I believe the “existence of denominations and factions within the church is the greatest deception Satan has ever committed against the church.”
But here’s the thing–I’m just one person. One little blogger in a giant blogosphere. One member of the Body sharing my thoughts and feelings. Like I’ve said before, I never want to claim that I have the corner on Truth.
If someone were to ask you what has caused more harm to the Church as a whole, how would you answer? Because I don’t what I would have said a few weeks ago, but then…
During a church meeting a few weeks ago, a member of my church family said: “The existence of denominations and factions within the church is the greatest deception Satan has ever committed against the church.”
I nodded my head in agreement.
I’ve felt that. I’ve known that. I had just never put it into words.
So last week, I announced that I am honored to be a part of Prism Conference, a one-day Spirit-led conference for women by women.
And I want to see YOU there.
If you live in the greater Phoenix area and have considered attending, here’s your chance to attend for a discounted price. I’m excited to offer all Modern Reject readers $5 off the price of admission. Which means you can attend, be filled, equipped, encouraged, and fed some really good food for only 35 bucks.
Here are the deets:
Hop over to this special “Reject” registration page. All the work is done for you and the discount has already been taken off. Oh joy! Just complete the registration process, show up June 29th, and be prepared to get slammed (by the Holy Spirit, of course). The end.
I really hope to see you there. If you registered, please message me or drop me a line so I know, and that way we can make sure to connect at the conference. Can’t wait.
P.S. Coupon codes are limited, so be sure to move fast if you’re interested.
Every Saturday, my home is filled with 25 or so adults and almost as many kids. We file in, greeting one another with hugs, laughter, and joy. Eventually we make our way to our living room, where we gather corporately, where we re-confess that Jesus is Head, and we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our time together.
Jesus is so faithful. Never has a Saturday gone by when a clear theme did not emerge, becoming so evident where God was taking us, teaching us, leading us.
I imagine, that many who do not know what organic church looks like, assume that at some point we must have discussed theology or doctrine in our corporate setting. That somewhere in the midst of this time, Jesus must have led someone to bring up a doctrinal point.
And if you assume this, you’d be wrong.
In over a year of meeting, we have never had a corporate gathering that has lead us to a theological discussion. Even writing it, I feel a bit surprised. How can that be?
Yes, we are discussing theology in the sense that we talk about God–and that is the simplest definition of theology–the study of the nature of God. But, what I mean more specifically is I have never witnessed a member of my church family submit their own theology to the body, try to debate, or try to convince others that their beliefs are right.
Which begs the question, perhaps there is no need for such discussions, because we must all hold similar, if not the same, theologies.
There used to be a time when I memorized scripture at a furious rate, filling myself up with verse after verse, like a kid with birthday cake.
Now, I glance at my Bible from time to time. Or read, really read, once a week wherein God gives me some perfectly timed, needed encouragement or admonishment. I’ve ditched the church-imposed idea of morning/daily quiet times.
But, some of us have begun to reduce the Bible to a series of catchphrases or quotes. As if the Bible is analogous to the latest bestselling self-help book:
7 Easy Verses to a Better Life
Read the Bible to Win at Life
Success: It’s only 5 Short Verses Away
Because the Bible is a lot of things, but one thing it is not is the Christian version of self-help non-fiction.
More than that, when crisis strikes, as it always and inevitably does, that is when so many us begin frantically quoting scripture–pulling out all of the usuals: Continue reading Stop Quoting the Bible
For years, my daughter had attended a Friday night small group at my in-laws house, while Jonathan and I would sneak off to enjoy our coveted date night. Riley would be scooped up onto her grandmother’s lap, raise her hands in worship, open her little kid Bible, and listen quietly as a group of twenty-somethings would exalt Christ.
My daughter began to refer to this meeting as “Bible study” and she looked forward to going each week. From the age of 2 until almost 6, she attended this small group and I can only imagine how much she gleamed in that time.
But as our family was re-directed by the Lord to leave traditional church and set about starting an organic church, both mine and Jonathan’s language had to change…and so did Riley’s. Each Saturday, our home is filled with 25 adults and almost as many children, where we gather corporately to worship Jesus.
Riley would geek out each Saturday morning, as the extrovert in her could hardly stand the few hours that had to pass before her church family arrived. “I can’t wait for Bible study!” she would yell.
Jonathan and I realized that we needed to correct her language, just as the Lord had corrected ours. This is not Bible study, we told her. This is church. We are the church. This is a family and this is our corporate gathering–where we all come together. But you, and your brother, and mom and dad, and any and everyone who loves Jesus is “The Church.” How cool is that….?
Perhaps it seems a small thing too. The very concept has become so trendy now: “We are the church.” But tell this to a six-year old who loves Jesus and watch it become meaningful and powerful once again.
If the Church could do nothing, but only one thing to survive, I would suggest that discipleship would be it. Discipleship–disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples–is, I believe, the primary vehicle through which God desires to win men.
Our Jesus discipled from the onset of His ministry. He didn’t only disciple His core 12 that we know so well, but He discipled many others along the way. Jesus knew and understood the importance of empowering the individual believer to be equipped to lead others to Himself.
He knew that He was leaving and that the Church would need to grow, through individual men and the Holy Spirit. But, today however, so many of us rely on our church buildings, pastors, programs, services, and the like to “empower” us to make disciples.
Here is the fundamental question: If your church building were stripped away and your pastor quit preaching from the pulpit, would YOU be able to lead, teach, and bring others to the Lord?
The New York Times recently wrote an article about the new(ish) phenomenon of folks preferring to watch their T.V. shows in one chunk these days. You know, no more one-episode-a-week-like-the-olden-days. We seem to like choking it all down in one crazy marathon.
I have to admit, I have binged on quite a few T.V shows in my day. My first ever T.V. binge was 24. Come on, you know you love some Kiefer. I had just gotten married and quickly found out I was pregnant too. I had no idea how miserably sick being pregnant can make you. How generally you just feel like you ate 23 tins of sardines, got on a roller coaster, and then were struck with influenza. every.day.
So, in true newlywed/pregnant/twenty-something fashion Jonathan would drag an extra queen sized mattress we happened to have (random, I know) out to the T.V. where we would lay like vegetables and binge on 24.
And it was awesome. Hour after hour of Kiefer, carrying his man bag, hunting down dangerous criminals, never stopping to take a bathroom break or to eat a croissant. Just action. Cheesy, adrenaline pumping, addicting action.
Since our 24 binging days, Jonathan and I have had a few other T.V. marathon obsessions like Breaking Bad and Lost (until we caught up and had to watch it on once a week like everyone else), Mad Men (for a brief minute until I decided it didn’t have one redeeming character), and the epic Friday Night Lights (clear eyes!).
I like a good punch in the face of 13 episodes all at once. What about you?
Have you ever had a T.V. show binge obsession? What is your current fave on T.V.? If you had to choose, movies or. T.V.?
My church family is amazing. Glorious, really. And when I say glorious, I mean that it is the fullest representation of Christ I have ever experienced. It is the body of Christ–expressing itself through a people committed to loving one another, serving one another, ministering to one another, and worshipping with Christ as our Head.
So, now that I got that out of the way…
The other day, my sister Carrington (sister, meaning my sister in the faith) made a brilliant observation. A few of us women from our church family were talking and praying together–just sharing some of the struggles we had encountered that week. As we talked, we realized that many of us had been dealing with the exact same struggles.
I watched as we ministered to one another and carried the burden for one another. Me for her and she for me. Lifted. Freed. Lightened.
It was then that she explained that what we were doing–was being the church. The modern church, she went on, incorrectly promotes the idea of a personal Savior or a personal Jesus (anyone remember a certain Depeche Mode song?) Continue reading The Myth of a Personal Savior