Aug 17, 2009
Living in the wild is about the only way I know for a person to authentically connect with God on a “one-on-one” level. Christianity has become a crutch for many people with it’s many laws, traditions and doctrines. Often times, we find that the things we “hold to” actually end up taking the place of real relationship. They not only get in the way, but they make it impossible because people are encouraged to hang their faith on these things rather than on God Himself.
Before long we end up saying things like, “Do you believe in the bible?” or “Do you believe in the church, the trinity, or the virgin birth?” In a desperate attempt to link ourselves to God, we build a chain with all these beliefs to hold us up. The problem is that our beliefs aren’t in God Himself, they are in things. The moment one of these things are called into question, we lose our faith completely. This is why so many people fall away from their faith when their pastor has an affair or if they happen to see a movie like “The Davinci Code” and the things they’ve “held to” are shaken.
The church knows that people’s faith is not based on God, but on stuff. This is why they go nuts when movies that contradict their doctrine come out. They fear that many will fall away on account of that movie, and they’re right. That’s exactly what happens because people don’t know God anymore; they know stuff. People’s entire faith rests on the stuff they’ve been taught. Mess with the stuff and you mess with their faith in God Himself. Take the stuff away and you take God away.
The problem is that Christianity has become a religion. It’s become a system of beliefs that a group of people hold to. It was never meant to be this. Christianity was meant to be a personal experience between an individual and God. Religion demands that everyonebelieve “stuff” in unison. It focuses on the stuff and calls it holy and infallible. It lifts the stuff up and obsessively talks about it as though eternal life comes through the stuff. In the midst of all this stuff-worship, no one ever connects with God. They can’t as long as their faith is in the “stuff.”
Faith is given to each of us for one purpose. It’s our personal line to God. We are to put our portion of faith in nothing other than God. Because faith was created for this reason, it naturally makes anything it is put into, its god. Unfortunately, religion holds up stuff and encourages us to put our faith in it. Once we do, we lose. Faith wasn’t for stuff, it’s for God. When we chose to put faith in stuff ABOUT God rather than in God Himself, we end up in a spiritual state of limbo where our stuff is our god. We become like a fan-club of a famous movie star sitting around comparing notes and collecting trinkets, thinking that we know this person because we study stuff about them and possess something of theirs.
We also end up making God into a vending machine because stuff-worship disallows our hearts to embrace a personality. Stuff-worship demands consistency and predictability. Only a machine behaves this way. Faith makes whatever it is put into, its god. Because of the state of American Christianity, god has been presented to the world as a heartless machine or a big book that is void of personality.
Eventually stuff-worshipers begin to describe their god (stuff) as having the same attributes as God Himself. They start saying things like, “The bible is infallible and perfect,” “It is to be called the Word (which is Jesus Christ)”, “You have to believe in the bible in order to go to heaven” and “The bible is holy and reading it is the equivalent to hearing from God.” They encourage one another to meditate on the bible and put it in their heart. They’ll even start “Bible churches” and spend hours in those churches studying the bible. They’ll support missionaries who go to other countries where people don’t know about God and they’ll smuggle bibles to them thinking that they actually brought God there.
Many people see their church as being infallible and holy. They’ll consider the sacraments to be equal to God. Even communion goes from remembering Christ to becoming Christ. Their forgiveness of sins come from the church and their salvation is in the hands of the church. They're told that when they give money to the church, it's the same as giving to God Himeslf. The words of their pastor or priest become the words of God. Every attribute of God is attributed to the stuff people have put their faith in.
I get emails daily from people frantically defending their stuff to me. They’ll read an article I wrote that encourages folks to retract their faith in stuff and put it in God, and they’ll immediately see it as an attack on their god. In reality, it is. It’s an attack on what their faith has made its god. If their stuff or their god is shaken at all, they become terrified. They’ll say stuff like, “If I can’t believe that the entire bible is infallible, then I can’t believe any of it and all is lost”, or “If I can’t believe in this promise, I can’t believe in any promise,” or “If this one thing isn’t true, then none of it is true.”
I think we do this because as human beings in a physical world, it is our carnal nature to be drawn towards things that are tangible. We want something we can see with our eyes and hear with our ears. The idea of knowing an invisible God within our heart seems impossible. If we can’t touch Him, hear Him, or see Him, we don’t believe we could ever know Him. This mentality is perpetuated and magnified as we put our faith in tangible stuff. Eventually, It becomes even more difficult and impossible to connect with God in our hearts because we’ve fed ourselves a steady diet of physical things. The extremely raw truth of living this way is that we are really a bunch of atheists, who like to practice rituals.
Most Christians would be furious to read those words, but I honestly believe it's true. I think our entire religious system is set up the way it is because deep in the hearts of the hierarchy they are atheists. They don’t trust that anyone can hear from God apart from their input. They take it upon themselves to disciple people rather than trust Christ to do the job. They decide when the “Holy Spirit” falls in a meeting by dimming the lights and playing slow emotional music at just the right time. They insist on leading worship, serving communion, leading prayer, teaching our children, and deciding where we give and how much we give. Leaving these things up to the individual and God is not an option because when push comes to shove, they don’t believe there is a God.
I think that all of this comes through putting faith in stuff rather than in God. I’ve found that while living in the wild, I no longer have the stuff in my face like I did in the institution. There is nothing in my face in the wild. It’s a sink or swim situation and I’ve come to believe that this is what millions of people need in order to know God personally. Remove the stuff and believe.
Rate This Post:
Leave a Comment
Leave a comment with your very own customized avatar!
FBN uses Gravatars to allow commenters to customize their very own comment image!
The Free Believers Newsletter
Sign up for our FREE newsletter!