We cannot deny that Christianity in the US has become very religious. In fact, just look around and listen to people talk and you don’t have to listen to long to hear that they are becoming more and more concerned with churches and their religious overtones. I spoke with an acquaintance not to long ago that has a very good barometer on the denominational world and he has concluded that people are flocking away from churches, especially the big traditional denominations. Home churches are on the rise and small community groups are growing in number. This is a big deal. So, my questions is, why is this happening? And my second question is, why are churches leaders acting like it isn’t? Or better yet, why are they fighting against it?
I would think that if a person finds freedom in walking away from a denomination or a local church, then they should be encouraged to do so. I guess unless that church believes they know better than the person leaving about what’s good for them. But that would be keeping someone on the road of religion. The attitude is, “Do this because I know it’s good for you.” I wrote an article earlier this year on Protectionism that churches usually need to adopt because they feel like they need to survive in the world that we live in, which you can read here. This is not a good thing at all. The tendency to protect only causes the protected to declare how things need to be done to survive. Another name for this is “The Road of Religion”, which I’m sure I did not come up with. This road is all consuming and causes us to create our identity with that road that we fight so hard to stay on. And of course, when we fight to stay on it, then we, in a sense, demand others to follow. Church leadership today is extremely guilty of this.
Wouldn’t be nice if we realized that we are who we are regardless of being on any road. And who we are is loved by God so much. Wouldn’t be nice if we had the freedom to come and go with believers all over, within different denominations and churches? The freedom to travel any road that we feel God is walking with us on? The freedom to support others in need and bear their burdens in love, not by rules or regulations that church leaders deem right. The “Road to Religion” is paved with nothing but rules.
This is a big deal today because the need for affection and community is growing among humans more and more as technology is taking it away. However, there is no “road” that can heal a person…only love from the Father through us to another person. And Jesus Christ was that perfect example of how we love others and allow the Father to love others through us. This cannot be taught by showing up on Sunday mornings to a church. Are there churches that support this? Sure there are. But I would conclude that it is full of individuals that get that living for and with Christ is what matters, which creates Fruit of the Spirit, not the Sunday experience. We have been acquitted by God so wouldn’t be nice if we viewed others around us the same way? Wouldn’t be nice if we viewed ourselves that way? The “Road to Religion” is strong and loves to keep you in check. If your going to revolt against anything, revolt against religion and its leaders….they want your loyalty. Walking in love with the Father is the only freedom that exists….. There is no freedom on the “Road of Religion”.