Jesus has Left the Building
Paul Vieira has written a great book on how Jesus has left the building. Or as he points out, that maybe Jesus was never in the building in the first place.
As I suspected Paul seems to have tapped into my psyche and has extracted many of the same thoughts I have explored over the last few years... He can express his thoughts much better that I can though.One of the surprises is the foreword by Winkie Pratney... A name I remember from my years in a youth group in a small town in Montana when I was listening heavily to Keith Green albums... Yes albums... Actually we used to record to cassette tape and listen, but originally it was on albums. Winkie also wrote a youth group program I used a bit when I was a youth pastor in the Assembly of God. Winkie, (gotta love a guy named Winkie!) basically sums up the book with a warning... That if you read this book it will change you.
I can't remember how long ago Paul contacted me about this book... I checked out his website and downloaded his sermons on his page... (I even broadcasted it on iggyROCKS! And I can't remember if I asked if I could... But I did... So can I? uh.... Thanks!)
The book is a bit of a journey as Paul is finding there is something more than religion... I will say he is not as controversial as Spencer Burkes Heretic Guide to Eternity, but there are some challenging positions to say the least. This seems smoothly written and as I have read so far, I agree that we are to take the church outside the walls that we have tried to hold it in. Paul writes like he is on a mission... And he is and in that so are all of us who are believers in Christ Jesus.In my own journey I have been attacked by those who are afflicted with a religious spirit... Which is where I am in the book now. I had planned on writing about this bondage, and I guess it is time. So I will be ready for the accusation to fly my way.I quote from the book in the Chapter "The Religious Spirit":
"When I say "religious spirit", I am talking about a work of deception perpetrated by evil, which gives the person plagued by it a certain air of self righteousness., but it's more than attitude. It is a spiritual oppression that attacks the individual's motivation under the surface. A major hint at identifying a religious spirit is that a religious spirit will always highlight the means to an end, and lose sight of the desired outcome. The means becomes the end." (Page 57)
Paul goes on to give the example I often use in John 5:39... This is where Jesus tells the Pharisees that they seek eternal life from the scripture, but will not find it because it can only come from Jesus.
I can give personal examples of how some have laid accusations about me in hopes to have me “repent” yet it seems they are more intent on “being right” or “self righteous” than they care about my soul… As long as they can silence me they would just be happy with that. To me they are like the Pharisee in the other example that Paul uses from Luke 18: 9 – 14
“The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."”
The focus was not on God but rather their own righteous acts and beliefs… Pharisees were the best at following doctrines. In fact they loved doctrines so much they made up a few hundred more besides the ones God had given… they wanted to be the standard… but then came along Jesus and messed that up for them… for He was the standard and He called them on their hypocrisy. How? Because, even though Jesus was God, incarnate… He humbled Himself as a mere man… and walked as a mere man… totally dependant on the Father. (John 5:19, 8:28). That is how we are to live also… humbly before God… totally dependant on the Father, through Jesus Christ. To live by a creed, or doctrine… without being indwelt by Jesus, means nothing… it cannot give life… only Jesus Who is Life… can give Life…. (John 1:4, John 5:39, 40, John 6:63, John 11: 25 - 26. Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 14: 6. Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.) It is strange to me that some will agree that Jesus is Life itself… yet not agree He is TRUTH. But I digress.
If we live in total dependence we are attached to the Vine .. We are the Body of Christ and as that Body… each part is dependant on the Head… if we decide to detached from that Head… we die… So to be attached to the Head is LIFE itself. (TRUTH if detached from the SOURCE… being Jesus… is also often not truth… as the case of the snake in the Garden… when Eve looked somewhere other than God for Truth, she was deceived… she detached from the SOURCE and became her own source… and was deceived… That is why I preach that Jesus is TRUTH Absolute incarnate. For we must be attached to the SOURCE to have Truth in its purity.
A religious spirit does not care for their neighbor… it will not humbly reach low to lift one higher… it will only cast haughty glances and speak words of self flattery while it puts down others it deems unworthy… THIS IS SATANIC… it is EVIL… and if you see this in yourself like I did years ago… only turning to Jesus can cleanse you of this spiritual bondage.
That is why when I am personally attacked I pray for those who have done it… this is for a couple of reason… first… what if they are right? Even if my motive is pure, was it? Or if it was, did I send the wrong message out… and was perceived as what they saw? If their perception was wrong… but I could see where they got it from, should I change things so as not to offend? Yet, then if that is not enough… I pray also that the other will know grace and mercy… and walk humbly in Love in Jesus… and grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Truth that is in Christ. I pray they find a deeper relationship with Jesus. Either way, I consider it a blessing and an honor that God would allow me to be persecuted for my faith… be it from outside the Church or inside as it tests and helps me grow and focus more and more on Jesus.
So in that I will continue.
I highly recommend Jesus has left the building…
"Carlos Shelton", Accuser of the brethren, Articles, Belief, Beloved, beyond emerging church, beyond emerging thought, beyond propositional truth, Bible, Billings Mt, Books, Brotherly Love, Carlos Shelton, Christian, Christianity, Church, Critics, Doctrine, Doctrines of men, Emerging church, Emerging thought, Exchanged life, Faith, Fellowship, Follower of Christ, God, Grace, Growth, Hate, Haters, Holy Spirit, Hypocrisy, iggy, iggynation, Jesus, Jesus has left the building, Legalistic, Liar, Life, Love , Montana, Paul Vieira, Pharisee, Phil Perkins, Redeemed, Rejoice, Religion, Religion and Philosophy, Religiosity, Religious, religious spirit, Salvation, Sound Doctrine, spiritual bondage, The Gospel, The Message, The Word, Theology, Thoughts , Truth, Values, Walk in the Spirit, Word of Mouth Ministries