Church versus Jesus: Which one should I listen?

Church says I am a sinner, Jesus says I am the light of the world.
Church says we should pay 10% to “God”, Jesus says “sell everything you have and give it to the poor”
Church says the world needs a Savior, Jesus says we need to love each other.
Church says I should support capital punishment , Jesus says I should forgive 70 x 7.
Church says I should pray the sinner’s prayer, Jesus taught me the Lord’s prayer.
Church says I need to congregate, Jesus says I need to go to the ends of the earth.
Church says I should vote conservative, Jesus fought the status quo.
Church says homosexuals are immoral, Jesus warned about throwing the first stone.
Church says every other faith is wrong, Jesus says blessed are the poor in spirit.

Church says we should convert others, Jesus says we should serve others.

Church says we should support the military, Jesus says “blessed are the peace makers”.

Church says I should follow its doctrine, Jesus says I should follow Him.

Church says that smoking, piercing, and having tatoos are sinful, Jesus says that the impurities come from within.

Church says that I should be proud of my country, Jesus says “blessed are the meek”.

Church says Jesus is God, Jesus says “Why do you call me good, only God is good”

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About Noel

I am a person who has realized that the teachings of Jesus are centralized in the genuine care and service of others. I have evolved from fundamentalism to a moderate spiritual approach. I am a reflecting person who has grown to not fear doubt but to embrace it as a means to growth and increasing closeness to God. View all posts by Noel

19 responses to “Church versus Jesus: Which one should I listen?

  • Mark Ketchum

    Well… hmmm… this is a very strange post, because I don’t know what “Church” you are referring to… often times it sounds catholic, which is not traditional orthodox Christianity. However… besides that point… it seems you are drifting further and further away. I don’t know what to say, only that I pray for you and all of us who struggle with relationship with Christ.

    Church says I am a sinner, Jesus says I am the light of the world.
    –We are both… Jesus also said we are sinners–

    Church says we should pay 10% to “God”, Jesus says “sell everything you have and give it to the poor”
    http://www.gotquestions.org/tithe-gross-net.html

    Church says the world needs a Savior, Jesus says we need to love each other.
    — Jesus also said the world needs a Savior —

    Church says I should support capital punishment , Jesus says I should forgive 70 x 7.
    — what Church? —

    Church says I should pray the sinner’s prayer, Jesus taught me the Lord’s prayer.
    — I do not know the sinner’s prayer —

    Church says I need to congregate, Jesus says I need to go to the ends of the earth.
    — Jesus said we need to congregate as well — Hebrews 10:25

    Church says I should vote conservative, Jesus fought the status quo.
    — Liberal Christianity, IMHO, is an oxy-moron, but my Church doesn’t state who we should vote for, only guidelines on leadership qualities.. Christian fruits must be observed —

    Church says homosexuals are immoral, Jesus warned about throwing the first stone.
    — my Church says we are all sinners… homosexuals included… I am also taught about righteous judgement and discernment, which the Holy Spirit gives to all believers. So I know sin, when I see it… in others as well as myself. Homosexuality is one of those sins. —

    Church says every other faith is wrong, Jesus says blessed are the poor in spirit.
    — this has nothing to do with other faiths… Being poor in spirit implies that we see in its true light the tendency in us to every thing evil–that we understand that the habitudes of our minds, that our appetites and propensities, that nearly the whole power of the sensibility continually tends to selfishness… it has nothing to do with worshiping false gods —

    Church says we should convert others, Jesus says we should serve others.
    — once again… what church? The Churchs I know say, “serve them toward Christ.” And since conversion is God’s thing… I don’t know any Church that puts the burden of conversion on themselves… we should tell others about Christ, but only the Holy Spirit can change a heart. —

    Church says we should support the military, Jesus says “blessed are the peace makers”.
    — often times the military is the peace maker —

    Church says I should follow its doctrine, Jesus says I should follow Him.
    — the Church should adopt the doctrine of Jesus… so when we are truly following Christ we are also following the doctrine of the Church we have chosen to worship in. —

    Church says that smoking, piercing, and having tatoos are sinful, Jesus says that the impurities come from within.
    — what Church? —

    Church says that I should be proud of my country, Jesus says “blessed are the meek”.
    — different types of pride here. Pride is a sin in one sense, but we can be proud of our daughters and sons accomplishments, etc… —

    Church says Jesus is God, Jesus says “Why do you call me good, only God is good”
    — Jesus is reiterating His Godhood here, not pushing it away. Do you not believe He is God? That might explain a lot. Jesus was letting those that spoke to Him know that He is good because He is God and that is why they were able to call Him good. John 1:1 also states that Jesus was God from the very beginning.

    • Noel

      Mark, yes, I am drifting further away from the rigid, intolerable, man-made system called “religion” that has kept me from growing spiritually towards God. I have attended the Catholic, Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, and Non-Denominational churches and visited a few others, and all of them teach what I shared here. If yours don’t, please accept my apologies. I used to be an altar boy, youth leader, deacon, usher, and member of Men’s Minsitries, but often felt limited in what I could think and practice, not because it was obviously wrong (like lying and stealing), but because it wasn’t the “Christian way”. I have decided to seek God, and I mean truly seek Him, in any way possible that my life has taught me. And I am starting by serving others, w/out exceptions and w/out pre-conceived ideas about who is “wrong” and who is “already condemned”. I used to think the way to do, which is why I don’t judge you. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated.

      • hopeful_watcher

        Your way and the way of the church (not religiousity, but a gathering who follows Christ) are not mutually exclusive. I take no issue with your service centered approach to get closer with God. This is after all one of Jesus’s greatest teachings. Frankly, there are a many lukewarm Christian who could learn from your example. For that I commend you and say you are the good faithful bondservant of Christ. However, there is much fruit born of good Christians that you look down upon, simply because they are in the more traditional church roll. Judgement cuts both ways.

    • Mark Ketchum

      Thanks for your reply, Noel… all I will lovingly say is this… the way to the Father is narrow… His truth is absolute. Because there are not “many” truths, but only one, we must be sure we hold fast to that truth. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the light… not “a” way, “a” truth, “a” light. There is only 1 way and it is Him. We must place our faith in Him… not His teachings. We will naturally follow His teachings when we place our faith in Him, but it is not by following His teachings that we are saved.

      Just because I believe my opinion on salvation are correct, doesn’t mean that they are… and the same with you. I would only suggest that one reads God’s Word with out any presuppositions or preconceptions and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in study. I personally cannot see how one could come to most of the points you put forth in this article unless you are placing what you think Jesus should represent as opposed to what Jesus said He represents… but that is my opinion and it is based on the way you placed the Church at odds with Jesus, but multiple times Jesus said the same thing that the Church says. You cannot dismiss assembly just because He also said we must serve… you cannot pretend that Jesus never said “do not forsake assembly” just because you think servitude is more important. You cannot pick and choose what you want to believe in the Bible and throw out the rest… buffet style faith is a false faith. You must choose all or none.

      This is what I believe… now I will actually leave this “ministry” because I no longer find it edifying and beneficial to my walk with our Lord, Jesus Christ. God Bless you and I pray you think about some of what I just said.

      Mark Ketchum

  • Mark Ketchum

    Also… “about me” declares you are a follower of the “teachings” of Jesus. Do you follow the person of Jesus and who He is? Or just His teachings? There is a book out about being a follower of Christ as opposed to just a fan. A lot of Christians today are fans of Jesus but have never truly followed Him as evidenced by their fruits. I am very concerned about whether you believe Him to be God or not… if He is not God, nothing in the NT has any meaning for sinners. His death has no meaning. Billy Graham could have died on the cross for your sins if it only takes a better man than you to do it.

  • livingvictoriously

    Noel, thanks for saying so clearly. Marie

  • jasonswartz

    Noel…….Continue writing what your heart is telling you. Nobody here knows what is your hearts intention, only your father Above. People will see only what they want to see in your message.

    The true church is not made of earthly material. The true scripture is not written on paper that can be burnt and discarded. The true assembly is the one Above and is in constant worship, for its sabbath is endless.

    Let it be said that the one Above, is found only within, and is lost when seen from without you.

    I trust the congregation , however they gather not in this world, but within the common desire of ALL of humanity for the revelation of the CREATOR. Can you really see that congregation or can it be only felt within your heart? I cannot see the heart of men, for I see not even my own, but instead it is shown to me from ABOVE. So when you are shown from Above, then you will clearly see who is following which, church, congregation and master.

  • hopeful_watcher

    This blog post came across as intentionally contentious and provocative. If that was not your intent than I apologize. I separate “religiousity” from the concept of church. I define a Christian church as a gathering of spirit filled group who abide by the teachings of Christ. It is true that many churches push their own man made doctrines over the gospel. In this regard I agree with you. However, it makes me sad that you seem so anti-church. Perhaps you would be best suited for a very small intimate group in a bible study. This is also a “church” by the definitions I gave, but not in the traditional sense. Remember that Jesus is the head and the church is the body. The intelligence of the head does not get much mileage without a body.

    • hopeful_watcher

      For clarification, religiousity is when people push religion and their personal doctrines to edify themselves over Christ. This is the self serving institutionalized church that I oppose. They are more interested in self preservation than promoting Christ. It’s a shame that these types of churches harm people’s relationships with God, by making the church the center. The proper role is Jesus as the head and church as the body. Any church that elevates itself above the gospel is in opposition to Christ, i.e. “anti” Christ.

  • jasonswartz

    I am definitely not ant-church. I know some really wonderful physical establishments that do the message and spirit of Jesus justice. However the Creator sees the true intention of a persons heart. He does not care about what comes out of our mouths, but what comes out of our hearts.

    INTENTION…..so within a church who knows who has the proper intention or in what spirit they are performing actions. Only God knows….I worry only about my intention. Are they using the intention FOR MYSELF or FOR GOD? There is a huge difference. I believe that if people, that within their hearts are doing everything FOR THE ONE CREATOR, and serving all others friends and enemies with love , compassion and understanding form the true body of Christ.

    If a simple mind person who never heard of Jesus, has a great love for the Creator. Desires to be healed of his afflictions and work in the name of love for others, and humility. If his heart does this naturally, and all his days he cries tears for the Creator and wants to share his love with everyone, I tell you that Jesus is right there with HIm carrying him ever closer to the Father. Jesus cares not about hearing his name called, we call for the Light of the World from our need and desire. It is not a call from our mouth but heart. Someone who has never even heard the GOOD NEWS but has the proper preparation within their heart will be saved by the Creators only begotten. The church is a great tool. However if your heart merits it you are gonna get the SON coming after you.

    Tell me a man like Ghandi who was not Christian, who lived the path of Jesus and put it into action, however did not accept Christianity as his faith. Tell me, is he banished from the Father?

    Before anyone misinterpretes me, read my blog posting first. My whole life is towards the Creator. Personally I was studying Buddhism, and Kabbalah with RAV Laitman, when The Light changed me and I undestood that their is a Creator and a Light sent from Him and only now do I understand What JESUS is. It took Buddhism and Kabbalah to bring Jesus to me. Know I read the Bible, but it was other faiiths that allowed me to fall in love with the Creator His Son and Christianity. So believe me Chritianity neeeds no DEFENDING LOL

    • hopeful_watcher

      The Ghandi question is always an interesting question to consider. In my opinion, I feel everyone on Earth has a brush with the creator that reveals a greater truth of God, heaven and His angels. And a person like Ghandi, with a full heart and loving life is most equipped to shedding all the “religious” doctrinal stumbling blocks that he holds when presented with the true light of the Lord. In other words being a nice, loving person doesn’t make you righteous, but it does make the transition to righteousness that much closer and easier, if you open yourself to that. Did Ghandi do that before his judgement? That I do not know. That is between he and God.

      • Noel

        Jason, I am not anti-church either, even if it sounds like it. It is just that I realized that my experience with church was mainly based on manipulation and fear. Maybe there is a church outthere that focuses exclusively on living the Kingdom of God, without serving itself.
        Hopeful watcher, the question of what happens to people who truly practice what Jesus teaches, but never accepted Jesus as personal Savior has been in my mind for a long time. Now I am confident to say that what matters is what Jesus said: “Some of you will call me ‘Lord, Lord!’…. but I will say to you ‘I never knew you!”

  • Cindy Holman

    LOVE this! Your comment was hilarious on my blog the other day about thinking my post “Noel” was about you 🙂 How sweet!

  • jasonswartz

    Noel,

    Don’t worry I don’t think you are anti anything =) I feel that I understand what you were implying. Here is my closing statement LOL

    Christ is the leader and we should forgive members and anybody else from our heart if they make mistakes ijn the name of Christianity.

    I sometimes fall into the mindset of defending GOD or the Savior. Its actually funny. The Savior needs no defending and I think that it is neccesary for people to have different views at different times of their life and path. Salvation is a process and we should try and respect everyones views and spiritual states. I sometimes get really stuck within my mind sometimes and then my post becomes mere intellectual ramblings without any heart. We should all spread the GOOD NEWS by example, which is the best way of dissemination. Lets not let words get in the way of our UNITY. We are all striving for the same thing. Lets all connect on that level. The common desire, and let this common yearning be our bond in Christ. It is he who is the Light of the World, and will correct our perspectives and views if they need correction.

    We are all in varying degrees of correction. We should focus each on our own salvation and offer others only encouragement and motivation to ask for the Creator and the Savior to change only ourselves.

    I’ll keep it simple LOL

    There is a god…..God sent us a way back to Him……You are all my brothers and sister in Christ…….I’ll forgive you for my weakness and please forgive me…..Now let get back to DAD’s house together.

  • Mishayah

    Hi Noel

    After reading your post, I think you’re on the right track. There’s a tremendous amount of ‘stuff’ out there that Yahshua never taught. There’s a tremendous amount of stuff that Yahshua taught that isn’t out there. I think in your heart you’re seeing this pretty clearly. If what the ‘Church’ was teaching (any church) then why hasn’t the Kingdom become more and more manifest in the lives of those proclaiming it? Why are so many finding themselves in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water?
    In Jn 3:13 Yahshua says ‘….the Son of Man who is in Heaven.’ So Yahshua was indicating that He walked simultaneously in both realms, so to speak. And of course so should we. But how to get there, that’s the question.
    When Yahshua prayed ‘Father I pray that they be one…’ I won’t give the whole quote, you know what He said already, but what He was asking is that we be one with Him, first and then one with each other next. It’s the ‘One with Him’ that get’s missed oftentimes. Imagine that, on an individual basis, one with the Father and Son. Very much as with the 2 Great Commandments. In their proper order. Father first and neighbor second.
    Once upon a time there were the Feasts. These are remarkable prophetic instructions. We were taught by those who thought they were teachers that were passé’. What tripe! Were were taught that these were just bloody rituals that no longer have any relevance. We were taught that because Yahshua fulfilled them that they are now unnecessary.
    Truth be known He fulfilled the feasts in order to make it possible for the feast to be fulfilled in you. I realize that this is foreign territory for you, probably foreign territory for many, nevertheless it’s true. And yes He fulfilled the Torah so that the Torah could be fulfilled in you. This is the New Covenant. ‘I will write my Torah/Law on your heart and put it in your mind.’
    But this Covenant doesn’t happen by osmosis. It’s mono y mono. One on one and is done personally between you and YHVH. When Yahshua said ‘The Kingdom is within you’ that’s what HE meant. It’s a Covenant not a testament. There’s a difference. I think you have been seeing the difference.
    Just as a side note: your probably aware of ‘whole burnt offering’ did you know that the original translation was ‘an Ascension Offering’ or even ‘The stairway to Heaven. No I’m not talking about blood sacrifice. Jeremiah talks about how the lying scribes majorly tweaked the Torah and that YHVH never at any time ordained ‘blood sacrifice.’

    Anyway I just said that so you to help you understand that there are tremendous thing that Yahshua taught that have been discarded by the ‘Church.’ Which is why so many are are so thirsty and the few that have a couple drops now and then think they are full.
    But you are on the right track, hang in there brother.

  • Craig Hart

    Noel, I think you’re on the right track. (I say this without any destination in mind for you.) But honest questioning, like you are doing, is vital. I respect anyone who embarks on this journey.

    An earlier comment said that “the way is narrow and the truth is absolute.” Isn’t it convenient that the way they personally promote is that narrow way and the truth they espouse is that absolute truth?

    I agree with another poster who said that Jesus supported open-mindedness. And not only if they arrived at certain conclusions…

    • JudahFirst

      Craig, I love this:

      “Isn’t it convenient that the way they personally promote is the narrow way and the truth they espouse is that absolute truth?”

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂 Thanks for that little tidbit. 40 years steeped in religion has left me weary of folks who are convinced they have it all figured out. I am learning to live with the mystery. Hard, but a great adventure!

      Noel, wonderful post. I’m really enjoying your blog. Thanks for putting it all out here for us to enjoy.

      Grace and Peace!

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