Bonded together by mutual disdain for one another

RobDevotions

Ahh, r-e-l-i-g-i-o-n.

Doesn’t the word just give you warm fuzzies all over? Few things can make you feel more pure joy than this, right?

Maybe Disneyworld?

Nope, religion’s more fun!

What about denomination?

Ok, ok, that’s another fun one but that wasn’t really fair since denominations are sort of like religion’s evil twin brother.

How about enema?

Root Canal? <— No fair, that’s 2 words.

Ok, Rob, cut the sarcasm.

Fine, but hear me out on this one, please. It troubles me that when God is talked about religion ends up in most people’s thoughts rather than God.

It bothers me even more that when Jesus comes to mind for a lot of people, rules and a very carefully regimented way of life leave a mediciney taste in their mouths.

And it peeves me to no end that where I live is the ‘play church’ capital of the planet, universe! Seriously, when it comes to going through the motions, making social contacts (for business, really), beefing up the good Christian resume, blind denominational loyalty, hostile anti infringement mindsets, help no one, racial reconciliation lip service (without real substance), a spirit of religiosity, and a whole host of other crapola—we’re good enough to compete at an Olympic level!

I hate religion!

Seriously, I hate it.

Jesus didn’t come to this earth to bring religion.…or rules…or regulationsHe came to offer a relationship — a chance at joining the family of the living God and then spending all of eternity getting to know Him better.

And you can’t earn it.

That would be laughable.

Think about it for a moment…

If you or I were God how would we respond to millions of so-called followers who only need about 3.5 seconds to organize into exclusive clicks with secret languages and restrictive rules?

How would you feel if your love offering of your Son were responded to with only occasional gatherings to acknowledge your existence, emotionless singing of songs we never give a seconds thought to, heartless reciting of creeds and endless debates over trivial things that have absolutely no impact on eternity whatsoever?

Or to the bunching of several like-minded clicks into a larger, more exclusive club (called a denomination)that defends their new existence based on the fact that the other half of their (former) brothers and sisters in Christ wonder if free will is involved at the moment of salvation or if it’s all God’s sovereignty?

Or whether the second coming is preceded by an event called the rapture

Or whether there is really a literal thousand year reign of Christ

Or whether dispensational or covenant theology is the ticket.

Or whether the King James is the best (read, ‘only’) translation (check this guy’s article out if you really think people don’t make issues out of minutia like this, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55723 

Enough already!

The world watches us and thinks Christians are nuts, dangerous, up tight, hypocritical, laughable…and those are the ones they like!

It makes my heart sink that Christians continue to get this wrong even after 2,000 years worth of embarassing examples to learn from.

But here’s the good news!

In this culture steeped in religiosity that has for so long been a mile wide and an inch deep (as they say), things are changing. They’re changing fast and they’re changing BIG! Churches like  Southbrook ( www.southbrookchurch.com ) are popping up all over the place now, and they bring with them a fresh approach to a timeless message. They are reaching a growing unchurched, dechurched and uninterested population in a way that is so relevant and so anointed, even the boy’s club religious leaders (who scoffed at us at first and made sure to make it as difficult as possible to join hands in ministry) can’t help but sit up and take notice.

Five years ago I felt virtually alone (I wasn’t, there have always been good churches here — they were simply few and far between). Today I am surrounded by like minded brothers and sisters in Christ determined to make the name of Jesus Christ famous and the idea of religion infamous.

Want to know some of them?

Here they are in no particular order;

www.warehouse242.org

http://www.renovatuscommunity.com/

http://www.elevationinformation.com/

www.charlottesouth.org

http://www.nextlevelchurch.org/

http://www.foresthill.org/

http://www.mosaicchurch.tv/Mosaic_Church_Charlotte.html

http://www.mecklenburg.org/

http://www.thresholdchurch.com/

home.aspwww.summitchurchlife.com 

It’s not an exhaustive list (not by a long shot). And there are more and more coming all the time.

It’s a good time to be in ministry in NC!

The winds of change are in the air.

That’s bad news for religion.

Great news for relationships!