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What is the Church supposed to be? What really constitutes the New Testament norm for "Church?"
For one thing, Real Church is to be distinguished from "the religious system."
Michael Brown says “the religious system” exists...
- wherever human ways take precedence over divine ways;
- wherever the will and wisdom of man are superimposed over the will and wisdom of God;
- wherever church traditions become more sacred than the clear teaching of God’s Word;
- wherever spiritual progress is thwarted by the flesh, however “religious” that flesh might appear to be.
(Brown, Revolution in the Church: Challenging the Religious System with a Call for Radical Change, Kindle Locations 57-60)
Brown issues a warning to all who would challenge this system. One has to resist succumbing to religious pride and super-spirituality. Brown writes:
"Let us proceed with humility, then, asking the Lord to search our hearts first, to strip us of all religious pretension and to deliver us from bondage to dead tradition. Let the revolution begin with us!" (Ib.)