We've Been Brain-dirtied
Now, in the religious world where it’s attendance—based (attend, go home, attend, go home) instead of relationships, I guarantee, by definition, that you’ll end up with leaven in the batch. You will have wolves in the batch. You’ll have divisive and arrogant people who love the world. What does God say is true of a person who loves the world?
They’re an enemy of God.
They’re an enemy of God (James 4:4). If in christendom there are people in the “churches” who love the world, then they are God’s enemy. But here’s what happens in an attendance-based situation: if someone sings really well, cultural christianity makes them a worship leader! Hello?! When it’s attendance-based, you don’t know what their life is really made of. People who love the world can easily be an “elder” or a “pastor” or “assistant pastor” or a “deacon” or “worship leader” or “Bible class teacher.” They are God’s enemy and they are a Bible class teacher? There’s something wrong with that!
A situation where “christians” are centering their christianity around attendance at a meeting is not in the Bible. There’s no such church in the Bible that centers around attendance. That does not exist. Guess how many times the word “Sunday” is in the New Testament in the time span of sixty years. In the first thirty years, God mentioned the first day of the week twice in the book of Acts, and nowhere else.
And we build our lives around it!
Cultural christianity does build their existence around it. Exactly. Is there anything wrong with the first day of the week? No. Not directly.
We have been taught that we’re not a Christian if we don’t attend something on Sunday.
Right, we’ve been told that. We’ve been brain-dirtied. Not brain-“washed,” but brain-“dirtied.” We’ve been brain-dirtied by our culture. Please don’t take this personally because this is true of every culture in the world that we’ve ever encountered, read about, or heard about. Every culture gravitates toward attendance-based religion with a “holy man” at the top. It’s in our human flesh. We all want to have a king like the other nations. That desire goes all the way back to Israel: “Give us a king like the other nations!” And God said, “You’ve rejected Me by choosing to have a king other than Me” (1 Samuel 8).
We’re trying to recover the ground that was lost in Josiah’s rubble by saying, “Let’s honestly look at laying down our lives for each other, the same way we would lay them down for our own family, as the way to build, instead of attending something.” You don’t attend your family. You are your family. It’s “as you sit down, as you rise up, as you walk along the way.” That’s what Church is. That’s what Jesus did with the twelve, and that’s what we must do with one another if we ever want to grow up.
Now if you live this way, you’ll begin to find out who loves the world and who doesn’t. No longer are they going to be “Bible teachers,” because this person loves the world and they don’t want to repent. They don’t even care! They don’t have a conscience about loving the world. Well, I’m not going to have someone talking about the Bible to other people around me when that person loves the world. They are God’s enemy! What right does God’s enemy have to teach the Bible to anyone?
If you base your Christianity on attendance, which isn’t even in the Bible anyway, then people who love the world can be in all sorts of leadership positions, and that’s wrong. “They go over land and sea to make a convert and make them twice a son of hell” (Matthew 23:15). You can only impart what you have. If someone who loves the world is teaching your children, they will teach your children to love the world. If someone hates the world, and if the world is dead to them and them to the world, they will teach your children to be dead to the world and the world to them. You can only teach what you are, Jesus said.