Living Outside the Church System

I’ve grown tired of dealing with peoples misconceptions about my particular genre of Christianity. I look upon church institutions with a healthy amount of mistrust and with a general disdain for their self serving nature. It’s not that I necessarily mistrust the people in these institutions. I believe that most Christian institutions serve themselves more than Jesus. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe that there are sincere believers doing the work of the Lord in these institutions. Some institutions are a lot better than others.

For me the church system, or the Christian religious system has become in some ways a non issue. In general I neither support it nor oppose it. It is a non issue, my concern is people, regardless of whether they are in the “system” or not.

I used to be very involved in the system. I recognized the faults of the system and wanted to become an agent of change. It was frustrating because you can’t effectively build upon a shaky foundation. I see 4 main things that power this system. Jesus is one of them. He’s in there and through some miracle seems to work through His people regardless of where they are. The other 3 aren’t so great.

  • Politics / Human Opinion
  • Religious Tradition / Religious Success
  • Witchcraft / Spiritual Power other than God

I have to admit I’m borrowing a little from Rick Joyner’s “cord of 3 strands” that binds the church. Some institutions are powered more by Jesus than the other big 3. I don’t think I’ll ever find any kind of organized Christianity that doesn’t carry some sort of baggage around with it. Someone once shared with me “It is possible to have a perfect church, until you add your first member”.

A few years ago I decided that I wasn’t going to risk succumbing to the big nasty 3 in the system. I wasn’t going to put myself in place where the system would tempt me to compromise my principles. I’m glad I made that choice. At the time it was very clear to me that God used me far more in casual situations rather than in formal ministry programs. The more I was in the system, the more I felt frustrated, stymied, and even oppressed.

I abandoned my ministry career, and the amount of true ministry that occurred in my life soared. I’ve never stopped attending worship services, and I have become involved in different groups. I do it strictly as a volunteer. I preach, teach, write, lead small groups, and I maintain “”. I build genuine relationships that are based on love and trust. The church has many purposes, they are fulfilled much more successfully in my life by trusting in God. There are no boring church meetings, no political intrigue, and far less pursuit of religious successes.

I find the most annoying part of the whole deal is the stigma that is attached to it. Some people, (who never really knew me in the first place) lookup upon me like I’m some lost soul. It offends my pride. I know how much my relationship with God has blossomed, how much He has changed me, and that I’m following Him in what I’m doing. Often my critics don’t show the same spiritual fruit, so their opinion is often hard to hear. Fortunately I don’t hear it that often.

There are often a lot of misconceptions that surround me. They are

I’m against institutions.
I’m not against them, I think God works through them. He works more successfully through some than others. It all depends on what drives that institution. Is it Christ or is it something else?

I want to start my own little movement with my new and improved gospel.
I just want to follow Jesus. I don’t want to start my own church, I just want to be part of the church. The same church that Jesus started with his death on the cross. The same church that seems to have members in every denomination mankind has ever created. There are sincere believers, everywhere. I am one of them.

I fight against the institutions.
The system is a non-issue. I care about people and the more I know Christ the more His love compels me to serve people. To love people. I complain about the church far less than I ever did when I was in the system. I’m to busy talking about Jesus and the good news of our salvation.

I’ve realized that the only way the church is going to change, is if the people let God change them. The people are the church, and God wants to restore them. This is the revival I seek.

Comments are closed.