Last week’s column was only my fourth for WorldNetDaily, and already I’ve been tagged as anti-church, anti-Bible, and, shall we say, remarkably retarded. Now I suppose I’ll be called a fifth columnist.
Ah well, at least it’s free publicity. And they always carefully cite WorldNetDaily.com, even if it does come out spelled WorldNutDaily sometimes. But the thing that pains my tender, delicate feelings is that none of these ruddy idiots have shown any sign of getting within 50 feet of my book.
How can I spread the “odious heresies” they accuse me of if they don’t buy my book? They just don’t understand the system. So let me spell it out for my devoted antifans: Hey guys, if you don’t buy “Megashift,” I’ll go flat stony broke, and then you won’t have Jim Rutz to kick around anymore! (sniff)
So whilst I dry my tears and compose myself, please keep reading, because I’m about to reveal the core of this kindhearted but era-marking book.
First, it’s not about church growth, though my statistics do show that Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism are doomed to museum status, possibly in your lifetime.
Second, it’s not about miracles, though it does contain enough well-attested resurrections and other stunning acts of God to make a staunch atheist foam at the mouth and stomp.
What it’s really about is the biggest reversal in human history. Seventeen centuries of suppression are coming to a well-earned end. A new freedom and empowerment are starting to shatter custom’s rusty chains.
Welcome to the new Christianity
What? You say you kind of liked the old Christianity? Well, if you did, you’ll love the new one.
It’s got exactly the same set of beliefs, but a structure and dynamic that are poles apart from tradition-encrusted Churchianity, whose tacked-on flaws can be seen from orbiting spacecraft.
It also has some improvements: no sermons, no expensive buildings, and no sitting in silence because of your second-class status. Sound heretical? Then please note that all these practices are imports from the ancient pagan world, and none of them are recommended or even mentioned in the New Testament. Not once. So who’s the heretic here?
In fact, forget everything you ever knew about church. Picture this: It’s Saturday night in your living room – or Sunday afternoon at your dinner table – and about 15 of your friends are sitting around having a good time. (Kids drift in or out, depending on whether a topic interests them.)
They’re telling stories, sharing their lives, and talking about great stuff they’ve experienced and learned recently.
They’re also opening up their Bibles and discussing parts of it, helping each other apply it to their lives. And when someone is having a problem – with health, money, anything – the others may gather round and pray for him or her, usually placing their hands on a shoulder or head. At the very least, they offer encouragement or insights. And once in a while, especially near the start or end, everyone breaks out in a song. (If you think Hollywood musicals look really hokey when that happens, well, get used to it!)
If you and your friends aren’t exactly upper middle class, you’ll have some financial emergencies now and then. And you’ll often decide to pass the hat, or tap into the group’s kitty.
Even children get in the act pretty regularly. I have a friend named Jeanne (email@example.com) who once was out running, and fell and shattered her ankle. She was facing an operation and a long recovery at best when she visited a home church here in Colorado. When she asked for prayer, a 2-year-old boy named Moses came across the room and wrapped his little hands around her ankle. Instantly, she felt all the bone fragments snapping back into place. In house churches, things like that do happen.
Everyone dives in. In fact, if a wallflower is sitting in silence, someone will notice and encourage the sharing of what’s on his heart. No one is restricted … unless you count the occasional motormouth who simply has to be reined in. But hey, God loves gasbags, too.
There is so much more: eating together (always!), sharing communion and, above all, experiencing the overwhelming presence of Christ during times of worship.
In a simple church (home-based and open) you’ll have your own weddings, baptisms and funerals. That’s because your people are proactive, changing from spiritual consumers to spiritual producers who will overcome the world – not by force, but by their faith.