If this isn’t it, then what is?

If this isn’t it, then what is? May 7, 2012

I recently heard, “Frustration is a spiritual gift…”

In response to that, I must say, thank you God… for this gift.

But I’ve been struggling more then I expected… again I want this blog to be as authentic and real as I can make it. I’ve been dealing struggling with doubt more then I care to admit.

As many of you who have been following my journey, I’ve asked, struggled, and battled with doubt and unanswered questions.

Though the main question that has been on my mind most recently is:

If this isn’t it then what is?

If the sum of church is NOT, get together on sunday listen to a speaker, sing a few songs, repeat doxology then go home, then what is?

It’s been different now that I’ve just about completely stopped attending church sunday morning program. It’s been kinda awkward too. That is, attempting to be the church rather then just attending the “church”.

I mean essentially what I’m asking is how do you do church without a building or program?

We see Jesus placing himself with the marginalized, the hated, and despised… The prostitutes, the tax collectors, the leopar’s, the homeless, the blind, the lame, the poor… THE OUTCAST essentially.

Jesus went to the missions field he didn’t create a missions field and invite people to it…

He didn’t bring the marginalized to Him. He went to where the marginalized were. He stepped out of the comfortable and into our world filled with pain and hurt, and embraced us despite the discomfort…. this was not a one week missions trip, or a child he gave 40 bucks a month to…

This was His life.

His calling.

Jesus gave up everything, to serve others. Should he not expect the same from us? That we give everything up to serve him?

I mean the radical part about Christianity that has seemed to have gone missing has been how Jesus and the apostles completely lost sight of themselves and gained sight of others. Loving them unconditionally. Sometimes I feel like church is more about us then it is about God and that we’ve, if I may, “coddled” our congregations so much that we’ve deceived them into believing it’s all about them… (another reason i quit, I just couldn’t do that anymore let alone get paid to do that…)

You guys say, “I need this type of personality on stage, this type of music, I want you to disciple my kids, lead my neighbors to the lord, feed me, and i’ll pay you to do it, and if I don’t like the way you do it, I’ll find another church who will do it my way…” that’s weird… – Francis Chan

I’ve been asking myself over and over again this past week, “Why is it that modern day Christians look so drastically different from Christians 2,000 years ago?” And whats killed me even more so then this question is when I turn it around and ask myself, “Why does MY LIFE look so different then that of what the apostles, disciples, and followers of Jesus looked like 2,000 years ago?”

So then, the question still remains, if not this, then what?

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  • Andy, I believe that you are asking the questions that all believers should be asking. The fact of the matter is that all we have created are country clubs. Places where we get together with people that look like us, talk like us, and like the same things as us and we keep to ourselves and enjoy our consumeristic ideals of what church is. What a load!

    We have settled for an existence short of what Jesus called us to, and further we have found ways to eisegete the Scriptures just to validate our existence. Meanwhile I believe God looks down on us and says, “You have missed the point!” Somehow we think we build a building and make people come into our world. A world that we designed to be everything that we want as consumers and we expect them to then buy into what we believe.

    The fact of the matter is that none of us truly live as Jesus did. Jesus did not have a home to call His own, He hung out with the down and out, He was poor, and His whole life was devoted to bettering the lives of others. We all have big houses, go to big church buildings, we are rich, and our whole lives are devoted to ourselves, and then we wonder why the world is not in love with Jesus. The truth is that the world only sees counterfeit versions of Jesus. We are like a twenty dollar bill that at first glance looks authentic, but after further investigation proves itself to be a fraud.

    I am sure many people here giving you comments are trying to encourage you to be more normal, to come back from this phase, and to realize that the church has changed because God is doing something different. But you know what I say, keep asking those questions, keep challenging yourself that way, and do not be satisfied in stopping short. If your life is not like that of the apostles or that of Jesus, go out and start patterning your life after them. Live amongst the broken and the cast out, give generously, and rely upon God to take care of you. You can blog all you want about it, but the truth is if it is bothering you, then do something about it.

    I am praying for you, and I hope that you are encouraged by what I wrote.

  • thanks for the words John!

  • Fencer_emj

    the thing is that the extreme vast majority of people who think they are “christians” are not really “christians”. Instead of acting out of what the bible says, they act on tradition, what has been done before. This being said their actions and beliefs have ruined the image of real christians. If you were to poll others what they thought christians were like, you would get a lot of people thinking that christians are homophobic, closed-minded, etc. You have to remember that Satan is the king of this world. He is the ruler and he has a vice-grip on humanity. This is why there are hundreds of denominations, believers wanted to change some things in the doctrine of the bible they did not like or agree with, so they make a different denomination to fit their selfish wants and desires. Satan has blown the doors down on what true christianity is and has corrupted the truth. Satan, society and media have clouded what real christianity is.

    If people ACTUALLY read the bible they would see how real christians behave and think. The problem is that instead of going to the source, people think it is fine to act and think what their pastors or ministers do, which just magnifies the problem.

    So out of all this the solution is as easy as finding a church that follows the bible, not their management.

  • Joe Schmidt

    The beauty of all of this is that the church is within you. Catholic teachings focus on the Holy Spirit, a vital party of the Trinity. It is God’s gift to you. You are able to carry the spark of life and the goodness of Humanity wherever you go. People who need a building or a pastor to inspire their faith have it all wrong. Your relationship with God is different from mine and anyone else’s. How beautiful is that! What an incredible gift we have been given! You are beginning to realize that to become the person that God wants you to be and that Jesus lived about you have to search your own soul for the type of relationship that you want. There is no wrong answer. Our world is not controlled by Satan or Hatred, it is dominated by Good. The sooner we realize that God exists in all things, the sooner the Earth will be an interesting place.

    Jesus does not want you to be him. Jesus wants you to love and be inspired by his ability to use your human mind over your primitive, animalistic mind.

    Throw off those labels, Andy! Be the man you want to be and God will lead you to live the life you desire most.

  • this is so beautiful and thank you for the sermon