Where things are going in 2015 / by Michael Nichols

A lot have things have been weighing on my heart since the start of 2015. I've been sorting through a lot of it and wanted to share it with you, especially those of you who have shared the journey. Some of the things I've been sorting through are personal issues, as you can guess. I'm still sorting some of them, mind you. The journey is never over. A couple of these things, though, I want to share with you.

Since the beginning of my faith, even before it took root, I have felt a passion to see change in more than just me but in the grand scheme of the church. I was extremely lucky, I felt, to have found the pocket of believers that I found, and the sheer timing of it was impeccable.

This drew my attention away from the big picture of "the church" and toward the small picture of what I still needed to work out between me and God, be that my doubts, my sins, my errors, whatever. Over time, I've realized that some of those things were critical and needed to be settled then and there, but some things still are progressive, and will be worked out over long periods of time. I'm not saying that I don't have things in both categories, obviously. The condition I was in, though, was not exactly, um, "conducive" to ministry. Ministry has to do with others. When you're self-obsessed, though, good luck.

The craziest part about it is that sometimes it works out. That's what hypocrisy is. Wear a mask of selflessness to sap attention away from God rather than redirect it to God. Unbeknownst to me, I was that guy. Hypocrisy has this tendency of making you forget you're wearing it.

The reality is simple: I will never be perfectly honest all the time. I wish that weren't true. But that was never the point. Perfection is only truly realized when we are finally home with the Lord again, but we push onward toward it here. Now that I know what I am, I can fight it in Jesus' name. That was the thing He was always working me toward.

So after all this time, after knowing something was wrong, now I'm on the offensive within my soul. The funny part is I've always known it was there, but didn't realize how little I fought against it. Now, I have a chance to get out of my own head. Now, I have a chance to be more intentional about caring for others. Now, I actually have the capability (in Christ alone) to minister both to His followers and His opposition, because let's face it: we both need Him equally.

I've been working on a project I'm titling "Kill the Church." Off the cuff, you might think, "Hey, that's an anti-Christian thing to say." Actually, though, no, it isn't. It's actually based on the repeated concept of dying to self and being raised to life in Christ. We speak of revival often, but how can we be revived unless we are dead?

I've always felt the sincerest disturbance due to the fact that we seem to have gone off-track. We squabble about little things like musical style and how nice your clothes are, and ignore bigger issues like feeding the hungry and comforting/advocating for the oppressed. It's like when Jesus told the Pharisees that if religion was their beverage of choice they "strain[ed] out a gnat only to swallow a camel." In times past, it enraged me, the injustice of it. In hindsight, though, I tried too hard to be the judge when only God is the judge. I was actually just being a narcissist. I was giving them eye-for-an-eye treatment just like they did, but Jesus called for something different.

When He called to my attention my own self-centeredness, it became clear to me that I, as part of the church, also need to die in order to live in Him, so when I start publishing articles for "Kill the Church," understand that I know that the problems I'm talking about are just as much my problem as anyone else's. I hope this will be beneficial to both the ending of a track record of loveless "ministry" (for me, too) and the beginning of the building of bridges both within the church and to souls on the outside dying for somewhere to belong.

Much love in Christ,

Michael

If you have suggestions for topics you'd like to hear about in "Kill the Church," CLICK HERE to send me an email. Thanks! :)