Forsaking the “Box Job”

People Leaving Church

Today we hear about the “Big Box” stores that seem to have taken   over everyone’s shopping experiences. Gone is the day of the little family operated, Mom and Pop corner grocery where personal service from caring neighbors meant something.

As for “not forsaking the assembling together of ourselves as is the manner of some…” (Hebrews 10:25) We hear this a lot from our church going friends when they find out that we no longer attend their highly organized gatherings on Sunday mornings. I have yet to hear one of them quote the verse just before it which reads, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Heb 10:24 KJ2000). How much “one anothering” actually takes place during a Sunday service? Isn’t what happens there pretty much one way?

I use to work in a saw and small engine shop. Once in a while we would get what we called a “box job.” It usually was something like a chain saw or a lawn mower which had been torn completely down by the owner who hoped he could fix it, but gave up once they had it torn apart and saw that they were over their heads [it was in parts]. So it came to us to be fixed in a box. THAT is what “organized religion” is like to me. Men have man-handled the Church to the point that Jesus cannot recognize it and then they want Jesus to show up and make it all better so they can man-handle it some more.

The other thing is that the mower or chain saw in that box was technically “assembled together,” but Jesus has a hard time using it for HIS purposes, because it is not assembled together the way HE meant it to be. It is just a bunch of loose pieces that are not interrelated in any form He can use. The pieces are not “fitly joined together” as members of HIS body should be.

So, do we not come together at all? No, we seek organic gatherings where all there can “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” The other thing is just “playing church” while we who assemble in this way get to BE the Church, His body, as the Spirit orchestrates our gatherings in an organic way with Christ as our Head.

“But when that which is perfect [perfectly assembled] is come, then that which is in part [in parts… the box job] shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1Co 13:10-11 KJ2000)

“Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.” ~ Lenny Bruce

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20 comments on “Forsaking the “Box Job”

  1. Hosea says:

    AMEN TO THIS QUOTE… “Every day people are
    straying away from the
    church and going back to
    God.” ~ Lenny Bruce

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  2. Dollea says:

    Yes, yes! Oh, to truly learn and understand what it means to BE the Church! It’s been about 2 years since Holy Spirit called me out of the institutionalized church. I have never been happier, and never been closer to Jesus. Am learning more and more what intimacy with Father is like. I have matured far more in the last 2 years than I did the first 48 years as a believer. However…there is always the question about what fellowship with others of like-mind looks like. I am still trying to figure that one out. I think, for quite awhile, Father just wanted me to commune solely with Him…to keep me in the “wilderness” alone with Him in order to learn and realize all that my relationship to HIM is the greatest priority. But, slowly, Father is bringing others into my life that see HIS Church and His Kingdom the way He intended. And…these Body members are from all around the world. It’s amazing how Father is “gathering” us all in, from all different geographically locations. It’s an awesome spiritual convergence. How exciting! Do you sense it, too?

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Dollea,

      Thanks for writing and sharing your heart with us, dear sister.

      To be IN Christ is to be “in Church.” Jesus IS God’s fullness, “the expressed image of the Father.” As we abide IN Him we abide as a member of His ecckesia, the body of Christ which IS the Church. As we gather together IN His name we are the church. Yes, ideally we should be in proximity to one another and in time God will afford that to happen, but in the mean time to be one in the Spirit IN Christ is still “being in Church.” You can gather a hundred people into one building, but if they are not ONE in His Spirit, they are only a group of people in a building. We are being brought into the full meaning of what the Church is as we each function in HIS body with one another and that is a spiritual thing that is only enabled by God. Organizations do not a Church make. An organism That gets its life from Christ IS.

      Because we have been living for almost 1900 years under this false paradigm that says that the Church is an institution, God has had to take us out of those “box jobs” and dry us out. The seduction of the false paradigm is like that of alcohol, to be free of it you have to have a time of “drying out.” And, yes, it is amazing what growth takes place when HE draws you out and dries you out and how clear things become when the fog of religion has lifted. The word “religion” is from the Latin and it means to “re-bind.” Jesus, came and died and rose again to set all men free. Paul wrote to the Galatians, “It is for freedom Christ has set you free. Be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Be free IN Christ and you will from that proximity hear His voice like never before.

      You wrote, “And…these Body members are from all around the world. It’s amazing how Father is “gathering” us all in, from all different geographically locations. It’s an awesome spiritual convergence. How exciting! Do you sense it, too?” Oh, how true! God uses the internet to break down the overt controls that institutions have over communications. He is letting us find one another and edify one another through this media in ways that churches would never allow.

      His kingdom comes without outward observation. God is taking those who are the members of Christ’s body and perfecting them each in a personal way as only the Creator can, as living stones who are being perfected to be assembled in HIS Spiritual Temple. As it was with Solomon’s temple, the building blocks are being worked on away from the final assembly sight with His loving care. So many in Christendom are listening to the false prophets say, “God is going to move mightily and He is going to fill all the socker stadiums in the world with believers in huge salvation meetings.” The false church is all about grandeur-isms. But remember, Jesus was born in a lowly stable in the least of the towns in Judea in a tiny nation. His true church is always manifesting who HE is, not the standards of this world. What God is doing today is coming without fanfare and all the hype of the false church system as we know it. The King came into Jerusalem lowly, riding on donkey, so it is with His bride.

      Yes, my sister, many of us sense it! He is on the move and the world can’t see it, but those of His Spirit can.

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      • Dollea says:

        How refreshing it is to be able to fellowship with each other and not be misunderstood or, worse yet, oppressed or persecuted! I have had both experiences. So many people I know who are still in the church are now viewing me as some kind of enemy/sinner or, worse yet, a heretic. “Way too radical”, they say. I am learning in bittersweet ways what it means to “go to Him (Jesus) outside the camp”. A very sacred place to be, although lonely at times. We can be sure, although we do not meet face-to-face, there is a blessed unity permeating from every true member of the Body…a oneness and unity unknown to the world. All praise to Father God!

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      • michaeldc110 says:

        Dollea,

        I know exactly what you are talking about. I don’t miss all those years when I was in that cold system when I would try to share my heart with another “Christian” only to have them go into attack mode for not thinking the exact same way they did. Going to church was like tiptoeing through a mine field. You never knew when something that Christ put in you would set off a religious mine. Instead of “Behold how they love one another” it was “Behold how they loath one another.” “Receive one another to doubtful disputations.” “Love suspects all things,” etc. Going to church was like beating my head against the wall… it felt so good when I quit!

        I was reading “The Cost of Discipleship” by Bonhoeffer and in chapter four he pointed out what Jesus said about these things,

        And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again… And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. (Mar 8:31-35 KJ2000)

        Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. (Joh 15:20-21 KJ2000)

        Jesus had to suffer many things at the hands of the religious, but not only that He had to be rejected by them. I don’t know about you, but rejection was the worse part for me. My dad rejected me when I was only one year old over an argument he had with my mom about the way he was treating me. All my growing up years I could never figure out what I had done to make him so cold toward me and I found out it really wasn’t me at all. Well, when I got saved I thought, WOW, now I will have a functional family that love me… NOT! I found out that church love was totally conditional and had performance expectations attached to it.

        So, Jesus not only had to suffer many things at the hands of the religious, but He had to be rejected, but it doesn’t end there. When Jesus takes up His abode in us, they hate Him there as well. So these Christ haters attack His abode as well. “The servant is not greater than His Lord, if they have persecuted me they will also persecute you… But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” Remember, dear sister, an enemy has sown his tares in among the wheat and God knew that it was best to leave it that way for the sake of the wheat. Tares drive us into the arms of our Beloved and make us seek that City whose Builder and Maker is God which has Foundations, Jesus Christ, instead of becoming content with “Christian City.”

        Keep seeking, keep asking and keep knocking, dear sister.

        Love you in the Son,
        Michael

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    • Rex Sheeley says:

      yes

      Like

  3. Mia says:

    Dear Michael
    I cannot agree more! I remember when I once heard our Lord’s voice telling me not to go back to the congregation I was attending at the time that were quite into deliverance and tongue speaking. A pastor told me that it was not God’s voice I heard because it went against that verse in Hebrews.

    I am sooo.. grateful that I stayed true to my conviction, for I endured much abuse and rejection from the leadership of that church.

    I am 100% in agreement with Dollea about flourishing outside of organized religion.

    Blessings
    Mia

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  4. Ken Burgess says:

    Michael, Dollea and Mia, The Lord began the process of, “separating the precious from the profane”, quite some time ago in our lives. For awhile all we talked about was why we left, what we left and who we left. One day Father said to my spirit, ” stop talking about all of those things and talk about HIM and where He is bringing us. Yes, we are on a journey but one not unfamiliar to HIM. He has made Heb. 13: 9-16 much more real to us recently. “9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 THEREFORE LET US GO TO HIM OUTSIDE the CAMP AND BEAR THE REPROACH HE ENDURED. 14 For here e have no lasting city, (christian city, big box, etc.), buy we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to “God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
    If we are the habitation of God? And we are, 1 Cor. 3:16-17. 16 Do you not know that YOU are GODS’ temple and that GODS’ SPIRIT dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys Gods’ temple. God will destroy him. For Gods’ temple is holy, and YOU ARE THAT TEMPLE.
    Michael, you may remember a conversation we had some months ago regarding these things. I made the comment that the organization man has created and calls church is “irrelevant to the Kingdom of God and ineffective against the kingdom of darkness.” The modern day church bears no resemblance to the magnificent spiritual structure which God is bringing into view more and more each day. Just a few random thoughts from a fellow traveler.
    In CHRkenIST

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Ken and “Among the Forgotten,”

      Thanks for your posts. You are absolutely right. The time comes when we quit looking back to Christian City and progress onward and obey His upward call. Even on that other side of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, we have His presence in such reality that we hardly notice that His table is set for us “in the presence of our enemies.” There will always be enemies for the Father’s wheat field has been sown by our adversary with tares, but this, too, builds us up as we wait patiently for Him to cause our increase in the Spirit. “No trial at the present time seems to be glorious, but rather grievous. Never-the-less, afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness in those who are exercised thereby.”

      It is an upward call, “Come up here!” And we must avoid letting old pains pull our attention from that “Lamb as though He had been slain” who sits on the throne. We can learn from all the ways men have “done church” wrongly so that we will let God kill those wrong desires and wrong motivation in us, but we keep our eyes fixed on the goal, the high calling we have in Jesus Christ.

      Good to hear from you both, my brothers, and I appreciate what God has done in your lives. You are His treasures in earthen vessels.
      Michael IN Christ

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    • Dollea says:

      Thank you, Ken, for directing our focus, again, to Jesus! Yes, yes. He is our All. Like you, Hebrews 13:13 has really become alive for me. I am relatively new to the “going outside the camp” group, so all of this is sort of unfamiliar and wonderful (although difficult, too), and I am learning more and more about vital intimacy with Him. Can you imagine: I’ve been a believer for decades and have never understood or experienced “coming outside the camp and bearing His reproach”? Had read it hundreds of times, but never lived it. I’m so, so excited to have been given “eyes to see” from Holy Spirit. I desire to “see” more and more, as He directs and reveals. Thanks, again, Ken.

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      • Johanna Lemmon says:

        Hi there,
        I am a single mom with two teens and the Lord Jesus called me and my kids out of the religious system just this January. The Lord saved me when I was five, using a horrific experience to draw me to Himself.I grew up in a cult like family who never really attended a “church”. The Lord has separated me from my family of origin and I believe used that to prepare me to help hear His voice when He called me out of the “Church religious system”. I have been encouraged by this blog and everyone’s comments and can so relate to what you, Dollea, have said about how the Lord is teaching you. It has only been a few months of us but the Lord has taught me so much, some of it has been painful but all of it good. We are all alone, physically speaking, but in the Lord we are not. Praise the Lord! Looking forward to the Lord working out His awesome plan and purpose in us, His body and bride. Blessings to you and to everyone else.
        Me and my kids live in Washington state 🙂

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      • Johanna,
        Thanks for your comments. Yes, the Lord continues to draw us out of our delusions and unto Himself. Those delusions that imprison us that call themselves “Christian” while they captivate us are the hardest ones to get free of, but Jesus is “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” What part of Washington are you in? We live near Spokane in Idaho, but I also know of saints in western WA who are not trapped in religion.
        Bless you has you continue to seek His face,
        Michael

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      • Johanna Lemmon says:

        Thank you Micheal for your response to my comment.The Lord has definitely opened my eyes to certain delusions that I thought were right and daily He is working in me. Its very humbling and makes me so grateful for His grace that works in me apart from my own fleshly works which do no good. Me and my kids live in Tacoma Washington. I have been praying and praying for true like-minded face to face fellowship. I want to be led by the Lord in every step toward that and not walk in my flesh. He has been teaching me the difference between walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit. I know He will bring together those whom He wants to be together for His purpose.

        Not sure if I’m doing this response, comment, thing correct. I’m a beginner with the whole blog set up. 🙂

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      • Johanna,
        I read your testimony on your blog. I also have been worked-over by those in the “church” who seek the pre-eminence. Funny how they build that system on a bad translation that was generated by an abusive English king and his bishops. After having many of those same passages held over my head by church leadership who lord-over the flock of Christ, I found that Jesus told the disciples that they were not to do such things. “But Jesus called them to him, and said unto them, You know that they who are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their leaders exercise authority over them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever would be great among you, shall be your servant: And whosoever of you will be the first, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mar 10:42-45 KJ2000). He plainly said that they as leaders in the church were not to rule over, exercise lordship over, or exercise authority over the people of God, but rather to be lowly servants just as He was.

        With all this in mind, I knew then that something was wrong with those verses in Hebrews 13 that demanded that we obey those who rule over us. “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation” (Heb 13:7 KJV). This is totally a twisted translation. The Greek here actually says, “Remember your former leaders–it was they who brought you God’s Message. Bear in mind how they ended their lives, and imitate their faith” (Heb 13:7 WNT). What a difference. This started me on a study to find out how much more of the KJV and later “translations” had been mistranslated in such a way to keep us in bondage to those in abusive positions of power only to find out that George Davis had been pursuing the same study and had gone through many of the same experiences in the church systems of men. God put the two of us together and out of it came our second book, “The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy.” http://www.awildernessvoice.com/GEC.html In this book we have uncovered many twisted verses that have given church leaders the format for their ecclesiastical systems. By the way, there is no scriptural Greek backing for church “offices.” Email me if you would like to have a free copy.

        Anyway, my sister, I am glad you have been set free of all that non-sense and are learning the value of abiding in God’s rest. The Book of Hebrews is rich with understandings of the nature of the New Covenant and what a great High Priest we have in Christ “who lives ever to make intersession for us.” “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Be not entangle again with the yoke of bondage.” Enjoy your freedom as you abide IN Christ, my sister.

        Michael

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  5. I just love how all of these difficulties have brought each of us to the place where we are today. Originally none of us wanted these pains, heartaches and rejections, and yet they were necessary for us to see….and ultimately obey.

    I often remember after some grand plans of men were constructed, the “leaders” would come asking for members who were willing to play a part in what they had created. There were speakers, there were actors and even the “greeters” who welcomed the masses as they came for a season of entertainment. Even where the intent was more bible and truth centric, nonetheless the “positions” had to be filled in order for the show to go on. Was it ever asked who possessed what gifts or how those parts might fit together? Could the lowly laymen have a part at the front or could the volunteer alter the manner in which they were instructed as to their part? Heaven forbid, that would upset the whole manner and reason for “their” orchestrated events!

    Men and their vain imaginations, will this ever end? Yes, but only as individual men and woman religuish their own efforts and plans and be willing to be entirely reliant upon Jesus for everything- the very thing they refuse to do.

    I would much prefer to spend a day, a month or a lifetime with some broken down dependent rejects than I ever would with those intent upon exalting themselves and the kingdoms they build to prop up their personal name and claims.

    Give me the simple gospel, simple people, simple mission and a powerful all wise creator, sustainer and finisher of their faith- and here you’ll find God’s chosen who change the world.

    The only person I want to be today is more of Him. That my friends is more wealth to me than all the treasures of men’s minds and religion.

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  6. Markus says:

    After all this good stuff to read here… I need not to write more but saying: I’m enjoying the article but the replies are precious “spices” – together – making such good meal to eat!

    Blessings and love to all! Keep on pushing for the goal! It’s worth our best efforts!

    Blessings!

    Like

  7. Rex Sheeley says:

    I like the wilderness Iam totally lost to christain city, wandering from camp site to camp site. Jesus alone has become my compass, the manna is good and the water taste like honey from the rock.
    I tried going back once to Christain city and the Lord said the bride and the bride groom wasnt there, even tho everyone else had gathered for a wedding. I was very sad and still miss my Fathers children from time to time.

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