The following is an addendum, or an ‘amen’ to the recent article I published on “The Sin of Religion”. In this quote taken directly from Hosting the Presence, page 110, by Bill Johnson, he writes to strongly confirm what I attempted to describe in my article. It seemed appropriate to share this with you and encourage you to get a copy of Hosting The Presence at http://store.ibethel.org/p6192/hosting-the-presence-book
Here is what Bill writes and my comments as it relates to my article are in the [ ].
“Bible schools and seminaries prioritize teaching instead of doing. [religion] Greek and Hebrew are important, but not more important than learning to recognize His voice and release the miracle of healing to someone. [relationship] Leadership courses are important, but not more important than being able to lead someone to Christ or through deliverance. Management of finances is a big emphasis, and should be, considering how many failures there are. But Jesus taught the importance of managing our tongues and our families as well as sour money. These are only hard classes to teach when the professors have no experience. Therein lies the problem. People with theories [religion] are raising up a generation who are satisfied with theories. Many stop short of a divine encounter because they are satisfied with good theology. One is to lead us to the other.
Massive efforts are made to do church in a timely fashion so we can continue with the rest of our lives. Apparently many have not yet discovered that we really don’t have a life outside of Christ. [outside relationship with Him]
We can attend one of the many fine Bible schools and seminaries across our land and take many courses on the study of Scripture, on leadership, on music, on administration, how to debate with other religions, etc. These courses have their place, and I’m only choosing from the schools that are true Bible believing, born again preaching schools. Examine the courses. How many teach how to heal the sick or raise the dead? How many have classes on prayer and fasting, or casting out demons, or interceding for the nations until there is a change? The courses taught are good and valuable. But can they be more important than what Jesus commanded us to learn and do? Perhaps the reason they are not taught is that those who do the teaching don’t know how. These things cannot be taught merely from the head. They are not concepts. Truth that is separate from experience is divisive by nature. [religion] Truth experienced is inclusive. [relationship]
This doesn’t even take into consideration the multitude of schools that now question everything from the Virgin birth to the miracles of Christ. Those are an abomination. One of the most foolish thoughts to ever enter the mind of a person is the thought that the “God who is now” is not relevant. The church may lose its relevancy, but God never will.
We are never relevant because we mirror the culture of the world around us. We are relevant when we have become what the world longs for. [relationship] So many are accustomed to the idea that the Gospel is to be constantly rejected and only a few of us will make it. I believe that is in error. Jesus is the desire of the nations. When we as His people represent Him well people find what they are looking for, [relationship] as we illustrate the desires of their hearts. We are His body on earth, the only Jesus many will see. The representation of Him must be accurate.” [that accuracy is found not in religion about Him but in relationship with Him.]