Sunday, July 27, 2014

Christianity Without Jesus


There is scant interest in Jesus even within the church. There are conferences by the thousands about everything but Jesus and people will travel and spend thousands just to attend and be motivated or moved or learn something. But where are the conferences that are completely about Jesus? Jesus Himself exhorted us to learn of Him and yet we treat Him as a doctrinal fait accompli and in no need of any thorough or passionate pursuit.

The church salivates for more “how to” messages and more studies about aspects of our lives. In fact most of the western evangelical church is a study of humans rather than a study of Christ. It is humanism all dressed up as church. Yes, there are commandments in the New Testament about marriage and children and work and other aspects of our lives, but the overarching and reoccurring theme is Jesus. And while we study life adjustments or emotional controls or philosophical and psychological counseling and treatment the reality is that most of these issues could be treated with a stronger and relentless pursuit of knowing Jesus.

But long ago the church looked in the mirror and instead of abhorring that which it saw it become infatuated with itself. And professing believers became a project which by and large was without Jesus. A healthy marriage, a healthy self image, a healthy bank account, a healthy body, a healthy career, and in general a well rounded and balanced citizen of earth is now the ecclesiastical goal. But that is not Christianity at all.

It is astonishing just how much Jesus has been marginalized and removed as the centerpiece of our journey. In other words He is no longer Lord of all. The carnal sirens have all but drowned out Christ. I cannot even begin to imagine just how much the Spirit grieves over what has become of the visible church, which by New Testament standards is not the church at all. Let us individually renew our faith and pursue the knowledge of Jesus beyond what we think we knew yesterday, and let us walk that pure path which seeks the glory of God which is found in the face of Jesus Christ.

And be aware that this journey is not about finding more facts about Jesus. It is about finding more and more life in Jesus and having your life transformed into His.

Listen to what pastors and preachers say about the crisis in Gaza and you will understand who are following Jesus and who are not. The blind allegiance to the secular nation of Israel is against any and all the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. I heard John Hagee, a heretic of epic proportions, say that we must cut off all humanitarian support for the Palestinians until they acquiesce to certain demands. I guess “love your enemies” was added by evil scribes and was not part of the teachings of Jesus.

The entire thing has been manipulated and fed to western believers. The conflict in the Middle East is not our affair nor does it have anything to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But while we sit in air conditioned safety it caresses the flesh to take sides with fallen nations, and we refuse to see that Israel in the Old Testament was a shadow of the coming church. They were God’s people and just like the church they were almost always compromised and filled with believer and unbeliever alike.

Josh.5: 13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?
15 And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

We should not be interested in being on anyone’s “side” but God’s. The things of this world are actively working against the purposes of Christ and His kingdom. But it is so easy to get caught up in the politics of it all and make judgments based upon what we perceive as right and wrong because we see things through American eyes. But until you see that it is ALL wrong and that there is no one that doeth good, no not one, then you will continue to make all kinds of carnal judgments about who is right and who is wrong.

And worse yet if you listen to preachers who are more American than Christian then you will make judgments about which nations God loves and favors. And that, my friends, is heresy at its zenith. Repent and allow your heart to awaken to the things and teachings of Jesus. This world’s undertow is filled with strength based upon reason and political perception and the ebbs and flows of man’s exercise of his own power. And the western church has heard the voices of these evil sirens and by and large the church has not only invited the world into the church, but it now follows hard after the world and all its fallen machinations.

Beware all ye that desire Christ. It is impossible to follow Christ and the world. And in this day and time of great spiritual deception you may well be confronted with reassessing the very foundation of what you were taught and what are lies still being spread as God’s truth. The deception is much more sophisticated and much more powerful than we can almost imagine. In fact, somewhere decades ago an intersect was crossed. And at that juncture the faith called “Christian” became so contaminated and so off course that it now turned its back on Christ and headed for greener pastures. And the sheep began to feed in that pasture and the grass was plentiful and sweet. And the visible church grew in numbers and buildings and financial power and political clout.

And so today the church is no longer interested in Jesus. It is consumed with finances and material goods and careers and success and college educations and entertainment and television and sports and activities and singing and founding fathers and famous preachers and glossy teaching materials and church advertisements and elaborate conferences and whatever is happening in the kingdom of this world. But as for Jesus, well, we can just paste His name on whatever we want and declare that is who He is and what He desires. And in the end the western church will glow with modern buildings and wonderful music and compelling oratory and an atmosphere of excitement, but alas, it is just spiritual wreckage all dressed up as God’s church. The axe head is at the bottom of the water and most are not looking for it because we have made our own axe head which is much more interesting and alluring. God help us all.

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