Updated: Mar 27, 2021
When I look at what much of Christianity has become, I have reached the conclusion that what we now have is a whole lot more but a whole lot less of what Jesus meant for His church to be. We have far more churchianity than ever but far less authenticity and simplicity in Christ. Christianity was always meant to be so much more through so much less.
Far too often throughout church history we have needlessly complicated our simplicity in Christ. We’ve complicated it with institutionalized churchianity, manmade traditions, church rituals, church liturgies, religious duties, religious observances, legalistic do’s & don’ts, rigid methodology, performance expectations, church membership regulations, pastoral agendas, ministry obligations, discipline quotas, and the empty forms of Godliness. Through our constant tampering we have succeeded only in making Christianity much more complicated than it was ever intended to be when much less has always worked much better.
We have placed too much focus on performance driven, purpose driven Christianity. Often, instead of finding that the yoke is easy and the burden is light the church dumps a pile of burdens on the backs of believers and places a heavy yoke upon their shoulders. So many start out with a wholesome desire to serve the Lord but often find themselves in performance-driven churches that gradually sucked the life out of them through too much church busyness, program commitments and ministerial involvements. In trying to find their place in the body they end up losing their relationship with Jesus. Many unknowingly fall into the trap of the “Martha Syndrome”. Like Martha in the familiar story of “Martha & Mary”, their experience becomes so cluttered with activities, commitments and busyness that they are simply going through the motions while Jesus gets neglected on the sidelines. . Through our endless serving we often run the risk of losing sight of Jesus. Invariably, our personal relationship with Him becomes smothered under the weight of church duties, demands and responsibilities. Like Martha, we become “distracted by much serving” and overwhelmed by many troubles. What we need is more of Mary and less of Martha.
Much of the church today is a far cry from the simplicity the early church knew and experienced. In fact, they wouldn’t even recognize the church of today. It is a church of steeped in excess and add-ons that have nothing to do with our calling. To be sure, many have their plasma screens, state-of-the-art sound systems, comfortable buildings, rock concert worship services, programs for everything and everyone, and even cappuccino bars, valet parking and inflatable dinosaurs for the kiddies. But it is a church overloaded with busyness, entertainment, special events, programs, an endless merry-go-round of church hype, extra-biblical teachings and experiences, and the eternal quest for something new, something more and something exciting. In becoming so much more of everything it has become so much less in simplicity, authenticity and power.
With so many church distractions, activities and commitments it’s almost impossible to nurture our simplicity in Christ. We have so much going on that trying to maintain our simplicity in Christ is as futile as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. These are the products of "churchianity". Many have forsaken our historic roots for manmade traditions, artificial “church life” and fabricated hype. We have become the attendance driven, program driven, entertainment driven, fad driven, hype driven, formula driven and snake-oil driven church. With all of our innovative knowhow, cutting edge ideas and manmade strategies men have complicated Christianity to such an extent that most are experiencing far too little of what authentic Christianity was meant to be.