Monday, July 30, 2007



Recently I wrote a document expressing some new insights regarding the use of the terms Christian or Christianity. In some circles this is being widely accepted. Or, maybe I should say where it has been read so far the response has been very positive. The problem is that it is a large document and many who receive it have a difficult time consuming it all in one sitting. So, the rest of the week, I want to break this document down into bite-sized segments, hoping to communicate what I believe is most revolutionary.

You see, Christianity isn't the way; Jesus is! Let me try to explain the journey I have been on and see if it resonates with you.

I've spent most of my life seeking to understand how to relate to the non-churched, non-Christian world. My books and speaking platforms have all had a crossover flavor to them and I finally ended up at the peak of professional speaking opportunities on the largest platforms in addition to pastoring one of the early mega-churches.

During that season of my life I came to the conclusion that only Jesus could transform our lives. 1. NOT Churchianity 2. NOT Christianity 3. NOT conversion methods 4. ONLY JESUS

I came to the conclusion that in order to reach the non-churched world I would have to separate myself from mainstream churches and Christianity. So, I did that to a certain degree, but I still had to take up offerings to keep the church and its staff alive. When your livelihood depends to some degree what your constituency thinks and wants, then you aren't as free as you could be to teach what I would call the true truth.

In the second season of my life Jesus apprehended my heart in a fresh way and poised me toward taking this same JESUS PLUS NOTHING message beyond the "secular", non-churched world into the 7 major cultures of the world.

So, now my focus and perpendicular learning curve have taken me to a simple understanding of Jesus and the Kingdom. I've spent so much time and energy unlearning a lot of my theological premises I received at graduate seminary while a student and professor. It's been a fresh look at Jesus and His message of the good news of the Kingdom. He only mentions "church" twice, yet we are all about building and uplifting the church. His message was not the church, but all about the Kingdom.

In this journey now we are working with the 7 primary cultures of the world-Buddhist, Hindu, Moslem, Jewish, Animist, Christian and Atheist/Agnostic. We don't present Christianity to them, but Jesus. We teach them to follow the teachings and principles of Jesus as the early disciples did. It took a while for the disciples to become believers. However, it's important to note that being a believer is not enough-the demons believe, false prophets/teachers of Matthew 7 are believers and we are believers. So, what's the difference? Jesus says, "Only those who do the will of my Father will enter the Kingdom." So "hear my words and practice them".

We are working with the Tibetan youth in northern India. What is so amazing is that these young Buddhists are followers of Jesus. It's just like hanging out with the early disciples while Jesus is out for the evening. The first 8 of these young men, going through a mentoring process centered around the teachings and principles of Jesus, have been awarded the title of "Ambassadors to the Poor in the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth" by the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government. All of the work in the House of Peace (mentoring house) is done under the supervision of the Tibetan authorities. Each young person is chosen by government officials to enter the House of Peace. It is mind-blowing! We are seeing the same results with the other cultures using the same process. You see, Jesus trumps everything else. Not Christianity, but Jesus!