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Churchianity Today

The truth of the Gospel compromised with the worship of temples

Excerpts from ML#1964, written by David Brandt Berg, compiled on February, 1984

Churchianity's First Commandment: Go to Church!

Jesus Christ never, in the entire New Testament, ever said to go to church on Sunday! But that's the first commandment and the cardinal primary law of so-called Christianity--or what I call Churchianity--today: "Go to church on Sunday!" If you obey that one law, it doesn't matter what else you do during the rest of the week! It doesn't matter how you treat your wife or children or neighbours, or if you cheat at business, or whatever you do!--As long as you go to church on Sunday you have fulfilled the major law of the church and they will forgive you for anything else, particularly if you put enough money in their waste basket or "offering plate"!

The Church System of today, because they did not want to pay the price of obeying God and following His way, has been deceived into thinking that their own way is right! The Bible says, "Because they received not the love of the Truth, for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they might believe a lie!" (2Thess.2:10,11) You have to believe something, so if you don't believe the Truth, God will let you believe something else.--And if it's not the Truth, it must be a lie!

Why Church Buildings?

Since they were not willing to really forsake all to follow Jesus and give their lives to reach others with His love, they cooked up church buildings and church attendance instead, something Jesus never advocated or said to do! They first got into this "Churchianity" rut way back in 222 AD in Rome, when they cleaned out an old pagan temple and put up new idols and new pictures and a new priesthood and called it "Christian"!--A sad day for the church! Up until that time they were doing a pretty good job, but that first church building was the beginning of the end of their effectiveness and obedience to God!--And they've been in the same rut ever since!

Why did the Church revert to temple worship back then in the Roman era?--It was a trick of the Devil to get them back into ancient place-worship, that you've got to have a certain place and a certain building in which to worship. Why?--Because this would put God and His Message in a closed box, within four walls and under the roof of a building, and keep it there, instead of out where it's needed, where Jesus preached it and where He told His followers to take it!

Let's build a bigger barn!

I am convinced, therefore, that the church building system is of the Devil, because while the Churchy Christians have been spending billions of dollars on church buildings and temples throughout the ages, they have let the unsaved Gospel-ignorant peoples of the World go to Hell! Jesus said to "lift up your eyes and look on the fields"--of this World, of the souls that need the Gospel--"for they are ripe and ready to be harvested". And He said that we should "pray the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into the harvest." (Jn.4:35; Mt.9:37,38)--But the churches have put barn-building first, and have built big fancy barns where they sit around singing songs, having ceremonies and praying that the stalks of grain will walk in to them!--Instead of getting out into the fields to witness and reap and preach the Gospel as Jesus commanded!

Church buildings: A waste of precious resources

And they're still building great temples of worship, wasting millions and billions of dollars that could be used to feed the hungry and clothe the poor and give them the Gospel! They're letting the rest of the World starve without food and be damned without salvation, without the Gospel, because they want a prettier church building, more beautiful stained-glass windows, central air-conditioning, hundred thousand dollar organs, etc.!--Not that these things are bad in themselves, but if people are dying of starvation while you're putting silken pads on the pews, something's wrong with your Christianity!

If Christianity does not reach down into your pocket, if the love of Jesus Christ doesn't cause you to share what you have with those in need, then it is false Christianity! I'll never forget the time I was with a little group of tourists in Mexico City at the famous Shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, a religious statue that is supposed to be one of the most costly in the World, encrusted with diamonds, rubies, pearls, gold, etc. It's supposed to be one of the most expensive icons in the World and this tour guide was bragging about how wonderful it was and how many millions of dollars it was worth, and so on.

Jesus doesn't like church!

Outside the huge cathedral there were throngs of poor hungry people, dressed literally in rags, crawling up the huge stairway on their bare and bloodied knees, to get into the church to confess their sins and adore the statue. The guide was going on and on about how valuable this statue was, and finally I just couldn't take it anymore and I piped up and said, "Well then why the Hell don't you sell her and give the money to these poor people to feed them?!" They immediately called the cops, "You're disturbing the peace!"--And I had to run and go hide in the restroom! Apparently that was dangerous doctrine to these "Christians," to share their wealth with the poor!

Just think of all the people who could have used the billions that the churches have wasted on their fancy buildings with cushioned pews and stained-glass windows and lovely pipe organs and ornate pulpits so they could lull the people to sleep with lovely Sunday morning lullabies!--So many of those churches were built with the blood and sweat and tears of the poor! Personally, I'd rather have my church out on the grass under the trees before I'd rob the poor to build it!--After all, that's where Jesus met with His flock!

Church buildings are of the Devil

So I believe church buildings are of the Devil and the curse of Satan and a distraction from the main job Christians have, which is to get out and be missionaries and evangelise the World! God never once said to build church buildings! He never once said to establish big fancy Bible Colleges and Seminaries! He never once said to build great and costly cathedrals! He simply said to "go ye into all the World and preach the Gospel to every creature!" (Mark 16:15)

All the gorgeous cathedrals and synagogues and mosques and temples and all the rest are nothing but empty shells! They are not the houses of the Lord, they're not the temples of God! The only temple God has today is the human heart!--Your heart, my heart and the hearts of all those who know and love Him!--That's where He dwells! If Christians would just read their Bibles they'd see that "God dwelleth not in temples made with hands!" (Acts 7:48) He dwells in life! He dwells more in one little sparrow than He does in all the damn cathedrals and empty, lifeless church buildings put together!

So temple-worship, place-worship, church buildings and church-building and church-worship, which has become the foundation of their Christianity, is a false doctrine! I would even call church-building and church-attendance a false cult!--Literally!--Because it's not true Christianity, it's not genuine Christian faith and religion or practice! Sitting around in church buildings once a week singing hymnal lullabies and litanies to lull themselves to sleep is not Christianity!--It is the false cult of Churchianity!

The biggest deceit the Devil ever brought upon Christianity was that their faith could be upheld by building buildings and attending them! This is church-worship!--Not worshiping God, but worshipping those buildings! That's literally what the Christians worship! Who are they serving when they're spending billions of dollars on church buildings? They think they're serving God, but they're actually serving those buildings!--And in so doing, in serving the material, they're serving the god of the material World, and that's the Devil! They think they're serving God, when by not obeying the Lord and getting out into the whole World and preaching the Gospel and witnessing and winning souls, they are trapped in the Devil's own church trap!

Their form of Christianity has become nothing in the world but a false cult of Churchianity! By their false faith in this false cult of Churchianity, they have rejected the Truth and accepted this lie of Churchianity instead of true Christianity, which is being born-again and filled with the Spirit and going out into the whole World to preach the Gospel!

Church System condemned by Jesus!

jesus angry at the Pharisees

In fact, the damned delusion of Churchianity and its church buildings and church services and so-called church worship is so dangerous and deceptive that Jesus condemned it more than anything else! If you don't believe it, just read the 23rd chapter of Matthew and see what He had to say about the religious system of His day! The only people Jesus ever called names and said the most horrible things He could think of about and practically cursed were not the poor drunks who drank, nor the hard-working harlots who prostituted themselves, nor the tax collectors who robbed the people, nor the sinners who did everything else in the book.--But the ones He cursed and damned and publicly condemned and exposed were the damned hypocritical religious leaders of the Hellish religious system of His day!

Why?--Because the greatest danger is that which pretends to be what it's not!--Pretends to give salvation but does not, pretends to save the damned but does not, pretends to offer Heaven but sends them to Hell! Jesus Himself said, "If the light that's in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Mat.6:23) It's the most horrible darkness of all when you think it's light, but it's really black darkness! It's the most horrible heinous lie and delusion of all to think you're saved, when you're really damned! And that's what the Church System is teaching its poor pitiful victims: That they're saved just because they go to church on Sunday morning and help to build a building!

I believe with all my heart that the churches have sent more people to Hell than anything else in this World, because of their God-damned counterfeit religion and their God-damned hypocrisy! Most folks cannot help but identify God with the hypocritical religious systems which were supposed to be teaching them about Him. So when they become embittered against the religious system, they usually become embittered against God Himself!--"Because," they say, "if that's what God's like, I don't want anything to do with Him!" So it's a Hell of a System!--God damn it!

Church religion: A drug that puts Christians to sleep

The Communists are only too right when they say that religion is the opiate of the people. The kind of religion they have seen is exactly that--a horrible drug which puts them to sleep, makes them oblivious to the conditions around them, lethargic and senseless to the needs of mankind. There's only one thing worse than a drug addict, and that's a System addict!--And that kind of systematic religion is an opiate! It just drugs them and puts them to sleep, makes them like a bunch of zombies walking around with their eyes shut and their ears shut and their mouths shut!

See you next Sunday, God!

That damn Church System has given lazy Christians an excuse to ignore Christ's call to service, His admonition to love God with all their hearts and to love their neighbors as themselves, because they are satisfied with just sitting in their pews a few hours or a few minutes a week on Sunday morning: "Let the preacher do the job!--Let the missionaries do the job!--That's what we pay them for! We'll live our own lives as we please all the rest of the week, live selfishly for ourselves and our own families and our own homes and our own jobs and our own money and our own luxuries, and let the rest of the World go to Hell as far as we're concerned!"--That's how they think and live!

"Oh, we'll give a few pennies to the missionaries and we'll give quite a few dollars to our church and its pastor for our beautiful building and his lovely sermons that tickle our ears on Sunday mornings and all this gorgeous music and choir singing and comfortable cushioned pews in such a heavenly, air-conditioned atmosphere, but we're certainly not going to waste much of our money on the heathen, the foreigners, the pagans and unsaved in far-away lands that we don't even know anything about!" In fact, most churches only give about 5% of their entire income to foreign missions and the poor missionaries, who are really the ones who are doing the biggest job of all that God has called us all to do!

Is that Christianity? How like the Bible are such churchy Christians? How like Jesus are they? Are they following the teachings of Christ?--Huh? What the Hell is the matter with them? Jesus said to the religious leaders of the churches of His day, "By your traditions of men, your own laws, you have made the laws of God of none effect!" (Mark 7:9,13) In other words, He said that by their churchy laws they defy the laws of God!--And that's exactly what the Church System and its Systemites have done today!

They all have secular jobs and they're all more interested in making money than in anything else! They work six or more days a week for themselves and for the Devil, and then they pat themselves on the back for coming and listening to a little sermon for perhaps one hour each week!--Is this loving God? Is this giving all to follow Jesus?

99% of the Christians in the world go home after Sunday morning service and pat themselves on the back and say, "I've done my little duty for God! I made a real sacrifice today coming here for an hour, or an hour and a half. I'm a good boy, I'm a good girl, I really paid for this! I came along and put my 10 cents or my dollar in the waste basket!

"I drove all the way to church in my nice big car. I dragged myself out of bed this morning instead of watching my favourite TV show. I sat on this nice cushioned pew in the air-conditioning and bore with that lovely pipe-organ music and lovely songs, and I stood that ten minute sermonette, all for God. And then I was real religious when the pastor had them pass the plate!--I really sacrificed! Out of my whole week's salary of 200 to 1,000 dollars, I put in one whole dollar, or even five, or maybe even ten!" In fact, when they put in a ten, they go home feeling like there's a halo around their head, that they're an absolute saint, a real supporter of the Kingdom!--Ha!

Churchianity - A substitute for reality

And that is why the modern Church System is such an abomination to God, because it's such a horrible substitute for reality, such a damn counterfeit, such a subtle deception! It is a "form of Godliness, but without the power thereof." (2Tim.3:5) It is a low-cost religion, cut-price religion, bargain-counter religion, 10% or less instead of 100%, for those who want a fire escape but don't want a ruler!--Who want a Savior, but don't want a Lord!

The Church didn't start out that way, by inviting the sinners into fancy buildings to have a meeting! It started out with twelve motley-looking beggars hoofing it on the dusty roads with their dirty feet out amongst the sinners where they were taking them the Word in person, and they had no place to take them to but Jesus! Yet the preachers today say, "Come to church on Sunday, and don't forget to bring your money!" Jesus said, "Go out into the highways and the byways and compel them to come in!" (Luke 14:23)--And He wasn't talking about coming into a building, He was talking about coming into the Kingdom of God, into the Love of God!

Jesus said, "You cannot serve two masters," for each one will want all of your time and devotion! "You're going to love one and hate the other," one way or the other! You cannot do both! "You cannot serve God and mammon!" (Mat.6:24) But they insist that they can somehow work for the Devil six days a week and still be a Christian on Sundays! That's a lie!--And it makes God sick to His stomach--lukewarmness!

I'm not saying the churches have never done anything good.--They've at least kept alive the memory of Christ and gotten some people to think about God once a week for a few minutes, and sometimes they give to some worthwhile cause, welfare or charity. Some have even promoted and supported a few missionaries to do the job that all Christians are supposed to do, and that is to preach the Gospel to the lost! (Mk.16:15)

They are not all hypocrites.--Just like in Jesus' day, there were many sincere Jews, many sincere believers within the religious system, even a great company of the priests. (Acts 6:7) But it was their self-righteous leaders who were the "wolves in sheep's clothing," the "blind leaders of the blind," that ran the religious system and led their followers astray! (Mt.7:15; 15:14; 23:16,17,19,24,26)

There are millions of saved believers around the world who love the Lord and are doing the best they can in spite of the churches.--In spite of how little they've been fed, in spite of how little they've been taught, they love the Lord! And many of them are following Him the best they know how, even in the churches.--I know, I fellowshipped with them for 50 years. That's why I know them so well, including all of their faults and failures and shortcomings.

So when I curse the so-called churches and their Pharisaical religious leaders, as Jesus did, I'm not cursing the poor pitiful victims of this horrible Churchianity System: I feel sorry for them! Most of them are like spiritually retarded children, whose growth and spirituality have been stunted because the preachers withheld the truth of God's Word from them! The churches have become more like nurseries or hospitals for spiritual invalids, instead of the army camps for the Lord that they should be!

Many of them do love the Lord, but are pitifully trapped within the false Churchianity System! So they build those buildings that God never told them to build, make religious organizations that Jesus never intended, and they sit around with pretty little programs and "services" that have nothing to do with Christianity or reaching the World with God's Love!


Copyright © 1998 by The Family International

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James Arendt
James Arendt

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