People don't generally have a problem with Jesus. It's His followers they have issue with. Or, it's when His followers get organized (i.e. "organized religion") that things go wrong.
I am working on a sermon right now from Matthew 16:13-20 where Jesus said "on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." He promises victory and He gives authority. To what degree was this victory and authority aimed to the individual vs. the organization? Was Jesus looking at something beyond the steeple on the corner?
As I have been working through these questions I received an interesting call.
It was from the Executive Director of an organization called Christian Churches Together in the USA and they had received my name and number from one of the VP's at World Vision (how this guy had my name and number, I have no idea). He asked if I would be willing to be part of a panel of five at one of their upcoming events (next week) at the Cedar Brook Lodge and if I could represent the Evangelical/Pentecostal branch of the Church. The other panel members would be a rep of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, the African American Church/Community & ???. I still am befuddled about how they got my name and my own incapability of representing "the evangelical church".
Our topic is going to be "evangelism in the "socially disestablished" northwest". Should be an interesting conversation and it will be interesting to see how it ties into my current study on Matthew 16. I'll keep you posted.