I was listening to a message Donald Miller gave at Seattle Pacific University a couple years ago, and he said something that hit me right between the eyes. "Are you getting in the way of people following Jesus?" Let me explain what he meant.
He was talking about the "rules" we put on people as soon as they become Christians. Someone says the sinner's prayer and all of sudden their entire life MUST change on the spot. They need to go smash all their CD's and go out and buy the entire WOW Hits Collection. They need to dispose of their "secular" movies, and replace them with the "sacred" Left Behind Trilogy. They need to stop going to the bar on Thursday and Friday nights, and instead get involved with the pro-life group in their community. They need to ditch their old friends who might lead them back down the dark path, and join a small group of shiny, happy people from the church. That can't be what Jesus intended when he died on the cross can it?
What about helping the poor? What about hanging out with the prostitutes and tax collectors? What about loving your enemies? Not until you've completed steps 1 to 5. Donald Miller argues that we need to get out of the way. The institution of the church needs to get out of the way.