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The Individual vs. the System
11 July 2013
 
 
This is now the 22nd article I've written on the topic of "Modern Christianity and the Church." As a reader, you must ALWAYS keep in mind that I am ALWAYS talking about the worldwide — or at least Western — religious system commonly called Christianity. I am not at all referring to individuals or particular congregations. I'm focusing exclusively on the religious SYSTEM.

The authors of Pagan Christianity? expressed very well what I'm trying to say:
We are making an outrageous proposal: that the church in its contemporary, institutional form has neither a Biblical nor a historical right to function as it does.... We do not doubt that God can, and undoubtedly does, work through practices invented by humans, that have no Scriptural basis. That God still works through people in the institutional church is beyond dispute. But just because God may use His people in a particular system does not mean that He approves of that system.
We hear reports all the time of what God is doing on the earth. If He can do that much through the broken, rancid religious system of modern Christianity, imaging what He could do were this system to be demolished and replace by HIS way of doing things! What would that look like? I've already shared this in two past articles, but because I think it is one of the most important things I have even written, I feel like I should share it again here:
There are so many needs the government is expected to meet. The poor, the elderly, the unemployed, the sick, health insurance, retirement, veterans ... on and on it goes. All the while, the government sinks deeper and deeper into debt. Then, there's the American Church, which spends most of the money it receives in donations on itself. Imagine how many billions and billions of dollars have been spent just on church buildings, real estate, salaries and equipment and other "necessities"!
 
Megachurch Madness!
Historically, the Church has been the one to provide aid to the poor, health care, education, care for the elderly, and many other social services and reforms. Most, if not all, of the first hospitals and universities were started by Christians. But over the last century or so, much of this has been abandoned by the Church, and has been taken over by the government, which is notorious for its inefficiency and bloated bureaucracy. And now the government is staggering under the financial weight of these needs. Meanwhile, the American Church is staggering under the financial weight of church buildings and real estate, Sunday services, and professional clergy and staff. All of which not only doesn't help the believers to grow spiritually, but actually HINDERS them from spiritual growth! What does true Biblical Christianity have to do with megachurches and steeples, stained glass and sound systems?
 
I have a dream ... a dream of the American Church being transformed ... a dream of American society being transformed. Not just a transformation, but a revolution! Imagine the life and vitality that would flow into, and then out of, the American Church with no church buildings, no church real estate, no Sunday church gatherings, and no paid clergy and staff to support all that — and thriving because of it! Imagine believers turning into disciples rather than remaining spectators!
 
Am I naïve and silly to dream such a radical, ridiculous dream? Is this a dream that could never come true? I don't think this is too impossible to dream, because I think it WILL happen. It HAS to happen! And if we don't do it voluntarily, then I believe that God will compel us. Because I don't think this is just my dream, but a God dream as well. This change MUST come. We in the American Church are on a wrong, bad path. One way or another we MUST get off of it, and back to what God intended for His Church.
 
Could the American Church possibly find it in its heart to make a public apology to the nation: "We, the American Church, confess that we have lived selfishly, and we have abandoned our responsibilities. We have amassed properties and buildings, possessions and hierarchies, but we have neglected the poor and needy, the sick and ignorant, the lonely and destitute. Because we have dropped the ball, we have caused the government to try to take our place, a role for which it was never designed. In order to demonstrate our true repentance, and in order to become the Church that Jesus, the Head of the Church, is calling us to be, within the next 12 months we will sell ALL of the properties and buildings we own which are used for religious services, and lay off ALL of our paid staff, including pastors and other leaders. We will become a house-based Church, embracing and practicing the values of relationship, discipleship, participation and generosity. All of the money we receive from these changes, as well as all of the donations we will receive in the future, will be spent, not on ourselves, but for the needs of society."
 
Imagine the impact such a radical repentance and radical lifestyle would have on America, and the whole world! Imagine how much lower our taxes would be if the Church would spend its money for the needs of society rather than on itself, so that the government wouldn't need to! If the Church were doing its job, whole sections of the government could be shut down! Imagine the shock the American people would have to see the Church finally starting to live like the Church! And I'm not even talking about individual Christians selling all they have and giving to the poor, but just the Institutional Church itself.
 
Some Christians and some churches will catch the vision for this and make the changes voluntarily. Unfortunately, I think that most of the Church will not make these changes until forced to through persecution or other circumstances. But it WILL happen.
What I am proposing here is not a change in an individual or particular congregation. It should be obvious that what I'm talking about is a radical and complete change to the SYSTEM of modern Christianity. This is the passion of my heart, and this is the passion I wish to communicate in the articles I write for this Web site. My heart resonates with the words of the Apostle Paul:
I am jealous for you [the Church] with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband — Messiah. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Messiah has become corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Yeshua (Jesus) than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of Gospel than the one you believed....

These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Messiah. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve. (2 Corinthians 11:2-4,13-15)
This article is 22nd a series of articles on this Web site related to Modern Christianity and the Church which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
1.
9  Nov  2008
2.
27  Nov  2008
3.
12  Jun  2010
4.
9  Sep  2010
5.
10  Sep  2010
6.
11  Sep  2010
7.
12  Sep  2010
8.
15  Sep  2010
9.
16  Sep  2010
10.
27  Sep  2010
11.
2  May  2011
12.
22  May  2011
13.
4  Jul  2011
14.
20  Aug  2012
15.
20  Mar  2013
16.
2  Jul  2013
17.
3  Jul  2013
18.
6  Jul  2013
19.
7  Jul  2013
20.
9  Jul  2013
21.
10  Jul  2013
22.
The Individual vs. the System
11  Jul  2013
23.
17  Aug  2013
24.
18  Aug  2013
25.
20  Aug  2013
26.
27  Dec  2013
27.
19  Feb  2014
28.
24  Feb  2014
29.
25  Feb  2014
30.
27  Feb  2014
31.
19  Jul  2014
32.
24  Jul  2014
33.
25  Jul  2014
34.
1  Aug  2014
35.
19  Aug  2014
36.
29  Aug  2014
37.
30  Aug  2014
38.
31  Aug  2014
39.
1  Sep  2014
40.
2  Sep  2014
41.
3  Sep  2014
42.
5  Sep  2014
43.
6  Sep  2014
44.
7  Sep  2014
45.
8  Sep  2014
46.
9  Sep  2014
47.
10  Sep  2014
48.
11  Sep  2014
49.
13  Sep  2014
50.
18  Sep  2014
51.
23  Sep  2014
52.
24  Sep  2014
53.
25  Sep  2014
54.
26  Sep  2014
55.
10  Oct  2014
56.
11  Oct  2014
57.
13  Oct  2014
58.
20  Oct  2014
59.
15  Dec  2014
60.
16  Dec  2014
61.
20  Dec  2014
62.
22  Dec  2014
63.
27  Dec  2014
64.
14  Jan  2015
65.
15  Jan  2015
66.
18  Jan  2015
67.
26  Jan  2015
68.
3  Mar  2015
69.
19  Aug  2015
70.
4  Sep  2015
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