Jesus didn’t come to start a new group or new religion. He came to provide fellowship with the Father by cleansing us from our sinful nature.
Christianity is not a religion. True Christianity is a relationship with God. I think it is more accurate to say we are followers of Christ.
The Church is not an organization, it is a living organism. It is not a denomination, it is not Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, or any other man-made group based on a doctrine you are expected to believe and follow. The Church is all of us who have trusted in the grace of God provided by the sacrifice of Christ. We are all kings and priests and ministers of God. We are all equals and are holy and righteous in God’s sight because of Christ.
There are many people involved in organized religion who truly love God and who are wanting to live in close fellowship with God. There are many pastors who truly feel called to preach and lead in their congregation. The problem with modern day church is not the people who love God, it is the organized system itself that says you have to be involved and support the system to truly be a Christian.
For those who have left organized religion, many are looked down upon and called back-sliders. They are said to have walked away from God and avoid fellowship by not attending church. Truth is, fellowship was never required to happen in a certain place, at a certain time, on a certain day. Fellowship happens anywhere, anytime two or three gather in His name.
As followers of Christ, we should be loving and accepting of everyone we meet, whether in church, out of church, believer or non-believer. Many in the church today want to prove their point and argue with those of different interpretation, doctrine, those who don’t attend church and those who are not believers. Jesus told us under the New Covenant we are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and love others as we love ourselves. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with everyone, but it is not our job to point out others sins and mistakes. We are not to condemn and convict. The Holy Spirit will work in each person’s life in His time and His way. We are to love. Jesus loved and hung out with all kinds of people. Funny thing, it seems the ones He had the most problem with were the religious people, the ones who thought they were better than all those sinful, second class people that Jesus associated with.
A lot of us Christians will argue that we are called to be separate and come out from among them, thinking that means we separate ourselves from the sinful people of the world. Jesus said he came for the sick, those who needed a physician. Being separate cannot mean we don’t associate with people of the world. Jesus said we are in the world, but not of it. We don’t need to separate ourselves into Christian churches, Christian schools, Christian clubs etc. We are to live daily in the world, rubbing shoulders with those who are not part of the ‘religious’ crowd. We are to be Jesus’ hands and feet on earth today and show everyone we meet the love of Christ, not the condemnation of religion.
We should love and accept everyone, male-female, black-white, rich-poor, Hindu-Muslim-Atheist-Christian, gay-straight. We are called to love and accept all people. Stop letting the religious spirit separate us from the ones that God loves. He wants to show His love through us. Again, loving and accepting people doesn’t mean we agree with them, or approve of what they do, it is not our job to be the judge. Let the love of God flow out of you to everyone you see each day. Don’t worry who they are, what they believe, what they do, just love them with the love of Christ. Everything else is in God’s hands.