My name is freeradicalsteve and what follows is an outline of my vision for the future of the body of Christ. But first, let me tell you a bit about how I came to such an extreme viewpoint.
Sometime around 2000/2002 (I should have kept a journal!) I woke up early one morning with the words "free radical" and "maverick" constantly in my mind. I had heard the terms before but was not exactly sure what they meant so I felt compelled to get up and look them up in a reference book and dictionary.
It was 4 a.m., and I knew that God was speaking to me by His Spirit.
After about 20 to 30 minutes of reading and thinking about "free radical" and "maverick" I came to the conclusion that I was to become a "free radical" and that I should take a "maverick" approach to Christianity.
I encourage you to spend some time reading about the concept of free radicals and the history of Mr. Maverick.
Free radicals leave the past behind to journey to a new and different future, they are also vital for the combustion process, i.e., there can be no fire without free radicals.
Now I was not afraid to become a free radical, but I was concerned about a maverick approach to Christianity; I believed it was highly likely that if I was wrong about this "word" from the Lord that I would eventually bring His Name into disrepute.
So I held off on the maverick approach for a bit until I could get confirmation. I had the idea that a maverick approach to Christianity was going to mean rejecting everything that Christians hold dear, that is primarily, buildings, meetings and services, because these have become the distinguishing features of what it means to be a Christian. One cannot belong to Christ without belonging to a local church, submitting to its “leadership”, attending it regularly and living to its accepted values and norms; its culture. (As one could not own cattle without having one's "brand" on it).
One Monday night, Dr. Colin Warner, a well-known Bible Teacher and Author in the UK Pentecostal Movement, was teaching on the second coming of Christ. I was thinking about "maverick". So I prayed in my mind, "Lord, if you want me to take a maverick approach to Christianity, with all that I believe it will entail, then I want you to confirm it to me tonight through Colin. I don't want to bring your Name into disrepute, so please confirm your word to me about a maverick approach right here tonight through Colin Warner". Well, guess what happened?
Colin was talking about the second coming, there was NO WAY he could talk about a maverick approach to Christianity, right? But, during the coffee break someone asked a question that I did not hear the details of, all I can remember is that as Colin answered the question all the other noises in the room filtered out and my ears tuned in to Colin speaking as he said, "the Apostles were all together working in Jerusalem, but there was Paul, out there on his own, seemingly doing his own thing, looking like some kind of maverick ....". You could have knocked me down with a feather. And I was ecstatic!
Since then I have left the church system and people ask me when I will go back to it, when I will be part of a fellowship and attend meetings again. Well, a maverick approach to Christianity means those things can never be so again for me. Here is my vision of the future for the body of Christ.
No buildings, no meetings, no services. No Bible studies, no prayer meetings. No cell groups, home groups or small groups. No Sunday School and no classes of any kind.
No hierarchy, no clergy, no laity. No Pastors, Teachers, Elders, Deacons or Evangelists. No Worship Leaders, no Youth Leaders, no leaders of any kind.
No "preaching" or "teaching", no outreach ministry, no sermons, no Gospel meetings.
The word "church" will not exist in the vocabulary of the body of Christ.
In short, everything we have come to accept as the "hallmarks" of being a Christian are gone, the means by which we are recognised as belonging to Christ today will not be present in our future.
What will be present in our future I am not totally sure; it is for us to find out as we go along. Like Abraham we will have to journey to a new land that God will show us.
What I am sure of is this. Comparing today with the future, the body of Christ will relate to God in "a new and living way" altogether.