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"THE CHURCH OF RELIGION-LESS CHRISTIANS"

Passing Fad or Reformation?   Read on . . . .

"It is surprising to find that roughly 10 million born again Christian adults (in the US) are unchurched." George Barna www.barna.org

I appreciate Mr. Barna's research findings. He validates what many of us have observed and experienced: More and more, the Christian family living next door or down the street, or the guy we work with who it turns out is a believer, a born again follower of Jesus, none of these folks belong to or attend any kind of conventional "Sunday meeting church."

What seemed in the 1990's to be a novel option for a few, and according to church leaders, obviously disenchanted church members who for the most part quietly left their churches to begin worshipping in homes, in informal gatherings, without an ordained minister to lead them has turned into an undeniable and apparently unstoppable flood of saints, pouring out of the doors of their former, traditional churches.

Religious Activity

Barna's research confirms that millions of unchurched people are spiritually active. For instance, one out of every five reads the Bible in a typical week; six out of ten pray to God each week; and during the  past year 5% have shared their faith in Jesus Christ with people who are not professing Christians. In fact, nearly one million unchurched adults tithe their income that is, donate at least 10% of their annual household revenue to non-profit entities. While these tithers are not giving their money to a church, they are giving to a variety of parachurch ministries that serve people throughout the world.

During a typical month, six out of ten unchurched adults worship God (but not via church services); three out of ten study the Bible; and one out of every seven has times of prayer and Bible reading with family members. The religious media play a part in their spiritual life, too, with four out of ten absorbing Christian content through television, radio, magazines or faith-based websites during a typical month. In addition, one-quarter of them have conversations with one or more friends who held them accountable for carrying out their faith principles.

These facts beg the question: What in the world is happening to the Church that Jesus promised He would build? The offered answers to this question are myriad, with some missing the point wildly and others coming frighteningly (to those who abhor change) close to a reality that suggests that God cannot be contained within our structures, either physical / material or spiritually conceived. The weakness of man's understanding always has been the cognitive limit of his brain. We can only comprehend so much. Each of us, regardless of IQ or amassed wisdom is capable of going "thus far, and no farther" in our understandings.

To move beyond these intrinsic limits requires a knowledge-source beyond ourselves, beyond human capability. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit" (1 Cor. 2:9,10).

These are days in which many of God's elect, around the world, in metropolitan city and in out of the way village are hearing what the Spirit is saying to the Church and are coming out of institution for the sake of institution and they are departing convention for the sake of convention in favor of that which is born of the Spirit of God.

The reality frightens many. Stakeholders in the Institution cry foul and rebuke with fervent energy. Titles, positions, paychecks are at stake! Yet through all the furor and frenzy, a church - The Church - is moving, is in transition. She is both "coming out from among" and she is "moving into" the position prepared for her by the heavenly Bridegroom and Legal Owner of the Body He declared that He would produce.

By His Grace,

Greg

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