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Shifting from Religion to the Kingdom of God

Discussion in 'Spirit-Filled / Charismatic' started by ANM29, Jun 23, 2009.

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  1. ANM29

    ANM29 New Member

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    [FONT=Tahoma][COLOR=black][COLOR=#ffcc00][COLOR=#2d5a87][COLOR=black]Shifting from Religion to the Kingdom of God[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/FONT] and [COLOR=black][COLOR=#ffcc00][COLOR=#2d5a87][COLOR=black][B]Facilitating a Paradigm Shift from Religion to the Kingdom of God[/B][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=black][B][SIZE=4]
    By Timothy Johns [URL="http://www.rocktribe.org/"]www.rocktribe.org[/URL] [/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#ffcc00][COLOR=#2d5a87][COLOR=black][B][COLOR=#993300]Helping God's people transition from the Christian religion to a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ - advancing His kingdom 24/7 as a lifestyle in every area of life.[/COLOR][/B]

    [SIZE=5]Helping people change the way they view and experience reality is no easy task. Some call it a "paradigm shift". Thousands of stories describe just how difficult it is to get a large segment of the population to see and do things differently. One story concerns the Swiss watch industry. Not long ago, the Swiss led the world in making the finest watches. These watches were powered by springs, which drove moving gears. Watches were built like this for hundreds of years, and no one expected or desired a change. Thousands of companies and millions of workers had a vested interest in the traditional watch paradigm. Any change was a perceived threat to the old paradigm watchmakers which, in turn, supported its work force. Along came a creative Swiss engineer who designed a completely different kind of watch. It was digital, powered by a small battery with no moving parts. He took his new paradigm watch to the largest Swiss watch companies, and every one of them scoffed at his idea. Finally he decided to attend an international trade show and make his patent available to all bidders. Texas Instruments and Seiko paid relatively small sums for the idea and the rest is history. Because the Swiss refused to see and apply the new paradigm, they lost approximately 80 percent of their market share. Once dominant, they became almost irrelevant.

    How about those Wright brothers and their flying machine? Most people thought that no object that heavy could ever fly. The so-called scientific experts were convinced that even if they could make an airplane fly, it would serve no practical purpose. The new paradigm of transporting millions of people by jet-powered airplanes over great distances was inconceivable to 99.999% of the population less than a hundred years ago. And think of wireless phones and internet, two more staggering examples of a paradigm shift in communication.

    An even more dramatic paradigm shift is occurring worldwide, one that will cause global transformation. It is the change from the Christian religion into the reality of Christ and His kingdom. Christianity as a religion is declining everywhere, including in the United States. However the Kingdom of God is an ever-expanding reality that will ultimately be the ONLY reality on earth. (see Psalm 2 and Revelation 19-22)

    One version of Christianity is a religion invented by people. It is much different from the Kingdom of God, led by Christ the King. Religion is an attempt to reach God and improve our lives now and for eternity by obtaining some state of heaven through human ideas, efforts, and strategies. Religions are designed so that we can remain in power while attempting to get God and others to do what we want, in the way we want it. Religion is a clever enterprise to stay in control, so we can function as our own god. At the same time we try to manipulate the One True God into serving us by using religious language, rituals and sacrifices. But the Kingdom of God is initiated by God, for God's own glory, and involves His will, done His way, by His Spirit, all the time, and in every area of life. He is a living King, who rules another dominion or realm of reality. He has every intention of fully bringing His rule and realm onto Planet Earth through His sons and daughters by His Holy Spirit.

    Christianity as a religion is nearly dead in Europe, where only 1-3% of the population identifies themselves as Christian. However the Christian religion is being replaced by another more aggressive religion called Islam. What does Europe, America, and the rest of the world need? Do we need more religion, even if it's the Christian religion? Absolutely not! The earth needs the Lordship of Christ, His powerful, compassionate kingly rule over all of life... a paradigm shift from religion into the Kingdom of God. We need the Reclaiming Of Christ's Kingdom all over the world. That is why we named our international spiritual family, "The R.O.C.K.". It reminds us of the centrality and supremacy of Christ, and our only mandate - to advance Christ's kingdom in every area of life.

    Here are a few of the changes that will occur in order to produce this kingdom "paradigm shift":

    1. From a secular humanistic people-centered worldview, to a God-centered biblical Kingdom worldview.

    2. From emphasizing the clergy or priest as the primary minister, to the priesthood of all believers.

    3. From religious activities in a church building, to practicing faith everywhere.

    4. From practicing religion in church services, meetings, programs and events, to constantly exchanging the life of Christ to everyone, all the time, anywhere.

    5. From restricting our spiritual lives, to a certain day and time to "being and doing" church all the time.

    6. From a religious institution, to a spiritual family that connects deeply with one another.

    7. From unifying around doctrine and church policy, to unity around the Person of Christ, core values, kingdom vision, and covenant relationships.

    8. From a transactional leadership model, to a transformational leadership model.

    9. From an institutional model - organizing based on political power, position and pay, to organic relational servant leadership - everyone submits to Christ in one another.

    10. From compartmentalizing faith so that it affects only certain areas of life, to integrating Christ's will and ways into every dimension of life - body, soul, spirit, finances, sexuality, relationships, time, work, play, etc.

    11. From emphasizing church work as the main way to serve God, to advancing Christ's kingdom everywhere, all the time, in all arenas of life. This includes marriage, family, community, friendships, work, media, arts, education, social services, and civil government.

    Janet and I have committed our lives to training and modeling this paradigm shift from Christianity as a religion, to Christ and the Kingdom. It has been a long and hard journey for us personally. We have had our own religious baggage to deal with, let alone helping others to change. However we are enjoying sweet victories. A viable Kingdom family has been forming in the inner city of Kansas City, which has impacted the neighborhood, even helping to reduce crime. We practice being and doing the church as a lifestyle. From small ways (like raising chickens and planting gardens together), to more dramatic ways (like planting small covenant families - house churches), we are trying to be part of this global Kingdom revolution. Our international family is growing in size and depth as we help others move out of religion, and into Christ and His kingdom.[/SIZE]
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  2. Elijah2

    Elijah2 No weapons formed against me will prosper.

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    What you have written is all covered in Col. 2:8!:)

    All that empty deceit produced by the traditions of men into a philosophy of the world that needs to be exposed.
     
  3. JimB

    JimB Legend

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    I agree with your emphasis on “the kingdom of God” as the central message of Christianity but even then we have to be careful, IMO. It is possible to make a religion out of the kingdom. The kingdom of God exists in the heart, not in our preferred forms of ecclesiastical structure (Luke 17.21). It is possible to make a religion out of the “house church” model, as though it is the only workable option available to us. Sure, a biblical case can be made for house churches, but one can also be made for local congregations and ecclesiastical officials, too. What we have to be careful of is the old leaven of religion that creeps into small groups as well as megachurches. It can almost always be detected by a spiritual smugness by saying my approach to God is better than yours (Mark 9.38-41).

    For instance, my cousin and her husband have been part of the house church movement for nearly twenty years. I have watched them gradually move further and further into themselves and away from the body of Christ. Today, hardly any of her family (which consists of a large number of P/C preachers, mostly AOG with one lone Vineyard guy) has contact with her and she does not return calls or email or attend family gatherings, even funerals. They give off a feeling of superiority as though their approach to Christianity is the only true and viable one. The rest of us are, well, “religious”; they alone have the right take on ecclesiology. And while they have, to their credit, established scores of “house churches” throughout central Texas, we have seen that their small groups have many of the same problems as larger churches do in their big groups—wrangling for control, bad attitudes, failure to assimilate a genuine love for others, divorce, emotional issues, commitment, etc. Their house churches are just mini-big churches from all appearances; no better or no worse than any other organization.

    ~Jim
    Faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.
     
  4. ANM29

    ANM29 New Member

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    I TOTALLY agree with that...Empty deceits by the traditions of men..:amen:
     
  5. ANM29

    ANM29 New Member

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    I TOTALLY agree. :amen:The Kingdom of God is within us and that is a hard concept for religious minded to actually GET. At the same time, this is not meant to make a blueprint as to what the Kingdom of God is and turn it into some STRUCTURE, But to get some eyes opened as to what it is NOT.

    The Holy Spirit is the one who leads us into truth. I think if the post is read with an open mind one can see what is really trying to be said. It is not meant to make another 'religion' at all, that is far from it.

    I believe there will be a time when church in buildings will not be the center of Christianity, but BEING the CHURCH. That is the point of the article.
     
  6. sk8Joyful

    sk8Joyful Well-Known Member

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    True, especially christians would tremendously benefit from a paradigm shift :thumbsup:.

    And "inChrist, we can do all things", (so while throwing out the useless bathwater), let us be mindful :D of keeping the BABY :clap:
     
  7. ANM29

    ANM29 New Member

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    Amen!...I believe a shift is most definitely on the way...for the better!....:amen:
     
  8. Elijah2

    Elijah2 No weapons formed against me will prosper.

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    Yesterday, I view the movie "angels and demons", and that gave you a full view of what the traditions of men can do. I only went to see it, because many spoke of it.

    During a sequence of the movie, the Holy Spirit came upon me and I all I could scream from my heart to our Lord Jesus Christ: "I am your servant Lord Jesus Christ!" And grieved deep down within my heart for the Body of Christ.

    Blessings.
     
  9. ANM29

    ANM29 New Member

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    I feel you, I grieve too for the Body of Christ. I know that God is not going to leave us this way, it is just a matter of time...We can rejoice because he is still in control and the enemy does not get the last word.:clap:
     
  10. Andy S. Wright

    Andy S. Wright Hiding In Plain Sight

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    It has been said that the proof of the church's divine origins is in its continued existence after two millennia under man's stewardship.

    (think I'll make that my signature here)

    From mega-churches to cell groups, we just can't seem to keep ourselves from getting in God's way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  11. talitha

    talitha Cultivate Honduras

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    amen to all the points that have to do with shifting to the Kingdom mindset - no where is this need more palpable IMHO than here on the mission field in Latin America........

    Today a bunch of us female missionaries and missionary-wives gathered and talked about issues we face and our expectations versus God's direction, etc. The frustration expressed sooo often is with the overwhelming need versus our limited capabilities..... and finally one newer missionary piped in with - "um, have we forgotten that JESUS is the answer?" Talk about getting in God's way, sometimes we do that as missionaries too.... Amen, amen, amen - JESUS is the answer. Let us point others to HIM - not try to BE Him.

    blessings
    tal
     
  12. Andy S. Wright

    Andy S. Wright Hiding In Plain Sight

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    :amen: sistah!
     
  13. ANM29

    ANM29 New Member

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    That is so true sister, so true. A lot of times we are in God's way and don't even realize it. Jesus is the answer and we must point to him alone.
     
  14. ANM29

    ANM29 New Member

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    You have a point..:amen::amen:
     
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