Before I begin let's get something straight. In no way do I believe Yehovah-Yeshua has given up on the church, or it's individual members. Jesus works with what He has. Having said this, the American-European-Skandia type churches are obviously different than a burgeoning, struggling, suffering church in Vietnam or China or Pakistan or Indonesia or North Korea. My most favorite missionary support group, btw, is Voice of the Martyrs. V.O.M. is definitely your Christmas loving, Easter loving, Lutheran based, hell-burning, heaven going, traditional Romanesque church, but they do great work and God is using them.
But, what I do on this blog is try to define a true, 1st Century based Christian worship, so you'll "hear" me differentiate this effort from the traditional church. Here are some concepts that may be helpful in explaining.
People will ask my wife and I, "What religion are you guys?" We answer, "None, we don't believe in religion." They'll continue, "Are you Jewish?" We answer, "No, we're not Jewish - we're Christian!" This really blows their mind so I continue:
"In the 1st Century and even up to 400 A.D., depending on where you lived in the Roman Empire, Christians celebrated Shabbat, kept the Feasts of Yehovah (as best they could), went to Synagogue (if the local Jewish community allowed them) or worshipped in homes, caves, or in secret; circumcised their boys, ate clean foods, and generally did their best to keep Torah."
So, I ask my "churchy friends", "Why do you now follow the traditions of man, just like the Pharisees of old and modern-day Judaism, instead of actually doing what Jesus said to do?" Of course, I already know the answer because I grew up with churchy tradition, as well. Most of my friends cannot answer because they can't get over the historical and biblical evidence versus the traditions they grew up with. I explain to them that they are, in fact, legalists - following man's instructions, instead of Jesus'. I explain to them that they are no different than the Pharisees Yeshua argued against in His ministry. This usually results in them saying I'm the legalist by trying to follow Torah. But, I remind them that Jesus said to follow Torah (His commandments).
[Note: Legalism, by definition, is the following of man's rules and traditions, not Yehovah-Yeshua's instructions. ... following man - not God!]
Then I explain Constantine and Eusebius and the Council of Nicaea and that the church is actually following Rome and it's man-made instructions and not biblical instructions. Some get it and some don't. It took most of my life before I "got it"! So, let me define the church even further.
1. The Church is pagan in Nature.
The very word "church" is a pagan word . It can be applied to a Roman pagan Temple of Zeus as well as a Synagogue, or Church. The correct word, in English, should be "Assembly". Follow this link for a wonderful explanation. The church has pagan traditions and Holy days. Even most of it's liturgy is based in pagan ritual, although most of the Protestants have tried to get away from that.
2. The Church is Nicolaitan in Structure.
Jesus HATES THE DEEDS OF THE NICOLAITANS! Just read Revelation Ch.2. The church is Nicolaitan in structure.
3. The Church is Laodicean in Spirit.
Please read Revelation Ch. 3 for this one. Being Laodicean is not good.
My point with all this is; wouldn't you want to be involved in worship that is closer to the way Yeshua taught His Apostles and Disciples to worship, and NOT the way man has taught you to worship? Or, will you continue to be a "churchy friend"?