Escape From Churchianity

2015-07-25T15:09:31+00:00 By |Ekklesia, Fellowship & Church|

It is important that we make a clear distinction between the True Church (the Ekklesia) and the Institutional Church, Organized Religion, or religion in general. The easiest way to begin is to discuss one critical thing that Organized Religion cannot do.

Organized Religion cannot impart Life.

“This is our testimony, that God has given us Eternal Life, and this Life is in His Son: He that has the Son has Life, and He that has not the Son of God has not Life (I John 5:11,12).”

Contrary to popular belief, the Lord Jesus Christ does not live within the matrix of Organized Religion. The Ekklesia, like our Lord, is Wholly Other. I can prove it to you beyond the shadow of a doubt. Can you join a “church” ? Yes, if you meet their requirements for membership. Can you join the Ekklesia? No. You have to be born into it. Or, to be more correct, you have to be born-again into it. It is not a question of joining or not joining, but a question of having Life versus not having Life. “He that has the Son has Life; He that has not the Son has not Life.”

Some erroneously believe Jesus founded a movement, or formed a new religion. No, the world already had movements and religions, and would continue to have them. He had no intention of starting a new one. What did He bring us? What did He contribute to the world? He committed Himself to us as our Life.

Buddha, Confucius, or Socrates can bring us good teaching, moral excellence, and religious philosophy. For this they may be commended as rendering help and aid to humanity. But Jesus Christ is different: He brings us Himself as our Life. It is not that He merely transmits some teachings to us, depositing some virtue into the human race, before being taken up into heaven. It is well beyond Him simply being an example for us to follow, the standard by which our morals are measured as we frantically whisper, “What would Jesus do?”. No, He Himself came to be our Life. He is Savior, and Salvation. He is Redeemer, and Redemption. He is Healer, and Healing. He is the Giver of Life, and He is Life.

In Him is Life because He is Life. All who are in Him possess Life, and Life possesses them. The Life is in the Son. The Son is in me, and I am in Him. We share in a common Life. “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him (I Corinthians 6:7).”

Everyone together who possess Life are called the Ekklesia, the Church, the Body of Christ. The individual members of the Ekklesia are called Christians. They are the in-Christed ones. They abide in Him, and He abides in them.

You ask is not a Christian one who believes thus and so, or behaves thus and so. We answer that they may very well believe or behave thus and so, but the belief or the behavior, while it may assist us in identifying them, is not what makes them a Christian. It is the Life. Certainly, Christians have a core system of beliefs and practices. But the characteristic of a Christian is Life. It is not even “the Lord of my life”, implying something apart from Him that I still have control over; it is “the Lord AS my Life.”

An intellectual Christianity is what Organized Religion brings. It cannot impart Life. What do I mean by an intellectual Christianity? It is the ABC Gospel. Perhaps you have heard it. Salvation is obtained in three easy steps: “A” stands for “admit you are a sinner”; “B” stands for “believe on the Lord Jesus to save you”; and “C” stands for “confess Jesus as your personal Savior.” What is wrong with that? Simply this: there is no Life there. “ABC” will not save us. With “ABC” there is no encounter with Jesus, Who alone is Life. There is only an intellectual acceptance and affirmation of what is presented as “Three Easy Steps”. I believe this, I say that, and that makes me a Christian, right? No, it just makes you religious. There are many people who “get religion”, but they don’t get Jesus.

Organized Religion has caused Christianity to morph into Churchianity, a gospel which is easy to believe in but progressively more difficult to live up to.

Organized Religion can bring doctrine, teaching, and belief. Some of it may be morally excellent and good. Some of it may even sound Biblical, like “Three Easy Steps”. Nevertheless, Organized Religion cannot impart Life. Why? Because it has no Life to give. Jesus Christ is the Life. And Jesus does not live within the matrix of Organized Religion. He gives HIMSELF. How can any man, organization, or movement claim to give away another man, much less impart the very Life of Jesus Christ? Only Jesus can give Himself as our Life.

You see, then, that the most anyone can do is point people to Jesus as the sole Source of Life. They may contact Life through us, but we cannot give them Life. To those bound by Organized Religion, Jesus cries “You search the Scriptures, because you think in them you have Life. You are content to read about Me, but you will not come to Me that you may have Life (John 5:39,40, paraphrased).” Come to Me! Not, “Memorize these Three Easy Steps and attend the Church of your choice this Sunday.” Come to Me! He is Life.

The Church, the Lord’s Ekklesia, is the synthesis of individuals who have the Revelation of Jesus and have come to Him to receive Him as their Life. Here is where the confusion begins. We glibly use the term “church” to describe things which are not The Lord’s Ekklesia. A building devoted to religious meetings is called “the church”. Attending a religious meeting is called “going to church.” Hearing a good message or good music during the religious meeting is called “having church” (a popular tune says “crank up the music, let’s have church!”). Becoming a member of the non-profit organization which owns the building devoted to religious meetings is called “joining the church”. Taking responsibility as the founder or being voted in as the director of the non-profit organization which owns the building devoted to religious meetings is called “pastoring the church”. Making additions to the building devoted to religious meetings or to the membership list of the non-profit organization which owns the building is called “church growth”.

Why are we being so facetious and wordy? Why do we choose our phraseology carefully? For the sake of convenience, or just plain laziness, people have grown accustomed to saying “church” instead of “a non-profit organization that owns a building devoted to religious meetings.” Whatever nomenclature you decide upon, we are drawing the line and making a distinction between “The Church” and “church”. We hope to impress upon you the difference between what people customarily call “church” and what the Lord considers to be “The Church”. As demonstrated above, much of what we call “church” is simply Organized Religion. It is not the Lord’s Ekklesia.

We simply see things the way we have been trained to see them; we do not see things as God sees them. It is very easy to quantify and describe things in terms of Organized Religion because it is earthy, worldly, natural. Ask someone on the street. What is church? Why, it is that building there with a steeple on top. What is a pastor? The fellow who does the preaching. What is a Christian? The folks who read their Bible a lot and pray a lot and go to church a lot – you know, doing good works. You see how easy it is to define. It is tangible, concrete. We can get our hands on that.

But the reality is that everything which makes up the Ekklesia is spiritual, and thus, it is invisible to the naked eye. It is non-corporeal. It cannot be measured by dollars and statistics. Now ask the same questions of someone who knows better. What is church? The Church, the Ekklesia, is the synthesis of individuals who have the Revelation of Jesus and have come to Him to receive Him as their Life. Pray tell, where do I find that? What do I look for? You can’t do it, it’s like trying to find the wind at 101 North Main Street. It is beyond geographical description; it is everywhere and nowhere. What is a pastor? Someone called to feed the Lord’s sheep as an under shepherd of the Chief Shepherd. Huh? You mean preaching? No, not necessarily. You mean a doctor of theology? No, not really. Oh never mind: what is a Christian? Oh that’s easy, someone who is in Christ. What do you mean “in Christ”? Don’t you mean “believes in Christ?” No, I mean IS in Christ, in union, one with Him. So what does THAT look like? How many chapters of the Bible do they read per day? How long do they pray? How often do they attend church? It defies explanation because the truth is it has nothing to do with the external, only the internal. Like the wind: you can see the effects of it but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it goes; so are they which are born of the Spirit (John 3). This invisible Life is the characteristic of the Ekklesia. When you can capture the wind in a bag then you can stuff Christians into a building and call it “church”. ” Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).”

So, from our vantage point here on earth, Organized Religion can be easily seen, felt, touched, experienced, quantified, denominated, characterized, categorized, analyzed, and explained. We can chart its progress and hang the data up on the wall, point to it and say yep, we’ve got this many million converts here, and this many million members there. Church growth is up (or down), we collected this many billions of dollars last year, and in relation to the rest of the world’s religions we rank number whatever. We’ve got this many thousands of churches in this part of the world, we have this many thousands of pastors and Christian workers, and we’ve translated the Bible into this many different languages.

Meanwhile, what drives the Real Church, the Ekklesia, is invisible, spiritual, ethereal, in the world but not of the world, hidden, veiled, hard to describe in terms we can understand. We can’t generate the data and hang it up on the wall. Even those who know what the Ekklesia is sometimes have difficulty expressing themselves. Ask them where to find the Church of which they so longingly speak, and they are apt to reply, “I’m not sure if I know where the Church is, brother, but I sure know where it ain’t!”

Now imagine that the Lord wakes you up one night and says, “Come up hither, and I will show you the Church.” You expect Him to carry you down the street to the Family Worship Center or across the country to where the crowds say they are experiencing revival; but instead you find yourself rising high into the air, leaving the earth behind, and in the blink of an eye you travel beyond the edges of the temporal universe and into the spirit realm, seated with Christ in heavenly places, there in the throne of God.

Seated with the Lord and looking back down upon the world, we find from this perspective that the cathedrals, the church buildings, the worship centers, the sanctuaries, the denominational offices, the seminaries, the tithes and offerings, the membership drives, the movements, all vanish from sight. Everything melts away. He does not see the Assemblies of God, the Southern Baptists, the United Methodists, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, or the Roman Catholics. He does not see Charismatics or Fundamentalists or Bible Belts or Christian Conservatives or Religious Rights. He does not see the building devoted to religious meetings as anything more special or significant than the grocery store or barber shop. He sees pastors, yes, but strangely, He does not see every director of a non-profit organization who owns a building devoted to religious meetings as a pastor. And it is not just the pastors that are different, from our heavenly observation point. Everything seems odd. Backwards. Apostles are not where you expect them to be, and they are not doing what you expect them to be doing; neither are prophets, evangelists, or teachers. Yet, they are right where He wants them to be, doing exactly what He wants them to do. Interestingly enough, He is not concerned with a rise or a decline in church attendance because He does not see the Church as something which can be attended. Hmmmm.

Standing next to Him we see as He sees. We realize when we look upon Christendom that all God sees there is His Church, the Ekklesia. He deems those who abide in Him, those who possess the Son, as those who have Life. His Church is not declining, it is growing because His Life cannot be contained or restricted. His Ekklesia is outside the matrix. His Church is spiritual, and as such, it is eternal, transcending time and space. Just as He is, and does.

You look upon His Face and see the curve of His smile, so you follow His gaze – and there it is, the living stones and precious gems which make up His Church. You couldn’t see them before, because you were right in the middle of it while still on earth. But now, far removed from it all and looking down upon it from the Lord’s perspective, you see that the living stones are being assembled together into a brilliant, gleaming, dazzling building which covers the entire earth! An angel stands apart from it, shouting, “100% pure: never touched by human hands!” You zoom in closer and discover that the stones and gems are not literal stones and gems, but people! Wonderful, beautiful, joy-filled people, joined together into a striking mosaic of vibrant colors, a tapestry of interwoven beauty, a medley of lives in perfect twelve-part harmony, all pulsing with His heartbeat, His Life, His Essence. You begin to weep at the unadulterated purity of it and oneness of it. There is no spot, wrinkle, or blemish to be found.

Only God could make something this gorgeous. Only God. Only God. And there in the midst of this wonderful place, you see what makes it so splendid…

There HE is, walking around in the midst of this Temple, adding living stone upon living stone, precious gem upon precious gem, and what do you hear? Singing? Yes. The Living Stones are crying out in praise. And He is smiling, and – whistling! – while He works.

Jesus is building His Church.

Then, as quickly as it began, it is over.

You open your eyes and find yourself back on earth, having returned to your three-dimensional world. It’s a sunny day, the birds are singing, the church bells are ringing, and you see men, women, and children walking down the street, carrying their Bibles. You rush out into the road and grab an elderly gentleman.

“Where are you going? What’s going on? Why are you so dressed up?”

“Get your hands off me, you crazy idiot! It’s Sunday morning, and I’m going to church!”

“You’ve seen the Church??”

“Seen it? Of course I’ve seen it. My great-great grandfather helped build that church!”

“No, I mean have you SEEN the CHURCH,” you repeat emphatically. “The Church that JESUS is building!”

“I don’t know what the devil you’re talking about, young man. Now let me alone, or I’ll be late!”

You let him go and before you know it you are swept along by the crowd and find yourself sitting within the four walls of a building that calls itself “First Hypocritical Church, International.”

The service is just beginning. The pastor approaches the lectern and announces, “Let’s all stand and sing!”

Not sure what to do, you join in the chorus:

Know ye not, know ye not ye are the Temple?
Know ye not, know ye not ye are the Temple?
Know ye not, know ye not ye are the Temple?
Ye are the Temple of the Holy Ghost!

At the end of the song the pastor appears at the lectern again and matter-of-factly shouts, “Isn’t it good to be in the house of God today!” It’s more of a statement than a question. And all the people say, “AMEN!”

Hope rises! The House of God! Maybe he’s seen it too! Forgetting where you are, you stand up and excitedly shout “Have YOU seen the House of God, brother?”

“Amen!” He replies. “It’s good to be in church this morning!”

“Amen!” the people agree.

“No, wait a minute,” you interrupt, mouthing the words ever so slowly and deliberately, as if you were talking to a deaf lip reader. “Have you SEEN the CHURCH, brother? The Church that JESUS is building?”

All heads are turned now, facing you. The old man, one of the deacons, whispers, “That’s the weirdo I met on the way to church this morning!”

The pastor is growing impatient. “This IS the church, brother. Hallelujah!”

“But sir,” you press, “KNOW YE NOT YE ARE THE TEMPLE???”

The silence is deafening.

“You are the Temple. WE are the Temple! Jesus is building His Church! I’ ve seen it! It’s a wonderful House of Living Stones, filled with His Life! We are the Church that He is building! We are the Living Stones, the Precious Gems! I saw Jesus, and He was smiling and placing the stones together, and…”

Some teenagers on the back row are giggling.

“I’ve seen it! It’s true! The stones… the jewels… it’s gorgeous!”

The people are looking at the pastor to see what he will do.

Slowly it dawns on you. You realize that to them you are an alien from another planet trying to communicate something that is so real to you but is totally foreign to the rest of the world.

Desperately you grab the man standing next to you by the shoulders, thinking to shake it into him. “You don’t believe me… But it’s true! You sing about it… but you don’t believe it! YOU ARE THE TEMPLE! You have to believe me! I’ve seen it! Jesus is building His Church!”

The ushers are making their way over to your place in the pew.

Sweating and shaking, you look around the sanctuary, wild-eyed. “No, something’s wrong here. Everything is different… this isn’t the Church! I mean, you’re calling it church, but this isn’t what I’ve seen at all. No, the Church is… is… One Flock with One Shepherd, not divided up into denominations and sects! It’s a mosaic of people! It’s a tapestry of rich colors! It’s a medley…” You begin to sob. “Listen to me! Know ye not ye are the Temple?!?”

The congregation is uncomfortable and agitated. The old deacon is ashen-faced, glaring at the pastor to put an end to this.

“Friend,” the pastor finally manages, “if you’ll go with the ushers I’m sure we can better minister to you in private. With every head bowed and every eye closed, why don’t we go to the Lord in prayer right now.”

While every head is bowed and every eye is closed, except the pastor’s head and eyes, the ushers quickly hustle you out the back door and throw you down the steps.

The pastor smiles. “and the church said… AMEN. Amen. You may be seated. Well, praise the Lord. Today my message is entitled, ‘What It Means To Be A Christian’. Turn in your Bibles to…”.

* * * *

If God would grant you a moment by His side and allow you a fleeting glance at His Church you would at once understand what a pitiful substitute we have in Organized Religion. There is no vanity so deep as religious vanity, nothing more sickening and diametrically opposed to the heart and ultimate purpose of God.

And we who are in Christ Jesus ARE seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).

If God is pleased to grant you this vision of His Church then you will come to appreciate it as a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because to see things as He sees them is true Wisdom and Oneness with Him and His people. A curse, because to see things as He sees them will ruin you for life, for you will never again be able to accept the surrogate, the counterfeit, even the good, at the expense of the Holy. His Church, His Treasure, how holy and pure and wonderful and unspeakable it is! Before you would casually call this thing and that thing “church” just like everyone else does and find it socially acceptable, but now your skin will crawl and your stomach will twist in knots when you hear others call some building the “house of God”, knowing full well that His House is not this dead thing made with human hands!

It will not be enough for you to then say: “Lord, the Church belongs to You, not to me, not to anyone. Now I see my mistake. I take my hands off of it, for it is not mine to control or run. I repent of trying to build what you wish to destroy, and destroying what you wish to build. What am I, Lord, but a little stone, a little sheep, a little member of a wonderful Body of Believers? You are building Your Church, and now I will let you do it. At last I see. Only let me find a quiet place to serve You and serve Your people in secret, for I want nothing else for me, but all of it for You.”

No, once you see this, once you take your hands off of His Bride, once you stop beating your brothers and sisters in the Name of God, then you will be jealous over His Church with His jealously, and will be so sensitive and so aware of false pastors and false teachers and false evangelists and false prophets and false apostles – yes, all that would abuse and confuse and rape and pillage His People! It is a question of seeing! And see, you will! You will see as He sees, hear as He hears, feel as He feels. “He was angered at their hardness of heart.” Without effort, without trying, you will see right through the false, the quasi-faith, the pseudo-spirituality, the whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones. Once you have had a taste of Real Life, you smell Death a thousand miles away, and your spirit rebels against it, your emotions scream in protest, and you are sick to your stomach with grief, anger, and compassion all at once. “No! This is not the Ekklesia. This is not the Lord’s Church. This is a sham. This is bogus. This is nothing but Organized Religion!”

May God have mercy on us, and give us such a revelation of Himself, and His Church, that we may escape from Churchianity and find Life.

We are not suggesting that you challenge the system this Sunday by provoking a public confrontation with some unsuspecting pastor. All the argument in the world will not convince people, nor should we attempt to make people see. Simply allow them to see. Look upon the face of Him who sees things as they are, that others may look into your eyes and see Him as He is. One minute of seeing is worth a lifetime of argument. God will grant us a discerning heart and eyes to see if we will ask for them, and if we are willing to accept both the joy and the burden that accompanies such a revelation.

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About the Author:

CHIP BROGDEN is a best-selling author, teacher, and former pastor who shares "real, simple, truth" about a Christ-centered faith that is based on relationship, not religion. Learn more »

26 Comments

  1. Pam Greaves May 2, 2009 at 9:09 am - Reply

    I am new to your site. Jack Gerry of Crossroads of N.E. suggested that I look at your site. I have long loved the “Christ in you” faith message, and am thrilled to be finding like minded “fellow travelers” as Jack calls us!

    Please pray for me and my husband. I am secretary of a little baptist church here in NH and he is the head deacon. I am finding fulfillment in the job as I serve Jesus there, but am also frustrated. Our “services” leave me feeling cold, empty, and that I have just experienced an intellectual exercise in futility. My hubby is equally empty, and we are both torn because of the positions we find ourselves in. We love our young pastor as our brother in Christ, but…well you know. This is our “family”
    and we have wonderful deep relationships there. My most important relationship is Jesus…oh how I look forward to seeing Him face to face, having a “sit down”, crawling up into his lap and just absorbing Him! At 65 years of age, I am closer to that day! Sometimes feel like I just want to count the minutes, but also be faithful while I wait!

    Thank you for this site, and for the encouragement of it. There is much here to read and absorb…this, along with others of the same mind, may be the source that I need at this point of my earthly walk!

    God bless you and your family Chip!
    Pam Greaves

  2. Alice Liu March 31, 2010 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Sadly, it is undeniable that many go to “church” and have no experience with the Lord, and surely there is no Life apart from Him nor can anyone find it through an intellectual exercise, but I would caution people against judging all who take part in organized religion, as being disqualified from being part of The True Church or from looking with disdain upon those who participate in church but have not (yet) a personal relationship with The Lord.

    I don’t think that is the message of this article but I fear that the tone, particularly that of the imaginary scenario given above, as illustrative and poignant as it may be, might be encouraging a dangerously negative and judgmental, and might I say prideful attitude.

    The Lord has recently been convicting my heart particularly of my own personal judgmental and condemning attitude, my lack of mercy and compassion. I think this came from having “high” and selfish expectations from church, being disappointed that it fell short of “The Church.”

    I have come to see that as long as I am on this earth, I am to be His servant, to do the work that The Father is doing. Everywhere is a mission field in some respect (I know I am not technically using the term correctly)– can we say even churches — since there are non-believers there, weak believers, new believers, etc. I am grateful that “even in” organized religion/churches there are also co-laborers, those in whom the Spirit is active and working. I would hope that the latter would at least be in the majority, since I don’t expect that we can fairly expect perfection until we reach Heaven, when only then will we be able to surround ourselves with The True Church.

    May we take this article as a caution and wake-up call to our own faith and worship and not let it harden our hearts against the very ones for whom we are called to love and serve all to His glory and for His Kingdom.

    It is important to distinguish between “church” and “The True Church” but I’d hate to see in the process that our hearts end up hardened against the very people for whom we should have compassion and are called to love and serve. There can be power, great blessing, potential for growth and mutual sharpening, fruit, and a beautiful and powerful witness in a tangible body of believers “even if” organized to meet in a building, etc.

  3. sherman coe August 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    I f following is not about merely following rules an proper conduct how do you meet him ?I’m used to earthly relationships I have no idea how to hear his voice and I s it real relationship or abstract?

  4. germaine Possi August 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Alleluiah brother ….the ABC gospel will never give life….only JESUS CHRIST gives life…this message is such a blessing !

  5. Timothy November 13, 2011 at 1:48 am - Reply

    Hi Chip, I have readlots of your articles and do enjoy them. However, I was wondering are you against church? I do not mean church that makes up the body of Christ or in better words eclessia. The church that I am speaking of is the four walls. Is this the system that you are opposed to? Even the apostles broke bread and taught the apostles doctorine going from house to house, so in essence they were the church going to church, were they not? Some apostles some pastors some teacher some evangalist were given to the church for the equiping of the saints. Regardless if teachers teach inside of an airconditioned building or in a cave, this constitutes a meeting establishment better known as a church, correct? I do understand that I am the church, and you are the church(the living tabernacle). So where should the disciples be discipled at ? I guess it would be pretty cool if we could all have outerbody experiences and meet each other in the Spirit and then we would never have to locate a physical location to meet with each other. But untill that day arives what do you suggest? Personally I am not impressed with the currant church/ priesthood. We have many Eli’s that are fat and lazy raising Hophni’s and Phinehas’ but they are still the church and I am instructed to be one in unity with them. Am I not?

    • Chip Brogden November 13, 2011 at 5:57 am - Reply

      You’re wondering? Wonder no more. I am pretty clear about where I stand in relation to Organized Religion. I encourage you to keep reading. You still seem to be confusing the “system” with the Ekklesia. The physical gathering together is not the issue. I don’t care where you meet or what you do when you meet. But when the physical gathering together serves to bolster a counterfeit system and a false priesthood that Jesus never intended, one that nevertheless portrays itself under false pretenses to be the true “church,” then people with discernment are led to forsake that particular mode of gathering together. The answer to your last question is no – we are not instructed to be in unity with that Antichrist spirit that claims to represent God when it is actually taking the place of God. If only you could see that the Ekklesia is about relationships and not about “meetings” then I think it would go a long way to helping you see correctly. Love transcends time and place. Thanks for writing, I hope this helps to remove any wonder about where I stand. The real question is how to come to believe so strongly about these things… that is a clue that may assist you in your journey as well.

  6. Timothy November 13, 2011 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Thanks for your imput, my wife and I have been out of the church for a while now, and whenever we try to go somewhere we are unable to stay for any lenthy time. Some of the questions that I aked you in the earlier post are questions that I ask myself, and much to my dismay am without an answer. Yes I am a little confused, thankfully I think that I have gotten past the point of being rejected by my christian peers. The most difficult part for me is that I amgoing to bible college for ministry, and I dont even know what real ministry looks like, so this journey is a walk of faith. However God is good and I trust Him to direct the path that He has put me on. I do not advocate unity with a false doctorine/antichrist but if they are christian and are lost they need light to lead them out. What I have seen in a few groups is that when people get a higher amount of revelation than the general christians, then they look upon the rest of the body like their idiots, they call themselves the bride or remnant and tend to form an alietest sepertast doctorine that seperates themselves from the mulltitudes. The very truth that God has entrusted to them to bring to the entirebody, they horde to themselves and their little group. In doing this they have forsaken the the first commandment which calls them to love. Love trumphs any revelation that we have. Its mybelief that God has onebody, not little fragments here and there. But thats what I have seen in my observation of things, were word of faith people, or we are thirdwave people or we are river people, or what about this one we are really prophetic. So great we have alot of sepertist now in the body that cannot rightly relate to eachother because we only stick with our own. So ya that about raps it up. So just pray for wife Jessica and I on wisdom to understand the season that we are in. Its easy for us to want to go back to church because” thats the good christian thing to do”. I hope that I did not go onto to much of a tantrium. Thank you Chip.

    • Chip Brogden November 13, 2011 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Good thoughts, Timothy. In my experience the revelation of deeper truths causes a person to be ostracized by the rest out of fear of the unknown. I don’t think anyone starts out desiring to separate from others. At least I didn’t. But the Truth is a sword that divides Light from Darkness. May God unify us around His Son.

  7. kenneth dawson February 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    yea man what you say is so good–i think what people struggle with is understanding what life really means–to have eternal life inside you means to have gods divine life inside you and we do not understand what divine life is–jesus himself was human just like us on the outside but inside he had the divine life of god–also he did not have the sinful pull in him like we do–now today we have the divine life of god in us and we need to go to the cross to be crucified to our sinful pull so as to let gods divine life in us express himself out of us–then we will be imitating christ.

  8. Ken February 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I was resonating with much of what Timothy said, and I’d like to hear more comments on it myself. I attend the institution, but I believe it’s out of obedience to the Lord (for now- definitely not forever). I see people inside the walls that I believe also are in the ecclesia, or they could be in time. So I’m biding my time wanting to be a light within the walls so to speak. I’m also afraid of falling into the elitism that Timothy speaks about if I separate from these people. Again, I don’t put stock in the “church” getting me to God- at the same time, I know God loves these people, just not their system…

  9. David Paul February 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Excellent article Chip and beautifully expressed.

    I have personally experienced the above as described.

    I would make one observation though. I have met several “simple followers of Jesus” who hesitate to label themselves “Christian” and yet are definitely IN Christ.

    Jesus himself was not a Christian when on earth. He was born a Jew and died a Jew.

    So what is Jesus now? And what are his followers to be called? I hear Paul say there is neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Muslim, nor Hindu.

    Mahatma Gandhi being a simple Jesus follower (and a Hindu) was more of a disciple than most Christians then and now.

    • Jim August 17, 2012 at 7:36 am - Reply

      “So what is Jesus now? And what are his followers to be called? I hear Paul say there is neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Muslim, nor Hindu.”

      You certainly didn’t hear that from Gods word or his holy spirit… maybe from mother theresa or a demon?

      -Jim

      • Dave July 26, 2015 at 10:08 am - Reply

        Acts 11:26 “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” Christian isn’t a name we gave ourselves, but a name placed on us by others. Paul never used Christians anywhere in his epistles. He just called us believers most of the time. We’re just followers of Christ. It’s easy to get side tracked in the name issue and drawn away from Christ.

    • Lance July 29, 2015 at 3:00 pm - Reply

      David Paul – Mahatma Gandhi denied that Jesus was THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. He was not a disciple of Jesus. One cannot be a Muslim or a Hindu and be a Christian. Also, you did not “hear” or “read” Paul say what you wrote. The Fall of mankind began when Eve twisted the words spoken by God in Genesis. You are now making up scripture. Be very careful.

  10. Bernice February 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    I was moved by this article. It “resonates” with me as well, and you have articulated it much better than I could, and given better insight into what I have always understood in my heart.

    I attended church for a few months in the past, and was even baptized there, but other than enjoying the socializing, I knew that my relationship with the Lord was totally apart from the church society. In fact in many ways I felt church society was an impediment, and I came to see it more as a social club with a Christian theme. Sometimes I was uncomfortable in church and fancied it was because I just wasn’t as good as these “enlightened” churchgoers, and I actually felt it must be because I was so flawed that I couldn’t ever actually feel at one with the congregation. Yet on my own I was able to feel close to the Lord. I just never thought of it the way you describe it in the article, as He living.

  11. Robert Doucette February 6, 2012 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Good morning Brother, Great article of truth! I have shared it with a catholic friend, I hope he will be touched by the truth. I will let you know any result!
    I also tried to sign up to download your free book “Getting Babylon Out Of You” but I could not sign-in? It replied that I was already a subscriber, but no book!!!??? What’s up with that?
    Blessings from my heart to yours. Bob.

  12. Cheryl Selby February 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    God bless you Chip!

    I surrendered to Jesus twenty years ago. Over the years, I “tried” attending church, but never had peace with it. I’ve known in my heart for a long time that God does not want me in church, but continued to “try” church on occasion at the urging of friends.

    These years walking with Jesus have been a bitter-sweet experience for me. As I’m sure you know, with knowledge comes sorrow. Walking with Jesus is a lonely road, traveled by so few. Yet, the joy and peace that comes with getting to know the Lord Jesus far surpasses anything the world has to offer. I only wish more people would open their hearts to know Him, I mean REALLY know Him. Oh what a world this would be if everyone were in a close relationship with the One who came to redeem us!

    I am refreshed and blessed by your articles. Thank you for being faithful, and not afraid to speak the truth.

    God bless you and yours.

    Sincerely,
    Cheryl 🙂

  13. Franz Schulze May 17, 2013 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Hi, Enjoyed the article, amazingly people are seeing through the misuse of terms and some of the dark orgins they came out of to support the human desire verses the will of God.,

    I hope it does not take another 400 years for us all to figure out the truth on terms. it;s pretty simple, misusing the word has serious consequences as does intential ignorace, of those facts, sad to see how hard it is to move one step forward, the matrix form has it;s own effect on reducing deductive thinking. The state is present in laodacia, sardis, hope for change.

    thanks a truly good article..

    NW

  14. LUCILLE July 26, 2015 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Thank you for this deep expose, Chip.
    My experience is I was going through a terrible life crisis~divorce. I attended a very precious fellowship with a very dear Pastor but as I sought the Lord deeeply, I found HIM! In such grace and truth, and mercy ….a personal “O LORD” time where I took hold of Him ! And His Word, and His JOY! I went from tears to dancing and spend hours, days months in His Presence…healing.
    So when i went to the lil church after those awesome times with HIm, it was like “what jesus are you all talking about?” What Bible are you reading? There was such brokeness in me, I could NOt abide the agendas, the games, and began to see right through it, no matter what ‘church’ I went to…and try as I might, i could NOT get my self or my children into another church so-called. We read and prayed together at home, and the Father brought a few together who also were called out ones….we didnt criticize , but grieved the waste of Gods people in playing religious games, and refusing to let the Ruach (Holy Spirit) flow IN His body…so. It has been many years since then, now I live overseas and attend a small Baptist fellowship only bc I believe in prayer and praying with people, and outreach to them from Catholicism is fruitful! I can encourage that ONE true relationship as many are coming to Him outside the ultimate ‘churchianity” here! HalleluYah , He is alive. Amen and amen.

  15. Kendall July 26, 2015 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Thanks for these great reminders, yes it is not about our doing, but about letting His Light shine that they might see Him. Love does not require others to do things, real Love Trusts that God is able in everything to bring His purpose to pass in the lives of His children.

  16. Der July 28, 2015 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Simply wonderful. Only God can give such amazing revelations. Chip I have nothing to say but will pray for God to give us more personal revelation of himself in our day to day encounters.
    I will pray for you to persevere and abide with the stem forever, Amen.

  17. Mrs.Wantland September 2, 2015 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    My question is what to do with the “anger” that bubbles up within me now at organized religion. I see such hypocrisy and lining of the pockets with money. I know many pastors of small and large churches. I know that they LOVE God. Yet the system they have created or have aligned themselves with – it grieves me so much. I actually am warring within myself at feelings of anger. Is it righteous anger that is building or hurt feelings that they in their ignorance are doing to the body of Christ – especially the least of these and the young.

    If you have some writings on this please direct me. Thank you.

    • Chip Brogden September 17, 2015 at 10:36 am - Reply

      Anger can be a righteous response, or it can be a reaction to hurt and bitterness. Usually it is a little bit of both. I would direct that energy towards prayer. The Holy Spirit can open the eyes of the blind, but anger (righteous or not) tends to have the opposite effect.

  18. Lisa September 14, 2015 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Hi Chip, I came across your site in the wee hours. I was encouraged by your article “no fellowship, no problem!”, but also confused and scared at the same time. It’s been pounded into us that unless we are connected to a church body we are sinning and our relationship with God will suffer. We are always told that we need other Christians to help us be accountable and that church attendance is a commandment. God saved my husband and me in 2011. He has blessed us with three children ages 9, 6 and 2. We are first generation believers with no family in our lives and very few friendships. We have fallen in and out of churches and fellowship. We went from the seeker friendly model to the program centered model to the age integrated model. With each move we felt it was God speaking but now I can’t help but wonder whose voice we are listening to. Four months ago we moved to a new city and are again struggling with the church thing. Being in church is so very difficult for me because of the anxiety I experience going in and the shame, regret and loneliness I feel coming out. I’m driven to church by guilt and fear. We believe that it is our responsibility to disciple our children, not the churches. We strive daily to live out Deuteronomy 6:7-9 the best we can with God’s help. BUT I’m fearful that if we don’t set the example of attending church on Sunday that our children’s walk with the Lord will suffer later. How will we meet and have fellowship and be in community with other believers if we don’t attend church? What about when we hit a crisis and need prayer and support from fellow Christians? How do we have that if we are connected to a church body? Aren’t we also commanded to tithe? Could really use some thoughts, recommendations and encouragement!

    • Chip Brogden September 17, 2015 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Hi Lisa, welcome to the site. There are other ways to meet with people or find fellowship and support without attending church. I encourage you to follow your heart, keep digging into the things on our site, and trust that God will answer your questions in due season.

  19. Beth October 17, 2016 at 12:59 am - Reply

    Wow!! What a post!!
    Thank you for writing on this subject. I’m not alone!
    You just don’t know how many churches I’ve been to only to see corruption! Everyone either split, pastoral adultry, “church” runners like a business, etc.
    I to was so sickened and frustrated by it all!
    At the last “church” me and my husband and daughters attended I have brothers and sister that still attend.
    I was looked down upon and thought to be the falling away group. Still am on the category.
    I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was so sad and cryied. I said not another one!
    I knew what the Bible says and the pastor wasn’t a true Shepard. After I left I felt freedom!
    To this day I haven’t gone to another gathering building. Or like you said non-profit organization 🙂
    Thank you again for sharing this!! It was really great to know there’s others out there!! Just haven’t run into one and hope I do soon!

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