Mere Churchianity in Review

Derek Ouellette —  August 7, 2010

Mere Churchianity
Finding Your Way back to Jesus Shaped Spirituality
Michael Spencer

1 ½ Star

I’ve been in churches long enough to know that some of what Michael Spencer says about churches is partly true. Some. Partly. I know, for example, that churches are filled with dry and bristled bones of people. No passion. No genuineness. They advertise Jesus but they deliver what Spencer calls “churchianity”. It’s the practice of going to church, singing a few songs, listening to a sermon but never thirsting for deeper connection with Christ or his Bride. While remaining disconnected to Jesus, they retain legalism which has become more or less their favorite pass time. It’s everywhere. I’ve watched it go on for most of the past 20 years. I’ve been a part of it myself.

But to suggest that, as Michael says, Jesus has left the building, that he can never be found there, that churches are like “pecan pies” without the “pecans”, that experiencing God for churches is simply sitting in a pew and doing what the pastor says, et cetera and so on, is to sadly disrepute the facts.

Michael says that he has written this book for those who left the church or are about to leave the church or who want to leave the church but for whatever reason have held on. (I used to fit into that last category). The impression is that Michael is going to tell you how to retain and garnish a genuine organic spirituality with Jesus. Great! People are leaving established Christian gathers in search of something more “organic” (i.e. less formal). They need some guidance. And Michael wanted to be their pastor of sorts. Good. But is it absolutely necessary to disrepute, lambast, and slander formal Christian gatherings around the world at every stage in the book?

(Michael died of cancer in April 2010, two months before his first and only book was published. My deepest condolsences to his family and friends. :( )

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.