In his upcoming The Barbarian Way (seventh item), Erwin McManus writes:
When Christianity becomes just another religion, it focuses on what God requires. Just to keep people in line, we build our own Christian civilization and then demand that everyone who believes in Jesus become a good citizen.
It's hard to imagine that Jesus would endure the agony of the cross just to keep us in line. Jesus began a revolution to secure our freedom. The new covenant that He established puts its trust not in the law, but in the transforming power of God's Spirit living within us. The revolution of the human heart would fuel the life and vitality of this movement.
Indeed. And yet it's hard to keep that in mind in the capitalistic, competitive society that is 21st century America. Sometimes Christians fall victim to the faulty thinking that believes that revolutionizing every else can take the place of the revolution of the human heart.
No wonder many congregations are more like businesses or clubs than life-changing places.