Vicious Opposition to Godly Exercises


“Many of the critics of the [departure from the clergy and attendance-based system of religion] probably have good intentions,” Barna reasoned, “as they seek to protect God from what they believe is heresy or compromise. The problem is that many of those critics are producing emotion-charged, ill-informed criticisms of people who are practicing many of the very things that Jesus Himself taught and practiced. It’s hard to fathom why so many church leaders are so viciously opposed to the passion and godly exercises of the revolutionaries.”

Pressed on the issue of the departure of many from congregational churches, Barna acknowledged that this is one of the hot buttons of the critics. “It’s important to remember that the Bible does not command us to ‘go to church.’ It commands us to live in a certain manner, to be connected to other believers in a life-shaping community and to engage in worship together. It is mind-boggling that so many of today’s church and seminary leaders have launched incredibly uncharitable attacks on devout followers of Christ simply because they are meeting in different places and pursuing God through divergent yet biblical approaches. That same spirit of divisiveness and contentiousness has led millions of passionate disciples of Jesus to flee organized churches for alternative faith communities where their energy can be poured into honoring God and loving people, rather than fighting about man-made preferences, routines and systems.”

—The Barna Group, Ltd, 2006
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