30 December 2012

A Mediator Is No Longer Needed

Lately, I've been really impressed with the Christian church. Christian leaders everywhere have been responsible for bringing the Good News to millions of people all over the world. And, without their sacrifice, not many would know the God of the Bible.
People listening to God speak through their pastor.

For centuries, ministers have humbly shared God's love and forgiveness to people who are searching. These men and women of all denominations have gone to great lengths to lead people to the knowledge of Christ. And, because of them, countless lives have been changed.

However, I just have one small gripe.

No one knows Jesus.

They know all about Jesus. They've read his biography countless times. They've even memorized the words that he said to his disciples. Yet, they don't hear Jesus for themselves (John 10:27).

When I see the current state of the Christian faith, I see history repeating itself. People falling back into religious ways with no real relationship with God. People who keep doing what they're told and never challenging the status quo. What happened to those who weren't satisfied and were desperate for more?

Well, I place most of the blame on Christian leadership. Then, I'd have to look in the mirror and point the finger at myself.

I want to preach at the preachers for a moment. And, as usual, it's not going to be pretty.

Part of the problem is that ministers have somehow convinced their listeners that they must keep coming back to church to hear the Word of God. Of course they never come out and say this. No pastor in his right mind would ever teach this (1 John 2:26-27). Yet, they never seem to do the opposite. They never say, "Now, you know enough. Go make disciples" (Mat 28:19-20). They'd like to keep you around as long as possible.

So why is this true? I mean, even masters of the martial arts, in the far east, know when you're ready. They see their pupil has gotten to a point where they no longer need instruction, so they tell them to go and be an example and witness of their teaching.

And, don't school teachers graduate their students and send them off to start their own careers? Where is the graduation from church? There isn't one. Christianity, in its current form, requires you to be a regular participant of the organization.

I suppose one of the main reasons preachers don't like the idea of graduation is because the revenue is good. They've got to make a living somehow and it's not good for business to simply send you away. However, I think the main reason is that most pastors (when I say most I mean 99%) don't have a real relationship with Jesus. They're simply copying what they saw their father doing or their father's father. Then, they share the same do-do (do this, do that) message with everyone else. It's the blind leading the blind (Mat 15:8-13).

But, didn't Jesus send his disciples away (Mark 6:7-13)? Didn't he leave and send someone to guide each of us on our own path (John 16:7-15)?

You see, it actually takes trusting the Spirit to do his job for this Jesus stuff to work. To trust God to show each person the way they should go (Pro 22:6). God trusted his Spirit to Jesus, then he entrusted it to you. Now, how do we convince the modern "men and women of God" to follow God's lead? Why are they not letting his people go (Exo 9:1)?

Hmmm. I don't know. Maybe if we do everything they say, pay them, and tell everyone about their church, then they'll be convinced. Oh wait...

I sincerely believe that if any change is going to be made, then we need to rebel. We need to completely stop going to church and show these so-called leaders how it's done. What we've been taught and the example they've shown us is not even close to what a Christ follower looks like.

Now, let's look in the mirror. Let's talk about what everyday Christian Joe's do.

Christians have been clinging to their beloved clergy for centuries; listening and following their every word. They never really challenge anything taught because they firmly believe their shepherd knows Jesus better than they do. The proof that their pastor knows Jesus is because they're either really sweet with their words, tell it like it is, or have 5 satellite campuses. Honestly, believers don't really challenge anything. As long as their clergy quotes the Scripture word-for-word, then they're a firm believer in almost anything he/she says. No need to test the context of the message, right? No need to ask Jesus what he thinks (John 14:9-14).

Instead of believers that hear God for themselves, we have countless Christians that feel the need to keep going back to church. They're afraid to stop going to church for 2 reasons: 1) forsaking the assembly (which is taken completely out of context) and 2) they're not confident in their relationship with Jesus (Heb 10:24-25). Pastors have convinced everyone that if you don't come to church, then you're denying your duty to be with godly people and you won't be able to grow. They have made Christians dependent on them to hear from their Savior. They've made organized religion the physical location to find Jesus. Why in the world are we still following Old Testament ways?? Why are we still searching for God's presence in the temple when we are the temple (2 Cor 6:16)?

Honestly, I feel people who attend church regularly are afraid that they won't hear from Jesus for themselves. They don't trust God to reveal himself on their own journey. They are so used to seeking God in the temple/synagogue/church that they forget that his presence already lives in them (1 Cor 12:27-31).

Most Christians don't grow in their walk with the Lord and they don't seem to be able to jump out of their church comfort zone. They fear upsetting God, or not doing something right. So, it's safer to just keep doing what you've always done.
Because to hear what Jesus says you need to go to his church.

Not to mention, their beloved pastor keeps feeding them the same messages they've always heard. I mean, how many times do Christians need to hear that they have grace, forgiveness, peace, healing, power, authority, and love before they start believing it? How many times do we need to be told that God has blessed us and has a plan for our life? Just believe it for once and go. We also don't need anyone to hold our hands and read the Bible for us, either. The Spirit can do that. He's a far greater Teacher than your pastor who doesn't know anything else other than what someone else said.

I'm here to tell you that you don't need a mediator anymore (1 Tim 2:5-6). That God sent his Holy Spirit to be your guide; not your ministers (John 14:23-27). Not your favorite evangelist, missionary, or artist. Sure you can listen to someone else speak, but the only one you should be listening to regularly should be your best friend. Do what he says. Not what they tell you to do.

Don't just listen to me or take my word for it. Ask God what he thinks about all this mess I'm writing.

The last thing I want to say is gonna hurt. If you're afraid to leave the church, then you're a slave. You are a slave to the church religious system and you're no different than the slaves in Egypt. You need to pull up your big boy pants and cross the Red Sea; the big abyss that seems impossible to cross over. I know it's scary, but God will take care of you. He will supply all the food you need and make sure your sandals never wear out. All you have to do is follow the Spirit and he will show you the way. There's nothing to be afraid of (2 Tim 1:7).


Psych You Out said...

I think you know this post isn't going to make a lot of friends. Probably will make you some enemies, though.

That said, I agree with all you said here and I think you're right. Ive been thinking about all of this lately and its really been bothering me. Ive been looking at the most active chruch going people I know and wondering what would happen if they stopped going to church. Would they know how to have a real relationship with Jesus or is their whole relationship based on, like you said, a physical location to meet Jesus? It bugs me. Everyone is so complacent with Sunday morning meet and greet and then lunch out that they wouldn't know what to do without it. What's the problem? Why is the only way to hear from Jesus through your pastor? Why does everyone bow up when challenged to hear from Jesus on their own? It really bothers me and I think there is something really messed up with the church system as a whole if that is the type of followers it produces.


Dathan Ellis said...

The problem is we're just doing what we've always been told...for centuries. And, any threat to challenge the standard is considered not of God. No one liked what Jesus said and he went against everything the church stood for.

Those that bow up are scared. They are afraid you see what's under the mask.

Daniel Botwin said...

Yeah, the mask comment is spot on. The inside doesn't reflect the outside shown on Sunday.

I talk to Jesus a lot more now and feel much closer to him and who I'm supposed to be.

Dathan Ellis said...

It literally took getting all the church motions out of the way to really know him. It takes guts to stop doing what you've always been taught to do.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dathan, for having the courage to speak the truth. I'm still going to church at present, but I hear what you're saying. I think there was a time for organized religion, but I think more people are realizing it's a form of godliness, denying His power. I need to commune with God directly and let him live through me every day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dathan, for having the courage to speak the truth. I'm still going to church at present, but I hear what you're saying. I think there was a time for organized religion, but I think more people are realizing it's a form of godliness, denying His power. I need to commune with God directly and let him live through me every day.

Dathan Ellis said...

It took me a few months before I had the guts to leave. I grew up going to church every time the doors were open and it's just what good Christians do. Now, if you don't go to church, then you're like a lost soul who's dishonoring God and his people. Actually, it's been this way for centuries. People are looked down upon if they don't go. I actually went through a type of withdraw because I knew what Christians would say and feel about me. I'd seen it time and time again. People who are used to a certain way of things don't like it when someone comes along and bucks the system. They don't want you to have true freedom. They want you to be a slave like them.