Going Back to Church Again, Recovery Process, Spiritual Abuse

The Difficult Sundays after Spiritual Abuse

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What does church look like for you after spiritual abuse? Do you still go? What do you do on Sundays?

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photo credit: PMillera4 via photopin cc

 

Sometimes I don’t feel like going to church at all, but end up going because of my kids or commitments I’ve made. But if I were without children/commitments, I wonder where I would be on those difficult Sundays. Would I stay home? Would I meet with others? Would I try a new church?

What about the guilt? What if your spouse has not experienced spiritual abuse and wants you to go to church, then what?

I found this on Boz Tchividjian’s Facebook page this morning.

“Jesus comes not for the super spiritual, but for the wobbly and the week-kneed who know they don’t have it altogether, and who are not too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace.” B. Manning

How are you doing today?

 

 

190 thoughts on “The Difficult Sundays after Spiritual Abuse”

  1. Julie Ann, I have heard others say the same about Ragamuffin Gospel. I have not read it. We all come at this from different perspectives and rightly so.

    I understand grace and not earning it. But I had a real problem with what living out being a Christian was supposed to mean or look like. What kept perplexing me is why Christendom (churches) seemed so fakey, cold and even cruel if you dare disagree. I could go on and on but as you are well aware, once you start researching this stuff and are plugged into what is going on out there it seems like there is no end to it. So what is up with that? People kept telling me that Christians are like everyone else.

    But that was not true. Frankly, I was finding more acceptance, understanding and basics of right and wrong from unbelievers or nominal ones. (with the exception of some outstanding ones I have met online and known for years now)

    It was almost like this exclusive Christian club ( all over!) was giving out sin passes for some very heinous behavior. Shunning people, ruining people, hiding vile sins for sake of image, etc. They did not give out the same sin passes for unbelievers or people who dared question them. (A form of the culture war: We are sinners saved by grace and those people “out there” are bad. But invite them to church to be like us, sinners saved by grace. Now all the sinning is covered)

    But what infuriated me was that when they were caught or stuff came out they would immediately play the grace card. Never mind the victims. If they were real Christians they would just forgive and never mention it again.

    So they can go around hurting people, ruining people and then play the grace card? I have huge problem with that.

    I seriously believe the larger percentage of what calls itself evangelicalism is corrupt to the core.

    I guess I have seen too much. But when I meet someone who makes a living in ministry, my radar goes off and I am unlikely to trust them. They need followers in order to have an income. That makes them seem unsafe to me.

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  2. “I always challenge the pastor centric model which is hard wired in Evangelical culture. Who was the Pastor of the Galatians Church? Who was the Pastor of the Corinthian Church? Who was the Pastor of the Ephesian Church? Who was the Pastor of Colossian Church?”

    Love it. Totally agree. And all we know about the Corinthian church is that “chloe had people”. Hee hee. The Philppian church started in Lydia’s home.

    When I was a kid a friend of my mom’s was an archeology professor at seminary. I can remember him telling us that on digs in Ephesus the largest home they found from that era might have held about 50 people sitting around. The largest. He also said that the meetings were usually around a meal.

    I am just done with sitting in a pew facing a stage and listening to one so called “expert” over and over with no interaction. Seriously, most don’t grow past the guy and if they do it becomes serious frustration.

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  3. Wow, Charis, you have had quite the upheaval between different ways of thinking doctrinally and ultimately shunned by those who should have being loving and welcoming you home. Until 4 years ago, I had only been to Baptist churches who believe once saved always saved. After all, if Jesus blood was the ultimate sacrifice and he is big enough to save me, is he not big enough to keep me that way even if I have fallen away for a season? The Prodigal Son was not turned away. He was welcomed with a party and fine clothes. I do have to wonder about the validity of “Christians”, who would treat a person who was obviously ready to get back into the fold. They should be welcoming that person with open arms, just as God does for us.

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  4. trst4himonly,

    This was a good link. I especially liked this comment.

    ● A Biblical Christian knows that their “local pastor” has no more spiritual authority over them than does the town dog catcher. 1 Cor. 11:3

    We all need to study, pray and discern for ourselves.

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  5. Lydia, I am with you on the sitting in a pew or chair facing a preacher. I literally can not bring myself to doing it anymore.

    SIDE NOTE:Cindy K, if you are around- did you not bring up awhile ago that when we are looking up our brain goes into an alpha state and when looking down our brains go into a beta state? That when your brain is in an alpha state you are in the receptive mode; beta state you are in a critical thinking state? No wonder these pastors set up the stage for the pastor to be UP and congregation to be sitting down! It was an eye opener for me when I heard that. (Please clarify that if I am wrong about this).

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  6. Yeah Brenda- there might be some things on there I disagree with, but the nice thing is he is not my “pastor”, Jesus is; so we CAN discern with the Holy Spirit. We are capable without the “pastor” to make our own decisions for crying out loud!. We must get to that point where we have that relationship of accountability between us and the True Shepherd.

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  7. I have an analogy – you know in most businesses (especially big ones) you have the “middle man and this “middle man” is what drives up the cost? This “middle man” also takes away the relationship between the business and the consumer? I say lets take out the “middle man”; the cost is too high and the relationship is damaged.

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  8. trust4himonly

    Yes – Great analogy…
    “I say lets take out the “middle man”;
    the cost is too high and the relationship is damaged.”

    Had a friend who was also out of “The Religious System.” We were volunteers at a “Mission” who helped and fed folks on the streets. She liked to run the fork lift, work in the warehouse, and minister to the street people there helping out. The “powers that be” kept asking her to work in the office. She tried that. Too much politics going on. Too much saying one thing doing another. She would work her way back to the warehouse.

    I knew we would become friends when…
    She told me one day, after “the Powers that be” asked her to come back in; again.
    “These guys do NOT take NO very well. Do they?”

    She would also say, when talking about “The Corrupt Religious system”
    “I just got tired of these pastors trying to come between me – And My Jesus…”

    Yes…
    “We are capable without the “pastor”
    to make our own decisions for crying out loud!.

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  9. Brenda R

    @ JUNE 24, 2014 @ 3:45 PM – You mention pastors in Eph 4:11-13…
    “the Bible clearly lists pastors as one of the callings…”

    I have found “Clearly” to be an interesting word…

    wikipedia now says there are over 40,000 Denominations…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

    Even if they overstated by 95%, that’s still 2,000 Denominations…

    And most of the Denominations were started by pastor/leaders …
    Many who said, or implied, the Bible is the Word of God, infallible, inerrant.
    But, Dis-agreed with other pastor/leaders who said the Bible is infallible.

    Seems, what is “Clearly” in the Bible for one…
    Is NOT “Clearly” in the Bible for another.

    Was wondering if you’re interested in discussing the difference of…
    Pastors in the Bible? Pastors in Eph 4:11-13? and “Today’s pastor/leaders?”

    If NOT, that’s okay…
    I do have some different opinions Today, about “Today’s pastor/leaders.”
    And, what I find in the Bible… 😉

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

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  10. A. Amos,
    Sure, I don’t mind discussions and even agree to disagree. There are a lot of things that I believed when I was 20 something, that I no longer hold as sacred. I really would like to get a glimpse of what the church looked like then. To be a fly on the wall of history for just a few minutes I think would be most beneficial.

    I have my ESV version out today. The word pastors in the NIV (that I used at home) is replaced by shepherds in the ESV (that I have at work. A shepherd oversees the flock. The shepherd is suppose to give guidance and lead the flock. That does not mean that the shepherd is to be the supreme ruler and whip the sheep into submission, but gently guide them. The only shepherd who has total autonomy is Jesus Christ. I have had better pastors/shepherds that never went to college much less seminary.

    There was a time that I only believed in divorce for adultery. I no longer find that to be true when putting all of scripture together and not just a few verses from the NT.

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  11. “It was almost like this exclusive Christian club ( all over!) was giving out sin passes for some very heinous behavior. Shunning people, ruining people, hiding vile sins for sake of image, etc. They did not give out the same sin passes for unbelievers or people who dared question them. (A form of the culture war: We are sinners saved by grace and those people “out there” are bad. But invite them to church to be like us, sinners saved by grace. Now all the sinning is covered)
    So they can go around hurting people, ruining people and then play the grace card? I have huge problem with that”

    Lydia, this is exactly what I saw in my own experience. I couldn’t put my mind around it then, and I still cannot put my mind around it. You are right, I primarily see this played out amongst evangelicals. I have a really hard time with it because it seems incredibly hypocritical.

    “If they were real Christians they would just forgive and never mention it again.”
    I had my salvation called into question (basically I wasn’t a real Christian) because I wasn’t able to do that IMMEDIATELY after a long period of mistreatment.

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  12. Thanking Christian,
    Forgiveness can take time. It can take time to get beyond abuse. Take all the time you need.

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  13. In the second comment, Patti said:

    “If you are not in agreement with culture of the church you are attending, you will be an outcast anyway. ”

    I found that to be the case with our former semi-patriarchal, homeschooling PCA church. Maybe the term outcast is a little too strong, but we were mostly ignored. I noticed things like how the other children were never interested in playing with our kids, even though our daughters are quite social in school and the neighborhood. Don’t know if that’s because we weren’t involved in Classical Conversations or other activities during the week. I struggled with feeling like I didn’t fit in with the other wives, partly because of lifestyle issues, but there were also class issues coming into play.

    And don’t even get me started on the politics that sometimes came from the pulpit.

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  14. Thinking Christian: Your name suits you. :o)

    Yes, I pray I will never be able to wrap my head around it because I find it fake and hypocritical. White washed tombie, so to speak.

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  15. Regarding Lydia’s comments about SBTS grads infiltrating churches in her city, that isn’t the first time I’ve read things like that about the neopuritan calvinista crowd. It’s starting to sound uncomfortably close to the Muslim practice of Taqiyya–lying to the infidels for the purpose of Islamic infiltration and expansion. I don’t know if they’re deliberately teaching up and coming new Baptist pastors to conceal their Calvinism until firmly entrenched in their new churches, but any movement resorting to such tactics has something seriously wrong with it.

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  16. “Thanking Christian,
    Forgiveness can take time. It can take time to get beyond abuse. Take all the time you need.”

    Brenda, Forgiveness is one of the most misunderstood issues in Christendom. It is not about “getting beyond it” to forgive.

    It has nothing to do with horrible teachings that are lies about Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is giving up our right to revenge. It is not about giving up on justice or even agreeing not to warn others. It does not always include fellowship or reconciliation. Did you see Jesus Christ “forgiving” the Pharisees or rebuking them and encouraging them to change? Did He hang on the Cross so they could continue in their Phariseeism?

    Too many think forgiveness means we do not name names, discuss the evils or seek justice. We are dealing with unsafe people (usually making a living off Jesus or their followers) and unless they have had a Damascus Road experience and changed over a long period of time (getting out of ministry or getting away from the guru), they do not deserve our trust or fellowship. You are worthy of protection from wolves and hirelings.

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  17. Lydia,
    I don’t disagree with anything you said. Forgiveness is for you/me, it is not for the other person or people. It is to allow peace in your/my own heart, not theirs’. This can take time. Jesus didn’t have to forgive the Pharisees, but I am not Jesus. I had to seek His forgiveness just like the Pharisees needed to.

    I have been abused by a very evil stepfather and 2 husbands. I will call their evil what it is, evil and sin. I spend time now advocating for the awareness of abuse. But I had to let it go and not seek revenge. I have no relationship with any of them, but my heart is at peace.

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  18. Good for you, Brenda. When I hear someone speak of “forgiveness” in the context of “Christian” evil it concerns me because so many out there get “forgiveness” wrong. ThinkingChristian was speaking in the context of what we have both seen from Christians.

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  19. “It’s starting to sound uncomfortably close to the Muslim practice of Taqiyya–lying to the infidels for the purpose of Islamic infiltration and expansion. I don’t know if they’re deliberately teaching up and coming new Baptist pastors to conceal their Calvinism until firmly entrenched in their new churches, but any movement resorting to such tactics has something seriously wrong with it.”

    Read chapter 4 of Quiet Revolution which can be found for free at Founders.org. It was written in context of taking over the SBC for Calvin. They claim we are too ignorant to know best and the author even tells them what words they should not use.

    These guys make Alinsky look like nothing more than a school yard bully.

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  20. Lydia,

    “I am just done with sitting in a pew facing a stage and listening to one so called “expert” over and over with no interaction. Seriously, most don’t grow past the guy and if they do it becomes serious frustration.”

    The fixation on preaching isn’t just in the church auditorium. Tune into a Christian radio station and what do you hear? Time slots filled with preaching around the clock. Go to a small group Bible Study and what do you get? A guy sitting apart from everyone and preaching. Step into a Christian book store, and what do you see? Books and tapes filled with preaching. Visit Christian websites and what are you bombarded with? More preaching.

    I wonder how American Christianity will be seen hundreds of years from now by historians. They will wade through and wonder if we did anything substantive besides talking and preaching about awesome Christian living. I think that is why we are told to be doers of the Word, not just hearers. Or preachers.

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  21. Lydia, I suspect that you need no accolades. However, I love reading your comments. And when a thread becomes longwinded, I tend to click on what you have written. Now i only wish my brain could absorb all the facts, info, that you share. You are a rock star, now about the book you should write…

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  22. David C. WTCPradiofm.com. Worship and priase in song. More song than talk or preaching. If you like the old songs, southern gospel and twanging, you might want to try it out. I have it on my compute all day at work. What a blessing.

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  23. Gail, Gosh, thanks. I have been called a lot of things but never a rock star! hee hee. We all need encouragement and I know I tend to come off strong but I also know that how I thought was a big part of my problem in dealing with spiritual abuse.

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  24. “No, Lydia. I think I have a pretty good handle on it.”

    Hey Brenda, I apologize if I got you wrong. I was just confused because I did not see where ThinkingChristian communicated s/he had a problem with forgiveness of any kind so your comment seemed to communicate that you thought that was an issue for them or should have been an issue. Obviously I got it wrong and should have asked first.

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  25. “The fixation on preaching isn’t just in the church auditorium. Tune into a Christian radio station and what do you hear? Time slots filled with preaching around the clock. Go to a small group Bible Study and what do you get? A guy sitting apart from everyone and preaching. Step into a Christian book store, and what do you see? Books and tapes filled with preaching. Visit Christian websites and what are you bombarded with? More preaching.”

    David, All venues I learned to avoid like the plague. Christian radio is a joke to me. I can remember listening to something strange a pastor was saying then asking my mom what it meant. She said “you can hear just about anything taught there if you can buy a time slot”. IOW, don’t take it seriously. Be a Berean.

    “I wonder how American Christianity will be seen hundreds of years from now by historians. They will wade through and wonder if we did anything substantive besides talking and preaching about awesome Christian living. I think that is why we are told to be doers of the Word, not just hearers. Or preachers.”

    YES! Being “Doers” is key.

    I think the whole Christian market is a way for certain people with that bent to become well known with a fish slapped on it. It appeals to the “recognition” factor that is very important to many people. The recognition factor becomes a giant rat wheel of not only maintaining the crafted image but growing the name brand and crafting the public image. it is a big deal. It is sort of a much smaller version of Hollywood star image management. But they become insulated and isolated in their image bubble. I know, I lived it in the mega world. This works well for the follower types, too. Without the followers, there would be no Christian celebrities no matter what size the celebrity pond.

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  26. We’re good Lydia,

    This is what I had referred to: “If they were real Christians they would just forgive and never mention it again.”
    I had my salvation called into question (basically I wasn’t a real Christian) because I wasn’t able to do that IMMEDIATELY after a long period of mistreatment.

    If I had my salvation called into question because it took a while to forgive, I think I would be madder than a wet hornet. I know I have a problem with forgiving immediately. I have to spend some time with the Lord asking Him to help me in this area.

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  27. I don’t know where you all live, but in my area of Michigan there are at least 4 Christian radio stations that are mostly music. There is very little preaching and mostly that is Sunday morning.

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  28. Brenda R

    I am so sorry for the abuse you suffered at the hands of men.
    Evil men. 😦

    I am thankful now – That your “heart is at peace.” 🙂

    And, I am thankful for your voice and your heart as you…
    “spend time now advocating for the awareness of abuse.”

    Isa 26:3 KJV
    Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
    whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

    Lord Jesus, I thank you, that you keep Brenda in your “Perfect Peace.”
    As she continues to think and talk about you.
    As Brenda continues to TRUST in you.

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  29. I am just done with sitting in a pew facing a stage and listening to one so called “expert” over and over with no interaction.

    As a (pretty much lifelong) member of a liturgical church (Catholic), I can not relate to this at all. I think it would drive me bonkers if I were exposed to it week after week. How do y’all stand it?

    (My kids tell me they tune out the sermon / homily…which I don’t approve, but yeah, sometimes its boring, so I see where they’re coming from. Anyway….)

    I remember tuning in once to a local Baptist Sunday service, broadcast over the radio. After the sermon and the closing prayer / song, I thought, “Is that it? Where’s the beef?” That exclusive focus on the sermon seemed so anticlimactic.

    The earliest Church Fathers (Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr: folks who knew the apostles personally) describe what church services were like way back then. These primitive services consisted of Scripture readings leading up to the Eucharist, all in a liturgical context. The high point / culmination wasn’t the sermon. It was the Eucharist. The Mass has the same basic structure today. (Not just in the Catholic Church, but in any liturgical church.) In my experience, liturgy is very comforting and reassuring…and it helps prevent some of the pastor-centric excesses y’all are describing.

    Not that we liturgical folks don’t have plenty of our own problems, as everyone knows. Things are tough all over. We are all a mess.

    Anyhoo…this thread is fascinating. I appreciate y’all’s experiences and stories, and I definitely can see how horrifically abusive church experiences (in ANY church) can turn people off to the whole idea of church.

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  30. I love this thread! Great comments. I can relate to everything I’m reading here. I’m in my 5th year “out” of the System, having previously spent my entire life in and completely devoted to “Church”. Raised Roman Catholic, I became a Christian at age 17 and then attended a highly controlled, Corporate Business Model (TQM), High Tech Neo-Evangelical megaChurch for 20 years. We left, church hopped and ended up in a small, old fashioned, legalistic, spiritually abusive independent Baptist Bible Church where we stayed 4 years before we left. I experienced a “calling out”, away from obligation and bondage to the “System” (the man created Institutional Church). I came out and have been living in freedom as a follower of Jesus without organized religion. It has been amazing and wonderful.

    In both Evangelical Churches I experienced spiritual abuse personally, and watched spiritual abuse happen to dear gentle friends that I love. This was traumatic to me. I observed deep corruption and heard many lies and false doctrines (teachings I now reject). Basically, Church made it impossible anymore for me to truly follow Jesus without totally compromising my beliefs, convictions and conscience. Ironic! I wrote the whole story of my experience in Institutional Evangelicalism, on my blog “Called Out– Now What?” on wordpress.

    I am living a very different lifestyle now. I never thought I would ever be anything but a devoted Church attender my entire life. Why? I equated Church attendance and obligation with being a good Christian, as I was trained to in the IC. ; ) I don’t believe that anymore. My understanding is different now and I see “Church” as a manmade religious and political institution. But I see church (little c), ie the ekklesia, Jesus’ people, as the people, wherever they are, whether they attend a Church or not. I don’t believe in the Clergy-laity divide. There are 100 other things I no longer buy into, which are Church traditions and doctrines that I believe are made up to serve the interests of the religious/political System of Christendom. I was also killing myself trying to serve and please The Church leaders… i could not live, be myself or do the things that the Lord was leading me to do.

    Now I spend my Sundays doing many different things such as reading, painting, resting, internet fellowship with the saints I’ve met online, writing for my blogs, going out to hike in nature, bike riding with my teens, going on a date with my husband, or meeting up for lunch with a friend. My favorite activity of all is cooking up a nice big yummy meal, and having a Christian friend or two, over to fellowship for most of the day. We will all eat, share, listen, care, love, cry, laugh, pray, help, and just be together, at our kitchen table and in our living room. This is my new communion, it is face to face in real love and action and fellowship with other sheep who are His. I do not miss the hierarchy caste system, the abuse, the lies, the obligations, the performance-acceptance, the subjugation, the dress code, feeling of being a slave (to the institution) the shaming and shunning, the rejection, the manipulation, the fear of disapproval, or the Babylon of spiritual confusion. What used to incite dread and emotional trauma (Sunday mornings) now brings peace, joy and simplicity of faith in Christ. Jesus is my Shepherd.
    Here is my story: http://called-out.com/2011/11/24/exit-churchianity/

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  31. Very interesting point, dianeski. I was Catholic during most of my childhood and you are right – the Eucharist did take the focus off the priest and onto Christ and the “communion of the saints.” I never thought about that aspect before.

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  32. Loretta, sounds like you do all the things I do on a Sunday. However, I probably would NEVER be included in your ‘circle’, as I’m not a “Christian friend”, and I’m definitely not part of the group you call ‘other sheep who are His’. Not sure whether you caught the performance acceptance aspect or not. . . just sayin’. ..

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  33. “I don’t believe in the Clergy-laity divide”

    Yeah, there is no such thing. We are all priests in the priesthood now. And I think buying into this man made concept keeps people spiritually immature.

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  34. carmen, Thanks for judging me and assuming that I would not have you over. And thanks for trying to poke at me to illicit a reaction of self defense or negativity. No thanks. I won’t defend myself or elaborate on the who’s, whats and wherefores of ALL the different people in my life. That said, I’m free weekend after this one, come on over. I live in the SF Bay Area.The weather is gorgeous. I’m sure we have a lot in common and you are most welcome. Peace.

    Lydia, I so agree. I purged 100+ traditional Church practices and doctrines after leaving… felt sooooo good. http://revivemeolord.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/jesus-cleansing-the-temple/

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  35. This thread came to mind again this afternoon while watching Veggie Tales w/ my 5yr old. The “Silly Songs w/ Larry” that was showcased was “Gated Community” and I sat breathless.

    Here are some excerpts from the “silly” song:
    “Oh! The Gated Community
    Is where we like to be
    Our clothes are never dirty
    And the lawns are always green
    And when you come to visit
    You can stand outside and see
    What a tidy bunch we are
    In our gated unity!

    The Gated Community
    We think you will agree
    Is pleasantly devoid
    Of unsightly stray debris

    The Gated Community
    Is where we’ll always be
    Our smiles are white
    Cause we’re inside
    In comfy custody
    And when you come to visit
    You can stand outside and see…
    Community fellow (sung slower): our smile white, Cause we’re insde
    Community fellow (sung to garbage man): Come on, you stand
    outside…

    What a smiling bunch we are
    In our gated unity!

    Larry: Can I have my ball?
    Can you get my ball?”

    I…was shocked.

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  36. Charis, that song reminds me of my Church#2; the Social Club Church. After bringing people (visitors) to Church with me a few times (who were not approved or accepted by the Management), I was literally shunned by a certain “Mrs.” very powerful, influential Church lady… for an entire year. Literal, overt shunning. Thus Church culture was slowly killing my soul.

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  37. I do believe that is an apt description of church gatherings, Loretta, my experience, too…Social Club. I was thinking cliques, like in High School; same thing.

    Shunning (done by anyone) is a powerful and destructive a force. It is very soul-killing…and murder has always been on God’s “Thou shalt not” list.

    I watched the song & listed to the lyrics, literally, flabbergasted. I couldn’t decide if the creators of Veggie Tales knew what they were poking fun at or not…or if I was just triggered in the moment.

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  38. The “pastor” thing maddens me. There’s hardly even an explanation of what this “pastor” role is that shows up in Eph 4, and in any event, the role (not necessarily title) only shows up once in the entire NT.

    So this tabula rasa, this nearly unexplained thing, is the perfect vehicle for those who wish to create a CEO-type, professional leader who dominates all teaching, sets all agendas, is essentially one of unlimited and unquestioned authority. So the people who want a king (like the people of Israel who refused to be led by Samuel and a consortium of judges) imbue this one word “pastor” with all those magical powers and they get what they ask for: the Lord allows them their king, one who throws their sons into harm’s way to protect himself, makes slaves of both sons and daughters, takes the choicest of their assets for himself, in addition to a tenth tithe, and leads them into destruction.

    What people who yearn for a pastor need to do is pick up the Bible and read I Sam 8 for themselves, they’ll see themselves in it if they have any sense.

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  39. Woohoo Loretta! Love it- you have basically described pretty much all the stuff I love to do on Sundays, with gratefulness and thankfulness to Jesus to be able to enjoy my family and others without the guilt! Boy, I would enjoy a cup of coffee with you AND Carmen! Carmen don’t assume that we all are of the same thread- you would be welcomed at my house too. 🙂

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  40. David, All venues I learned to avoid like the plague. Christian radio is a joke to me. I can remember listening to something strange a pastor was saying then asking my mom what it meant. She said “you can hear just about anything taught there if you can buy a time slot”. IOW, don’t take it seriously. Be a Berean.

    Lydia, I agree. They buy time slots to play not just prerecorded sermons, but also to get people to buy more of their products. Jesus unleashed his anger on the money changers in front of the temple. I wonder what he thinks of the Christian Industrial Complex of the 21st century.

    I tune into Christian radio and also various blogs such as Teampyro just to see if I missed out anything. Maybe I am throwing the baby out with the bath water. Maybe I am too cynical. But now that I am out of the bubble, they sound more and more like the caricatures of themselves. To think that my own worldview used to align with theirs for over 20 years is mind boggling. They only affirm my decision to leave with every word they speak and write.

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  41. Speaking of Christian radio, Frank Sontag’s show happened to be on when I tuned in. His topic of the hour was “idols.” He rattled off the usual such as money, success, and etc which got me to think that this was something he and I could agree on.

    Then he spoke of how Christians put their pastors on the pedestal and put them above God. Now that really got my attention. This guy is onto something!

    Then a caller weighed in and said Christians can put the Bible on the pedestal and above God. The caller mentioned that he was now a “liberal Christian” who used to be a conservative Evangelical for 20 years. That did not sit well with the host who went into condescending mode.

    “You were a conservative Evangelical Christian for 20 years and talk like that?” That was just the first of his non-sequiturs. That was followed by interrogating the caller on his stance on homosexuality.

    I agree with the caller. Biblical inerrancy is at the root of the pastor centric model. When so much emphasis is on doctrinal purity, the teaching pastor’s role gets elevated above everything else.

    Used to go to John MacArthur’s church. He often reminded the congregation that he spent 30-40 hours a week holed up in his office studying the Word of God in preparation for the hour behind the pulpit. That got me to think. If I thought for myself, and studied on my own, I could at best get it right only 60%. But here is a guy who studies and breathes the Bible as a full time job. So why not piggyback on him and get my doctrinal purity score instantly to 99% just by listening to him? Seemed like a no brainer. Yeah, you just have to check your brain at the door.

    Like

  42. “Maybe I am throwing the baby out with the bath water. Maybe I am too cynical. But now that I am out of the bubble, they sound more and more like the caricatures of themselves. To think that my own worldview used to align with theirs for over 20 years is mind boggling. They only affirm my decision to leave with every word they speak and write.”

    Not at all. I challenge folks I know still heavy in the bubble (especially the mega church culture) to get out for ONE year totally. Not even home fellowship stuff. This is hard as it is their social life. Then try to go back. For that one year, read the Gospels and pray. Stay away from that culture.

    I am convinced that because of the evangelical culture folks are in , they do not really KNOW themselves.

    You described it perfectly what they sound like once you are free: They sound more and more like the caricatures of themselves.

    And the sense of reality that comes is incredible and beautiful.

    Like

  43. trust4himonly – thanks for the offer; I hope you live closer than Loretta! I’m on the east coast of Canada – she’s about as far away as anyone can get from me in North America! (for which I’m sure she’s thankful) ha, ha!!

    Like

  44. “Biblical inerrancy is at the root of the pastor centric model. When so much emphasis is on doctrinal purity, the teaching pastor’s role gets elevated above everything else.””

    This is an excellent point! Biblical inerrancy is an oxymoron. It is just another way to redefine words. Inerrancy? Which translator is inerrant? Which translation? Where are ALL the originals so we can know for sure?

    If you want to check out cognitive dissonance in action, read Article 10 of the Chicago statement on inerrancy. Amazing!

    “Scholars” wrote this statement.

    “We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the
    original.
    We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.”

    http://library.dts.edu/Pages/TL/Special/ICBI_1.pdf

    ooookaaay.

    The only thing this focus on Biblical Inerrancy does is replace the Holy Spirit with your pastor guru.

    Like

  45. Well unfortunately I live as far down south as you could get in this country- Florida.
    But you can come see me if you ever get down this way! I love Canada- beautiful country- been to Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Québec

    Like

  46. “We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the
    original.
    We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.”

    How many logical fallacies from this list are there in those two paragraphs.
    – Appeal to Authority
    – Appeal to Belief
    – Appeal to Tradition
    – Burden of Proof
    – Begging the Question

    Just to name a few.

    Like

  47. I’m in Mid Michigan. I’m a little closer. If you’re in the area let me know. I’m thinking of a trip to Niagra Falls soon. Maybe we could have lunch.

    Like

  48. Well, you’re a little closer, Brenda! Unfortunately, Niagara Falls is a two-day drive from me. .. but good thought, that! Have a great day, ladies!

    Like

  49. TruthDetector

    I like what you say @ JUNE 26, 2014 @ 1:28 PM…
    “The “pastor” thing maddens me. There’s hardly even an explanation of what this “pastor” role is that shows up in Eph 4, and in any event, the role (not necessarily title) only shows up once in the entire NT.”

    Yes – “The “pastor” thing maddens me.” Also…

    The word, “pastors,” plural, is only once in the NT. It is the Greek “Poimen” which means “shepherds.” “Poimen” is 18 times in the NT. “Poimen” is NEVER used as a “Title” for one of His Disciples. And, NOT one of His Disciples EVER called them self “Poimen,” or “pastor-shepherd.” “Poimen,” Shepherd, is used Only Once as a “Title” in the NT. 1 Pet 2:25. And this “Title” belongs only to “ONE” in the NT.

    “The **Shepherd** and Bishop of your souls.”

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    And Jesus, called Himself the “ONE” Shepherd…

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  50. TruthDetector

    And, in the OT, KJV, “pastor,” is only 8 times. ALL in Jeremiah…
    Six times – God is NOT happy with the “pastors.”

    Here are some verses We, His Sheep, are NOT likely to hear from the Pulpit. 🙂

    Jeremiah 2:8 KJV
    …”The Pastors” also transgressed against me,
    and the prophets prophesied by Baal,
    and walked after things that do not profit.

    Jeremiah 10:21 KJV
    For ”The Pastors” are become brutish, ( beastly, carnal )
    and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper,
    and all their flocks shall be scattered.

    Jeremiah 12:10 KJV
    Many “Pastors” have destroyed my vineyard,
    they have trodden my portion under foot,
    they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

    Jeremiah 22:22 KJV
    The *wind shall eat up all “Thy Pastors,”
    (*wind = ruwach = breath, mind, spirit.)
    and thy lovers shall go into captivity:
    surely then shalt thou be ashamed
    and confounded for all thy wickedness.

    Jeremiah 23:1 KJV
    Woe be unto ”The Pastors” that destroy
    and scatter the sheep of my pasture!

    Jeremiah 23:2 KJV
    …thus saith the LORD God of Israel
    against ”The Pastors” that feed my people;
    Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away,
    and have not visited them: behold,
    **I will visit upon you the evil of your doings,**
    saith the LORD.

    And, in the OT, God’s people *go astray* because of **THEIR shepherds.**

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the **Shepherd** and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the *ONE* **Shepherd** and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  51. TruthDetector

    I’m with you when you write @ JUNE 26, 2014 @ 1:28 PM…
    “What people who yearn for a pastor need to do is pick up the Bible and read I Sam 8 for themselves, they’ll see themselves in it if they have any sense.”

    Was the idea of having a King rule over the people God’s idea? Or man’s idea? Seems God gave the people kings because they didn’t want God ruling them. Oy Vey! ;-(

    1 Sam 8:7
    And the LORD said unto Samuel,
    Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee:
    for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me,
    that I should not reign over them.

    And how did having Kings turn out for Isreal? My.. My… Tsk… Tsk…

    1 Sam 8:11
    This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you:
    He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots,
    and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

    Your King will take your sons.
    Your King will take your daughters.
    Your King will take your fields.
    Your King will take your vineyards.
    Your King will take your oliveyards.
    Your King will take the tenth of your seed.
    Your King will take your menservants.
    Your King will take your maidservants
    Your King will take your asses.
    Your King will take the tenth of your sheep.
    and you shall be the Kings servants…

    1 Sam 8:19
    Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel;
    and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us…

    Kings don’t look like such a good idea now, do they?

    And, with my experience with Today’s Pastor/Leader/Reverends….
    Pastor/Leaders do NOT look like such a good idea either. 😉

    Why do WE, His Ekklesia, His Called Out Ones, His Sheep…
    Desire a “Mere Fallible Human” to follow, and be our sheherd?

    When Jesus says He is the “ONE” Shepherd – And…
    MY Sheep – Hear MY Voice – and – Follow me. John 10:27…

    Like

  52. I am not a survivor of SGM, ATI, etc. so I hope it’s OK for me to post here. I *am* a survivor of the Crossroads/Boston Movement, which eventually morphed into the International Churches of Christ. Many of the stories I have read about SGM, Mars Hill, ATI/Gothard are very similar to experiences I have had/heard of in the ICOC.

    I still attend a Church of Christ with my husband and teenage son. My teenage son has autism. The youth group is VERY welcoming to him. We have a good congregation, an excellent preacher . . . and I still cannot seem to get past the experiences I had as part of the old Crossroads movement. I was there between 1981-1986. I also participated in a house church movement that came about as a direct result from wanting to get away from the mistakes of the Crossroads Movement–which turned out to be just as unhealthy as the Crossroads Movement was.

    It seems like everyone believes they are right and can “prove” it by Scripture. And no one seems to want to address that, and no one seems to understand that. It doesn’t matter what the issue, a Scripture can be found to support it or not support it. If I’m supposed to use the Bible as my standard, and everyone can “prove” everything by Scripture, how in the world am I supposed to settle on what it is I am supposed to believe?

    If there’s a Scripture, I probably know it. If there’s a book, I’ve probably read it. If there’s advice, I’ve probably heard it. And I’m not getting any better. Is there no way out?

    Like

  53. Tina

    “And I’m not getting any better. Is there no way out?”

    Thanks for your story – Sorry, very sorry, for what you went thru…

    What do you mean – Can you explain a little more?

    “I still cannot seem to get past the experiences
    I had as part of the old Crossroads movement.”

    “And I’m not getting any better.”

    Like

  54. Tina

    You ask an excellent, and a heart breaking question…
    “everyone can “prove” everything by Scripture,
    how in the world am I supposed to settle on
    what it is I am supposed to believe?”

    Well – Do you want me, Amos, a Mere Fallible Human…
    To tell you what you are supposed to believe?

    Or, would you rather go to Jesus for yourself?
    And hear from Him? Directly? No middle man?

    I believe He, Jesus, would love to speak with you. 🙂

    Jesus loves you this I know…

    Like

  55. A. Amos,
    Wasn’t Samuel a “Mere Fallible Human”? Did all of the people in I Sam agree that he got his words directly from God? What about Paul? He had a run right into the wall meeting with Christ. He was also a “Mere Fallible Human”, yet he was given the ability to performs miracles post crucifixion and resurrection and made an apostle and preached the gospel all over the countryside.

    MY Sheep – Hear MY Voice – and – Follow me. John 10:27…

    This is a marvelous truth, yet this blog is filled with people who have been duped by a dishonest, malicious, abusive church, church leadership or both. Were they not sheep of Jesus when that happened? Were they not sheep when being fed a pack of lies. Not all churches and leadership lie. They are none infallible however. None of us are perfect this side of heaven.

    A couple of days ago you asked, if I would like to have a discussion on a particular passage of scripture. I replied to that discussion. It appears that you are only interested in being hard hearted in conversation..

    By the way pastors/shepherds are not kings. We still have such people running/ruining our countries. They were never a good idea.

    Like

  56. Let’s see, Amos: I was part of a group that claimed they were the only Christians, that strongly emphasized the daily “Quiet Time”, confessing sins to each other, and daily sharing of your faith . . . which really meant, “invite everyone you see to church, even if you don’t know them.” The more people you invited, the more “spiritual” you were considered.

    “Personal fruit” was also important, and “personal fruit” was defined as “someone you studied the Bible with and converted”. I studied the Bible with several people, none of them became Christians. In fact, I can’t point to anyone who’s become a Christian due to my efforts.

    And while it’s not wrong to encourage Bible study, prayer, relationships with others, and evangelism, you were asked very pointed questions about these subjects, and if you did not perform “up to par”, that set you up for some pretty serious confrontations.

    I left there feeling defeated and like I could never measure up to what God wanted. And I still feel that way to an extent. I have some other personal issues I am dealing with: I have a child with autism, I’m concerned about his future, and I went way into debt going to court reporting school, thinking I could get a job to help pay for his care as an adult. I finally quit because I wasn’t making progress and I also hit the borrowing limit for student loans. Also, I’m dealing with a number of health issues of my own: bladder problems, sleep apnea, depression, back pain, adrenal fatigue, and I just found out I have diverticulosis and colon inflammation. Some of the treatments I’m on aren’t covered by insurance. My son also sees a naturopath for his autism, and that’s not covered by insurance, either.

    The Christian phrases that people use, such as “turn it over to God”, “rely on God”, etc. just get on my nerves because I don’t know what you’re doing when you do it. And if you value your life, you will NOT tell me that “God is in control”, because I have had that phrase used on me in a way I felt to be rather dismissive of my concerns.

    It seems like so many of us are in the same boat together.

    Like

  57. And while I’d love to hear from Jesus directly, I’m skeptical that he will talk to me face to face . . . the only route I have to hear from Jesus is through the Bible and through other Christians, and as I’ve already pointed out, everyone believes they are right and they can “prove” it by Scripture. And while God does not lie, people can and do use the name of God and the name of Jesus to lie. I think many of us have experienced that first hand.

    Like

  58. Brenda R

    You write @ JUNE 27, 2014 @ 12:06 PM…
    “A couple of days ago you asked, if I would like to have a discussion on a particular passage of scripture. I replied to that discussion. It appears that you are only interested in being hard hearted in conversation.”

    Please forgive me for – “being hard hearted in conversation.”
    That is NOT my intent – Most of the time.
    Yup – Sometimes it is – Depending on who is on the other end…

    That is NOT my intent with you.
    I have appreciated, and liked, your comments on this blog.

    I will admit to having some strong feelings, and opinions, about “Today’s Religious System.” And what I perceive as, Commandments of Men, Doctrines of Men, Traditions of Men, That Make Void the Word of God. Mark 7:13.

    If you would explain where I was ““being hard hearted in conversation.”
    I would appreciate that.

    Thanks

    Like

  59. Tina

    Thanks for feeling comfortable enough to tell a little more of your story.
    You certainly have a lot of nasty stuff on your plate now.

    And you are correct when you write…
    “It seems like so many of us are in the same boat together.”

    And, I experienced this, and felt like this – You are NOT alone…

    “and if you did NOT PERFORM “up to par”,
    that set you up for some pretty serious confrontations.”

    “I left there feeling defeated
    and like I could never measure up to what God wanted.”

    Yup – That’s how I felt when I left “The System.”

    It didn’t matter how hard I tried, and I tried hard, It Seemed…
    “I could never measure up to what God wanted.”

    But – Now – For me, that is over, finished…
    Today I know – I’m okay with Jesus…
    Because – His Love for me…
    Is NOT based on my performance, what I do, or NOT do…
    It took a long while…
    Lots of questions. Lots of fears and doubts…
    ——-

    Today, I have lots of Hope For You…
    Because you still want to “hear from Jesus.”
    And, Jesus was, and is, the only one that could have loved me, healed me…
    Jesus was, and is, the only one that could have “Healed my Broken Heart.”

    So – Today, I have lots of Hope For You…
    Because you still want to “hear from Jesus.”

    “And while I’d love to “hear from Jesus” directly,”

    “the only route I have to “hear from Jesus” is
    through the Bible and through other Christians”
    ————-

    And it seems your “Spiritual Discernment” is working pretty good now.

    Lots of folks today, In The Religious System, do NOT know this…
    It took me years, many years, to understand this…

    “…and as I’ve already pointed out, everyone believes they are right and they can “prove” it by Scripture. And while God does not lie, people can and do use the name of God and the name of Jesus to lie. I think many of us have experienced that first hand.”

    I’m NOT so trusting of Humans, who call themself christian, as I once was…

    Thanks for joining in the conversation…

    Like

  60. Tina

    You write @ JUNE 27, 2014 @ 10:31 AM…

    “I still cannot seem to get past the experiences
    I had as part of the old Crossroads movement.”

    “And I’m not getting any better.”
    ————

    Here’s a question – Something to think about – To ask Jesus about…
    You can answer or NOT…

    If the cause of you NOT being able…
    “to get past the experiences?” “of the old Crossroads movement?”

    If the cause of you “NOT getting any better?”

    If the cause, reason – Is “Spiritual?”

    What do you think that would be?

    Jesus loves you this I know

    Like

  61. A. Amos,
    It was my observation of your responses to posts since you asked if I would like to have that conversation. I am having an MS flare up. Forgive me if I don’t go back through the posts to find specifics at this point.

    I covet prayer today. I am having a difficult time physically.

    Like

  62. Brenda R

    MS stinketh…

    I pray you experience the LOVE of God, and the Peace of God…
    In the midst of this storm.

    I speak to this MS, this spirit of Infirmity…
    Brenda has been purchased by Jesus…
    With his own BLOOD…

    Brenda belongs to Jesus. She is His purchased possession.
    And you are tresspassing on God’s property.

    Brenda is “the Body of Christ.” It is Christ in Brenda, the Hope of Glory.

    And, MS does NOT belong on God’s property…
    MS does NOT belong on the Body of Christ…

    MS, spirit of infirmity, you are tresspassing on God’s property…
    Brenda does NOT want you anymore…
    GO – In the name of Jesus…

    Like

  63. A. Amos,
    Thank you so much for your prayer. That is the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a long time. I will be joyful in Christ whether he chooses to heal me or not. I have several very good examples around me with far worse conditions all who are smiling and standing faithful through it all.

    I pray that your heart is filled to over flowing on this Lord’s Day.

    Like

  64. Brenda R

    I like your style…
    “I will be joyful in Christ whether he chooses to heal me or not.”

    This was a challenge for me. I had to do this by faith. Be Joyful and Give Thanks. For ALL things. Even through Infirmities, and Pain, and Tears, and Disappointments. Even when I did NOT feel like it.

    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
    Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. IN every thing *Give Thanks”…

    Ephesians 5:20
    *Giving Thanks* always *FOR ALL Things* unto God…

    Philippians 4:6
    Be careful [anxious] for nothing;
    but in every thing by prayer and supplication *With Thanksgiving*
    let your requests be made known unto God.
    ———–

    Nehemiah 8:1-10
    …for *The Joy* of the LORD is your strength.

    Psalm 30:2-5
    …weeping may endure for a night, *BUT Joy* comes in the morning.

    Psalm 95:2
    Let us come before his presence *With Thanksgiving,*
    and *Make a Joyful Noise* to him with psalms.

    Like

  65. Brenda R

    It made NO sense to MY natural mind. But, the carnal mind is at enmity with God, the carnal mind is death. Rom 8. I choose to *Lose My Mind.* My carnal mind. And trust Jesus. Trust His Word. NOT trust what MY eyes saw. NOT trust MY own understanding. 😉

    2 Cor 5:7
    For we walk by faith, NOT by sight:

    Proverbs 3:5-6
    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
    and lean NOT unto thine own understanding.
    ———-

    I made a decision to believe everything that I went thru *Had a Benefit.* Yes, what we call bad stuff, happens. Stuff the brings forth tears and pain. I eventually chose to look for the benefit. To look for God. To LOOK UP…

    Romans 8:28
    And we know that *ALL Things* work together for good
    to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    Luke 21:28
    …then *Look Up,* and *Lift Up Your Heads; *
    **your redemption** draweth nigh.

    Like

  66. Brenda R

    And, for me, by physically Standing Up, Looking Up, Rejoicing, Making a Joyful Noise, Giving Thanks for ALL Things. Giving Thanks for ALL the UGLY Things. Giving Thanks even with, and through the tears, and the fears…

    “Thank you Lord for the Pain. Thank you Lord for this sickness, this disease. Thank you Lord that I’m spitting up Blood. Thank you Lord I can NOT walk because of the pain in this knee. Thank you for the lies, told about me, the lies told to me. Thank you for the Rejection. Thank you Lord for the pastors that abused me, lied about me, shunned me. Thank you Lord for my friends who abandoned me. Thank you Lord I do NOT even know how to pray.”

    It wasn’t long before I was thanking God that he Loved MEEEEE,
    Saved MEEEEE, Died for MEEEEE.

    Would NEVER leave MEEEEE, Nor Forsake MEEEEEE.

    And, it wasn’t long before I had a merry heart… And…

    Proverbs 17:22
    *A Merry Heart* does good like a medicine:
    but a broken spirit drys up the bones.

    Proverbs 14:30
    *A Sound Heart* is the life of the flesh:
    but envy the rottenness of the bones.

    Psalm 118:24
    This is the day which the LORD hath made;
    we Will Rejoice… and be glad in it.

    Seems, first, WE, His Sheep, His Kids, Will Rejoice…
    Then WE, will “Be Glad”….

    Yes – Remain Joyful in Christ…

    Like

  67. A. Amos,

    You seem to be getting up on the mountain tops through these last few posts. I love it!! Don’t give me too much credit. I am a work in progress, as we all are. It took me a long time to get this far. I lived through a lifetime of abuse and wasn’t truly relying on God to get me through it and had doubts that he would protect me. I spent a lot of time in fear. It was obvious to me that I caused the abuse myself and God hated me. Of course, as a child I could not defend myself or have any idea that it could have been ok to tell someone.

    I absolutely love WisdomChasers quote, “As a broken person repaired by the blood of Jesus I am more beautiful than if I had never been broken at all.” This is how I feel. He is the potter and he can mold the clay however He wants, in His timing, and through whatever means He deems necessary.

    Don’t you just hate it when you get almost done with a post and most of it disappears because your cat steps on your keyboard? Oh, that was just my experience. Most of the time I feel blessed to have her, so I will move on.

    Several years ago I prayed often for God to take me home. It wasn’t His will, I’m still here and my prayers changed to asking Him to fill the broken places in my heart with His Spirit, use me however He sees fit and He has. All of the abuse I went through opened doors for me to tell others that Jesus loves them, they are beautiful, they didn’t cause what happened to them and He can save them.

    Everything, good and bad experiences, refines us for His purpose. I know a man 70+ years who recently told me that he never particularly felt called to do anything until the last few years. Now he looks back and knows that jobs and experiences he had prepared him to teach and witness to teenagers as a substitute teacher. He never went through abuse, but that is not where God was going to use him.

    Have you ever read One Thousand Gifts? The writer wrote down all of the things she was thankful for as she came across them, anywhere from strawberry jam on toast to children. I, like you add the bad things that happen. I wouldn’t have always done this, but I now realize there is so much more that is beneficial than just the good in this life. We have eternity to experience good things alone.

    Now!! About that spitting up blood!! What’s up with that? Pain in the knee? How can I pray for you. I am not so good at the written prayer like the lovely one you wrote for me, but I can spend some time on my knees and would be honored to pray for you.

    Like

  68. “Here’s a question – Something to think about – To ask Jesus about…
    You can answer or NOT…

    If the cause of you NOT being able…
    “to get past the experiences?” “of the old Crossroads movement?”

    If the cause of you “NOT getting any better?”

    If the cause, reason – Is “Spiritual?”

    What do you think that would be?

    Jesus loves you this I know”

    Amos, I’m not exactly sure what you’re getting at in this question. Are you wondering if I have a spiritual problem? Can you give me a bit of an explanation of what you’re getting at? (I know, it’s tough to communicate on the Internet!)

    Like

  69. Tina

    “I’m not exactly sure what you’re getting at in this question.”

    The question in question is an opportunity for you to talk to Jesus.
    To see if you can Hear His Voice. 😉

    If Jesus, can create everything by speaking it into existence, then talking with WE, His Sheep, His Disciples, His Ekklesia, His Church, communicating somehow with WE, His Kids, would, for Jesus, be kinda simple – Yes? 😉

    John 1:3
    ALL Things were made by Him; (Jesus) and without Him (Jesus)
    was NOT any thing made that was made.

    John 1:10
    He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made by Him, (Jesus)
    and the world knew Him not.

    Colossians 1:14-18
    In whom we have redemption through His Blood,
    even the forgiveness of sins:
    Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature:
    For BY Him (Jesus) were ALL Things created,
    that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,
    whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:
    ALL Things were created By Him, (Jesus) and for Him: (Jesus)
    And He (Jesus) is before all things, and by Him (Jesus) ALL Things consist.
    And He (Jesus) is the head of the body, The Church:
    (His Ekklesia, His Called Out Ones, His Sheep, His Church, you and me.)
    who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead;
    that in ALL Things He (Jesus) might have the preeminence.

    Psalm 33:6 By “The Word” of the LORD were the heavens made…

    Gen 1:3 “And God said,” Let there be light: and there was light…
    ….. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

    Gen 1:26 “And God said,” Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…
    ….. So God created man in his own image,
    ….. in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    ….. And God saw every thing that he had made,
    ….. and, behold, it was *Very Good.*
    ….. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

    So, if I believe God’s words? The words of Jesus? The words in the Bible?
    Tina, is made in “The Image of God” – And Tina is “Very Good.”

    And, the true nature of Tina, is LOVE. Because God is LOVE…
    And, Tina is made in “The Image and Likeness of God.”

    Maybe you can ask Jesus if you are made in His Image?
    And behold, Tina, is *Very Good.* Tina is LOVE…

    Like

  70. Tina

    You sound like, and correct me if I’m wrong…
    You, Tina, would like “to get past the experiences.” – Yes?
    “of the old Crossroads movement.” – Yes?

    And, instead of feeling like “I’m not getting any better.”

    You would like to be able to say…
    “Hey, thank you Jesus, I’m getting better, I’m healing? – Yes?
    ————–

    In the scriptures I find The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of His dear Son…
    And Satan, which means adversary, also has a Kingdom…

    Mat 6:33
    But seek ye first *the kingdom of God,* and his righteousness…

    Luke 11:18
    If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall *his kingdom* stand?

    Kingdom – In the Strongs Concordance – is the Greek= basileia
    And means – power, rule, reign, dominion…

    You write @ JUNE 27, 2014 @ 1:33 PM…
    “I left there feeling defeated and like I could never measure up to what God wanted. And I still feel that way to an extent.”

    Which “Kingdom” wants you to feel defeated?
    Which “Kingdom” wants you to feel you can NEVER measure up? To God?

    When you belive the lie you start to die…

    Which “Kingdom” do you want to have, power, dominion, over your Heart?
    Which “Kingdom” do you want to have, power, dominion, over your Life?

    Will you see yourself as the psalmist see’s themself?

    Psalm 139:14
    I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
    marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

    Will you see yourself as “Made in The Image and Likeness of God?” LOVE?

    WE, His Sheep, His Kings and Priests, have an adversary…
    Who are WE, listening to?

    Eph 6:12
    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
    against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
    against “Spiritual Wickedness” in high places.

    Will you have an adventure? – Try an experiment? – Will you ask Jesus?

    If the cause of you NOT being able…
    “to get past the experiences?” “of the old Crossroads movement?”
    If the cause of you “NOT getting any better?”
    If the cause, the reason – Is ““Spiritual?”

    What do you think that would be?

    Like

  71. Tina

    Will you come into agreement with God?
    Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

    If – Jesus loves you – Just the way you are…
    Strengths, weaknesses, character defects, sins, and ALL…
    Will you love you just the way you are?

    God demonstrates His LOVE for us…

    Romans 5:8
    While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

    John 15:13
    Greater LOVE hath no man than this,
    that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    1 John 4:9
    In this was manifested The LOVE of God toward us,
    because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world,
    that we might **LIVE Through Him.**

    1 Corinthians 13:1-8
    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
    and have not LOVE, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal…

    LOVE suffers long, and is kind; LOVE does not envy;
    LOVE does not boast, LOVE is not puffed up,
    LOVE does not behave itself unseemly,
    LOVE keeps no record of wrongs,
    LOVE is not easily provoked, LOVE thinks no evil;
    LOVE Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
    LOVE bears all things, believes all things,
    hopes all things, endures all things.
    LOVE never fails… 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

    If LOVE never fails, God never fails, because God is LOVE.
    Here we can start to see and understand something of the nature of God.

    God suffers long, and is kind; God does not envy;
    God does not boast, God is not puffed up,
    God does not behave unseemly,
    God keeps no record of wrongs,
    God is not easily provoked, God thinks no evil;
    God rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
    God bears all things, believes all things,
    hopes all things, endures all things.
    God never fails:

    Here you have an opportunity to believe God knew what he was doing when He made you. When He created you in his image. In the image of LOVE created he them.

    Tina suffers long, and is kind; Tina does not envy;
    Tina does not boast, Tina is not puffed up,
    Tina does not behave unseemly,
    Tina keeps no record of wrongs,
    Tina is not easily provoked, Tina thinks no evil;
    Tina rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
    Tina bears all things, believes all things,
    hopes all things, endures all things.
    Tina never fails:

    Yes, Tina, that’s you.

    Please, don’t argue with me, God is the one who said it. He made you in His image. All of what you just read is in you, whether you see it or not. Will you come as a little child, believing? You don’t have to have all the answers now.

    Trust and obey, not think and decide.

    Just read it, again and again. Then pray it, for you, for your friends, even for your enemies. Pray it till you believe it. Pray it till you believe God

    Like

  72. Brenda R

    Me Too… Seems He, Jesus, keeps re-molding this clay. SQUASH, then build.
    “I absolutely love WisdomChasers quote, “As a broken person repaired by the blood of Jesus I am more beautiful than if I had never been broken at all.” This is how I feel. He is the potter and he can mold the clay however He wants, in His timing, and through whatever means He deems necessary.”

    Me Too… I did NOT want to live with the emotional pain. The betrayals.
    “Several years ago I prayed often for God to take me home. It wasn’t His will, I’m still here and my prayers changed to asking Him to fill the broken places in my heart with His Spirit, use me however He sees fit and He has.”

    Me Too…
    “but I now realize there is so much more
    that is **beneficial** than just the good in this life.”

    No – I have NOT read “One Thousand Gifts” – BUT…
    I like the idea of writing down ALL Things WE, His Sheep, are thankful for.

    And what a wonderful “Benefit” 🙂
    “All of the abuse I went through opened doors for me to tell others that Jesus loves them, they are beautiful, they didn’t cause what happened to them and He can save them.”

    Psalm 34:1
    I will bless the LORD at all times:
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

    1 Peter 1:6-8 NASB
    In this you “Greatly Rejoice,”
    even though now for a little while, if necessary,
    you have been “distressed by various trials,”
    so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold
    which is perishable, even though tested by fire,
    may be found to result in praise and glory and honor
    at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
    and though you have not seen Him, you love Him,
    and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him,
    you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

    Like

  73. Brenda R

    And thanks for offering your prayers – Prayer is always appreciated. 🙂
    Today, health wise, I’m doing okay. NO pains, NO medication…
    The knee and the spitting up blood happened 7-9 years ago…

    The knee collapsed one day when exiting my car. Lots of pain. Fell on the ground. Went to everyone I knew who had faith for healing and asked for prayer. Nothing. “Okay Lord, what’s up?” And I hear, “You’ll be okay.” “But Lord, this hurts.”

    Jesus healed a number of things in the past. I was in construction and had Painful back injurys a number of times. And usually they were healed quickly. But NOT this time. The Pain lingered. I walked, hobbled, with a limp for five months or so.

    Now I had to practice what I preached. 🙂 Give thanks in ALL Things – ALL Things work together for good – Rejoice in the Lord always – The sacrifice of Praise…
    I kept thanking God for the Pain – the Infirmity…
    “Lord, there must be a benefit here someplace -BUT – HELP….
    And I kept Praying for healing…

    I was a volunteer for a Mission, 4-6 days a week, feeding folks on the streets and vacant lots in six locations. Anywhere from 80 – 120 folks would show up. We gave away a lot of food And we talked a lot about Jesus. And it was a lot of hard work.

    With the knee injury I would still drive the truck but when we got to the location I would sit on a folding chair we carried for the elderly and the hurting. Other folks would un-load and do the hard work. And, now, these folks who I had served, and prayed for, and loved, and ministered to, for three years – Well, they would now come over and ask to “Pray for MEEEEE.”

    Tears, then and now, as I remember and write…
    I experienced LOVE in the midst of the Pain – Someone cared about MEEEE.

    One day, a black lady, Mel, in her 70’s, 80”s, took a public bus to get to that vacant lot, to get some food, to get some Jesus, walks over to me in the chair and asks what happened. I told her.

    Then she asks, “Can I Pray for you, I have FAITH.”

    She names three or so, serious diseases, where she was NOT given much hope, and says “I did NOT have a good report. BUT GOD healed me.” I said, “Sure, please pray for me.” Then she lays her old, weathered, wrinkled, hand on my knee and Prays. I do NOT remember what she said, BUT, I remember the tears…

    NO, the Pain did NOT go away that day – BUT…
    I experienced LOVE in the midst of the Pain – Someone cared about MEEEE.

    I had NO health insurance then. A friend offers to pay for me to go to a doctor. He was tired of watching me limp around. 😉 I told my friend, “Thanks, BUT, Let me ask Jesus first.” I have nothing against doctors, doctors have helped me in the past. BUT, now I ask Jesus if I should go to a doctor. I go back to my friend and say, “The best I can understand is, NO I do NOT need a doctor.” He says, “What if your knee becomes permanently damaged?” I answer, “Well, I guess I’ll walk with a cane or a crutch, because ALL I Have Is Jesus.” “And He said I’ll be okay.”

    It was a couple of months later and one day I notice – NO Pain…
    Just got up one mourning walking around and – NO Pain… 😉
    For five months I thanked God for the Pain, the benefits, the LOVE…
    And saw nothing – Then one day – BUT GOD….

    I have been that Broken Clay Pottery – Repaired by the Blood of Jesus…
    And now Jesus asks me to “Trust In Him.”

    Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart
    Lean NOT on your own understanding.

    Like

  74. Amos,
    It is a blessing that we agree on so much. Isn’t that the way it should be between brothers and sisters in Christ? I am glad that all of your pain is in the past. Your testimony is a beautiful one. Having the opportunity to do mission work is a dream come true. I’m sure you enjoyed it much more than construction. For now the Lord has me in a secular job with a Christian boss. What a blessing. Some days his Dad comes in and we can have a revival right here in the office.

    Putting total trust in Jesus makes everything better. This may sound silly, but I am going to tell the story anyways. A couple of years ago, because I am a klutz I stubbed my toes on a chair leg. Instead of being the old me and sitting their crying and feeling sorry for myself, I repeated several times, “I will praise Your name in all things, I will praise Your name in all things…etc”. It is amazing how quickly pain will go away when I put my thoughts on God and less on me.

    I’ve got to tell you that since your wonderfully worded prayer the other day, I have felt better than I have in a while. You are now in my prayer journal, just because.

    Like

  75. Brenda

    Yup
    “Putting total trust in Jesus makes everything better.’

    NOPE
    “This may sound silly…” – NOPE – NOT silly to me.
    I’ve had similar experiences. Said almost the same things, even thru tears…
    “I will praise Your name in all things,
    I will praise Your name in all things…etc”

    Yup – Many Times
    “It is amazing how quickly pain will go away
    when I put my thoughts on God and less on me.”

    Isa 26:3
    Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
    whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

    Psalm 16:11
    Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy…

    When WE, His Sheep, keep our minds on Jesus WE, His Kids, are in His Presence, and, WE, have Peace and Fulness of Joy.

    When WE, His Sheep, experience Peace and JOY, WE, have a Merry Heart…
    And, a Merry Heart does good like a medicine. (A cure, a healing.)

    Pro 17:22
    A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…
    but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

    And the bones are part of our immune system…
    From the marrow of our bones comes, White blood cells, Red blood cells…
    When our hearts are NOT Merry our immune system is compromised.
    And, NOT many today escape a Broken Heart, betrayal, rejection, fear.

    In My Experience, Often, sickness and dis-ease starts with a Broken Heart.

    BUT GOD… Jesus, He came to heal the Broken Hearted…

    Psalm 147:3
    He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

    Luke 4:18
    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;
    he hath sent me **to heal the brokenhearted,**
    to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty them that are bruised…

    And when our broken hearts are healed our immune system works for us…
    NOT against us… 🙂

    And – The Only “ONE” who can heal a Broken Heart – IS…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  76. Amos

    NOT many today escape a Broken Heart, betrayal, rejection, fear.
    I don’t know anyone who hasn’t experienced at least one of these. I don’t think anyone that has managed to get through High School could escape these things.

    In My Experience, Often, sickness and dis-ease starts with a Broken Heart.
    Sometimes more than sickness. How often have I heard of a happily married couple who passes days or even hours of the other. In an unhappy or abusive marriage it is more of a slow death (the spirit broken) that begins with hope and ends in no longer having a grasp of the person you once were.

    My immune system attacks itself. It isn’t for or against me, it doesn’t like itself. But I get what you’re saying. People who wouldn’t otherwise be sick can be when their focus is on unhappiness and not focusing on the Savior.

    I do so love the scriptures that you site here. Jesus repairs every crack in our broken hearts. Blessed be the Name of the Lord, the Great I AM.

    Like

  77. I was a pastor for 10 years. That’s right, was. The last church I served in fired me without notice. Well, there was notice, just not to me. Several people knew well before the Thursday they let me go. Including the guy who worked in the youth ministry “with” me. He had been there for the last 3 youth pastors before me, and they were all let go, putting him back in the drivers seat once again. In return for my saying I had resigned, they offered me a severance package dealt out over the next few months, so I wouldn’t tell anyone the truth that I was fired (in my severance contract, if I said I was fired to anyone they had the right to cut my severance). I can only see it as hush money. Well, being a youth pastor in today’s financial world, they very well knew that I had no money saved up due to the very low “just serve The Lord” pay check I received every week. It was very well played. In the end, it looked like I abandoned the students and the church, while the truth being just the opposite. I’m done with “church”. I gave my heart to this place who constantly told me “God is at work here!”. Yet, it turned out to be I was taken in by used car salesmen. I do love The Lord very much, but can’t even muster the effort to visit any church, but if I do, I find myself inwardly judging every comment made in the sermon. Do I know I’m bitter? Yes. Do I think “church people” are insincere? Yes. Do I believe that the Word of God is better than what’s being portrayed at most churches? Yes. Am I angry at God for allowing this to happen? No, not at all. I just choose to not associate with people who have been programmed into the “club” that the local church has become.

    Like

  78. Past Pastor Matt,

    Welcome to SSB. Reading your story made me so angry – I can’t imagine living it. I can’t blame you for not wanting to go to church at all. I’m so sorry to hear of your experience. Each Sunday I am opening the blog to connect with others. Here is today’s post. We welcome your presence. It’s for you and people just like you (and me) who have been hurt at church. So many of us have that in common, sadly. I’m glad you stopped by to share your experience, Matt. ~Julie Anne

    Like

  79. Julie Anne,

    I’ve been meaning to email you my story privately, but at this rate, it might be a bucket list item. 😉

    We’re in our third season of “not attending church” right now. I miss the singing of hymns, and fellowship I had many years ago. But I don’t miss the neglect, the being ignored, the difficulty of breaking into a clique, fake mask wearing, the leaders who don’t care, the broken promises, the blaming of our children’s special needs on us, and the extreme difficulty of simply trying to have a single meal with other people who claim to be Christians.

    We have had church at home with just our family a few times, and it has been very good, but it has been difficult to do regularly.

    Like

  80. Wow this dialogue is FANTASTIC! I hadn’t seen this part of the SBB blog before.
    Amazing. Wow. Wow. Wow. So deep. So appreciated. Thanks, Friends!

    Liked by 1 person

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