Thursday, August 12, 2010


I was reading Steve Harper’s blog this morning, and he was talking about the "churchless Christianity" movement. Steve is a professor at Asbury and has a way of making you think—or at least he makes me think. This movement is about holding onto Jesus and letting go of the institutional church. I may not be able to articulate why this thought process is wrong, but I'm going to try anyway. How do you have corporate worship without other people? Wouldn't that be solo worship? How do you praise God alone? I mean, I have, while driving in the truck listening to praise music, but it doesn't take the place of singing with others, of worshiping with other believers. Granted, I have seen places where people look like they have their feet glued to the floor and their hands tied at their sides. I pray that the spirit frees them; however, I'm not going to let them stop me from movin’ and raising my hands. God wants us to worship Him together. There is power when we gather. 
People may be leaving or not coming to darken the doors because they think the church is full of hypocrites (also see pretender, dissembler, deceiver, liar, pietist, sanctimonious person, plaster saint; informal phony, fraud, sham, fake). I do not believe this, but I do believe that the church is full of broken people. What better place to have brokenness than in a church where Jesus can bring healing? The hospital isn't full of well people, is it? So the church isn't going to be filled with perfect saints. They are in heaven.
I love what E. Stanley Jones says: "The body without the spirit is a corpse; the spirit without the body is a ghost." Isn't that great? We need the body, and the body needs the spirit. I'm all about having quiet time, alone with God. But Jesus told the disciples before he left them to stay together until the Spirit came. How do you explain speaking in tongues if no one is around to hear it? How do you see a flame burning above your own head? The church is the body of Christ. It's where we come together in all of our messy brokenness and we invite the Holy Spirit to come, fill us and heal us. Bodies get sick, and when they do, they need to be healed, not abandoned. We need people who clearly see the failings of the church to stay in it, or we end up having the blind leading the blind. "Churchless Christianity" maybe a movement, but it's a movement that isn't going to move me. I choose to stick with the body.


redheadbeck said...

Thanks! I needed to hear that today!

Kimer said...

Me too Janet!