28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him. 1 John 2:28-29 (NASB)
All who are truly in Christ must admit that this walk is fraught with doubt as well as pressure to conform to a form of godliness that has no power, to be faithful at doing church as the indication of our genuineness. As many of you know, I grew up as a Southern Baptist….
While I am grateful for the deep Bible knowledge that I gained through being in Church every Sunday, I have also learned that much of the focus of organized religion is geared more to creating religious faithfulness rather than to disciple believers to abide in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Is practicing righteousness the same thing as being in church every time the doors open? Is church attendance, volunteering for every job in a church, dressing a certain way, looking a certain way, boycotting the right companies while doing business with only those approved by religious leaders the same thing as abiding in Christ? I remember hearing the following little ditty in youth group from some of our leaders when I was a teenager. “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t dance, I don’t dip nor go with girls who do.” Is this what Jesus was talking about in John 15 when he gave us the blueprint for Christian authenticity?