The revelation of Grace is a long, cool drink to some and a bitter pill to others. It flies in the face of all man made tradition – political, social and religious. It confronts the status quo. More surprising, and much to the frustration of the self righteously perfect, Jesus became the champion of outcasts. He was and remains a threat to the religious.
John 4 tells a story of a lonely woman on a lonely walk. She was called a tramp, which fits her perfectly both as a noun, 'a disreputable woman', or a verb, 'to walk with heavy footsteps', (Wiktionary.com).
A simple overview of the story depicts a woman leaving community, going out and alone to retrieve water. She meets Jesus for the first time and is transformed by the revelation. She leaves her original task, returns to community and tells everyone she knows about this Man.
This is my story too. A lifetime in church and I was leaving the system....desperately thirsty. I went out and away alone, a necessary trek. This journey proved revolutionary and would lead me to a Person and an encounter that resulted in a paradigm shift of epic proportions.
I am a church dropout.
This does not mean that I am anti-church.
Somewhere in the journey I began to understand that leaving church and community was not the answer. The answer was in finding the Person of Jesus Christ, which naturally results in seeking out others. This revelation may or may not result in an exodus from church, but it will always result in an exodus from religion.
'Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore.' Heb 13:13
I wonder if the 'camp' isn't the 'hub of religious activity' and her participants.....the modern day church...whether they meet in a home or in a building....
I believe the church in general needs a reformation, but through my own lonely walk to the well, I have come to know that before reformation must come revolution.
a : a sudden, radical, or complete change b: a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm
a : to put or change into an improved form or condition b : to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses
Who is this mysterious woman at the well? She represents the church today, defiled by religion. (photo credit sxc.hu)
In this post I have simply made the introduction. I hope you will check back because in this simple story we will discover why 'church' isn't working.... at least for some of us..... and at the same time, we will discover the Answer.
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