Sunday, January 28, 2018

Our pilgrims have arrived. There are 34 in this group. Last year we had 24 so the momentum is increasing.

This is a beautiful country, very free and Christians are able to celebrate their faith freely. Jordan is also full of biblical sites and beautiful churches. We will share them all with you through video over the next five days.

Here is a video of the arrival day ?

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What is “Organized Religion”?

by Steve Ray on January 28, 2018

Hey Steve: while I was on a business trip I had a good conversation with my friends, one who is agnostic and the other an Evangelical.  Both of them agreed they didn’t believe in “organized religion”.  From your Protestant background is there a specific meaning to that term or is it just another way to describe the Catholic Church.  I thought Jesus was very organized having 12 apostles and when they replaced Judas and the first council etc…. Those are things in my mind that describe an organized way of a belief system.  Or am I off on this.  Reply when it’s convenient.

centralbaptistchurch2Hello Friend: “Organized religion” has nothing to do with being organized. Used in a negative manner, it refers to a government, denomination, or authority that has become institutionalized and that subsequently attempts to intrude into your life — ruling over you.

“Organized religion” is something (an institution or government) that steps in, takes authority and expects something of the person — something that interrupts or circumvents the simple, personal relationship they supposedly have with Jesus. The Evangelical often thinks of Christianity as a purely vertical relationship — me and Jesus. They forget that Jesus said, “I will build my Church!”

Because the evangelical often rejects an institutional, hierarchical “Church” or any “man-made” authority over them — outside the Bible Alone —  “organized religion” is seen as a man-made institution that arrogates authority for itself — trying to take the place of Jesus. The gospel was once “pure, simple, Bible-only, and non-institutional. “Organized religion” is seen as the opposite of, or even opposed to, an “authentic, personal relationship with Jesus.

Unhappily, this cliché about organized religion is unbiblical and unworkable. Jesus said he would build his Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matt 16:18). He also said if there are problems between Christians they should “take it to the Church” as the final step, as in taking it to the Supreme Court. In order to have this kind of authority a church would have to be “organized,” be all over the whole earth and have authority over all Christians. If not, it makes a farse of Jesus’ words.

St. Paul also set up “organized religion” when he established churches across the Roman Empire with bishops, priests and deacons. This can clearly be seen in the writings of the very first Christians — one Church, organized from Rome and unified throughout the world. Sounds like the organized religion known as the Catholic Church to me.