Now I'm no expert on "churchianity" but reading a post over at The Rising Sons of Grace inspired me to think a little more on how easy it is to use strategies of the flesh (the world) to plant and grow a church and then say, "God did it!"
I can use techniques like "tithe and God will bless you" in order to get people to come to God. What person of the world doesn't love wealth? Or I could say..."Stop doing all the wrong things and start doing all the right things and you will be happy!" (that tends to be Oprah's gospel) I could also use fear and guilt and shame to get people to run to church. The pharisees did. Or I could also use liberalism to get people to want to come to my church, saying things they want to hear like "Being gay is okay!" You get the idea. I could use all sorts of techniques to get people to come.
But what about using the Gospel of God's grace to get people to come? What about using the one strategy you were meant to use? The Gospel of peace. The Gospel of Jesus' death on the cross, His burial and His resurrection. What becomes of the Gospel? Have we forgotten it? Have we gotten so lost in behavior change that we don't remember it isn't about trying to change your behavior, but changing your beliefs? We're so focused on the fruit that we have no time for what is truly important - the Root. Jesus wants to come in and have dinner with us. He just wants us. If trying to be "good" gets in the way of you and Jesus having a great relationship, He'd rather you just be with Him. It isn't about the works. It's about the two of us, knowing each other and loving each other. And how do we love Him? By growing in the understanding of who He is and how much He loves us. We don't force up love as extreme Calvinists imply. Some of them reason "God didn't die for you, He died to bring more glory to Himself."
If someone tells you they love God, but believes His love for them is based on their performance, they lie. Our performance can never be good enough, therefore He cannot accept us based on our performance. Dedicate yourself and re-dedicate yourself. Had you ever been dedicated in the first place, you wouldn't have re-dedicated yourself. Stop lying to God and to yourself and submit to His love and His righteousness. Jesus told you not to take an oath, not even by your own head. Stop trying to prove yourself and stop trying to make others prove themselves! Just preach the Gospel of God's grace!