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The Evangelical sub-culture-Mere religion?

Posted by appolus on February 23, 2011

Is evangelicalism the newest form of “Religion”? Perhaps its always been a religion? Or perhaps it morphed into religion? Whatever the case, it is clear that it is truly a sub-culture. Genuine Christianity has always been a counter-culture. Right from the beginning, those who had encountered God were radically transformed. What they had may not have been perfect, but they were never accused of looking like the world. The world knew who they were, they always knew who they were. They were a ” peculiar,” people. They were out of step with the world. They ran counter to the culture. 

 One definition of culture is “The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group.”  Every race of people, every group, every tribe has a ” culture.” Every country has a culture.  My own country of Scotland has a culture. The amazing thing that I found after being radically encountered by Jesus, was that I lost, to the greatest extent, my ” cultural heritage.” I was no longer fiercly nationalistic, very much a cultural trait of the Scottish people. I no longer ” disliked,” Englishmen, another ingrained trait. I found that when one is born-again of the Spirit of God that one transcends nationalism. I now had this radical blood running through my veins and it ran counter to my flesh.

 Everything that I had known and believed in was all turned upside down. Scottish men do not show emotions, they are , for the most part, raised that way and have been for countless generations. Yet here I was with the love of Jesus Christ coursing through my veins, being pumped by a new heart of flesh that had replaced a heart of stone.  And here is the amazing thing. As I traveled in many countries and many different ” cultures,” I met people who had the very same experience. They knew in the hearts that they did not belong here. They knew that they were sojourners, ambassadors of another country, one yet to come, but one that lives in all of their hearts. Here is where I found my ” culture.” Its not that I did not love the people from the land of my birth, for I did and do. Its just that I did not identify with them any-more , in matters of culture, they were alien to me. In matters of the heart my heart weeps for them for sure.

Tozer used the phrase ” Fellowship of the burning heart.” I have found this to be true. I have found a fellowship of the burning heart. Its not a church building, its not a denomination, its not a particular nationality, it transcends all of the above. This fellowship has been black and white and yellow, rich and poor, young and old. Their eyes are set on the things of above. A heavenly country yet to come, a New Jerusalem. They are not entangled with things of this world. They could care less about politics and taxes. Their grand obsession is the Lord Jesus Christ and their Heavenly Father. They have been ruined for all the things of this world because they have encountered the presence of the Living God. Right there is the identity, the culture of the genuinely born-again man or woman.

The humanistic man gets his identity from his culture, his country-men. The religious man gets his identity from his denomination, his theology, his up-bringing, his pre-conceived notions. The religious man fits in to his surroundings. The man and woman of God get their identity before the throne of the Living God. Their identity is forged in the trials of life and from the cross on their back. They are identified as ” peculiar,’ because they bear the cross with grace, a grace that they acquired before the throne. They have peace in the midst of the storms, a peace that surpasses understanding. And so, can you say what culture you belong to? The piece below is by an unknown author…………… 

The Evangelical Subculture

 

Shall we be disciples of Jesus together? Or would you rather just participate in a Religious System? 

Two Different Conversions.

When I became a follower of Jesus Christ I underwent two different conversions, although I didn’t realize it at the time. First, I was converted from my old life into the Body of Christ by reconciliation with God through Jesus. Hallelujah! At about the same time I bought into the Evangelical Subculture under the false impression that it WAS the Body of Christ. It took me years to realize the difference between the two.

I had been aware of “Christendom”: that worldly religious structure consisting of political and economic empires and bureaucracies, both Protestant and Catholic, that had fought religious wars and undertaken crusades to retake the “Holy Land”, that had burned people at the stake, that continued to preach false Christs and false gospels of works, and that continues to talk about the counterfeit unity called Ecumenicalism.

But I had not understood the nature of the Evangelical Subculture, that is a part of the worldly structure of “Christendom”. This subculture has its own organizations and institutions, denominations, parachurch organizations; its own magazines and radio stations and TV networks; its own schools and colleges and universities; its own celebrities; its own music industry and book stores; its own marketing and advertising worlds.

Like Joining a Club

The tragedy of the Evangelical Subculture is that people who have a sincere desire to follow Jesus get side tracked into a zeal for being a part of this worldly system. It is like joining a club. The club member begins to wear the clothes and trinkets bought at the “Christian” book stores; watch “Christian” TV and listen to “Christian” radio; buy the latest fad books that sweep the “Christian media”; subscribe to the “Christian” magazines; worship the “Christian” celebrities; use all the latest jargon promoted in the latest books by the celebrity authors.

A cult-like mentality develops among people who see this Evangelical system as identical to the Body of Christ. Their zeal is for the trappings of the subculture. It is its own religion. If someone tries to point out the unbiblical nature of some aspect of this subculture people will take offense because you are criticizing their religion. The subculture becomes the message. The “gospel” that people preach is for conversion to the system, not really to Jesus Christ.

The Subculture, Institutionalism, & Deception

The pop culture of Evangelicalism feeds on institutionalism, denominationalism, “non-denominational” institutional church organizations, and the professional clergy system. The professional clergy and their church organizations, in turn, find an indoctrinated constituency to fill their pews and programs. Both the subculture and the institutional churches turn a relationship with Jesus and his people into a participation in a religion and a lifestyle.

This Evangelical subculture has played a major role in setting professing Christians up for deception. It seduces people to think and act like the subculture instead of reading the Bible for themselves and deriving their understanding from the Bible. It has been this subculture that has infected the Evangelicals with psychology, self-esteem, political action and social activism, unity at the expense of sound doctrine, mysticism, and cult attachments to gurus, movements, and organizations. Ultimately, the end of this deception is a merging of the Evangelical Subculture with the global counterfeit religious vision.

We ought to be content with the simplicity of following Jesus and being the Body of Christ together with those the Lord provides for fellowship, according to the teachings of the Apostles in the New Testament. 

– Unknown author

5 Responses to “The Evangelical sub-culture-Mere religion?”

  1. […] The Evangelical sub-culture-Mere religion? « Scottish Warriors For … […]

  2. Michael s Press said

    I whole heartedly agree with this author’s description of the evangelical community. There is a huge deception of intimacy with feelings being touched with what is often called goose bumps. Chasing weekend upon weekend to the next “gathering” coming to receive a touch not focused on giving a touch. God bumps, are the real thing for me, usually upon confirmation of something ‘huge to me”, Holy Spirit has already shown me. I agree: books, the accepting of another’s revelation in a book rather than a personal revealing, is a microwave mentality. Books will bring confirmation but when you are in the Holy Spirit flow, obediently listening for KINGdom construction, instruction, for the next assignment is what really keeps us alive, full of zea! Likened to a puppy, anxious about being chosen from the window of a pet store. Ecclesiastes 12:12 warns: “beware: Of the making of many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
    I had a God encounter with His Love, and was on fire, anxious to help mankind out of that love explosion. I was baptised in Holy Spirit first. A number of months later I became impregnated to have water baptism. It was as if I was overdue and had to get baptised in water rightaway. I had joined a small men’s early morning group and after a few weeks of once a week meetings, I overheard the comment made to the others as I came in, ,..” give him 6 months and he will be just like the rest of us”. I now knew why I was having trouble finding someone on fire as I was. I had felt out of the loop and was determined not to conform to the status quo by rejection from a religious spirit. I functioned in the body in prayer in a number of different meetings throughout our city. I understood prayer was true communion and the only way to know “what to pray” and bring change. Many I fellowshipped with, I felt may once have been where I am, were possibly under conviction???? Their hearts seemed right but deception had developed through tradition and a comparing of one’s self with another, using each other as the plumb line, instead of Holy Spirit.
    I had disciplined myself in reading the New Testament, reading it over and over trusting in 1stJohn 2:26 These things I have written to you concerning those who lead you astray. 2:27 And as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you; but as His anointing teaches you concerning all things and is true and is not a lie, and even as it has taught you, abide in Him.
    I have developed my understanding of intimacy through prayer and journaling as led, waiting on Holy Spirit. Once you are led and know His leading it brings you into much deeper understanding of doing KINGdom work as one with God. It takes showing up, as light, listening, doing my part, allowing Lord to do the bigger part releasing our authority in obedience is the first step for KINGdom change. In actively doing KINGdom work knowing you are hearing, doing, by seeing the difference from being one with Holy Spirit and God do we really understand that they may be one as we are one. I am not there yet but I have experienced all I am speaking of here but “ i” am” still struggling a little with some of the choices in fine tuning my obedience.
    The destiny I see for those that desire to rise above religion and model intimacy in obedience of relationship (God’s reason for Christ) is found in Isaiah 9:6,7 . Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his “name” is called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with judgment and with righteousness, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this
    1stJohn 4:8 He who does not love has not known God, because God is love. 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested among us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might have life and live through Him. Add in this scripture and we see our self as dead in any ability for sustainable KINGdom change. Obedience possesses and obedience guards our holdings maintaining our new government’s integrity
    To live through Him I found is only possible as we flow in love = Holy Spirit since Holy Spirit is our source of “supernatural unconditional” love Romans 5:5. And hope does not put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 8:14 Those led of the Spirit these are the son’s of God
    The “religious Christians” are in deception as darkness covers the light within. The only way “religious Christians” will see the light is to have their faith uncovered! Ephesians “6:23 Peace to the brothers and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility. TO SEE “the life of JesUS also modeled in our mortal flesh” doing the early works unto the great works of Isaiah 9. Recognizing they are under grace for salvation but the adoption into sonship and ruling authority requires intimacy through disciplining and obedience listening and hearing for what to obey. Only Holy Spirit knows what needs to be said to whom and when and knows where we are to meet up with those needing His “words of power” for growth. Only moving in Holy Spirit will we see our part in the baody and the interdependence required for growth. As we see ourselves being used for growth the zeal increases to where consecration unto incorruptibility is our hearts desire. Sitting on the earthly throne of authority over our KINGdom cities
    I had a picture in recent prayer meeting of ashes covering coals of where a fire once was and Holy Spirit wind came along and blew away the ash of darkness uncovering the remnant coals that were blown on with fresh air and the fire was kindled. WE have free will choice to allow the calling breath to continue. A picture of Holy Spirit calling many so a few can be chosen.

  3. Michael s Press said

    I apolo gize ifor the duplication I whole heartedly agree with this author’s description of the evangelical community. There is a huge deception of intimacy with feelings being touched with what is often called goose bumps. Chasing weekend upon weekend to the next “gathering” coming to receive a touch not focused on giving a touch. God bumps, are the real thing for me, usually upon confirmation of something ‘huge to me”, Holy Spirit has already shown me. I agree: books, the accepting of another’s revelation in a book rather than a personal revealing, is a microwave mentality. Books will bring confirmation but when you are in the Holy Spirit flow, obediently listening for KINGdom construction, instruction, for the next assignment is what really keeps us alive, full of zea! Likened to a puppy, anxious about being chosen from the window of a pet store. Ecclesiastes 12:12 warns: “beware: Of the making of many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
    I had a God encounter with His Love, and was on fire, anxious to help mankind out of that love explosion. I was baptised in Holy Spirit first. A number of months later I became impregnated to have water baptism. It was as if I was overdue and had to get baptised in water rightaway. I had joined a small men’s early morning group and after a few weeks of once a week meetings, I overheard the comment made to the others as I came in, ,..” give him 6 months and he will be just like the rest of us”. I now knew why I was having trouble finding someone on fire as I was. I had felt out of the loop and was determined not to conform to the status quo by rejection from a religious spirit. I functioned in the body in prayer in a number of different meetings throughout our city. I understood prayer was true communion and the only way to know “what to pray” and bring change. Many I fellowshipped with, I felt may once have been where I am, were possibly under conviction???? Their hearts seemed right but deception had developed through tradition and a comparing of one’s self with another, using each other as the plumb line, instead of Holy Spirit.
    I had disciplined myself in reading the New Testament, reading it over and over trusting in 1stJohn 2:26 These things I have written to you concerning those who lead you astray. 2:27 And as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you; but as His anointing teaches you concerning all things and is true and is not a lie, and even as it has taught you, abide in Him.
    I have developed my understanding of intimacy through prayer and journaling as led, waiting on Holy Spirit. Once you are led and know His leading it brings you into much deeper understanding of doing KINGdom work as one with God. It takes showing up, as light, listening, doing my part, allowing Lord to do the bigger part releasing our authority in obedience is the first step for KINGdom change. In actively doing KINGdom work knowing you are hearing, doing, by seeing the difference from being one with Holy Spirit and God do we really understand that they may be one as we are one. I am not there yet but I have experienced all I am speaking of here but “ i” am” still struggling a little with some of the choices in fine tuning my obedience.
    The destiny I see for those that desire to rise above religion and model intimacy in obedience of relationship (God’s reason for Christ) is found in Isaiah 9:6,7 . Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his “name” is called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with judgment and with righteousness, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this
    1stJohn 4:8 He who does not love has not known God, because God is love. 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested among us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might have life and live through Him. Add in this scripture and we see our self as dead in any ability for sustainable KINGdom change. Obedience possesses and obedience guards our holdings maintaining our new government’s integrity
    To live through Him I found is only possible as we flow in love = Holy Spirit since Holy Spirit is our source of “supernatural unconditional” love Romans 5:5. And hope does not put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 8:14 Those led of the Spirit these are the son’s of God
    The “religious Christians” are in deception as darkness covers the light within. The only way “religious Christians” will see the light is to have their faith uncovered! Ephesians “6:23 Peace to the brothers and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility. TO SEE “the life of JesUS also modeled in our mortal flesh” doing the early works unto the great works of Isaiah 9. Recognizing they are under grace for salvation but the adoption into sonship and ruling authority requires intimacy through disciplining and obedience listening and hearing for what to obey. Only Holy Spirit knows what needs to be said to whom and when and knows where we are to meet up with those needing His “words of power” for growth. Only moving in Holy Spirit will we see our part in the baody and the interdependence required for growth. As we see ourselves being used for growth the zeal increases to where consecration unto incorruptibility is our hearts desire. Sitting on the earthly throne of authority over our KINGdom cities
    I had a picture in recent prayer meeting of ashes covering coals of where a fire once was and Holy Spirit wind came along and blew away the ash of darkness uncovering the remnant coals that were blown on with fresh air and the fire was kindled. WE have free will choice to allow the calling breath to continue. A picture of Holy Spirit calling many so a few can be chosen.

  4. But what if reading the Bible and deriving understanding from it proves problematic and causes confusion?

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