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As cliche as this is, Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. First off, God is not interested in anything that doesn't bring Him glory. Thus, every single organized religion that isn't glorifying Christ (such as everything but Christianity), is not a good thing. I would suggest that so long as the organized gatherings of Christians is bringing glory to Christ, then yes, I think God is "interested" in that. But as for a 30,000 foot view of organized religion, like Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox, or narrowing it down to denominations, I don't think God is interested at all in labels or doctrines or anything that doesn't first and foremost bring Him glory, secondly contribute to our sanctification process in becoming more like Christ, and finally lead to the fulfillment of the great commission (or great command if you like). I Corinthians 3:4-5 - For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not mere men? What then is Apollis? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. Feel free to substitute Paul and/or Apollos with the name of your denomination and a neighboring denomination.
A Big NO
Religion's major mission is to do away with God. Following a certain set of rules which culminates into religion is only to do what you think God wants. Salvation is to submit to the will of God through His Son Jesus the CHRIST. Organized religion is only to calm down people's fears. Salvation is an assurance of safety to us by God through His Son Jesus the CHRIST. Organized religion doesn't give back any glory to God, it is only man's organized groups for other goals largely for human satisfaction other than submitting to the authority of God Almighty through His Son Jesus the CHRIST. God bless
God is interested whenever 2 or more of his children meet together with their focus on worship of Him - If the focus is the cause of the organization. Leviticus 8:4 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. And the congregation was gathered together at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Matthew 18:20 New King James Version (NKJV) For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them
If you are referring to the church, then yes He is. The church as been around since Pentecost and the devil has been trying to destroy it since then but failed.
Please know that what most people practice in America is not Christianity, it's Christianity Religion. 99 % percent of "Christians", have no clue what early Christianity was like, as lived by Paul and the apostles. If Paul came to America and saw the mess that's been made of what Christ started and he taught, he would cry his eyes out and blast most preachers for the garbage they preach. Money, Money, and more Money, mixed in with, you need to come to this building as much as possible and just do whatever you can, cause that makes God happy. Take a trip down the Damascus road and let God open your blinded eyes.
Thank goodness, I hope this "its not a religion its a relationship" drivel is finally put to rest. I've asked my evangelical friends where God tells us to be disorganized and to have a relationship. I haven't found any scriptures to support this nor have my friends provided me any. On the contrary, the book of James lays out how Christians should live their lives, Paul spends 1 Corinthians laying out orderly worship in church, speaks to pastor Timothy on how to order his church and again in Titus. Every single one of Paul's letters lays out the gospel then gives Christians organized instructions on how to live in light of the gospel he just laid out. The distinction is between true religion (grace) and false religion (works). Check out the definition below, does Christianity not lay out a set of beliefs about the Creator of the universe and the purpose of bringing it into existence? Does Christianity not have a moral code governing human affairs? While these things are true, the Christian religion explicitly states these moral codes, ritual observances and devotions will not save us, non-the-less, they exist in our Bibles and are good guidelines to follow in light of the grace shown us on the cross. re·li·gion [ri-lij-uhn] noun 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
I understand what you are asking when you say, "Is God interested in organized religion". However,the ONLY question for each of us should be, "What has God commanded in the New Testament?" Now, some people just thrive on organizing other people, and some people love being part of something very organized. But on the other hand, some people chafe under stability, organization, and authority. True repentance and sanctification includes submitting our preferences to God in all areas, including this one. In regards to this particular question, this is what we need to know: 1. What has God said about authority in the Church? 2. What has God said about gatherings of the Church? 3. What has God said about discipline in the Church? 4. What has God said about divisions of the Church? Below is a very brief sampling of what God has said on these "organizational matters" in the New Testament. 1. What has God said about authority in the Church? 1.a. There are two offices of the Church: "To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:" (Phi 1:1 NKJ) 1.b. Establishing men in the position of elder/bishop/pastor is fundamental to church-planting: " For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you...." (Tit 1:5 NKJ) 1.c. "Bishop" (also known as "overseer") is the same office as "pastor" (also known as "shepherd"), and "elder": "From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived, he said to them.... "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood." (Act 20:17-18, 28 NIV, compare 1Pet 5:1-2) 1.d. These leaders have authority: "Obey your leaders and submit to them" (Heb 13:17 CSB) 2. What has God said about gatherings of the Church? 2.a. The entire chapter of 1 Cor 14 is about meetings of the Church--here's a sample: "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.... Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law." (1Co 14:27-28, 34 KJV) 2.b. 1 Cor 11 has to do with "the Lord's Supper": "So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that when you assemble it does not lead to judgment. I will give directions about other matters when I come." (1Co 11:33-34 NET) 2.c. 2 Cor 7-9 has to do with collecting funds to give to other Christians: "But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated-- to say nothing of you-- for being so confident." (2Co 9:3-4 ESV) 3. What has God said about discipline in the Church? 3.a. 1 Cor chapter 5 and 6 are an example: "So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord." (1Co 5:4-5 NIV) 4. What has God said about divisions of the Church? 4.a. "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" (1Co 3:3-4 KJV) Denominations are a demonstration of carnality among Christians. Everyone says, "I am of Augustine" (Catholics); I am of Wesley; I am of Luther. This kind of "organization" needs to cease.
Why do we think that God is interested in disorganized religion? It's unfortunate, I think, that preachers have misled us in thinking that religion is evil. Worse is that we don't even fully understand what religion really is. Jesus was organized, and yes, He too was religious. Jesus was not a Christian. He was a Jew and followed Jewish faith and customs. He spent most of his time in religious circles and temples. What separated Him from others is that he was interested in the rights of the minority, the poor, the sick, orphans and widows. He first message was acknowledging that he has received power to bring deliverance to the captives. Actual prisoners (not just the spiritually bound) and real patients. What does the bible say is true religion? CARE. James 1:27 We have limited Christianity to church affiliation and Sunday worship. My answer is YES! God is interested in organized religion. He did not commission us to go into the world haphazardly and without a plan. "Go and make disciples of all nations and teach them..." that's organized.
What if someone said: "Why don't you come to my church, we're highly unorganized?" -- C.B. 1 Corinthians 14:40 King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) Let all things be done decently and in order.
Of course! Jews bring their offerings to a Jewish priest, and the priest brings the offerings to the temple and makes the sacrifice for them. If that is not organized, I don't know what is.
The emphasis was not the offering or how it's done, it is the heart, our Father look at the heart, it has to be right with Him.
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints1 Corinthians 14:33.
James 1:27 New International Version (NIV) 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. The word "organization" appears nowhere in the scriptures. We are to be part of Christ's church and seek fellowship with like minded believers. Some denominations teach that you must belong to them to obtain salvation, "To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it." Watchtower 1983 Feb 15 p.12 This is not biblical we are to be followers of Christ.
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