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'Christ in You...'

    by Dale Krebbs

Formula Religion
Date Posted: September 5, 2021

What has become of real, genuine, honest and loving relationships? Not only between Christians, but more importantly, between Christians and God. It has been lamented that so much of Christianity today is a matter of formula, ritual, method, and posturing, and preoccupation with objectives, projects, and financial goal orientation, and money driven.

This was never meant to be so, and indeed was not so in the early church. Formulas stiffen relationship, and tend to push relationship into a mechanical performance. People tend to become logical concepts, colorless and cold objects, to be used rather than related to.

Therefore, in many ways, there is a crisis of relationship. Not just between Christians, but between Christians and God. This can be very seductive because it is much simpler and much easier to relate to and to deal with concepts and formulas rather than with living beings. When this is so, there is lack of real personal interaction - with other people and Jesus Christ. Relationships are not done once, and all stays the way it should.They must be maintained and cultivated, even worked it, for them to continue to exist. Without this effort to cultivate the relationship, we will drift into formulas, routine, and stagnation. A counterfeit righteousness by formulas, routines, and structures results.

All this taken together cultivates a fertile ground for shallowness and a surface relationship. The net effect is a lack of genuine caring, affection, kindness, empathy, and warmth between each other. At one time it was called "brotherly love". Now it has become a reluctant cordiality. We speak to each other, say "hello, how are you...?", and move on - usually in a hurry. We do not wish to get involved. There are duties to be performed, schedules to be kept, and accountability to consider for keeping them. There is preoccupation with the process, and not for the real purpose for it all. Why would a stranger be interested in jumping through the loops in such a context, when a similar environment can be found in many secular groups?

Please understand, not all church environments are like that which has been just described. But some are, and others are headed in that direction. Could some of this be part of the reason we are drifting away from Christianity as a nation? Perhaps many do not want a relationship, when it is much easier to drift. When something drifts, it drifts away from where it once was. We are drifting away from God. God as a living, ever-present Being who loves relating to people. That's one reason He created all of us. He loves relationships. The more the better! Modern Christianity has borne much, sacrificed much, and suffered much in many ways and in many environments. But America has experienced so many blessings, due to our original Christian roots and orientation. There was more of a living, personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ.

Many years ago, a European man set out to travel the America that then was, to try to determine what had made America's greatness. After traveling, and asking, and observing for a long time, he returned to his own land. He has come to a conclusion. The reason America was the way it was, was because of America's reverence for God. There were so many churches, he said. Everywhere, it seemed. Christians seemed to really know God personally. and their joy and happiness showed. Would his conclusion today be the same if he could travel as he did then?

What would he say after meeting you and me?

"I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name's sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary. But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God's will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent." - Revelation 2:3-5 (AMP)

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Mary's Response

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Biography Information:
Dale Krebbs served as an Elder, preaching, counseling, and conducting Bible studies for over 25 years in Texas, California, and Arizona. He is now retired, lives in Arizona, and continues the study and research of Gods Word.
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