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14 Wrong Reasons for Going to Church

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As you can tell from the title, I am not trying to make friends here. I am however, serious as a heart attack about the importance of this subject. I understand what I am going to say goes against thousands of years of ingrained religious nonsense, business success concepts brought in to “help” the church, and human traditions meant to replace the absence of theGENUINE.
First let me begin by saying I love the Church. She is formed of the most wonderful, loving, and caring people you would ever want to meet.  I truly love this One Church that the Lord Jesus Christ is building. There is no other. There is only one Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. All Christian are members of that Body by virtue of being born again from above.

I am just a one voice, but I join millions worldwide who are waking up and coming out from under the religious bondage and propaganda of a centuries old, corrupt, system. All of this has been fueled by the desire to control others, a “we have always done it like this” mentality and/or, a general lack of faith in God’s ability to provide for His own.

The Lord recognizes no other memberships to local or independent congregations. The Lord recognizes no baptism certificates or ordination papers or any other human external validation. There are many religious clubs and associations that are independent or are connected to denominations who consider themselves also to be part of the Church. Scripture is very clear on that.

2 Tim 2:19 says: Nevertheless, the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His. NKJV
We don’t write to judge others. The Lord Himself will judge on that day. We are here to bring truth to God’s people and that TRUTH is a person, The Lord Jesus Christ, not a neat little package of favorite Bible verses that support your style of worship or your favorite theology.

The Lord recognizes no Catholics, Baptist, Assemblies of God, or any other call sign you wish to use. Those are all man made divisions of the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

When Constantine messed with the church in 300 AD and began building sanctuaries and creating a salaried clergy class (Pastors & Priests) the church probably, in my book, suffered its greatest blow. Man simply should not try to “help” God. We would think that the Roman persecution hurt the church more but instead it caused the church to grow. It was said in those days that the “blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church.”

When the church became a building, man separated secular time with spiritual time. When you are in the building its time to be spiritual, but when you are away that is your time. To a truly born again person such thinking is heresy.

Scripture says we were bought with a price. Calvary wasn’t meant to provide humanity with a get-out –of-hell card, or to pay our dues so we can attend the weekly hour and twenty minute show.  People are not laundry “in by 11 dirty out by 1230 clean” and God is not limited to talking only in our “sanctuaries.” Real Christians know we can’t go to Church–we are the Church. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is made up people not brick and mortar or any other building material.

I believe that when the requirement of going somewhere weekly was tied to our ability to hear from God, we had to create pseudo reasons to perpetuate the nonsense.

The following “14 Wrong Reasons for Going to Church” are in progression of how they were taught to me.

1. To celebrate the Lords Day – I was taught that the church exchanged the Jewish Sabbath with celebrating Sunday the first day of the week to celebrate the resurrection. Talk about piecing together scripture to come up with that one.

2. To show respect for the Lord by dressing up with our Sunday best. Since when does Christianity care about the externals? Oh, how we have kept thousands out because they were too ashamed of their dress.

3. To go hear the preacher give us the “Word.” Nowhere in the New Testament does the Church have a mediator between God and man like the present pastor/priest system. The word of the Lord was never an exposition of scripture by professional seminary-trained clergy. At best two or three need to speak and every believer is to be mature enough to test the Spirit of what is being said.

4. To give (Pay) our tithes and offerings. More than 80% of a church’s income goes to support two totally unbiblical things: the modern church building and the salaried clergy class. To justify them, we use very selective Old Testament proof texts. However, neither of these concepts are justifiable. These practices simply cannot be found in the New Testament.

5. To bring the “lost” to His house to receive Christ and get “saved.” Until around 1870, no one ever walked up front to receive Christ during an “invitation.” This is another modern invention– that teaches that the front of our church building is the “Holy Place” or altar because it’s higher or decorated differently. New Testament church gatherings were for believers and the lost got saved wherever they were when they had an encounter with Christ. I languished in a denomination that preached salvation sermons every Sunday at “saved” people. Talk about perpetuating immaturity!

6. To worship Him. This is going to come as a shock to many, but real Christians worship the Lord daily with their life. The idea of going once a week to a building to worship God is alien to real Christianity. Worship is not singing prior to the preaching. Worship starts when your feet hit the ground each morning.

7. To use our gifts and our talents.  Again, this is another invention of the once a week Christianity. Real Christians operate in their gifts and callings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What part of “DAILY” do we not understand? All of you dying to get the microphone on Sunday morning when was the last time you got a word from the Lord in Wal-Mart?

8. To do ministry (healing & deliverance).  When we invented professional clergy, we had to come up with a word for what they did. “Ministry” is a lifestyle of every real Christian. Full-time ministry is what every Christian is called to do. The early church had no on/off button. From the day you got saved you are in the ministry. Someone who gets paid for doing ministry is called a hireling in scripture.

9. To punch the clock and give God His day. Every day is God’s day. Punching the clock so as to please the pastor, your wife, or God is religion. Scripture says: “In everything you do.” Did you know that God is happy when you take some rest and go fishing? God does not give you a pass to do whatever you want with the other 6 days of the week. Every day is His day!

10. To get under the anointing. This is more baloney coming from an alleged need of the “laity” to get some from the “clergy.” This thinking teaches that the upper class “clergy” have something you need from them so you must come weekly to get it. The problem arises when you keep getting it weekly for years, but your life does not change. The problem with that is, all of Gods people are already anointed, and carrying “the anointing,” and all God’s people are clergy or the Lords portion, and all of the Gods leaders are laity too. In the Kingdom of God there are no second class citizens.

11. To get in His presence. There is not one New Testament verse tying the presence of God to a building or to a weekly gathering. Furthermore, there is not one verse in the New Testament about believers going in search for His presence, or having to call His presence down. The Lord is not in a cloud anymore or even in a chair next to us. He is a forever with us and IN us.

12. To hear or experience Christ as we each share in the meeting. Scripture tells us that wherever two or three are gathered in His Name (nature) there He is. It doesn’t say it has to be an official meeting or that everyone in the meeting must share to hear Christ. If that is true, how many believers represent a quorum for God to be heard?

13. To go up to Zion together with rest of the Church worldwide. This is a Jewish practice taken from the Old Testament typology. Sorry, but since Jesus shed His blood I can get in His presence anytime and anyplace. I am not working my way in a service to go up to Zion. I am Zion, the New Jerusalem of God because He lives and dwells in me in, with, and among the body of Christ.

14. To train you to be missional. This is the newest one I have heard. Talk about getting the cart before the horse! Anything that is genuinely missional arises from Christ’s compassion for a hurting world. The more we love like Christ, the more we are missional like Christ. The fuel of everything missional is love not six elements of this or that, and “apostolic genius.” God help us! If we are still obsessing with programs and recipes we are not yet free!

If those are Wrong Reasons for Going to Church what is the Right Reason?

Finally, it would be improper to close this article without mentioning the only verifiable reason in the New Testament for new creation people to gather as the people of God. This one reason is by far the greatest missing element of the 21st century church. You would think it is some deep profound mystery for the mature, but it’s not. It’s the only reason that can grow His Church because it’s the only one scripture says the lost are waiting to see.

I will say it and most will say they already have it. The problem is, the standard of what this word means to new creation people has been dumbed down to simply saying “God bless you” to people you will have to wait another week again to maybe see.
The bar was set in the New Testament, but we have no clue to the meaning of all this or how to implement this in the 21st century.

Acts 2:44-45  Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. NKJV

Acts 4:32-33 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. NKJV

The above will never work in our world until we love each other the way they did. The early saints were driven to gather by the love and compassion they had for each other. Paul never praises the congregations in the New Testament for their soul winning efforts, the size of their congregations or the amount of money they handled in their budgets. Paul never speaks of a brand name, a denomination or a particular leaders following. His greatest praise is how the NAME of Christ is being made known by the love they are manifesting first for each other and then for the lost. You want a name to describe the gathering of the saints? Return to the foundation of a “love feast” instead of Catholic services and Protestant meetings.

I agree with John–how can we say we have been with God if we don’t have a heart for the brethren?  You claim you spend hours in worship and prayer but you don’t have a heart to help your own family? What God do you pray to?
Still bragging about your Easter service? What if your measurement and values don’t register up in Heaven?

Conclusion

What are we trying to say?
Following Jesus Christ is something that is a daily lifestyle. Real Christian love is something that is lived out daily and dispenses salt and light to this world in darkness. It is not something that you turn on inside four walls for two hours a week.
Forsaking the assembly has nothing to do with your weekly attendance in a building. To congregate is to share where two or three are gathered in his name (nature) whenever that might be. The idea of worship services comes from the Catholic Church and does not exist in the Scriptures. The liturgy, bulletins and programs are all inventions of religion.

Being a witness (martyr) does not mean passing out tracts and doing events, but is a daily dying to self and human selfishness so that others may see Christ in us. Where is the voice of the Holy Spirit? The Lord Jesus did not leave us a clergy with Bibles; He left us his voice in One like Himself, the Holy Spirit. Where is the priesthood of every believer today?

The Lord Jesus left only one church, then why is there is so much division and so many groups? Our community needs to include all the brethren. The Church is not a club. The Church is a family. The Church is one body, the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is so much human based religion that whoever chooses this path must be willing to suffer rejection and the misunderstanding that will come from the majority.
May our Lord Jesus Christ give you courage and strength to follow in his steps and find His way!

May the Lord have mercy on His church and may He have patience with you as He has had with me.
I am not praying for revival of a dead human system but I am praying for His people to be holy and wholly unsatisfied until they find HIM and become HIM to a lost and dying world by their love..

Much Love,
Jose Bosque, with Stephen Crosby
Copyright 2015 Jose L. Bosque www.JaxChristian.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact JaxChristian1@aol.com

Stupid Things Said about Skipping Church

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I’m growing convinced that much of Christianity has become a human religion loosely based on the teachings of Jesus, while missing the point of them all.


Every week now I get links to blogs and articles of various pastors giving the 5, 8, or 12 reasons everyone needs to attend a local church each week. To prove their point, however, they have to make some of the most ridiculous statements that have absolutely no grounding in the life or character of Jesus. These conclusions are not just misguided, but actually destructive to people who want to grow in his life and joy.

This is not a personal judgment against them. I’m sure many of them are fine people, only trying to do what they feel called to. I also appreciate that this is a scary time for them as so-called church attendance is on the decline. The idea that someone can actually grow in their relationship with God, experience the life of the church, and share his mission in the world without being part of their congregation has to be a scary reality. Many don’t even want to acknowledge it is even possible, so they double down on the language of obligation and accountability. In doing so, however, they twist the Gospel so that it is no longer recognizable and all that’s left is for people to obey what they are told by leadership whose success and livelihood depend on that obedience.

There are many good reasons to gather regularly with other believers and share the journey of faith. It’s just that all those gatherings are not going on in Sunday morning services shackled by the bureaucracy of a religious system that often does more stifle spiritual growth rather than stimulate it. Many have found more engaging ways to share the life of the church beyond the walls of traditional congregations and telling them they must attend a normal service, falls on deaf ears once they’ve discovered that it isn’t true.

So if they hope guilt and obligation will win these people back or scare the ones they have into remaining, they are not only fighting a losing battle but disfiguring God and distorting the Gospel to do it. The life of the church is not found in obligation but in the joy of affection and transformation. Trying to discount the salvation of those who leave in hopes of reigning back in the faithful will continue backfire.

In the latest article I read Nathan Rose, a Missouri pastor in the Southern Baptist denomination says that skipping “church” meetings is dangerous to your health.  He gives five reasons why in a recent article he wrote, Five Spiritual Dangers of Skipping Church:

Stupid Things said in the Name of Jesus about Skipping Church

 

  1. “You will miss out on God’s primary design for your spiritual growth and well-being.” What in the ministry of Jesus leads him to the conclusion that God’s primary means to grow to spiritual maturity is to attend a church service weekly, when he never conducted one himself, never taught his disciples how to do so, and assigned the task for our growth to the Holy Spirit who would dwell in us and guide us to all truth? When the Samaritan woman asked Jesus where she should worship, he made it clear that location is not the issue.  What matters is that we do so in spirit and in truth. Living in the Father’s affection and responding to his Spirit within us is God’s primary design for our growth and well-being, not sitting in a pew on Sunday morning.
  2. “You disobey God.”  As many do, Rose pulls out Hebrews 10:24-25 saying that the counsel “not to neglect to meet together,” is a command that can only be fulfilled in a weekly church service.  It’s dishonest on the face of it. This is the only Scripture pastors have to seek to compel “church attendance” and it is misused at that. This passage wasn’t written to believers skipping out on church services, but to people under persecution who were wondering if avoiding association with each other would make it more difficult for the authorities to find them. The writer is telling them they have more to gain by the encouragement they have from each other than going it alone. Most Sunday services don’t even allow people to encourage each other, since the focus is on the platform. Hebrews 20 is not talking about attending a meeting; it is about staying connected to others and not trying to make it alone. Honestly many of our institutions today do more to inhibit that connection than encourage it.
  3. “You make a statement to the world that God is not worthy of worship…, which is the attitude and conduct of unbelievers, not God’s people.” So if you don’t come to “worship” you are no longer one of God’s people. The judgment here is frightful. Worship is not a song service or a sermon, but a live lived in God’s reality and his affection. How we see him and how we love and respect others either brings glory to him or disfigures him. Sitting in a pew on Sunday morning is not a statement of how important worship is to you unless that’s the only way you understand worship and then you are spiritually impoverished the rest of the week. Our lives worship him whether we’re on the job, enjoying his creation, or serving someone in need.
  4. “You can’t minister to anyone.” Really? All the ministry that God wants to do in the world can only happen under a steeple on Sunday morning? That would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. Jesus never ministered in a “service,” but on the street where he encountered people. Real service is not sitting in a pew so others can hear you sing and you can show support for the pastor. Ministry is about loving and helping people you know or come across as you go through life. They can be in your neighborhood, at work, in school, or across the world.
  5. “You skip out on a foretaste of heaven.” If Sunday morning services were really a foretaste of heaven, no one would want to miss them and you wouldn’t have to obligate them to be there. In many cases it’s just a repeated formula often laced with guilt and condemnation, as was the entire piece written by Rose.

What bothers me most is not that they want people to come to “their church”, but that they see obligation as the reason. They make the same mistake the Galatians made.  By turning the promise of God into an obligation they distort the gospel, twisting the joy of an invitation into God’s life into demands and threats. It has the underlying psychology of “misery loves company.”  We are not here because we enjoy it and God works in us, but because God says we have to. Please!  The kingdom is the pearl of great price, not the castor oil of spiritual maturity.
Paul, the apostle, encourage us to live in freedom and let “no one” defraud us by telling us where we should go, what we should eat, or what we should wear. People who try to tell you what you should do, rather than equipping you to live fully and freely in Jesus, have lost connection with the Head.
I honestly feel sorry for those who can’t see the reality of Christ’s church beyond their own congregation or the congregational model itself. They would perhaps do better to take an honest look why people who were committed members of their congregation found it necessary to leave. Badgering them with accusations and demands will never fulfill the work of the kingdom. Maybe it is time for them to ask just how much their gatherings reflect God’s nature and reality. Those congregations who honestly seek to help people live in the reality of Jesus’ freedom and transformation need not be threatened that Jesus is also working outside their borders.
In fact if they put his kingdom first, they will rejoice that he does.
__________________________
Wayne Jacobsen is the author of Finding Church and host of a podcast at TheGodJourney.com

The 10 Spy Syndrome

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I have posted this on my Facebook page before and have probably posted it on a number of threads here and there but thought I would make an official post here on the site!
After looking at some of the more popular ministries of “Churchywood”, I am almost convinced that the American church is suffering from an epidemic that continues to spread among members across the country.  I call this illness “The 10 Spy Syndrome”.  Most of us who have read the Bible a time or two are familiar with the story of  Moses sending out the twelve spies to spy out the land of Canaan as they were going into the Promised Land.  In the book of Numbers, chapter 13, there you will find the story, and a list of the names of the men that were selected by Moses to go and spy the land and return with a report of their findings.
Numbers 13:
The Lord said to Moses, “Send men to explore Canaan, which I’m giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of their ancestors’ tribes.”
So at the Lord’s command, Moses sent these men from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.
These are their names:

Shammua, son of Zaccur, from the tribe of Reuben;
Shaphat, son of Hori, from the tribe of Simeon;
Caleb, son of Jephunneh, from the tribe of Judah;
Igal, son of Joseph, from the tribe of Issachar;
Hoshea, son of Nun, from the tribe of Ephraim;
Palti, son of Raphu, from the tribe of Benjamin;
10 Gaddiel, son of Sodi, from the tribe of Zebulun;
11 Gaddi, son of Susi, from the tribe of Joseph (that is, the tribe of Manasseh);
12 Ammiel, son of Gemalli, from the tribe of Dan;
13 Sethur, son of Michael, from the tribe of Asher;
14 Nahbi, son of Vophsi, from the tribe of Naphtali;
15 Geuel, son of Machi, from the tribe of Gad.

16 These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. But Moses gave Hoshea, son of Nun, the name Joshua.

During your leisure time, I would admonish you to look up the Hebrew definitions of the names of all of these that were selected by Moses to travel as spies to the land of Canaan.  I want to fast forward in the story as I hope most of you are familiar with the story and upon the returning of the spies to the camp of Israel, ten of these spies, though they actually brought back evidence of the fruit of the land (Numbers 11:23)  As the spies give their report to Moses and the congregation, they are definite in their assessment  that the land flowed with milk and honey as promised by God, and implies that everything that had been declared by God was so, however, because of the enemy that was there, they felt as though they could not conquer the land.  Caleb, whose name means “dog” stills the people and reassures them that they could indeed have what was promised by God.  BUT:

31 But the men that went up with him said, We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature.

Because the “ten spies” brought up an evil report, in chapter 14 of Numbers verse number one states, “And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.”
At this point I want to again encourage you to look at the names of those ten spies who went up with Joshua and Caleb to spy the land out!  Pay close attention to what their names meant, knowing that the children of Israel didn’t name their children haphazardly but with purpose based on the character of that child.

These ten were able to use the power of influence and convince an entire nation to go against the plan of God, why because of their  status!  Again, you will have to research the meaning of those names.  I really don’t want to give those out as I hope you will do the research yourself.

Just as those ten spies were able to use their influence and their status to convince the “church” (Israel) to go against the plan of God and take immediate possession of what was promised, so it is today that we have so many people glued into the personalities and status of many people who may have messages, but not THE WORD!

We are sadly at a time in Christianity in which very little is discerned by members, very little questioned by parishioners, and very little tested by the Spirit of God.  Just recently I awoke out of my sleep and tuned in on the Word Network and behold an “apostle” was marketing “anointed socks”!  ANOINTED SOCKS!!!!  I guess once the socks are slipped onto the wearer, it causes one to walk in true righteousness and purpose?  Sadly, many will give into the gimmicks and the cons of many so called preachers and personalities, not because they have a WORD!  Not  because they are working authentic miracles! Not because they are even in tune with God, but simply because of their personality!

With the invention and popularity of social media,  many are exposed to more people than their local congregations now.  We have world wide platforms from our living rooms!  We can host conference calls from our automobiles.  We can broadcast radio shows to the world from our computers.  With this exposure, there is also a growing awareness of error that many teach both ignorantly and surprisingly with knowledge.  When known error is challenged or brought to the light my the “normal folk”, many followers of the “prestigious elite” will come running to the rescue of their favorite heroes without examining even the content of what they present.  The gauge in Christianity now is not SOUND DOCTRINE, BUT TWITTER FOLLOWERS!  The gauge is not holiness any longer, BUT HOW MANY LIKES one has on Facebook!

The sad reality, most of the prestigious elite are aware that their “anointing” is based on their influence, thus the more people that speak well of them, the more influential they can be.  Promiscuity, misappropriation of God’s money, wretched lifestyles are of little importance as long as they are liked by the masses, so they continue to do ungodly things knowing that their “fan base” will overlook it.

The even more sad reality is that there is a “different spirit” that is speaking through the likes of Joshua and Caleb who tried to still the Children of Israel and reassure them of the TRUE WORD AND PROMISE OF GOD, but those “popular preachers’ were able to seduce the entire congregation with their influence and cause them to miss out on one of the greatest moments in their lives.
Who are you listening too, and most importantly why are you listening?  Close to a million “church members” listened to ten “top preachers” of their day and missed a move of God because they were not willing to hear the words of “nobodys”.
Just because you aren’t happy with the package that it is being wrapped in, doesn’t mean that its not God.
Beware of the 10 spy syndrome!

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