Reflections Along the Jesus Way
August 31, 2023 – Quote for the Day:
“Temporal churches – with their constitutions, by-laws, organization, decrees, creeds, doctrines, rules, rituals and ceremonies – can fail to encourage individual intimacy with Jesus Christ in favor of their own survival, their own preservation and their own growth.
A brick-and-mortar church that may begin with a few Christ-followers, based solely in and on him, can soon be overcome with standardized religious practices and beliefs, with structure and bureaucracy. What starts as a matter of following Christ can turn into a religious machine, which becomes an end in itself – a self-perpetuating juggernaut that opposes anything or anyone that threatens its existence – and sadly, that can include our Lord and Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ.
The rapacious demands of an organization and its structure often include gaining new members by virtually any means necessary, and that enterprise can turn what may have started as a small group focused on life in Christ into a group that is enslaved to a religious machine. In such cases religion can subvert the gospel – corrupting it – so that people think more in terms of BELONGING to religion as a MEMBER than being a FRIEND of Christ.”
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