Have we overthought Christianity?

Beyond theology and religious methodology there is the wondrous experience of continually being in awe-inspiring, intimate interaction with the living, resurrected Jesus. That experience is the normal Christian life that is presented in the New Testament.   An old hymn puts it this way: “And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”

Is that experience the norm for Christians in the 21st century? In your life? If not why? Perhaps it is because we overthink and under-trust-and-obey.

Maybe these thoughts about overthinking would be helpful:

“Over thinking leads to problems that don’t even exist in the first place.” –Jayson Engay

“I think and I think and think. I’ve thought myself out of happiness one million times.” –Jonathan Safran Foer

“Overthinking is a dream killer. Sometimes you can drown yourself in your own thoughts.” –Steve Maraboli

“Overthinking is literally a gateway to negative thoughts.” –Kemmy Nola

“Overthinking the process will kill any career in the creative space.” Casey Neistat

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” –Albert Einstein

“Don’t overanalyze what you see. I have a feeling that you’re over-thinking things. Give it some time, and the pieces of this puzzle might come together.” –Jessica Park

“The sensible part of me wanted to dissect my emotions, overthinking and overcomplicating my reaction.” –Becca Fitzpatrick

“That leads to overthinking, which kills any spontaneity and the humanity of the performance.” –Jack White

“Over thinking ruins moods and kills good vibes.” –SupaNova Slom

“I second-guess and overthink and rethink every single thing that I do.” –Taylor Swift

“Be where you are, stop overthinking, and focus on what you are doing.”  –Roy T Bennett

“Don’t overthink things. Sometimes you can convince your head not to listen to your heart. Those are the decisions you regret for the rest of your life.” –Leah Braemel

“We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.” –Anthony Hopkins

“The more you overthink the less you will understand.” –Habeeb Akande

“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the water slide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” –Tina Fey

“I stopped overthinking when I realized that I’m really not that smart.” –Bob Miglani

Tired of overthinking your faith. Learn how to experience the Greek New Testament concept of ekklesia at this link.

 

Posted in Becca Fitzpatrick, Casey Neistat, Habeeb Akande, happiness, harmful thinking, Jack White, Jayson Engay, Jessica Park, Jonathan Safran Foer, Kemmy Nola, Leah Braemel, logical thinking, positive thinking, power of thinking, proverbs, quotation, Quotations, quote, recovery quotes, Roy T Bennett, sayings, Steve Maraboli, SupaNova Slom, thinking, Tina Fey, Uncategorized, unhappiness | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unwind & ease your mind . . .

A great way to unwind & ease your mind is to be kind to everybody! It’s more powerful to love people than it is to argue with them!

be-kind

Life goes wrong when we don’t do right. Now’s not the time for the same ole same ole. It’s time to open up to more of God. The Bible’s a recipe book. To cook up a good life, follow its instructions.

There’s no present like time. Every moment is God’s gift!

Let your main man be Jesus instead of self. If you feel like something’s missing in your life, it may be the presence of Jesus.  When Christ is your way to spontaneously enjoy life, you can’t get enough of Him. In a place of grace you realize that life is treating you better than you deserve.

Fear causes negatives to appear bigger than they are. Hope develops positives! If you are not attempting something difficult, you’re coasting. It’s never too late to edit your life.  You’re never too old (or young) to be bold with God’s love in this cold world.

Christ is the Music. You’re the dancer. Life works best when you move to His beat. Christ-followers are called to make friends in low places!

God’ll give you
A heart to care
And words to share
To help others bear
Their load.

 

Posted in alternative lifestyle, ethics, fear, grace, hope, joy, kindness, life, life matters, love, music, positive attitude, positive thinking, Random acts of kindness, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is there any “room in the inn” for the Headship of Jesus, when we gather in His name?

Is there any room in the inn for the Headship of Jesus, when we gather in His name? When Christ-followers meet without an agenda, the risen Jesus takes the lead.

Christ’s birth isn’t about the past. It’s about “Emmanuel”–God with us–right now! When Jesus reveals Himself to you — when He is born in you — you’ll never be the same!

Christianity is not just a series of lessons to be learned. It’s a lifestyle to be lived. Christianity is not what we know. It’s Who we know and obey!

Church pays one man to talk as everybody else sits silently and watches him. You won’t have the passion to follow the risen Jesus Christ, with a shutdown heart.

There are none so kind as those who will not be offended. “Love one another.”

ekklesia-no-agenda

Experience an agendaless meeting @ The Salvation Army Berry Street every Sunday morning at 10:45 @ 225 Berry St., Nashville, 37207. Read more about it in the book Beyond Church.

Posted in aggressive Christianity, alternative Christianity, Beyond Church, Christianity, counter culture Christianity, emergent Christianity, Holy Spirit, house church, lifestyle Christianity, Mere Christianity, normal Christianity, Real Christianity, Salvation Army church, simple church, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rearranging words for heart-sight

Even with a full mind; without heart-sight we are emotionally & spiritually blind. The soul-fire that gives me light is Jesus!

Christ’s body isn’t a statue. It’s an assembly line of many parts working together. What’s heard in church is mostly forgotten. Interactions with one another are remembered. Christ calls us to connect heart to heart with one another–like close family.

If Christ-followers won’t bring love & hope to the world, who will? Be kind & pure! It’s not enough just to “know Jesus.” We need to “show Jesus” in the way we live. Without love like a dove from above; we push and shove one another. It takes courage to love people who don’t like you. Let’s be courageous!

Grace won’t erase the sins you deny. That’s why the first message of Jesus
was “Repent!” When you change your lifestyle and begin to continually live in God’s joy, you’ll enjoy being alive!

Confusion will go
When we meet to
Let the Holy Spirit
Freely flow!

To grow in the Lord
Show & tell
What God has done!

Here’s a poem about how to put these rearranged words into action:

When we meet
Without a program
At Berry Street
We don’t experience chaos
As you might expect,
But all things are done
Decently and in order,
Proving the existence
Of an unseen Presence
Leading and directing us
As we gather in His name,
The risen Jesus Christ!
Come see for yourself
On Sundays at 10:45 am.,
225 Berry St., Nashville 37207.

Read more about it my book: Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia.

ekklesia-poster

 

 

Posted in Beyond Church, Create in me a clean heart, ekklesia, family gathering, family togetherness, family values, from the heart, heart care, heart monitor, heart of gold, heart-felt, heart-felt love, hearts unfold like flowers, house church, human heart, I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God, insight, light hearted, makes the heart grow fonder, Set a fire down in my soul, simple church, soul, soul food, soul goals, speaking from the heart, the door of your heart, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does church keep Jesus on lockdown?

 

Has church given up on the idea of people “meeting together” and personally “encouraging one another”, in exchange for people “passively sitting through a formal meeting”? “Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.” –Hebrews 10:25. Does church keep Jesus on lockdown–shut away in programs and formality?

When ordinary people are allowed to freely soar in the Spirit and to interactively adore the risen Jesus, church goes beyond being a chore, for it turns into something more–the Greek New Testament concept of ekklesia. “Hearts unfold like flowers” when everyday Christ-followers are allowed to freely share from their heart as they are prompted by the Spirit. “Christ in you” can’t come out if you don’t open up your heart and let Him be seen.

Wisdom is in many, not just in one. “You can all prophesy.” -1 Corinthians 14:31. Winkie Pratney put it this way: “Christian gatherings that are always dominated by one person cannot be directed by the Spirit.” (Perhaps we need to go beyond church as usual: http://amzn.to/2gB4ERL.) Let’s transcend church as usual & let Jesus Himself lead us. Let the risen Jesus burn in your heart like a fire! When Christ is burning in a group of believers, there’s no need for human control.

Without a blazing inner fire,
Christianity becomes a
Powerless outward form.

How’s the Christ-fire inside of you?
1) Blazing red hot;
2) Lukewarm;
3) Flickering
4) Smoldering
5) Cold ashes;
6) Never had one;
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith.” –2 Corinthians 13:5

Posted in 1 Corinthians 14, 2 Corinthians 13:5, Christ in you, Christ in you the hope of glory, ekklesia, Examine yourself, Greek New Testament, Hebrews 10, not forsaking the assembling, Send the fire, simple church, transcendence, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Bride(zilla)”–A Radical Diagnosis Without Bold Answers

The Bride(zilla) of Christ — what a bold and radical assessment of church by authors Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin. Here are some of their observations about church as it is usually done in the Western world:

“One of my most enduring childhood memories happens to be one of the most difficult, dreaded, and agonizing rituals of the American evangelical family; going to church on Sunday morning.”

“Sometimes I have thought that the church looks more like a psychiatric ward than a place of restoration.”

“Consumerism is the mind-set we find filling the pews and padded chairs of many of our churches today. We attend church to be served, not to serve. We attend church to be won over, not to worship. We attend church to complain, not to confess our sins.”

“Church goers want what they want when they want it Instead of a shared community of believers united under God’s grace, church becomes an individualistic smorgasbord of boss-like demands that must be noted and fulfilled.”

“The church has become an empire of individualism.”

Also, Kluck and Martin both give several stories about how they and others have been hurt by traditional church. Reading their book it appears obvious that there are major systematic problems with the traditional way of building church services around one man’s message and control.  However, although the book’s subtitle is: What To Do When God’s People Hurt God’s People, Kluck and Martin fail to address the ineffectiveness of the traditional structure of church. Instead, they give familiar and individualist answers, such as, forgiveness, reconciliation, and unity.

Kluck and Martin remind me of Rodney King when after being beaten by the Los Angeles police, asked: “Can’t we just all get along?” Systematic problems are much more complicated than that! And that is where The Birde(zilla) of Christ falls short. It tries to tidy up the Bride(zilla), not to radically change it.

If church in the West is as big of a mess as Kluck and Martin present it to be, isn’t it time for a radical solution — a new reformation?  Ted Kluck touches on this when he tells how a friend shared with him about how God miraculously used him to cast out demons.

Kluck replied to his friend: “Dude, that doesn’t happen in academia.” Then Kluck goes on to write; “And it really doesn’t happen on the conference/publishing/celebrity circuit either. It happens in places where people are humbled and broken, not where people are receiving accolades and being exalted.”

Perhaps it is time to go beyond the individualistic solutions and band aids called for by Kluck and Martin, and instead to radically change the way church is done in the West. Perhaps it is time for us to begin to obey the New Testament instructions in 1 Corinthians 14:26 and allow everybody present to speak in the meeting when we gather in Jesus’s name. Maybe it is time to implement the biblical (and Reformation) concept of the priesthood of all believers by breaking the clergy/laity stronghold off of the body of Christ. Perhaps it is time to replace the word church with the Greek New Testament concept of ekklesia which was the city council in Greek city states, and not a religious building or organization.

How do I rate this book? I give it 5 stars for the diagnosis, but only 1 star for the solutions. When I average those numbers it gets 3 stars.

To experience a bold and life-transforming departure from traditional church check out The Salvation Army Berry Street every Sunday morning at 10:45, 225 Berry St., Nashville, 37207.

bridzilla-book

 

Posted in a new reformation, body of Christ, bride of Christ, Bridezilla of Christ, church decline, church hurt, consumerism, ekklesia, house church, how the body of Christ functions, organic church, radical reformation, reformation, Rodney King, simple church, Uncategorized, worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More than a Sunday soliloquy?

Everybody has a gift of insight when Christ-followers meet. Why do we silence them? “In the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Prov. 11:14 (Perhaps we need to let all the members share when we gather as the body of Christ.)

Let People See The Unseen
Unseen things shine forth for all to see
When members of the body of Christ
Are allowed to openly share,
When they meet in Jesus name,
The workings of God in their heart.
“We look not at the things which are seen,
But at the things which are not seen:
For the things which are seen are temporal;
But the things which are not seen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4;18

Who speaks for Christ? An expert? Or ordinary people sharing their love for Him? When each member of the body of Christ is allowed to do their part–ekklesia happens! Let’s unprogram Jesus and let Him do His thing, not ours!

pulpit

 

Posted in 1 Corinthians 14:26, Berry Street, house church, Nashville, posters, Salvation Army, Salvation Army Berry Street, Salvation Army church, Salvation Army Corps, show and tell, simple church, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment