One definition of the word Syndrome is, “A complex of symptoms indicating the existence of an undesirable condition or quality”. Along with that, the definition of Symptom is, “a sign of the existence of something, esp. of an undesirable situation”. So, a Syndrome is a bunch of Symptoms combined to make an undesirable condition. I have heard over and over again phrases like, “My Church does it like this”, or “My Church doesn’t do that”. Or, the big one, “If you want to really hear God’s Word, come to my Church”. These phrases are the symptoms of a great disease called the “My Church Syndrome”. It’s very dangerous, contagious and very much alive today with in the Evangelical world. What we are doing, and I recognize that a lot of times it is done with good intentions, is we are declaring and believing that God is more in tune at “My Church” than at another… or that God is more accessible at “My Church” than another… or that God is working in us at “My Church” more than another. This is dangerous to believe because it is the way the world thinks. However, we live with this syndrome every week, and we show these symptoms every day. It is divisive and contrary to the Kingdom of God.
I believe the cure is very simple….we need to view each other as the Body of Christ, not little factions called denominations. These denominations have been dividing people for years….and yes, a “non-denominational church” is still a denomination. It teaches us to think that the organization that we “belong to” is the place to be. Why do we think that? What causes us to believe that one denomination is better than another? If you think about it, denominations only exist because at some point, someone said they could do church better. All the while, forgetting that the Church of Jesus Christ abides in Him and has no walls or organizations. It has no leader but Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Body.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to worry about what a church or denomination believes but just live life in Christ and then love others Like Christ did? The key there is “in Christ”….meaning that the life, death, resurrection, and words of Jesus are what overtake you and consume you in relationship with God and sets you on a journey of wanting to be more like Him…and more like Him is seen as the Fruit of the Spirit oozes from us towards others that we are in community with. If we live in the Kingdom of God, and abide in Christ, then there is no need to say “My Church” because we then see that God does not operate within mans attempt to organize Him.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were free to live with others without the obligation that denominations dump on people? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could be cured of the symptoms of denominational conformity that caused us to walk around with the “My Church Syndrome”? Free of political chaos and manipulation of Evangelicalism…Free of pastoral control to keep their buildings funded and their “ministries” profiting. All the small symptoms that cause us to push others away need to be re-evaluated to see if they are caused by a greater problem called Religion or selfish desire. If you have the symptoms, go back to the top and read again the definition of Syndrome….”it’s undesirable”!