Going to church was never part of the plan. In fact, church was less something you went to and more something you were supposed to become. Why do we spend so much time and money keeping up institutions? Jesus simply said, “Follow me.” We are the church. We don’t need anything else. We just need to follow Jesus.
How did being the church turn into our present institutionalized nightmare? The short answer is that we lost sight of Jesus. The long answer is about control. The institutionalized Jesus is much easier to control than the wilder real one. Our churches exist to keep Jesus contained. We don’t want to sell everything we have. We don’t want to house and feed the poor. We don’t want to love our neighbors. We don’t want to fight for the marginalized and oppressed. We love the contained Jesus because our safety is more important than anything else…which is why our churches have become lies. The truth is much more simple than our current functioning. Jesus will always be out there on the margins living dangerously beyond our budgets and bulletins.