Is Religion's Gospel the True Gospel?
If you are sensing spiritual unrest when it comes to the gospel proclamation coming from "Christian TV", convention centers, conference venues, and religious pulpits in the denominated buildings on Sunday mornings across the world, and you are feeling guilty because you think it is wrong to feel that way...take heart...it may be the prompting of the Holy Spirit calling you outside of religious denominated "churchianity" to forsake your relationship with religion for a freeing, vibrant and intimate, daily relationship with God as He reveals how to be the Community of the Redeemed without the controlling religious bodies, religious bucks or the segregated denominated buildings of steel, wood or brick, wrongly called "Church".
Don't take the above pragraph as a call to all believers to "come out from among them". If you are satisified with the spiritual status quo that you find yourself in...then stay there.
I am just saying that the quality of spiritual life available to the believer goes far beyond the religious life experienced by those involved in denominational churchianity, where spirituality is determined by the number of converts to grow the religious body, the size of the denominated building, how much greenbacks can be fleeced from the flock and the charismatic-hyped performances where historical and contextual context is wrested from scripture to validate the man-made institution, its man-appointed leaders preaching man-appointed doctrines in man-segregated denominated buildings called "Church." The spiritual life of the believer in the Community of the Redeemed is more about "BEING" in Christ rather than "DOING" for Christ.
When you visualize Church what do you see?
Do you see your denominated name-tagged building atop a hill?
Do you see a building that is closed, except for the two hour Sunday-go-meeting?
Do you see people assembling dressed in their Sunday best, without the problems of the rest?
Do you participate in a 20 minutes set aside as "worship time" to worship as the "worship team" has agendized?
Do you hear that going to the Sunday-Go-Meeting and keeping religious rules is the making of a good relationship with God.
Do you see the flock being fleeced because they are threatened that God will curse them if they don't tithe?
Do you see the commercializing of the Gospel?
Do you see the seminarian professional sermonizing the denominated?
Do you hear that God hates liars, cheaters, atheists, drunks, adulterers and homosexuals?
Do you see the fear-monger, fear-mongering sinners with banishment to the fires of hell?
Do you see sinners going to the alter to repeat a bible-less sinners prayer" for salvation?
Are you advised to go door-to-door inviting people to your denominated "church"?
Are you expected to attend denominated discipleship classes?
Statistics show that none of these forms that make up"churchianity" is accomplishing what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to accomplish. In fact, it gives Christians a reputation as being in the business of being a religious salesperson selling religious wares in the religious denominated building, doing religious activities and conforming to religious rules to be accepted by God. That certainly is not following the example of Jesus nor the apostles.
Religion preaches a destination-based-gospel with little or no gospel application for the journey to the destination. People are told that if they believe the gospel, they can go to heaven when they die, and while they wait for that to happen, they should attend our church on Sunday morning. The goal of the religious gospel is to get people to be pew-warmers while they wait to get into heaven by scaring the hell out of them by assigning them to eternal hell fire if they do not repent of their sin. Isn't it odd that, that goal is not emphasized in any biblical presentation of the gospel. Jesus and the apostles rarely (if ever) present the promise of heaven or practice of any of the above religious practices as the goal of the gospel. Why then is such religious activity emphasized as being the gospel? Yes, pastors mention things like the forgiveness of sin, and reconciliation with God and other people has some of the benefits of believing the gospel, but if you were to ask the average non-believer who had just sat through a gospel presentation what benefits they would receive and what they were expected to do as a result of believing the gospel, the vast majority would say that there were promised entrance into heaven, and while they wait for that to occur, they are expected to attend church on Sundays.
The basic thrust of the religious gospel is this: “If you believe the Gospel you will go to heaven, and while you wait, you need attend church.” If you ask the average person if they can go to heaven without ever attending church, most people will say no, that if a person wants to go to heaven, then they must attend church. For most, the gospel is a message about destinations: where you go when you die (heaven or hell), and where you go while you live (church). In the destination-based Gospel, we want to get people onto the denominated membership roll more than get their names on heaven's membership roll.