Location: New England, United States

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It Is Personal

I was recently questioned by a fellow church member on my spiritual history prior to joining our church. Specifically, she asked which church I belonged to before this one. I quietly explained that I had not belonged to any church for the past thirty years. I went on to explain that I had spent that thirty years in a personal relationship with God - just him and me. I read my Bible, I prayed daily, I read Christian books, and listened to evangelists on the television. I had been fed spiritually by God's own hand. He led me and I followed. It wasn't until a year ago that he charged me with going to church. The woman was aghast at my answer and responded that no one can have a relationship with God without a church. I disagree.

" Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you are." I Corinthians 3:16-17 RSV

When God charged me with joining this church, I went reluctantly. I had enjoyed my time alone with God - learning only from him - however, I knew I had to obey. I did not know that he had a plan for me and those 30 years had prepared me for his plan. My Father did not send me to this church for spiritual food ( although the Pastor is an inspired speaker filled with the Holy Spirit), God sent me to this church to serve. He brought me out of the wilderness to teach and share what I learned during those 30 years alone with him. All through those 30 years, I had no idea that he was preparing me for just this moment in time.

God is not in a church unless we bring his Spirit with us. We are the church and the early Christians understood that concept. Our organized religions have become as structured as our governments with regulations and laws that God never intended. There is a hierarchy in our organized religions that God does not recognize and never imposed. Jesus came to set us free from the law and the religious hierarchy. Jesus came so that each of us would have only one person standing between God and ourselves - and that one person is Jesus.

" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." John 14:6 RSV


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