Isaiah 1:11–15 (CSB) — “What are all your sacrifices to me?” asks the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings and rams and the fat of well-fed cattle; I have no desire for the blood of bulls, lambs, or male goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who requires this from you— this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing useless offerings. Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons and Sabbaths, and the calling of solemn assemblies— I cannot stand iniquity with a festival. 14 I hate your New Moons and prescribed festivals. They have become a burden to me; I am tired of putting up with them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will refuse to look at you; even if you offer countless prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.
I believe this is how the Lord feels about much of modern organizational-centric Christianity today. This kind of religion is produced as the result of pastors who are trying to motivate people to action who are not themselves motivated by the Holy Spirit. So, these pastors try to “program” the body to move and function like the body of Christ, which is supposed to be animated by the Holy Spirit himself as the word of God “dwells richly within us” (Col. 3:16).
The “idolatry” of the organizational-centric church is “SELF”. Organizational-centric churches allow you to preserve “self”, while Christ-centric churches demand you deny “self”. In organized churches you can come to church on Sunday, “participate”, and then go home and be about your life completely independent of your church family that you have been bound to by the blood of Christ. In other words, I can live my daily life to please myself completely independent of my Church family on Monday-Saturday, and then come independently to “worship God” on Sunday without exercising any love towards my Christian brothers and sisters.
Why do we come before God to worship him on Sunday when we worship “self” Monday-Saturday?
Why do we spread out our hands in prayer to God when they are covered with sexual immorality, wrath, envy, and the incense of idolatry?
1st Timothy 2:8 (CSB) — Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.
The land is filled with strife, contention, and division; our assemblies are filled with anger and arguments.
How can we lift up holy hands to God in prayer when they are stained with so many sins?
How can hearts that love money treasure Christ?
How can homes that are filled with enough furniture to outfit 3-families be filled with the love of God?
God is offended by the kind of religion that makes room for “self” and Christ; that embraces both “the world” and God!
James 4:4–12 (CSB) — You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God. 5 Or do you think it’s without reason that the Scripture says: The spirit he made to dwell in us envies intensely? 6 But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 7 Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 11 Don’t criticize one another, brothers and sisters. Anyone who defames or judges a fellow believer defames and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?