Heaven and earth were close,
The fate of all humanity was transformed in an instant, in an eternity.
God, who is with us, who is for us, who is holding us, who is in us, died.
God never changes,
Our reality will never be the same. A door was revealed, an open door. It had been there all the time, but we couldn't see it until God himself came and revealed it. All that happened before and everything that was to happen since made sense in a new way because of his death and resurrection and the new life that He offers to each of us every day.
There is hope for new life.
There is hope in Christ.
There is hope for us to live, really live.
There is hope for love and joy and peace and grace and mercy and forgiveness to be revealed through us, through the Holy Spirit in us reflecting the light that shone from heaven through the cross, through Christ.
There are so many barriers that hinder that light from shining. We talk about shining our light and sharing the Good News. Of all the barriers, there is one that has arguably done the most damage to the Church's ability to share Christ with those who don't know him.
1: the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies
2: conformity to the Christian religion
3: the practice of Christianity
Being in the presence of the Almighty God has led some to fall on their faces, to shut up, to shine, to sing, to worship, to see, to dance, to live.
Christianity is designed by well-meaning people to draw others to God, to help people relate to God, and to give guidelines, provide a context for worshiping and serving God.
All of that sounds good and sounds helpful, but the one flaw is that it is designed by people.
Christianity is like a painting of Christ or a statue. It is a representation of Christ created by one for the benefit of another.
And, for as long as there has been a church, there have been those who have preferred enjoying the statue over knowing the Almighty God of the universe.
We tend to talk about different things. We either talk about the creators of the statue or we talk about the Creator of the Universe. "The founding pastor of our church was such a godly man. He was there when my son was sick. He was such a dynamic speaker, such a strong man."
We either talk about how the statue was carved out of a lump of stone or how our hearts were transformed from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. "We started with just a few families and then started meeting at the lodge and finally bought our own property and built this beautiful church."
We either talk about how the statue makes us feel or how God makes us feel. "When I come to church, I feel so loved, so accepted. I never feel better than when the team leads us in singing."
When times are hard, we either look to the statue or we look to God. "Why didn't someone from the church call? The sermons just don't connect with me. The music team just sounds flat. The programs don't meet our family's needs. Maybe we should visit some other statues."
Christianity must die
The statue must fall. Christianity must be undone. We cannot let anything detract from God, not even our beloved religion.
The system is broken. It doesn't work. It has never worked. It is just what we do. We create systems to replace relationships. We know that something is important and we don't want it to get messed up, so we create a system to protect it, provide it, or pass it down.
It didn't work. It doesn't work. It never works.
Christianity can't protect Christ, can't provide Christ, and can't pass down Christ to future generations.
At best it can protect an idea, provide a doctrine and pass down a beautiful building. But, it isn't worth the sacrifice. We lose more than we gain.
The system robs us of relationships. The system replaces relationships with programs. The system replaces intimacy with bureaucracy.
The best hope for the message of Christ to move forward is for Christians, those who know and love God, to know and love those around them.
Christ describes it this way, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
Christianity must die, so that people are not distracted from Christ. The statue must be torn down, so that when people reject the model, they don't think that they are rejecting God.
We must trust. Trust Christ to not let the church die. Trust ourselves to keep loving God without having a structure to protect us. Trust our children to not lose faith and forget the God who loves them.
Let the Bible be our structure, not a building. Let the relationships that we have provide for us not the programs that we design. Let the presence of God in our lives pass on our faith to our children.
God died, but He is not dead.
Now it is time for Christianity to die. Death is not the end. It will be a new beginning.