This topics has been bounced around by many people especially those wanting to separate themselves from organized religions and focus on Jesus.I have been listening to a certain podcast and have come across some other similar blogs and podcasts of some people who were christians at one time and now are atheists or agnostics and they tell their story how they came to be what they are. I wondered through it what exactly do we comprise as being separate from organized religion and being a disciple.As I went home from work today one of the things that came to my mind is rules or law. Organized religion places these on the lives of hits people. I think a Jesus disciple might say that the Spirit lifts us above the law to the point which we find it not difficult to keep ourselves 'holy'? I am only guessing here. What exactly separates someone who abides in organized religion and someone who strives after Jesus only? What characteristics are there that separate these groups OR are they really in the same boat but we just pretend they are separate?
QUOTE: "I have been listening to a certain podcast and have come across some other similar blogs and podcasts of some people who were christians at one time and now are atheists or agnostics and they tell their story how they came to be what they are."==DEADNWell that right there is a false statement. If they are atheists or agnostics now then they were never saved to begin with and thus never true Christians. They may have played church and CALLED themselves Christians, but that is nothing new. When you are a TRUE Christian, you know that you know that you know that Jesus Christ is real and the He is GOD, and the rest.
I guess you would have to define " organized religion." Perhaps you mean denominational? I have to say that I have found brothers and sisters in every sphere of Christendom, whether its denominational or non denominational. The Body of Christ seems to cross all barriers and its a delight to run into passionate people for Jesus in every corner of Christendom. Christendom to me is the big unberalla, everthing that calls itself Christian.As the day of the Lord approaches, I believe we will see brothers and sisters from every spehere coming closer and closer together. We will see " strange bed-fellows" as the pressure increases in an ever darkening world and denominations begin to get swallowed up whole by the world and its world view. A good example would be my cousins church in Ohio. The church left their organisation because it had begun to ordain gay ministers. Now thats on a corporate level, also on a individual level people are making choices and so it must be, one must be led by the Spirit in these last days. One must know that small still voice and follow that, it is so important to hear the Lord speak to you. Know the Word and know Jesus and walk in Spirit and truth............ bro Frank
Organized religion I suppose can vary in its meaning. Usually it means the system of rules to obey. The do's and don'ts of what is expected in behavior. The social part of religious ideology. Many people have a distaste for it because they look at the past in some cases with the crusades. Then there is the finger pointing and judging if a person seems to step out of line. Nothing really to do with denominations unless a denomination stresses certaion issues more than other and points a finger at you if you cross those lines. There are issues of sex, family issues, alcohol and even education itself whether it be strictly bible vs strictly secular or a combination of both.Yet when it comes to our walk how much do any of these kill our walk? If we follow Jesus by faith, how much do the rigors of organized strengthen our faith vs. destroy out faith?I said before I have come across testimonies of people who have come out of religious ideologies and become atheists and agnostics. Through it I have tried to determine if they were simply following a pattern of what is expected in contrast to having been led of the Holy Spirit at all. In some cases it is hard to tell and in other cases it is easy simply by the characteristics of what I hear.Many times the lines between organized religion and discipleship are so fuzzy that it is really hard for a person to distinguish between the 2 and so when the average person sees a Christian they automatically think organized religion because walking in the Spirit has not been 'genuinely' seen by those who do not follow after God. Does this make sense? I suppose it could be the difference of reading about the life of Rees Howells vs. the average person who goes to church. There is a BIG difference there but the Rees Howells experience isn't always as flamboyant to see and therefore.Some posters on this forum bring up the difference between lifting up great preachers vs lifting up Jesus. This could be an example or organized religion. That line can be so fine that a person could unknowingly or knowingly become judgmental through it by pointing fingers at those who lift up the men too much and yet claim a weird type of pride in exalting Jesus as if they themselves are the righteous ones in pointing it out. Does that make sense?One poster mentioned that if someone says they were a christian and not have become atheist or agnostic then they were a christian to begin with. I don't know if I am ready to agree with that. Let's say this is true - this could be a product of organized religion, thinking you are something when you are not. Maybe that is a better way of putting it? Anyway, I bring this up because I am finding many people 'coming out of religion' and speaking out their experience down to very specific details and down to their prayer experiences. I have been critiquing it on my own and trying to understand what happened that caused them to fall off that narrow road and how sinful the human heart is. One thing I have found is the Science is a partial factor in some of this while the experience of rules captures a large part of it.
I have to say that I have found brothers and sisters in every sphere of Christendom, whether its denominational or non denominational. The Body of Christ seems to cross all barriers and its a delight to run into passionate people for Jesus in every corner of Christendom. Christendom to me is the big unberalla, everthing that calls itself Christian.
Persecution is that refining fire which can free is from organized religion. When one is imprisoned or martyred it is not for being a Calvinistic or Baptist. It is for following Jesus Christ.The New Testament calls us to live out the reality of Christ. Not the reality of organized religion. As another thread has expressed, Christ in You.Bearnaster.
I supposes Deadn that when it comes down to it, although we are to corporate fellowship( where two or three are gathered) that we each have our personanl relationship and responsibility to God Himself. So ultimately we wont be able to blame anyone or anthing is someone walks away or becomes an agnostic or athiest. These people will give an account before a Holy God and they wont be able to blame anyone for their condition. I would not like to stand before a Holy God and have been responsible though, for people to blaspheme or mock God. Dead religionsits do this, which is why I believe the Lord Jesus had such disdain for the pharisess. Better to be hot or cold..........bro Frank
DEADin,I believe the more Light that we have,...our lamps are trimmed,....and we keep Oil ( the anointing ) in them ,....and are spiritually minded,...then we are able to see where we put our feet,..(our walk )...our care...But the more we leave this off,..then we go back the other way,...,the way gets darker and we cannot see as well and our mindset changes ,..andWe do not really SEE what a dangerous state we are in,..until sometimes The Lord,through His precious mercies and Grace,draws us back to that deep relationship with Him,..where His true Light is....where our eyes are on Jesus and His will in our life. (our First love )The Word says there is coming a falling away.If / when a real severity comes that if we claim Jesus ...christianty..we will be killed then , I believe ,only the True people of God will stand.ONLY if we are DEEP ROOTED IN HIM,....and are able to die to selfnow.....well....I do not know if I am keeping in subject as to what you are asking ,But if not ,...please forgive.Truly,elizabeth