Christianity or Christ!

By John David Clark, Sr. - June, 1993

A few weeks ago, there dawned a realization of what God had done in my life which will forever affect both me and everyone to whom I minister. It was a defining moment in the life of the church here, and I hope it will be for you. The following is my attempt to explain as best I can exactly what I came to understand and what it means for the church. JDC

There is a revolution coming. It is a revolt of sincere followers of Jesus against the tyranny of the religion called Christianity. Those who are sincerely seeking and doing the will of God have already felt it, and are being prepared for its coming by the Spirit of God. Those who are more intent on maintaining an appearance of good without the substance of it will be shocked and indignant when it happens. But it will be the work of God, and it will not be stopped. It will bring about the destruction of Christianity, to the glory of the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and I am longing for the day, even though I may not live long enough to see it.

In Genesis 11, when man made his first serious effort to reach heaven by his own wisdom and power, that effort was made in the territory which later was Babylon. Since then, the name Babylon has been a synonym for religion without God's ordination. Babylon also is synonymous with captivity for the children of God. His Old Covenant people were taken in chains to ancient Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. So, to combine these two clear meanings to the word Babylon, we see that Babylon is the place where (1) God's people are, and (2) a place where men are laboring to reach heaven without God's help or approval. This is a perfect description of Christianity. God's people are mixed into the hundreds of sects which make up Christianity, and all those sects, or denominations, are the inventions of men, not of God. I sincerely thank Jesus Christ that I am no longer among them. It is only by the merciful grace of God that I am not a Christian. I am simply a servant, a disciple of Jesus, praying that at his return, he will judge me to have been faithful.

The term Christianity is found nowhere in the Bible, and for good reason: it didn't exist when the Bible was written. Jesus didn't come to start Christianity; instead, he came to set men free from such dead religions. The term, Christian, was invented by the clever and raucous sophisticates of Antioch as a term of derision against Spirit-filled men and women in that city (Acts 11:26). It was not a name which the church gave itself. What were these followers of Christ doing in order to give rise to this ridicule? First of all, they were receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues. There were, beyond this, miracles and prophetic utterances among them. It was here that the Holy Ghost spoke through an unnamed prophet, declaring that Paul had a work to do for Jesus and that it was time for him to start. They were generous and godly in their conduct. These were not dull ecclesiastics, gathering to elect the next bishop or to vote on doctrine. These were Spirit-filled radicals, whose mission in life was to love and obey the will of God. They were not men-pleasers, though they loved all men with the love of God, even to the point of self denial and death.

This is a far cry from that religion which now calls itself Christianity. If Christianity means to follow after Christ, will someone explain to me how the Popes and their Crusader armies were "turning the other cheek" when they swept through eastern Europe, murdering, raping, and plundering on their way to rescue the "Holy Land" from the infidels? And how much more wretched a life could the "infidels" have lived than did those "soldiers of the cross"? Remember, it was the Pope's guarantee of a direct trip to heaven with no purgatory for those who were killed along the way which spurred these fools into ever greater boldness in their murderous venture. This is Christianity. If Christianity means "of Christ", how is it that Pat Robertson, Jesse Jackson, Jerry Falwell, and the like, teach that the church should be entangled in earthly politics, when Jesus plainly said that his kingdom is not of this world? If Christianity is the way of Christ, then how is it that Christianity tells men to join the church instead of telling them they must repent and be baptized into it by the Holy Ghost? I'll tell you how: none of the churches that Christianity would have men join are God's. If Christianity were really of God, "Christian" ministers would not persecute the few men who do obtain an anointing from God to heal the sick or to demonstrate in other ways the power of God. Holy Ghost filled people just do not belong in Christianity, and it appears to me that the harder they try to fit in, the less power and joy in the Spirit they possess. Christianity won't allow but a measure of freedom to the children of God who are within her gates. It is just for that reason that the Father is calling for His children to "come out" of that whorish abomination which calls itself after His Son. You can be certain of one thing if you obey that call of God: God will be pleased and Christians will persecute you for doing so. It is the Christian way of doing things.

Living in the Spirit means, among other truths, to live above the religious cliches of our time. The "charismatic" movement of a few years ago, once so full of promise, has now degenerated to a faith of catch phrases, formulas, and gimmicks - mainly because they tried to fit their wonderful experience into Christianity. It will never work. Christianity has put to death every revival of holiness and faith that ever occurred. And it so consistently accomplishes its destruction of spiritual life by persuading God's children to believe that all children of God are Christians. And believing that, the saints quench the Spirit in order to fit into the deadened mold of Christianity. After all, we all want to be good Christians, don't we? When will we ever come to understand that Jesus doesn't make Christians out of people; rather, he sets men free from the sin of Christianity and every other man-made religion! Everywhere that Christianity rules, the Spirit is quenched, slowly perhaps in cases where the fire burns brightly, but surely nonetheless. Given enough time, Christianity would corrupt and kill every ounce of true spiritual life on this planet. Christianity itself is antichrist, in its nature, in its doctrines, and in its ceremonial forms. The spirit of antichrist is the real Lord of Christianity.

This century, in particular, has been a century marked by the rise of many noble sounding, yet patently foolish Christian slogans. An examination of those high-sounding phrases, however, exposes the evil of them. Take, for example, the oft-heard plea of Christian ministers for unbelievers to "make Jesus Christ Lord of your life." How noble sounding that plea at first may sound, as ungodly as it really is! The truth is, my friend, that Jesus is already Lord of everybody's life. We can't make Jesus anything. The Father Himself made Jesus "both Lord and Christ" a long time ago, and there is nothing we can do about it. It is done. Jesus is Lord of all. But to hear Christians teach, one might think that in speaking to sinners we are speaking to people over which he is not Lord. Listen, my friends, Jesus is Lord even over the devil himself. "All power", Jesus said, "in heaven and in earth is given unto me." But to suggest that we may somehow "make Jesus Lord" of our lives, appeals to the arrogant pride which resides comfortably in human flesh, and is promoted by Christianity. It attributes to mortals the power of God, Who alone "made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

Another of these foolish, unscriptural sayings in Christianity today is "accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior." When I hear words such as these, it causes me to shake my head at man's insatiable appetite for undeserved honor. We accept him??? According to the Bible, the greater accepts the lesser, as the weary Job asked his proud friends, "Will you accept His person?" (Job 13:8). God forbid. But doesn't it sound, oh, so holy to make the earnest plea to sinners to "accept the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?" As if Christians have already done it! Can't you just picture the Almighty on His majestic throne, anxiously brushing His hair and straightening out His white garment so that we dying mortals will accept Him? Blinded ones! We are the ones commanded to make ready for Him, lest he come suddenly upon us and find us naked and unprepared. We are the ones commanded to make straight paths for His feet. He has no fear of us! And God help us, our stupidly cute code words and slogans are taking away our fear of Him!

Not long ago, I attended the funeral of a beloved elder who had been instrumental in organizing several pentecostal churches in this part of North Carolina years ago. As a teenager, I had come to know this man, a harmless and sincere individual. Also in attendance was a high-ranking official of the Christian denomination called the "Church of God", who noted his church's official statistics on this man's ministry. What I heard stunned and saddened me. Over the years of his ministry, the official results: 258 "saved", 170 "sanctified", 101 baptized with the Holy Ghost, and 121 people he took into the church. Took into the church? How'd he do that? He did it by taking them into a church which belonged to Christianity. He could not have taken people into the church of Jesus Christ; only Jesus can do that.

Now, the typical pentecostal doctrine of "saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost" is found nowhere in the Scriptures, and is suggested by nothing in the Scriptures. Trying to defend it is like trying to rescue the Titanic with a row boat. But even if I believed that doctrine, certainly I'd think that if Jesus is the door, and if Jesus "saved" somebody, then that person would be in the church! And if that were not enough to convince me, surely I'd feel free to consider such a man to be a brother in the church by the time Jesus sanctified him! And if that were not enough for Jesus to do to the man to make me consider him a church member, then without all question, when Jesus baptized him with the Holy Ghost, I ought to consider him to be a member of that group whom Jesus has called and cleansed!! But, not so, according to the Overseer who spoke at the funeral I attended. Jesus "saved" some, he said, "sanctified" some, and baptized some with the Holy Ghost, yet they weren't church members until the dead elder took them in. This is typical Christianity, and it is a crime of enormous proportions. Christianity takes people into any one of its many churches. Take your pick. Join the "church of your choice". There's something for everyone. But Jesus Christ baptizes people into his church, and only he can do it. For Christianity to claim authority to take people into the church that belongs to God is a mockery of the Lordship of Jesus. Government in the church is good, but government is one thing, while organizing to such an extent that we don't even consider a person to be a member of the church until he or she joins our organization - regardless of what the Head of the church has done for them - is altogether another. God has heretofore been very kind and patient with us, but how much longer can we expect Him to endure the dishonor brought to His Son by Christianity? In the final analysis, we must choose between being a faithful follower of Jesus Christ or being a faithful member of Christianity.

If you belong to any church other than the one into which Jesus baptizes men by his Spirit, you are guilty of the sin of belonging to Christianity. It is confusion. In scriptural terms, it is Babylon. And the Spirit is still pleading to God's family, as it has since God's saints began joining themselves to the churches invented by men, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities" (Rev.18). My friend, this call of the Spirit "Come out of Christianity!" Christianity is a corrupt, thoroughly confused and helplessly divided religion, which denies the Lordship of Christ Jesus at every turn. "Come out of her, my people!" That is a divine commandment, not a carnal suggestion.

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