About Beyond Churchianity

(Some reflections here and more at my Facebook Page and Group – Pastor Bill Online or Digital Congregation.)

Going beyond churchianity is about going back to the way of Jesus, the heart of faith and a more authentic and less religious kind of life.

I think that people are looking for more than what the institution of the church can give them.  Many these days are called the “”Dones” and the “Church Refugees”  who have already left the church and the “Overchurched” sitting in church each Sunday morning, like those who have already left who are longing for more life and and a deeper experience of Christ and freedom in Christ.  They don’t want less death, they want more life in Christ.

I can’t even give a good definition of what “Churchianity” is, but it has something to do with what gets in the way of the true and authentic message of Christ and Christianity. It’s something that gets in the way of the life giving message of God’s love.  It has something to do with religion that gets in the way of relationship with the living God.  Something to do with making belief more about the next life than the Kingdom of God that is here, now present and within and transformational.  It has something do do with what we’ve made of church than perhaps what church really should be?

Whatever it is, I want to go beyond it and find, know and experience true life in Christ.  So I’m a rebel against whatever gets in the way of that.

In no way am I against true religion – which is about “re-algining” with God in relationship and results in transformation. But I am tired of “dead” religion and forms of it that do not lead to a deeper life, a deeper love and deeper change.  Perhaps any part of religion that gets in the way of authentic relationship with God is apart of churchianity?

Maybe these quotes can help you catch the feel of what I’m trying to get at:

“Jesus calls us, not to a new religion, but life.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Jesus never asked anyone to form a church, ordain priests, develop elaborate rituals and institutional cultures, and splinter into denominations. His two great requests were that we “love one another as I have loved you” and that we share bread and wine together as an open channel of that inter-abiding love.” Cynthia Bourgeault

“When any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Savior’s condensed statement of the substance of both law and Gospel, ‘Thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and thy neighbor as thyself’ that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul.” Abraham Lincoln

“I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me.” NIV  “I hate all your show and pretense–the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.” NLT  Amos 5:21

“Religion is as much a progressive unlearning of false ideas concerning God as it is the learning of the true ideas concerning God. ”   Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan

“When I have a terrible need of – dare I say, ‘religion’? – then I go outside at night and paint the stars.”  Vincent Van Gogh

“Religion is one of the safest places to hide from God.”  Richard Rohr

“Vital religion cannot be maintained and preserved on the theory that God dealt with our human race only in the far past ages, and that the Bible is the only evidence we have that our God is a living, revealing, communicating God. If God ever spoke, God is still speaking… God is the Great I Am, not a Great I Was…”  Quaker Rufus Jones

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”  James 1:27

“The great religions are the ships.  The poets the lifeboats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.”  Hafiz

“The good news that Jesus proclaimed is not an evacuation plan for heaven but a transformation plan for humanity on earth.” Brian Mclaren

“Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is the proclamation of the end of religion, not of a new religion, or even of the best of all religions. If the cross is the sign of anything, it’s the sign that God has gone out of the religion business and solved all of the world’s problems without requiring a single human being to do a single religious thing. What the cross is actually a sign of is the fact that religion can’t do a thing about the world’s problems – that it never did work and it never will.”  Robert F. Capon