Sometimes we just take too much for granted. We no longer critically examine what we hold to be true, being content with skipping merrily along on yesterday’s convictions and beliefs. Having been a card-carrying member of Churchianity for over 47 years, I can tell you that what I’m about to list is true and typical. By bringing it to light, I hope to free anyone still resting on these fragile points.
So I ask the following: Show me where the Bible says:
- there are
positionsof head pastor, youth pastor, music minister, etc.
- pastors are not to be questioned
- pastors are to be the only speaker in most cases
- pastors are the only ones qualified to deliver prepared sermons
- there must be prepared sermons, and they must be delivered at least weekly
- believers must be under a pastor’s
- joining an assembly of believers requires a formal membership
- it is disobedient to God to refuse water baptism
- believers must
- the church is the New Testament (NT) equivalent of the Jewish Temple
- the church replaced Israel (how else can they claim to be the
- the people must all be actively attending every class, small group, worship service, carry-in dinner, and every other conceivable activity the
- the church can use pledges or charters or fund-raisers to pay for church activities and possessions
- that a church should collectively own property
- that a church must have a building with an altar, pews, pulpit
- that there are any such things as altars, pews, or pulpits
- that the
laityexist to follow the pastor’s
- that there’s any such things as
- that people who don’t
go to churchand do all these things are lost or backslidden or apostate
- that any particular style of music or method of producing it is wrong or right
- that people have to dress up to meet together in Jesus’ name
- that church meetings are to cater to unbelievers (
seekers) and must not offend or frighten the lost
Yes, real believers participate in this, as I did for most of my life. But God never intended any of that; he wanted to set us free from legalism and outward religion, replacing it with freedom and a Relationship. You can have both salvation and legalism— but why?
Why carry this extra burden, one which fosters many shallow or false conversions, one which keeps most people in a perpetual parent/child relationship with the
clergy or the teachers? Why pay all that money to buildings and programs that largely benefit the comfortable, instead of giving directly to the poor? Why not just be the NT church the way Jesus and Paul told us?
And why put off leaving The Institution another day?