Newsweek: Forget the Church. Follow Jesus.

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The (r)evolution has begun…

Just 3 weeks ago, I posted a video in which I declared I was “no longer Christian”, and that for me, “the church is dead”.

I thought it would be one of the last things I would ever do. I was prepared to live the rest of my life in simple communion with God through prayer and fellowship with my fellow Children of God. Nothing more, nothing less.

And then the reactions came. The comments, the emails, the new fans on Facebook… I was shocked. There was something to this sentiment I was expressing. I could feel I had somehow dropped off of my lonely “raft” of isolation and solitude right onto the crest of a massive swell of popular uprising. So large a swell, I hadn’t even been conscious of its rising beneath me over the last decade.

Then Diana Butler Bass’ new book came out: “Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening“, in which she painstakingly documents the decline of the institutionalized church in the first decade of the 21st century, and offers evidence of a massive fomenting revolution, quietly seething beneath the surface of this “Christian Nation”.

We want more God. Less church.

A LOT less church.

Less dogma.

Less human failings.

Less archaic and draconian doctrine.

Less “us vs. them”.

Forget-the-ChurchAnd then yesterday, my wife came in from going to the mailbox and dropped the Newsweek onto the floor in front of the bathroom (my study, as I call it). When I arose later to do some “heavy thinking”, I suddenly stopped, stunned. For there on the cover of Newsweek magazine was the image of a Modern Jesus in the heart of New York City with a headline that screamed:

FORGET THE CHURCH. FOLLOW JESUS.

In this clarion “call to revolt”, Andrew Sullivan begins with a reminder that this sentiment to redeem and reform what is perfect and beautiful about Yeshua (Jesus) is not new to American leadership. He opens with a startling example of just how pervasive this discontentment and yearning was for a simpler Christ and how it informed the creator of the division between church and state himself, Thomas Jefferson:

He (Jefferson) removed what he felt were the “misconceptions” of Jesus’ followers, “expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves.” And it wasn’t hard for him. He described the difference between the real Jesus and the evangelists’ embellishments as “diamonds” in a “dunghill,” glittering as “the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.” Yes, he was calling vast parts of the Bible religious manure.

One of the most influential founding fathers and presidents of America was vehemently against biblical literalism, unthinking evangelicalism, and faith over reason. He loved Yeshua (Jesus) for who he was, not what he was claimed to be by others. Yeshua was never meant to be worshiped, at least not in the form we do today. To Yeshua, true worship was emulation and discipleship. And to Yeshua, discipleship had one outstanding characteristic: love.

We were meant to imitate, emulate, and exceed Yeshua, not to remain prostrate below his corpse for 2000 years. We were to be more than, not less than.

John 13

34. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 14

12. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

In the article, Andrew Sullivan also provides us with one of the clearest synopsis of what is good and great about Yeshua the Anointed (Jesus the Christ), and why he still deserves our love, emulation, and discipleship:

He (Jefferson) believed that stripped of the doctrines of the Incarnation, Resurrection, and the various miracles, the message of Jesus was the deepest miracle. And that it was radically simple. It was explained in stories, parables, and metaphors—not theological doctrines of immense complexity. It was proven by his willingness to submit himself to an unjustified execution. The cross itself was not the point; nor was the intense physical suffering he endured. The point was how he conducted himself through it all—calm, loving, accepting, radically surrendering even the basic control of his own body and telling us that this was what it means to truly transcend our world and be with God. Jesus, like Francis, was a homeless person, as were his closest followers. He possessed nothing—and thereby everything.

I couldn’t agree more. This is the Yeshua I walked away from Christianity for.

Away from a dead corpse hung on a cross and toward the vibrant, loving Conscience of Christ that can, could, and should pervade all humanity.

You should walk away, too. Abandon the dead and old, and start something simple and good. Serve others. Love as God loves.

Not for the sake of your own salvation, but for the sake of all of God’s children. No matter what faith (or lack thereof), gender, age, race, or sexual orientation.

Become Christ for others.

That is all.

John 15

12. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

 

 

Trig Bundgaard About Trig Bundgaard

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts and ideas about what I've written. Especially if it's contrary to my views!

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Grace and peace to you!

Romans 5
"18. Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

Comments

  1. Artie the white arctic fox. says:

    I have been praying for this day. Tears of Joy are coming from my eyes. Truth is finally being spoken from loving humans with God in them. This will change the world for the better. YThew devbil is on tghe ruyn.Jedsus ios now our leader =^_^=

  2. Artie the white arctic fox. says:

    I have been praying for this day. Tears of Joy are coming from my eyes. Truth is finally being spoken from loving humans with God in them. This will change the world for the better. The devil is on the run. Jesus is now our leader =^_^=

  3. …although i hear you, i don’t get you… strip away the incarnation, the cross, the resurrection, the wonder of Jesus and you’ve got a nice guy, perhaps as nice as Gandhi… sounds a recipe for a powerless evangel / gospel/ what have you… like it or not, with all it’s warts and blemishes and contradictions Yeshua /Jesus – who btw accepted worship from many at many points in the historical narrative – loves ‘the church’… he calls us to love (which you definitely have a handle on!) His bride as well… shalom!

  4. Wel that sounded nice .. BUT
    the cross itself is EXACTLY the point. As is the great suffering He took on- as our substitute.
    When Adam sinned he walked through a door( in the spirit) and that door shut behind him- forever. He found himself suddenly separated from God, in darkness, in sin, aware of his own nakedness, aware of the emotion of fear, of suffering, of pain, of separation. EVERY person since Adam was born into separation from God bc of Adam’s sin Its Adam’s lineage.
    Years later, when God made a covenant with Abraham to make him the ‘father of many’, it was not just in the physical but also in the spirit. A covenant is between TWO. And this covenant was between God(Spirit) and Abraham( physical). Abraham was promised a son , and in that covenant God also would ALSO have HIS son.
    The problem? there was NO Faith on the earth. None.And in order to receive from spirit into the natural FAITH IS REQUIRED.
    When Abraham agreen to offer up his own son on the alter, God saw finally, a man with faith. The faith He required to manifest both His Son Jesus and Abrahams promised son. The Holy Spiirt grabbed onto Abraham’s faith and while in the natural , A son was born to Abraham, in the spirit Jesus was coming to the earth and the (new) ONLY BEGOTTEN SON of God. Adam became redundant- (He had choosen his own father and it was the father of lies).

    Jesus came to be the NEW DOOR- that we get to step back through, the same door that closed shut between adam and God. Jesus says I am the door, I am the way the Truth and the Life, No man comes to the Father but by me. Jesus is the new door. A free gift, If you believe in your heart and confess wiht your mouth, you shall be saved. Thats it, When you do that you step through the door in the spirit, and enter the family of God. The family for whom all heaven and earht is named, Thru Christ. HE is that door. There are not a thousand doors, there is only ONE door. Dont argue wiht me, Its written in scripture, If you have a problem wiht it, take it up with God.

    If you are not sure you will like Jesus, give him a try, I know you will love Him hte more you get to know him, like anything good in your life. If you dont like him, hte devil would happily take you back – anytime!
    So it IS about the Cross, and it IS about the suffering. Bc He who was not sin BECAME our sin, and exchanged his (sinless and perfect ) standing for our (sinful and unrighteous ) standing. It was an exchange. Without the cross, we would not have another door to step through – itno unbroken communion and fellowship wiht the Father who loves us so much and created us for His good pleasure. That ws the whole point of Adam- companionship. Companions wiht free will. Its like a father and son in teh natural- If the son is a robot and always says yes. yes. yes. how much fun is that for dads out there? Its the same with our Father in heaven. Family here on earth , is a type and shadow of how He intended for family to be in the beginning, between Himself and Adam,
    Before Adam thought he knew better (like most children) and choose disobedience(separation from his Father.)
    So it IS about the cross, a price needed to be paid for the sin, and it IS about the resurection- when Jesus BECAME that door and sin and eternal separation was removed as our only optioin- now we have another option! yippee.

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