16/11/10

When religion becomes a big business

http://www.freedomchurchnetwork.com/profiles/blog/show?id=3632674%3ABlogPost%3A323
www.freedomchurchnetwork.com/profiles/blog/show?id=3632674%3ABlogPost%3A323

In the book of Revelation, John warns believers of a coming threat to Christianity, which He describes as

"MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." -Revelation 17:5

He describes her as "The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth." But what exactly is he warning us of? Rather than looking into church history to parse the institutions, places, and people who may fit this description. Perhaps it is of greater use to reflect on the threat to every church and every Christian regardless of place or time. I was just reading Ed Bahler's blog, and I think he summarized the actual threat that John was speaking of the best in, A Question That Could Change You:

Here’s a question that will, or at least should, penetrate deeply into our hearts:
A number of years ago, Dr. David Ryser had the privilege of teaching at a school of ministry. His students were hungry for God, and he constantly searched for ways to challenge them. One day he shared a short history of Christianity that goes like this:

Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise.
He wanted his students to appreciate the importance of the last line, so he clarified it by adding, “An enterprise. That’s a business.”
After a few moments Martha, the youngest student in the class, asked a simple question, “A business? But isn’t it supposed to be a body?” “Yes,” Dr. Ryser assured her. She continued,
“But when a body becomes a business, isn’t that a prostitute?”
The room went dead silent. For several seconds no one moved or spoke. They were stunned, afraid to make a sound because the presence of God had flooded into the room, and they knew they were on holy ground. God had taken over the class.

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(To join the White Swan Flight - or the little Ugly Duck struggle - come in my spacious guest room, take a cup of heavenly nectar, and speak your truth out. So glad to meet you on the way :))