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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Churchianity or Christianity, Where Do We Stand?

Christianity or Churchianity?

John 8:36-"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."


 As believers, we have been made free from the dominion and power of sin by the shed blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We still, however, have what the apostle Paul calls 'sin that dwelleth in me', or 'indwelling sin' (Romans 7:17,20), and as long as we live in this body of ours, it will continue acting to pull our attention, thoughts, affections, even our very heart- away from Christ and onto the flesh and all of its attractions.

Let's not be naive about this- sin IS pleasurable- the Bible says so.

But only for a season (Hebrews 11:25), and this battle against 'indwelling sin' is a lifelong one, even though the believer has been equipped by God to overcome.

 So how do we deal with all of this, both individually and as the Body of Christ, in a practical, day to day manner?

Well, this is an area in which I believe the Church has really 'dropped the ball', and people, both the lost and the saved, are suffering greatly, and on a daily basis as a result.

 Instead of truly walking with Christ in an intimate way, and trusting the Holy Spirit to the wonderful work of convicting of sin that He does, we're running around looking at and picking at the faults of those outside of Christ (as if that will somehow draw them to the Loving Savior!), and we're constantly looking for shortcomings in other believers, in order to 'confront' them and make them more like US- ugh!

We feel spiritually superior to those that we see struggling, yet we are as filthy and self-righteous as the Pharisee who compared himself to the publican in Luke 18- remember?

"The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 

I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess'. "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his brest, saying, 'God be merciful to me, a sinner' "(vs. 11-13). Read the story.

Jesus tells us which of the two men went away justified....

Do you think that times have really changed?

 Aren't we exactly the same? Why do we continue to insist on tearing one another down?

The lost sinner is not beating down the church doors in order to be berated- Goodness sakes, he can go to the local bar and find ACCEPTANCE instead!

He has not been told that there is a Savior who loves him unconditionally, and the way we treat him, he'd never believe us if we did tell him. How sad.

And how about the struggling Christian? To whom will he turn when all seems against him?

Not those in the church, for he knows that he'll be gossipped about, looked down upon, or just generally minimized by those in whom the Spirit of God dwells.

 Doesn't your heart just ache when you realize that we're not the healing Body that God intended for us to be?

Why won't we minister to others?

Why don't we rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep? Are we too busy?

Is our favorite television show on tonight?

 Are we so insecure in our own relationship with Christ that we're afraid that God may bless others instead of us?

Precious ones, this is CHURCHIANITY, and don't ever confuse it with CHRISTIANITY, because it isn't! 

I can see the Son of God looking to His Father and asking, "Why aren't My people reaching out to others? 

What has happened to them- don't they care? I bled and died for the lost. Why don't THEIR hearts bleed for the lost? 

They're MY children, but who can tell? I gave them everything they needed to walk intimately with Me and to love one another and to love others into the Kingdom. 

Why won't they do it? Why have they grown so cold?".....

Beloved, what is it going to be- Christianity or churchianity?

 Beautiful, fragrant blossoms or tumbleweeds?

 Shekinah....or ichabod?

Pastor Jim Ewing

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