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Christ Substitutes

It’s as old as Israel asking for a king, and as recent as people blindly following the program of their senior pastor. People would rather follow a human leader than to learn to follow Christ. Why do you think that is? Why are people so afraid to listen to Jesus lead and direct them, and why do so many men and women seek to replace Jesus in people’s hearts by telling them what to do, rather than equipping them to know him?

I hadn’t thought of it like that (seeking a king), thanks, that’s a really good way to put it.

Perhaps because they don’t know the personal Jesus themselves, yet, and think that they need to do something better and that the other doers can help them rather than just resting in being In Him and He in them; no revelation of that yet. Isn’t it the Holy Spirit’s job to equip them and we just “be”?

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Is this due to the ‘absent Christ’ ideology?

Because by hundreds of years of religious tradition we are programmed to seek to know and follow Christ via a religious institution under the authority of the “clergy”. They entrap you into their ways, conformity to their theology, depency on them for guidance and permission - thereby usurping the role of the Holy Spirit. To walk away from religion is tantamount to treason and worse. It seems to take some extraordinary “unChristian” behavior by the “clergy” or religious institution to make us question the traditional path we are on. It seems that in response, most of us make excuses such as “no church is perfect”, and like a horse running out of a burning barn, they run right back into it. In the religious institutions we are programmed into luke-warmness, to not stand for the truth, to let the leaders do the heavy lifting - the decision making. Only a few choose to stand against the traditions of the religious world. It is a huge leap to turn your trust away from the religious ways of man and solely towards a true relationship with our Father.


If he isn’t real, or can’t make himself known to normal people, then i guess we have to have someone else tell us what he wants. Seems like the Incarnation was in vain if that were true.

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Christ said many will come, few will be chosen. Is his incarnation then only of value, or truely valued by the few?

And if we have to have someone else communicate what he wants to us, it is like the altar rail is still there. I just don’t think that is what God had in mind when the veil was rent from top to bottom.


I think a lot of people don’t understand God’s love and that is a big part of the problem… and another big part of the problem is that many people don’t trust God (which is usually due to a failure to understand God’s love).

These problems manifest themselves in many different ways depending on the person…

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If it’s easy I will take that…the easy way… I would rather have that than something that is difficult, hard to see and doesn’t really go with what I would naturally do. If it doesn’t fit in my within my agenda it’s got to go no way is that the way to doing it or go…
It’s easier to follow a human leader because, one, we can see them, two, we can hear them easily and three, if they’re telling us what to do all we need to do is simply listen to that. When it comes to following Jesus that’s a whole different ball game… When we arrive at a crossroads and wonder, which way, one road is leading away to the seaside one road leads away to the desert which one do I take if I want to remain in Gods will… if I’ve got someone telling me that’s the road you need to take I’m probably going to take that because it’s easier to trust someone that told me that’s the way to go than to sit and possibly wonder is it me, did I hear that right , was that God? Or was it just me?
(Some interesting Podcasts on the God Journey that explore these thoughts… very interesting… love all the comments there too… :wink:

Listening to a leader used to bring comfort and ease of conscience especially if they were praising something I had done… The reality of that taught me that the praise was for ulterior motives more often than not and had attached somewhere up ahead some form of manipulative thing to get me me to comply or serve their agenda.

Thankfully the God’s love has gripped a hold of this old cranky heart of mine enough that I have come to understand His love in the small degree that I have and still learning to. Moreover, thankfully is there is a whole lot more to go because, isn’t that exactly what that’s all about… and where life truly does start finding a better meaning??

To share something that wasn’t on my mind when I typed it but is now. Going back to that crossroads mentioned earlier, one road leads to the seaside and one road leads to the desert… Which one to take?? (these little words popped into my head…
“If you take the seaside you’ll have fun but if the desert route you’ll get to helping each other as you find your way to that precious water.”

Was that God?? Was that me?? Was I simply getting into my verbal babble??
I leave that to you to decide and if you have any thoughts please share them?

My answer is, “what do you want to show me Father and what is your purpose…?” Then I will leave it to the “Nudges” and learning to walk in a growing trust… for me it’s so important to understand and let it be
"A Growing Trust.." it’s not perfected today and that’s fine, actually it great as it adds spice to the adventure… :heart_eyes:

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This has been the chapter that has spoken to me more than any other. I think that when we come to know Jesus personally, the next step is “church.” That’s part of the journey, so we are told. And so we church shop until we find a place where we are “fed.” That usually means a place where we agree with what is preached and we value the preacher. I am learning a great deal about growth in small group settings, and I am learning that it is easy to come under the ‘power’ of a strong and dynamic leader. The one thing I’m aware of is that most of the people that I have come to journey intimately with are people that I met through the IC. I do wonder if I would have found them (and how) if I had not been part of the bigger ‘church’ body.

I have thought about this one a lot. I also think about the Israelites sending Moses to talk to Yahweh because they couldn’t handle His demonstrated power and intimate knowledge of them. And not only that, after Moses came down the mountain with his face aglow, that freaked them out so much that they asked him to wear a veil to cover it up.

It must be human nature to hide from that level of intimacy. I think most of us would profess to want an intimate, personal, deep, awe-inspiring, uncontainable and uncontrollable diety, but when we actually are handed just that, we cower, avert our eyes and create buffers for “our safety.”

I think this is why we are fine with having professional clergy do “the heavy lifting” with religion and even abdicating our role in our faith journey. It feels less wild, safer and sane. I do wonder how this breaks the Father’s heart when He did so much to give us that intimacy, but we put on the veil and ask for a “king” to be our emissary.

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