Does Western Christianity Disengage God

As an avid reader of church history, I’ve noticed a consistent trend in Western religion.  It seems to disengage God — treating Him as a figure to occasionally honor rather than as a living power source.

Let me explain.  A car has a powerful engine, however, if you start a car and leave it in park or put it in neutral, nothing happens except for the noise of an idling engine, because the engine is disengaged from the drivetrain.

When I read the history of much of Western Christianity (or attend contemporary church services), disengaged power seems to be the story:  a powerful engine (God) is disengaged from people and institutions that call themselves Christians.  There is a lot of noise, but little that impacts daily life.

However, when I read the New Testament book of Acts, I see an engaged God pouring His power through simple, humble people.  Also, throughout the history of Western Christianity, you can find fringe groups (often called heretics) that actually engaged God as present reality rather than as mere theology, for example:  Catholic mystics, Waldensians,  Anabaptists, early Quakers, many Catholic monastics, Moravians, early Methodists, early Pentecostals, early Salvationists, and many smaller, independent groups.  Their early histories read like the book of Acts.

So why would anyone want an engine that is continually disengaged from the drivetrain?  Isn’t time we shifted our gears and engaged the living God on a daily, moment-by-moment basis?

Need help engaging the living God and plugging your life into His awesome power?  Drive down to 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN, 37207 and experience God’s power engaged as people show and tell what God is doing in their lives at The Salvation Army Berry Street.

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
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5 Responses to Does Western Christianity Disengage God

  1. sherwood8028 says:

    The book of Acts is properly pronounced, the Acts of the Apostles and church history will tell you that there were those who offered other “Acts”…. all of which were rejected, mainly because there were no real ties to Jesus, nothing that could be authenticated at least,

    To me, I think that there should be books named, Acts of the Catholics, Acts of the Protestants and sub-chapters like the Acts of the Methodists (with Saint John and Saint Charles Wesley as the leading characters – my personal favorite), Acts of the Pentacostals, etc., etc.

    But having witnessed the struggles that took place in settling what would be the Bible and what would not, I am convinced that God shrugged His shoulders and said, “Since they didn’t seem to learn by what I did at Babel, I’ll let them go their own way” and so rather than Apostles today, we have theologians.

    My thoughts on a Friday afternoon.

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