My decision to remove myself from the tradition of church (modern organized association) attendance stems from a need to separate, from what seems to be, an ineffectual force against these times. (Please read my post "The Integrity of Fellowship and Accountability)
If you have read Acts 1 and 2. The power of the Holy Spirit during the beginning of the early church was undeniable. The Spirit was a converter of hearts of minds during that time, allowing the apostles to overcome language barriers, healing etc. Today, speaking in tongues seems to be something completely different. Or at least 1 Corinthians 14 tells me something different than what I see today.
There are many who condemn the history of "church" (I use the "" because any church that does not promote the love of Christ is not His John 13:34-35) And rightfully so, it is a ugly history of slayings in "His name". There are also many who ignore the history of it.
All the while the meaning of church has been obscured, muddied and damaged... Damaged to a point where people, have had negative experiences with it, and condemn all association with church, even Jesus Christ Himself. This is a sad thing, when one struggles to understand who He is because of a church experience. Is is a terrible conclusion when one decides the Father is not accessible because of the condition of church. It is a terrible injustice when one turned away from "Living Water" so that they may never thirst, because church has been a stumbling block in one's quest for Him.
It is my hope to protect the integrity of the meaning of church. First and foremost spiritual (Holy Spirit), aided by, or expounded by, the gathering of like-minded believers (those who by faith receive Christ Jesus blood shed sacrifice). If there is a lack of either one or the other (or both) it really isn't church. (Please read Ephesians 4:1-16)
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:9; 1Corinthians 3:16, Romans 8:14
Jesus had declared to the woman at the well God's desire for those to worship Him in "spirit and in truth" for God is a spirit. John 4:21-24 When I read the scriptures in context, John 7-30, can't help but, receive the point that Jesus is emphasizing the spirituality of salvation. He talks to her about "Living Water" that only He gives, and goes on to express the Father's desire of "true worshippers (that) shall worship Him in spirit and in truth". That is FIRST and FOREMOST emphasized. The consistency of this message can be found through out the gospels and epistles. Romans 8:1, Romans 8 (whole chapter in context with the chapter before it)
Far be it from me to contribute to the unproductive opinions, philosophies that condemn, but instead, promote the Word of God and fellowship with Him.
To those who have been burned by their church experience....
Let me share with you this scripture from Isaiah 66:1-2
- Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (my italics)
- But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (my italics)
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 1John 5:5