More and more, however, I find I'm reaching a point of exasperation with what the American religious institution has become. I refuse to believe that this quarrelsome group of people, that tears pastors to shreds and tramples over those who are hurting simply for the sake of their comfort and tradition, is the bodily incarnation of Christ that God intended the church to be. I know that we are human and none of us are perfect..."just forgiven." But how long are we going to use our imperfect, fallen flesh as scape goat to justify what is nothing more than our selfish, stubborn will clamoring for its own way? I would never presume to know the motives of a person's heart, nor am I claiming to sit in judgement of someone's soul. The fact is, however, that in every eternal judgement situation in Scripture there is a sorting that occurs; sheep from goats, wheat from tares, etc., and in each case those on the left are surprised to be there, which means they believed they would be on the right.
That being said, is it possible that our American version of the church is composed largely of those horribly deceived people that think they are right but are in fact not? What is the distinguishing mark? The same mark it has always been; "they shall know you are my disciples by your love for each other." That is the identifying factor that marks the Bride of Christ. Can you honestly say that the average American Church is known for its love? While we passionately profess the love of God, the sad truth is that American "Christianity" is often known more for what it opposes that for what it professes. Tragically, more often than not, even when many associated with the "church" do attempt to demonstrate God's love to those outside their circles, their attempts are so laced with self-righteous condescension they look more like jerks than Jesus.
Let me reiterate that I love the Church. The Bride of Christ is a breathtakingly beautiful creature. How long, however, will we indulge this impostor bride masquerading as the Lord's betrothed? How long will we continue to make excuses for sinful arrogance in the guise of holiness? How long will we tolerate heartless adherence to ritual and tradition at the expense of honest and sincere relationships? We have become far too content with a hollow shell of godliness devoid of love and power. I believe God is stirring His beloved to rise up in His name, manifest Him through the power of His spirit, and throw off this warped mutation defaming her character. There is an awakening happening among those who love God. He is rekindling the passion of His people. He is stoking the flame of their supreme love, and the days of this institutional, religious usurper are numbered.