2008, 04:47 PM
First and foremost - please, please, please, please, please, please...I beg of everyone, don't come back on this and say, "Well, Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship!" Christianity is a religion - it has a system of beliefs that place a higher supernatural authority above the affairs of earth, it is a religion. With that said:

Does the following sum you up? Likewise, do you believe the following is accurate?

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about the style of music we sing than about the lyrical content or if the music glorifies God.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about whether Christ comes back before or after seven years of Tribulation than they are about the billions of people in need of help in the here and now.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about your apparel having John 3:16 on it than your life demonstrating it.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with the spirituality of something rather than realizing God created it.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with the size of their buildings and membersí pocket books than they are about the size of their membersí hearts.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about their rights as United States citizens than they are about their duties as a Christian.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about what God can do for us than we are about what we can do to further Godís purpose.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned with faith healing than they are about healing a broken spirit.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about financial prosperity than they are about being content with what God has given them.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about the proper apparel in church than they are about the salvation of the person visiting.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about being relevant to the culture than making the culture relevant to the Gospel.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about rules and regulations than they are about the grace that sets us free.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about banning homosexual marriages than they are about reaching out to homosexuals and helping to free them from their sin.

I am part of a religion that is more concerned about themselves than they are about Jesus.

That post really makes me sad, because it is so true. We spend far too much time trying to make the world look like us, and too little time trying to make ourselves look like Christ.

Excellent post.

Vhayes
Jul 20th 2008, 04:51 PM
Thank you for the wonderful post!!!

I still think if we spent more time showing the unsaved the love of Christ and less time telling them what they are doing wrong we would see a revolution the likes of which hasn't been seen since the first century.

Blessings to you for sharing this!
V

Stefen
Jul 20th 2008, 04:58 PM
I like this thread :D
If we realize there is a problem, than we should realized we have to be the ones to take action.

mikebr
Jul 20th 2008, 05:29 PM
The problem is that every religion needs these things to operate.

Every religion has a holy man, a holy place, a holy book, and holy rules to follow.

Christianity was/is supposed to be something more. I think by way of your excellent post you help us to understand this.

fewarechosen
Jul 20th 2008, 05:44 PM
27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.


be part of this religion

CoffeeCat
Jul 21st 2008, 04:45 AM
I am part of a religion that judges people for not bringing food to the potluck, even though they bring a smile, a kind word, a funny joke and a willing hand to help with the dishes after.

I am part of a religion that concerns itself more with what people wear to church than with the fact that they are IN church, or should be invited to church.

I am part of a religion that calls a pastor or minister 'dry' or 'boring' on a Sunday morning when the sermon does not have its usual inspiration, humor and wit, even though the pastor spent all of friday and saturday making housecalls to the sick and infirm, rather than spending the time writing an entertaining sermon.

I am part of a religion that argues about how a two parent family is best for the kids and how parents should stay together so women can stay at home full time with the kids.... while there are exhausted single moms (who are forced to play mommy AND daddy at home) sitting in the congregation, wondering why nobody making such arguments has offered any help or grace to them.

I am part of a religion where I recognize that I, too, am a hypocrite, and often focus on the wrong things. I see these examples around me, and they convict me, and remind me to be merciful to those who need mercy. They remind me to offer help to those who need it, to give people a break when they aren't perfect, to be thankful for all the hard work our pastor does, and to be grateful he's dragged himself out of bed on a sunday after a weekend of hard work.

All the things we see.... at least they serve one purpose, if not more... the purpose they serve for me is to point a mirror back at myself, and show me where I am, and where I should be. How easy it is to get off track, and how we're all capable of doing a 180 degree aboutface.

theleast
Jul 21st 2008, 04:55 AM
What about belonging to a religion that preaches doctrine other than the Word?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 21st 2008, 05:57 AM
And here comes the twist:

What, exactly, have we done to change the ills we've seen in Christianity...other than complaining about them? ;)

xjackstar
Jul 21st 2008, 06:11 AM
Wow. Very good post.

CoffeeCat
Jul 21st 2008, 02:19 PM
And here comes the twist:

What, exactly, have we done to change the ills we've seen in Christianity...other than complaining about them? ;)

Mahatma Ghandi said "you must be the change you wish to see in the world". I think a lot of us (hopefully) have at least tried to start being that change within our own faith, and ALL of us need to keep at that exact pursuit as we grow, daily, as Christians. There's always room for improvement, and the first person whose actions, thoughts and ills we need to address is our very own self.

manichunter
Jul 21st 2008, 02:36 PM
this is why I created the judgment post in reference towards the Body of Christ. Jesus will not accept this mess as He returns.

keck553
Jul 21st 2008, 10:05 PM
Yet, there is something awesome in these inward looking revelations posted here. More and more believers I know are turning thier back and walking away from false teachings and false doctrine and allowing God to lead them.

God is doing an awesome thing.

The writer of Hebrews makes it clear:

There are two mountains: Sinai and Zion. Sinai is a picture of Zion. The teaching is: remember what is was like at Sinai - now multiply: that is Zion.

There is One Message (not two): The Voice you hear is the same One that spoke at Sinai. If we trembled at Sinai, how much more now, if we abandon our walk with Yeshua, who bought us at such a high price? The mountain shook, but how much more will the heavens shake when Yeshua returns!

There is One emotion (not two): Godly fear. To understand grace is not to disregard the fear of God. It is to be mobilized be that fear, rather than to ignore it than to be motionless because of it.

Think of Hebrews 12:18-29 as a single thought - instead of replacement theology, we are given an argument of 'light to heavy' or 'how much more'. Yeshua used this argument style extensively, and is common in the Book of Hebrews. If we are willing to lay down our preconceptions and false teachings, there are deep truths to be uncovered.

We cannot approach scriptures using the reasoning of Plato. If one doies, as the church did 1700 years ago, we will wind up embracing Theistic Platoism (the merging of biblical concepts with Greek Philosophy). This is why early chuch fathers loved the Greek philosophy. It matched their worldvew of the "New Testament". The outcome is expresseed in view such as:

"Jesus taught that our motives are really what matters"
"Paul taught that works are the antithesis of faith"
"The visible is not real - the invisible is what is real"

Looking at pure Platoism we find that substansive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. Plato argued that truth is the abstract - not the physical. When we embrace Theistic Platoism, we are more impressed with the idea than the physical reality. This is not biblical, in fact the teachings listed above are false.

The reality is:

Jesus taught that motives result in commensurate actions - that sin begins in the heart.
Paul and James taught that there is no such thing as faith without a demostration of it (works)
The visible is reality, as well as the invisible.

So why does the English translation have some excursions into Platoism? Because the translators saw things that way. Why? because they were taught to see things that way. Why? Because the mistaken belief that the prinicple contest in the New Covenant writings was Christianity vs. Judaism, which they defined as 'faith vs. works'. In this line of thinking, before the cross was the law, but now we have grace. Then they took the Gospels and the book of Acts and explain away the historical context as 'transitional'. They group them as 'descriptive' and not 'prescriptive' in providing us with examples of a normal life of faith, making Jesus appear not to have taught the essence, nor the understanding of a walk with Him - that only after years did His disciples finally figure it out and distill it to the 'more mature' complex theology of the Epistles. This 'theological evolution' has Paul trump Jesus, and Paul trump Moses.

The heretic Marcion took this route, and was properly branded a heritic. For any not familiar with Marcion, he beleived the "Old Testament" was the revelation of an Angre God (God the Father) whereas the "New Testament" was the revelation of the Gracious God (Jesus). Marcion did not accept the Gospels as authoritative (he even rewrote parts of the book of Luke). He even tossed out Acts. The problem is that his approach to Scripture is what the early church fathers adopted.Marcion is the father of Theistic Platoism, and his heresy tainted our readings of Scripture ever since.

It's time to get past our bias, prejudice, and embrace what God calls us to.

mikebr
Jul 21st 2008, 10:41 PM
And here comes the twist:

What, exactly, have we done to change the ills we've seen in Christianity...other than complaining about them? ;)

We complain instead of act because we are marginalized when we question the status quo. Its hard to create change in an institution that fights against change. This is why there are 2400 denominations and 44,000 churches in America.

manichunter
Jul 21st 2008, 10:49 PM
We complain instead of act because we are marginalized when we question the status quo. Its hard to create change in an institution that fights against change. This is why there are 2400 denominations and 44,000 churches in America.

bingo, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding :pp, we have a winner

theothersock
Jul 22nd 2008, 07:03 AM
Does it surprise anyone that Christ and his apostles preached most in the synagogues?

BEHOLD!

Our very example of ministry tells us not just to go into bars or whorehouses to rebuke scorners who will hate us; but rather go to those who seek God and are misled by hypocrisy, as in the day of the Pharisees. Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

Lately, I have abandoned my notions of denomination or "home church", and have started striking out for a new assembly nearly every service. It is not only so that I might view and learn from and fellowship with the entire body of Christ, but so also that I might go where Christ might have need of me to share.

If we sit in the same church, our religion becomes as a stagnant pool. But if we actively engage all of our brethren throughout our towns in all of the varied churches of our locale, we become as a rushing river.

Don't be afraid to ask hard questions! Don't be afraid to challenge your brother's beliefs, or your own! Find everyone who is willing to talk about Christ in all places, and DO SO!

Don't dismiss the man with the sign reading "The Party Ends in Hell", or "The end is near". He is a man who wishes to speak of the Lord, speak with him. Do not dismiss any opportunity, go out unto all places and preach, testify, fellowship with your brothers. Be not stagnant as the slothful sleeping in one sanctuary, awake and go forth!

Any good thing is from God. Any error is from me.

IBWatching
Jul 22nd 2008, 02:20 PM
First and foremost - please, please, please, please, please, please...I beg of everyone, don't come back on this and say, "Well, Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship!"...

OK. It's not a religion or a relationship. It's a Faith. ;)