What if the reason there is such a mess in the world is because churches are filled with unbelieving believers who attend regularly yet never quite understand the ultimate disconnection between why they are there and how they live outside of that building?
I have watched Joyce Meyer on TV with some interest over the years. She makes some good points at times, but often I have wanted to shout at the TV “Just tell them their sins are gone!” We have so much religion that seems to be built up because of, and around, the vacuum of the simple truth that Jesus liberated us from our sins and our death, even though at face value this is the very thing they are supposed to be doing.
It seems to me that if we spent all our time and energy on just conveying this one thing, then so much more will have been accomplished than all the bible studies in the world could have done. Yes, it seems that a certain amount of bible knowledge is a good thing. But this seems to be equally countered by the large amount of error within many areas of that communicated knowledge.
The more the message of the cross can be hidden and confused, the more that people can remain “comfortable” in the religion of their choice. And there is a lot of choice out there! Alongside these religions may be all manner of deceptions, because if Paul’s words were relevant, he talked about idols being the realm of bad spirits, and one of the most popular of these religions uses statues and paintings, and even the bones of famous dead people to engender a sense of spiritual importance and authority in their adherents.
And if amidst all this confusion the people still manage to gain some heart reference to Jesus, the system itself contains reasons and practices that separate the people from their saviour, and re-channel them via priests and religious practices, which result in a generated spirituality whose source and grounding are immensely suspect. I often observed how some prominent people seemed to be that way because their religious background enabled them to separate their religious conscience from their career activities.
The opposite side of this is where the emphasis is on intellectualism which operates from the flesh and promotes salvation through understanding of the scriptures. We have prime examples of this folly via the Pharisees and Sadducees. Yet they are prevented from recognising their error because it is the very thing they promote in their teachings, that a man can elevate himself to God’s level by his intelligence, while claiming that it is God they are promoting, when in truth it is the flesh that becomes dominating by the promotion of a spirit of righteousness which is actually self righteousness. THE spirit ‘can’t get a look in’ because they deny His reality. As soon as you deny that salvation is completely of HIM, then you have replaced HIS salvation with YOUR salvation. HIS Spirit with YOUR Spirit.
Others are “off with the fairies” with tales of lost tribes and golden plates. Still others are on a legalistic bent to pull you back into the order of law. And so it goes on and on.
IT IS FINISHED! When will we realise this and move into the life He wants us to have? If we have to teach and preach ONLY Jesus and him crucified until “kingdom comes”, (to their hearts) then perhaps we should.