“We need to kill the Church.” As a lingering skeleton of good intentions, the Church has become ineffective at relaying the only knowledge that truly matters in this world—telling all who Jesus truly is. When I say, “We need to kill the church,” I am speaking about the institutionalized Church of our current day which caters to societal trends, fashions, and the myriad of other “things” that draw people in to church each week. However, something is lost when we glitz and glam up our churches to fit the marketplace. That same “something” is also lost when we stand, stiffly and uncomfortably, waiting for praise and worship to end, so we can finally sit down and mindlessly listen (or daydream) while the pastor, priest, or whoever stands on stage for forty minutes talking about how Jesus died for our sins. The same “something” is even lost in services where enthusiastic worshippers get that “tingly feeling” during a “really good song” or those chills when the pastor brings a sermon home. These “somethings” are self-edifying, but sadly, they stay within the walls of the church building never to see the light of day. What is lost? Jesus. This man who was born as the lowest of low, who knew ultimate joy, and suffered an unimaginably brutal death is lost. There is no raw, real Jesus in our institutionalized church today; we have fashioned Him to be either a condoning sweetheart (so we can feel good about ourselves and our actions) or a hardnosed, fire and brimstone bringer of wrath and judgment (so we can look down our noses at homosexuals, druggies, and all the “true” sinners of the world). So, let us, as the Body and Bride of Christ, choose to shut this “Church” down. This “Church” that is more a business seeking consumers than a delightful extension of our missional God.
This is not to say there are no churches doing it right; that would be absurd! Of course there are churches, many, who seek after Jesus with everything in their being. Unfortunately, our society (even Christians) send these churches into exile and deem them crazy radicals. Salvation and eternal life are radical concepts; shouldn’t we believe so passionately to the point of fearlessly seeking God’s holistic view, and not just pieces of it? We understand the world does not know us because our identity is in Heaven, so let’s not become offended when people disagree with us for making waves. As long as our actions are biblical and in accordance with God’s character and will, we are surely a force to be reckoned with! Through community, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, and the ability to imagine in radical ways, we can collectively step into our role as the true Body of Christ, how the Church was intended to be. Arise, Church, as the hands and the feet and the ears and the eyes of Christ to kill this institutional “Church” and bring Jesus to the center where He belongs. In this way, we, as the body of Christ, and the whole world will be forever changed.Jamie