The Church

Thoughts on the IC

This week, I’ve been with most of the other bloggers on 3rdRace.org.  We were supremely blessed to stay with Tim at his home in Arizona.  Being there with the others (as well as with author and co-worker Jon Zens) allowed for much discussion regarding the work and Jesus.  The Lord used this time to coalesce and solidify some recent thoughts I’ve been having, specifically regarding the weaknesses of the IC (institutional church).

Background: I am somewhat unique among many of the bloggers here in that I didn’t have an overpowering drive in me to find a form of church that was better than the traditional IC.  Although He clearly directed me to the house church in 2010, it didn’t feel like a glass of cold water in the desert; it was a new group of believers to me, mostly.  As such, many others in the house churches I’ve been associated with have understood the weaknesses of the IC better than myself.

Recently, He has been giving me a greater understanding of the “vaccinating power” of the typical IC.  In other words, it inoculates us against aspects of walking in Christ that are essential.  Things such as constantly seeking Him to be our daily source of sustenance.  The passivity that the structure allows provides an incubator in which lukewarmness is able to grow.  [Sidebar: How many times have we heard sermons on lukewarmness being worse than unbelief?  Maybe one time I’ve heard a speaker/preacher mention it, but clearly Jesus would prefer non belief to passive belief…Rev3:16]

Jon Zens relayed to us that George Barna has documented the Billy Graham Crusades, and that generally LESS THAN 1% of those who make a profession of salvation actually follow through and continue in the faith.  This is consistent with a quote I heard of Billy Graham’s towards the end of his life.  Reportedly, he said if he could do his whole life/ministry over again, he would just get 12 men and disciple those men, and have them do the same, over and over.  {None of this is meant to disparage Billy himself; he walked in the understanding he had, and I’m proud to call him brother.}

I don’t know much in this life, but I do know that truly walking with the Lord is quite difficult at times.  Currently, over a billion people worldwide call themselves christians, and clearly most of them don’t actually know Jesus.  While this is due to many factors, one of the most pervasive and insidious is the nature of the IC.

Share any thoughts you have on this topic; I’d like to learn more.  Thanks ya’ll.


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