Churchless Christianity: A Move of God?
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Churchless Christianity: A Move of God?
There's a second "move of God" that's taking over the world. Did you notice? Only a handful of people I've talked to actually have. Some do not necessarily see it as being an actual "movement" because it's not so clearly defined as they would prefer. In addition, there are people who aren't a fan the idea of God "moving" in this direction. However, as one British minister told me a few years ago in addressing the various controversies that surround each and every thing God has performed in the past since Genesis, "There's never been a tidy move of God." Never. As those Egyptian magicians could manage to imitate Moses when his rod transformed into a snake, Satan continues to duplicate and infiltrating wherever possible and mucking up God's purity flowing stream of God and fooling "even the elect" of Christ's Kingdom. In the process, he has succeeded in preventing some curious observers from entering because of the disjointedness in The Christ's Body. Christ.  What is this act of God? It's the massive exodus, the number of people who are abandoning the organized Christianity in alarming numbers and the pastors who are either abandoning the faith or refusing to believe in the authority of God's Word (in the next moment, we will see whether these are truly men of God in any way). The truth is that what many theologians and church Vietnam Expat members consider a terrible trend could be a powerful move by God's Spirit. When the Spirit's Spirit starts to blow, Wisdom cries out for us to shift our sails. Let me explain. Simply put, Jesus wants His Church back. This is His Bride. Unfortunately, this beautiful young lady has been turned into prostitute by Religion as its master. It was never her intention to be organized, structured, or institutionalized. She's an individual and not an institution. An alive, breathing thing and not a cyborg that can be controlled by a religious human chain of command. As Christianity was once thought of as a radical change within Judaism I view the "Churchless Christianity" phenomenon as an act by God inside the church within the Church itself. The FACTS The number of people leaving organized churches is increasing in Biblical proportions, at 53,000 per week across Europe as well as North America combined (the U.S. lost 57,500 during the course of the Vietnam War, to put the magnitude of that loss in perspective). In all, Christians lose 7,600 a day to non-religious or other religions. I get these messages constantly via eMail. In addition, a few years ago a renowned Bible seminary wrote 12000 letters of encouragement to the pastors from different denominations, asking the following question "Do you believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God?" The results of the poll were shocking The majority of Presbyterian USA pastors said NO and 85% of Methodist pastors did not agree; 85 percent of Episcopal pastors did not agree; 55% of the Baptist pastors did not agree; 45 percent of Catholic priests did not say no. (Source: Warner A. Bonner, They are the "leaders," folks. Be worried. Be extremely concerned. Christian Researcher, George Barna says of the American Church, "...new research confirms our assertion that the organization of the American church is currently undergoing radical changes. If you take into account the percentage of people who will consider the cyberchurch their "church home and those who join an autonomous house church, and those who will remain not attending church, in fifteen years,, a large majority of Americans will be totally separated from traditional church structures." (There are numerous church groups that are able to help existing ministries in each genre instead of attempting to start their own church from scratch. Hint. Hint.) According to a report released on December 23, 2001 by Pew Internet and American Life Project While Americans were flocking to synagogues and church after 9/11/01, one in four adult American Internet users, roughly 28 million, has searched for religious or spiritual information on the internet since that tragic day. I am able to confirm this. Over 3 millions U.S. adults find religious information on the internet every day more than 2 million in the previous year. This is more than those who use the Internet to gamble, bank and trading stock! Sixty-nine percent of people who engage in religious activities online look for reference or educational materials and 50% look up other religions, and 35% seek advice from spiritual sources via eMail. 41 percent of respondents said they had were sent eMail prayers. Seven percent of them made online donations (unfortunately I am unable to attest to this statistic). As a person with an eMinistry I don't think the "Church Exodus" as being an issue at all as I've seen the fruits from CyberChurch and it's a lot of fun! It's not my intention to suggest that we end face to meeting with each other. It's a shame! We are in need of each other. We are a body that is connected. However, for those who require special attention - and data show that there are many such people, including the shut-ins or handicapped, the shift worker, and the spiritually shipwrecked , I compare CyberChurch to Christ spreading the gospel all over town, in the fields and on beaches or in the market or any other place where people are willing to listen. Even if they have to gather electronically. It is possible that the Lord could have built an church structure following his sermon in the Sermon of the Mount however He chose to preach while making disciples to prepare for the harvest that was to come (no farmer can harvest his crops without a barn or silo to store the crop - else, it will rot on the soil). The Western Church should learn to utilize today's technology together with our postmodern inclination, to serve the largest amount of people who are not churched in non-traditional and non-threatening manners. Also, just like Moses and his team, God employed what Moses was able to use in the present, paired with Mo's zealous spirit. In the Third World Church they make use of things like winds to carry Scripture-filled balloons across the border. They make use of flowing rivers to deliver the Gospel downriver in bottles. They are creative with the materials available. There isn't much in the God's hands. God. What are we able to do? The computer that isn't as powerful is only one of the options. It's a bit naive to trust our professional ministers in our community to perform their duties or to expect people who aren't churched people to "come to church." After all, shepherds don't produce sheep; sheep produce sheep. It's a flimsy notion to think that the world can be taken over through Christian radio, TV, or even music. The Christian entertainment industry is a ghetto in which the mainstream is rarely diverted. I didn't before my salvation. Did you? It is arrogance to believe that they should be seeking US! Is there any hope? Americans believe they need revival! A survey carried out by Public Agenda, a secular think tank, found that the majority of Americans believe that society would be better when people were more religious. 69 percent of 1,077 U.S. adults polled in November. 2000 were in agreement with the statement that "religion is the best way to strengthen moral behavior and family values." 74% of respondents agreed with the statement that "it is a bad idea for families to raise children without any religion." (Source: Tribune News Service, 01/10/01) Brennan Manning, author of "Ragamuffin Gospel," says, "Too many people are living in a place of fear, and not an environment of affection. The past has seen churches were wounded healers and not healers of the wounded." Manning explains that "Our striving in order to please God and our constant fumbling around to make ourselves better while burying ourselves in our petty snobbery and drowning in guilt is a sham to God and constitute a complete rejection of God's Gospel that is grace." It's been reported it is believed that Christianity is the primary reason for atheism. We are responsible for this phenomenon of a faith that is not rooted in a church, due to years of misguided beliefs and practices of the church. In the present it's hard to face the criticism of those who criticize us. Only God himself can help our feet out from the maze that we've been putting ourselves in. This alone should instill immense optimism in us all! NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH? A few years ago I was visited by a man from the city of my birthplace, Arlington, Texas and was talking about what he described as "a revelation on the Church." Although he was way in the past, the idea that he spoke of to "how to have Church" was really just what 80 percent members of Church were already doing in the third world ... it is the only locations in which Christianity is currently flourishing and in the midst of persecution, too! While everyone listened with respect but behind his back, the he was ridiculed and mocked. And I sat on their coats in the same way like Saul did when he executed Stephen who was one of the one and only Christian martyr. This person is James Rutz, author of the hot new book, MegaShift. You should read it, and you'll understand the reason why it's so hot! We laughed with the guy back then.  

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