Your invisible enemy says: "Drop your weapons!"

People who try to avoid morally wrong thoughts, words, and behaviors, soon discover that they have an invisible enemy that strongly resists their attempts to live morally. They get continually ambushed by anxiety, accusation, temptation, torment, depression, and many other negative emotions.

The Bible identifies this invisible enemy as, Satan or the devil (aka "the prince of darkness") and his hordes of demons. Fortunately, we humans aren't defenseless against our evil foe.

Hope for unity in Old Testament divisivenessm

Christ came to reconcile us to God and to one another. The New Testament has much to say about unity and love for one another. But what about the Old Testament?

For many, the Old Testament seems divisive. It's a completely honest book and shows the divisiveness that is rooted deeply in human hearts. Even Israel, itself, had many internal conflicts and eventually divided into two nations. Yet, even in the disunity, God pointed to the coming oneness in Christ. Here are some examples (from the NKJ translation):

Oneness in the Spirit brought 2 million people to Christ in 1857-1858

Jeremiah Lanphier, a businessman, started a daily, noon prayer meeting in New York City. It was based on oneness in Christ rather than on doctrine or religious affiliation and wasn't connected with any denomination or Christian group. He put up a sign that read: "DAILY PRAYER MEETING From 12 to 1 o’clock. -- STOP -- 5, 10, or 20 Minutes, or the whole hour, AS YOUR TIME ADMITS," and held the first one at noon on September 23, 1857. Six men showed up the first day.

Is there a more important question than, "Where do you go to church?"

So much emphasis among Christians is placed on "going to church." (Billy Graham even used to tell people, "Attend the church of your choice.") However, throughout the Bible there is far more emphasis on hearing and obeying the Holy Spirit. In fact the Bible boldly states (in Romans 8:14), "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God." 

So perhaps a better question than, "Where do you go to church?" is, "How well do you follow the Spirit?"

Unanimity is hard to say (and to do). Unity's easier.

Historically, Christians have tried to build churches around unanimity by finding others who agree completely with their doctrine and church practices. The main problem with that approach is that it tends to alienate all the other Christians around the world who don't agree with them 100%.

Building on unanimity causes much insincerity, because if anyone openly differs with the party line, they are seen as a disrupter of the group. Thus, many believers in unanimity based churches, just go along with the crowd and (at least outwardly) agree with and conform to the group's dogma and procedures. They've been trained not to think or seek the Lord for themselves.

What are Dones, (dechurched Christians) looking for?

Sometimes Christians get to the point where they say, "I'm done with church," and then drop out of church altogether. This is happening so much nowadays that it has become a social trend. Sometimes the people who do that are called "dechurched," or "church refugees;" but the most common label they are known by is "Dones."

Usually Dones are deeply committed Christ-followers who are longing for more than they have found in the traditional church format. Normally Dones aren't walking away Christ or even Christianity. Instead, they are leaving the institutional church because they want more than they are finding there.

New movie shows Christianity before church

Before there was church hierarchy and official offices, Christianity was more family than institution! Before there was established liturgy and religious programming, faith in Christ flowed spontaneously from the heart.

The movie, "Paul Apostle Of Christ," captures these distinctions well. It shows Christianity before it was formally organized into a religious structure. (It stars Jim Caviezel and James Faulkner.)

The film doesn't even use the word "church." Instead, it calls groups of Christ-followers "the community." And it portrays the community as being an informal group gathered around their love for Jesus Christ, rather than around human leadership.