Christian disciples turn the world upside down; but religious adherents are often swept along with the world’s viewpoints. Jesus said: “Follow Me!” Not: “Follow a 501c3.”
The risen Jesus lives inside of all His followers, so He doesn’t need a hierarchy or an organization to communicate with us. To organize Christians into a hierarchy is a failure to trust that Jesus can and will organize & lead His followers all by Himself. Perhaps the body of Christ, as a spiritual organism led by the living Jesus, was never intended to be a religious organization.
Ephesians chapter four says that God’s spiritual giftings are to train all believers to do ministry; not to establish a permanent hierarchy. Jesus starts Spirit-led movements (revivals). Soon people organize them. The more organized they become, the more power they lose. Prechurch Christianity was Spirit-led, not organizationally operated.
To organize wildlife into a zoo takes away much of their vibrancy. To organize Christians under a hierarchy has a similar effect. Christian history shows that the Gospel spreads faster as a grass roots movement, than as a religious organization.
Most people don’t want to be institutionalized. Neither does Jesus. The living Jesus is infinitely more powerful than the institutional Jesus. Facts, artifacts, and institutions about Jesus can never replace the wonder of hearing His voice and the glory of experiencing His actual presence.
When Christianity is culturally accepted, it tends to become trivialized. When persecuted, it is taken seriously. Persecution disrupts religious organizations and causes Christians to look to the risen Jesus rather than to human hierarchy. When Christianity is ignored by a society, it has somehow set aside it’s ability to turn the world upside down.
If you’re following the New Testament Christ-Trek, the only Captain on the bridge is the living Jesus Christ! Human organizations have divided Christians into 70,000+ groups. However, Jesus wants us to follow Him and to love each other as His one body!
To turn Christianity into an organization is to rob it of much spiritual life. After Constantine made Christianity Rome’s official religion, many Christians fled to live in the desert to get away from the institutional church. (The Desert Fathers.)
Go beyond sitting and listening in church as usual. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” Share your testimony!’
There is a global flag, the Christian flag; and a global citizenship with citizens from every kindred and tribe, the kingdom of God. Let’s be an active part of Christ’s kingdom, not just religious spectators. Whoever wants to experience Christ’s new wine must be willing to embrace new wineskins that release His new wine. (Luke 5:38)