Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Years Outside the Church System
Zimbabwe: Outside the Church System
I've been pondering some things, about being outside the church system especially as time has gone by. As time passes, I know sometimes it can get tough, I try to find other Christians locally who believe the way I do, and while I find the occasional person that is born again, most are all tied into the church system. Finding people who are not, is the exception.
One thing, I have come to more peace in being outside the church system. This is very recent for me but I have come into acceptance about the issue and understanding the bigger picture. Per my Proverbs article of today, God's understanding counts far more then man's. I would rather go where God leads me and obey Him rather then doing what the crowd warrants. If circumstances change and I can find a sincere assembly of born again believers that preaches truth and follows God's Word then I will be open to what ever place God leads me.
As I have written before, when you are out to the church system, there are sacrifices to be made, especially for folks who enjoy the strong fellowship and having a strong church family. I am one of them who loved having those things but I love God more in refusing to be part of a false church. Doing a blog like this one, I am responsible for what I know before God, and that involves knowing the ecumenical and interfaith dealings of endless denominations. I do have contact with church system Christians but do tell them what my beliefs are. I did tell one newer Lutheran person I met, who is conservative and rejecting of ecumenism, why I cannot be in a Lutheran church and how that ties into Rome's false sacraments. I suppose some of my conversations get interesting. They did hear me out and did not get angry so I hope I gave them food for thought.
It can be tough, when it seems like you are alone out there except for fellow Christian believers online who believe the same way you do. With folks in the church system, it's been tough, even those who have been open to some truths, many are far more influenced by generations of family church involvement and pastors rather then their new "quirky" pal who is sharing bible verses, books and ideas they never have heard anywhere else before. I know how that is. You try to share something and the response is..."But my pastor says"....it can be a hard one. Sometimes you can get some folks to think and here one needs to give the grace of time and study on their end, and knowing you too were in plenty of churches, but praying they are teachable and will hear what you are warning of.
My search for local fellowship and prayer for it has turned up empty. I do think God has his reasons, even with the IFB, there are things there I have been shown such as the major encroachment into Dominionism in many of the churches. [notice I did not say all] Sometimes I have been surprised. I have looked for home churches and not found anything. The closest I got was meeting one member of a home church but realizing it was a seventh day adventist derivative, keeping to many false SDA teachings that I could not reconcile with.
I ask God for Christian fellowship all the time and while I have it long distance, it is not easy. The churches objectively viewing them from the outside, seem to growing deeper and deeper into deception. I have written about even the mainliners jumping on the Emergent band wagon, the evangelical and fundamentalist world has gone into Dominionism and jumps at every call of the religious political right wing...[Chik-fil-A anyone? The economy is crashing but they have to go on about the homosexuals day and night]. I wrote an article on the homosexual obsession and they managed to turn it up a few notches. The world is imploding, the economy is crashing, sin is increasing [yes homosexuality is a sin too] and here they are on their culture wars parade before the world with no gospel included.
Christian "culture" more and more has become it's own trap. Where people are told what to say, think, believe and do. A demographic of control and certain "lifestyles" advanced for those in it, where so many are herded into a pen, and controlled via the media rather then under the influence of God, and His Word.
Churches that never would have celebrated Lent before, now do so openly, the false traditions and connections to political and other agendas grows stronger and stronger. Sometimes I ask myself, don't any of these church members talk among themselves? Why don't they question anything? I suppose there are unreported numbers of those just leaving like I did. Walking out quietly, and just praying, worshipping and reading their Bibles at home. I posted the article at the top to show that this most likely is a WORLD-WIDE phenomenon. Surely there are people hungering for God's Word and who have turned to the Holy Spirit to teach them.
I visited many churches for many years, and even when deciding well to avoid services but attend to have other born again people to socialize with or help to get truth to, all of them were far too gone like this place, God basically told me get out. Even the most mild of questions or discussions seemed to upset other members. Trust me I had many of those conversations. Even the conversation with the missionary about Billy Graham was one I'd had many times before with the same reactions.
Here is another question I have, why do so many of the pastors seem so much the same? Why have I never in TWO YEARS of doing this blog, ever seen a pastor here except for one fundamentalist preacher from the Southwest? I have gotten responses from ministries I've questioned or their employees but as far as sincere pastors desiring to discuss these matters, it has been disappointing. Yes I'll grant that many post anonymously and perhaps a few were among their numbers, but it makes you wonder, do any of them research or study anything? I remember asking for examples, some were claiming of those sincere Calvary Chapel pastors who question things like Lausanne, and ecumenism beyond the usual Emergent smokescreens, but never really got an example there either. I asked several times and well never received a response.
As time passes, being outside the church system, can be a challenge, in that Christians are meant to have the support and fellowship of other Christians, but the price should never be compromising to be in a false church or under a pastor you know is deceiving the congregation. One's relationship with God counts the most. I am happy God has shown me the truth, and I am not sitting in some pew being fed lies and deceptions and buying into it all. That said, I am not going to get prideful, Satan sets up plenty of future traps, even for those who get outside the church system. We must always test ourselves. For the people in the church system, since I was one for years, this is not to elevate myself either, but to hope they are shown the truth and those who sit there in the pews, and KNOW, but do not leave because they do not want to lose fellowship or want a church for their kids, turn to God and obey Him and listen to what He is telling them.
Some of us may be hitting years being outside of a church or assembly, and well, I know that brings up new issues. Share your experiences here too if you have been outside the church system for years. Don't feel you are alone here, either, there are others of us too.
See: Christians Without a Church articles