When church actually inoculates people to a true experience of Jesus—or to an experience of the true Jesus—then yes, I am very anti that sort of church. All the men and women I’ve met who have spent decades in church and still do not know God. If the people you loved came down with cancer, and were told to faithfully attend a center for recovery but at the end of ten years were no better, wouldn’t you be mad about that? Wouldn’t you at least say that it’s time to look for a different clinic?

The simple test is this: Do you encounter Jesus in church—or in any of the Christian things you do? Are you drawn into a genuine understanding and experience of Jesus as we find him in the Gospels? If not, there’s a problem. Don’t forget—Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath. The religious leaders decided to kill him. This spirit is mighty nasty—and slippery as an oyster.

Friends, if you would know Jesus as he is, if you would let him simply be himself with you, then run—run as fast as your two feet will carry you from anything that smacks of religion.

(Beautiful Outlaw, 205, 206)

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