Friday, December 28, 2007

Myth Church

It's been a busy week and I've been in and out of the office only when necessary. So, I haven't had much of a chance to share last weeks Myth. For many reasons it's my favorite Myth because it's - I think - the biggest challenge for the church right now. Myth Church is all about how what we do and think about church comes more from our culture and traditions than it does from the Word. It's time to get it back to what God intended. Be Real?
Myth Church
Introduction: (If you need the scriptures that go with this you've proven my point.)
A. Like the survivors in Spartacus, who showed their love and commitment for their leader by declaring "I am Spartacus!" and die with him - we need to say "I am church!" It IS WHAT WE ARE not the building, not the cathedral, the temple, shrines, organizations, institutions, religious bodies, or even denominations. Ekklesai is the "called out people!" It's the institutional church that is so negatively perceived in our culture now.
B. Our cultural training teaches us: You go to church to show that you are a good person. (and right people go to the right church - right?) Our culture built the church we know not the Restoration Movement. And now our culture is rejecting it!
C. It's time to Be Real rather than Be Church. Some cultural myths:
1. Church is a place. God says church is people!
A. Acts 2:42-47 early church was people helping people grow.
B. Like the difference in a house vs. a home - which do we have?
2. Church defines our faith! God defines our faith!
A. You're not faithful unless church says you are? Why?
B. We believe biblical knowledge must come from church. Why? Haven't we diminished personal study with that thinking? Same for worship, giving, witnessing, and our walk with God. ?That's why little happens outside of assembled church!
3. Church is about religion! God says it's about relationships!
A. First & always with Him, Son, and Holy Spirit.
B. With His people - love one another & learn to love Him!
C. Fear of error has become more important than love! Why?
4. Church is a Temple. God says it's a tool!
A. Church is not an option! What you are! How you grow!
B. But it's building love! Love is essential not traditional church!
C. Family of God? Body of Christ? Goal is relationship with Him and the church together is the support system. Others support us, we grow by supporting others!
D. The definition of faithfulness is love (Gal.5:4)
E. 1 Cor.13:1-3 love over extreme acts of church!
Conclusion: We have "churchitosis"! Like halitosis - stinking! Only cure is mouthwash! Our wash is "The Living Water" Jesus.

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