It’s Time for the Church to go Out of Business

You’ve heard church folk say, “You can’t put God in a box”

That’s very true, so it makes me wonder why they keep trying to put him in a box? Their box shaped church?

Don’t they know that God doesn’t dwell in a house made with hands?

“However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:

HEAVEN IS MY THRONE,
            AND EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL OF MY FEET;
            WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?’ says the Lord,
            ‘OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REPOSE?

Acts 7: 48-49

 

 

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SO, YOU’VE COME OUT OF THE CHURCH….NOW WHAT?

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I came across this precious sisters message this morning and was not only captivated by it, I wept. It not only brought back some painful memories of my own departure from the IC, along with the reminder that leaving is just the beginning of our journey…
There is absolutely nothing I can add to her message, but to encourage all who are contemplating leaving the IC, or who have already stepped out, to read what she says here; it is a call to the BRIDE.

http://lovestthoume.com/

SO, YOU’VE COME OUT OF THE CHURCH…
NOW WHAT?

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” Revelation 18:4.

Over the past 50 or so years, multitudes of believers have answered the call to come out of the religious systems and follow Christ. For many it has cost them very dearly on a personal level. There is a price for bucking the system. No one is going to give you a pat on the back for going against the flow. If you are among this number, then you know exactly what the repercussions are. Shunning is still alive and well in this modern age we live in, and is used against the wayward seeker by family, friends, and those whom they formerly worshiped with. I remember well what I encountered when I left my Church home. Rumors were flying… outlandishly ridiculous accusations were made… all in an attempt to humiliate and intimidate me into complying with their way of thinking. One of the things that I was struck by, was the fact that not one person from the Church “family” I had been faithful to for so many years ever even called to ask if any of what they were hearing was true, or if I was alive or dead. It was a traumatic experience; one that I could not have weathered if not for the comforting presence of the Lord. One day when I was reading the Word, with all of these things churning around inside me, the Spirit of the LORD quickened this passage to me:

Psalms 55:4-14 My heart is grievously pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling have come upon me; horror and fright have overwhelmed me. And I say, Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Yes, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! I would hasten to escape and to find a shelter from the stormy wind and tempest. Destroy [their schemes], O Lord, confuse their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about on its walls; iniquity and mischief are in its midst. Violence and ruin are within it; fraud and guile do not depart from its streets and marketplaces. For it is not an enemy who reproaches and taunts me–then I might bear it; nor is it one who has hated me who insolently vaunts himself against me–then I might hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend. We had sweet fellowship together and used to walk to the house of God in company. [Ampl.]

This Psalm of David expressed exactly what I was going through… what every believer encounters sometime along the way if they continue to follow Christ. We are not going to encounter anything that others before us have not faced. The Word tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. Yet when it is happening in ‘our life,’ it takes on entirely new dimensions. All these things that we suddenly find ourselves being confronted with are only happening because we stepped out of the ‘accepted’ religious comfort zone and answered the Master’s call.

According to most of today’s Shepherds, ‘Sheep’ aren’t supposed to listen to anyone but them. Conflict inevitably arises when sheep begin to develop a living relationship with the One True Shepherd of their souls… and those earthly leaders cannot keep themselves from exposing that they are in fact ‘hirelings,’ who care nothing for the welfare of the sheep. Jesus addressed this in John 10:12-13 But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. To the hireling, the sheep are his bread and butter, they feed his ego as well as his bank account. Insubordination will not be tolerated. Any rebellious sheep will be dealt with speedily, so that the rest of the flock doesn’t get any ideas that there might be another way of doing things, outside the control of all of the religious camps.

So, now that your out… what’s next?

Well, if your expecting that the Lord is going to raise you up and send you back in to ‘set the captives free’… first there are a few things that the Spirit of God must deal with in this (His) little sheep. He does take us out to bring us closer to Himself. But the process is often times not even remotely as we imagined it would be. First of all, we must get our bearings, which includes suffering many things. Sometimes there are breakups in families over this kind of rebellion, with great pain and heartache for all concerned. Some ‘outsiders’ lose everything that they loved in this world… Home, Family, Reputation, Livelihood… all can be included in the price to follow Christ. This may sound very strange to you, if you have grown up in the ‘Prosperity – Bless Me Camp.’ In fact, this entire piece will be unintelligible to all who are comfortably satisfied with the forage provided by the Mega-Churches across the board. Don’t worry, this isn’t addressed to you folks. This is addressed to those souls who have been called to step out into the ‘Wilderness’… to leave all that is familiar behind and step out in faith much like Abraham did.

As you journey along, ‘loneliness’ may well seem like your stalwart companion. The WORD may be your only source of comfort and guidance, pointing the way where there seems to be none. Your beliefs and attitudes will be tested, tried, and brought into conformity with the ‘will of God’… whether you like it particularly, or not. You had a choice when you were still part of the dutiful flock. You could have refused the call of the Shepherd, and remained where all appeared to be comfortable and secure. But there comes a point in this walk that you no longer have a choice. Your love for the Shepherd is so all consuming that it supersedes and overrides all else. Your own will, wants and desires are gradually shaped, molded, transformed even, until you don’t even recognize yourself anymore.

There will be battles, in all shapes and sizes, on a regular basis. But if you continue along the path set before you, (we each have our own path you know), you will discover that the greatest battles are within… in our own heart, mind and soul. There are things inside of us that we don’t even know about. But God sees them, and He knows exactly how to bring them to the surface, and get them out in the open, so we are forced to deal with them. Anger, jealousy, bitterness, strife, unforgiveness, covetousness, pride, vanity, selfishness, the list can go on and on. Yes, even at this stage of our walk, these seeds can be buried deep down inside of us. But never fear, nothing that is there is a surprise to God. He loves us in spite of them, but He is not content to allow them to remain. As we travel along this strange new pathway, we learn pretty quickly that there is no such thing as coincidence or chance. God is in absolute control of everything that happens. And yes, He allows some pretty painful, unpleasant things to happen in our lives.

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” Hebrews 5:8. Jesus is our only example. Suffering is part of ‘taking up our cross and following Christ.’ What for centuries has been common knowledge among believers, has been nearly obliterated from the Christian mindset in this generation. The struggles those being called-out today face have a great deal to do with letting go of everything we have been taught… all we thought we knew. Its one thing to come out of the Church, now the struggle is to get all the bad attitudes, false teachings, and self-righteousness out of us, and only the Holy Spirit of God can accomplish this task in us. We soon learn that we can do nothing of ourselves or in our own strength. No indeed, we are dependent upon the LORD for each step we take. There are many pitfalls and snares awaiting those who step out in faith and obedience. Just conquering the initial obstacle of breaking out seemed monumental! Not caving in to the peer pressure, the loving admonitions that “God wouldn’t do that.” “If you leave this Church you are going to hell.” “Touch not God’s anointed,” (that would be in reference to disagreeing with those leader shepherds who would stand in your way and block your progress). You may have already been there and done that, and though you may have acquired a few battle scars, your inner man has grown. You are being fed from the Word and recognizing the Spirit’s witness in a wonderfully new way. But this was just the first leg of the journey dear friend. There is more to be overcome.

While back in the comfort zone of religion, you talked amongst yourselves about the sons of God, the overcomers, all the interpretations regarding the last days, and developed some pretty darn good theories and opinions. We called them beliefs. It is one thing to be opinionated about something, such as ‘what is going to happen’ and ‘what does God require of us?’ … While it is quite another thing to actually live and experience first hand the provision and the chastening of the Almighty. We had grown very adept at pleasing men. Now we are learning how to be pleasing in God’s sight. It has become a personal issue. We can no longer be content with some one else’s assessment of our spirituality. The opinions of others cannot hold a candle to the raging fire that is God’s all consuming love… and we must hear it from Him and Him alone, no other voice will satisfy our longing.

Some of the snares and pitfalls…

Just as the seasons change in the natural world, there are seasons that we walk through spiritually. Highs and lows, journeying forward alternated with times of resting in the Lord. Being outside the camp has taken some adjusting. Initially we may experience a momentary high… that we stood our ground and obeyed what the Lord was telling us against great resistance. But soon loneliness seems to be our closest companion; often his buddies despair, fear and nagging doubt try to join in. ‘How can this be of God?’ …we ask ourselves. The ‘joy of the Lord is my strength,’ so where is my joy? How can I be strong when I am struggling to simply survive? Then there is this longing for the fellowship, the singing and times of worship that we once shared with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. It may not have been perfect, but wasn’t it better than this isolation? ‘How can this be of God?’ What about, Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. And so the battle rages, between our reasoning mind and our inner witness.

We may discover that there are ‘things’ we can do, that offer us sweet, if temporary, relief. Opportunities may present themselves to ‘minister to others’ in some way. Many are taken in by these apparent ‘answers to prayer.’ We are in the process of beginning to discover how deeply ‘doing the work of the Lord’ has been ingrained in our psyche. We have yet to fully grasp that:

…what we do follows after what we are, not the other way around.

… How little all of our knowledge about Him amounts to, when compared to being in Christ and walking by His Spirit, in this darkened world.

We may be outside of organized religion per se, yet we inevitably fall into the trap of trying to do something… ‘Street ministry,’ setting up a ‘mission’ or ‘feeding the homeless.’ We fail to recognize that although these things are ‘good’ and ‘needful,’ they are distractions, even hindrances… from our pursuit of knowing God. Stepping up to the plate and engaging in some kind of productive activity is something that our flesh sorely needs, even craves. We may think that we have a lot to offer, we have been through the fire and survived. Now that we are outside, we see the errors of our former ways we think that we are ready to spread the ‘good news’… isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Fulfill the ‘Great Commission?’ Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Isn’t that where it’s at, isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing?

What we must come to understand is simply this… there is a work that must be brought about in the heart and mind of the believer before we can ‘go forth.’ Religion has taken the LIFE out of the Word of God. They freely use Jesus’ name, even while denying His Person and refusing to keep His commandments. Jesus said,”For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers”Matthew 23:4. The new life in Christ is relegated to an ineffectual back seat.

Focusing instead on their interpretations, according to their doctrines and beliefs, as they have been handed down by the traditions of men. God has no use for the ‘traditions of men.’ Our first and foremost priority must remain what it was from the beginning… to hear and obey God. Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. All the wonderful ‘works’ we could ever accomplish by our most diligent efforts will always fall short of the mark. Ministry is not the solution. Fulfilling the greatest commandment is the solution. Putting God first and foremost, above everything else is the requirement for ‘genuine sonship.’

We have ample evidence before us everywhere we turn that going into a ‘ministry’ is a very dangerous thing. You discover that in the process of ministering to others, there are subtle rewards. It feels good to give, it feels good to share, and before you know it others are coming to you for direction and help and answers (we are to be signposts pointing to Christ. He alone is the door). It is amazing how quickly little seeds of pride and self-worth can spring up in our hearts. The very thing that we thought we had crucified and put to death still has roots, and with the first little drops of acceptance and approval from others, the “I am worthy” weed springs back to life. If this ‘weed of self’ is not immediately recognized and ripped out, it will grow with amazing speed. That is how all of these BIG NAMES came into being. It’s all about feeding ‘their ministry’… lifting up ‘their name’… outdoing one another with their ‘great works and exploits.’ But it all started with good intentions, don’t you know? You, who were once outside the camp with loneliness as your companion, now find yourself engaging in meaningful discourse with seekers. Beware my friend, that you do not become overly comfortable with this new role, and leave off following after knowing God. It is ironic that becoming entrenched in the ‘doing’ can stop our forward progress of growing up in Christ… dead in its tracks.

The call to ‘come out’ is continually going forth, and with each move of God in this generation, there have been those who heard the call and responded. Many did come out, only to spiritually die in the wilderness. We face the same requirements of God as the Israelite’s of old. We face the same struggles as the Israelite’s who were brought forth out of Egypt… with ‘great signs and wonders’… only to perish during the forty years they journeyed through the wilderness. Today many ‘spiritual Jews’ are perishing in the wilderness, after having been delivered from their taskmasters by God’s mighty hand. The wilderness is not our destination! It is not acceptable to set up camp and start our own little ‘work of the Lord.’ It feels good to our flesh, our flesh thrives on activities. We can point to it and say, “see what God has done… this is why I had to come out.” What we fail to understand is that we are settling for another version of what God brought us out of in the first place. Only this time it is one of our own making. And if we settle down there, we will fall short of what God desires to bring us in to, missing the mark completely. It is one thing to come out from under the systems of men (organized religion), and it is quite another to get the Religious Attitudes we acquired along the way out of us. Man can only judge outwardly, by appearances, speech, conduct, all outward manifestations… while God alone judges each man’s heart condition. That would be OUR heart condition… for ours is the only one that we can do anything about.

Today there are probably as many believers ‘out-of-church’ as there are still within. Many of them have gone on, many are pressing in to be conformed to the image of Christ. Many others have been snared and taken captive by false teachings convincingly presented as truth and light. Many have become discouraged and bitter, and given up the fight. We are continually challenged as long as we are in these fleshly bodies. The battle will not end until we are changed from the corruptible to the incorruptible. We should not think that just because we are no longer controlled by a man or organization that we have somehow arrived, or that we are somehow further along than those still being ruled by denominational doctrines and creeds.

The sad truth is that although we may have left the building, we have taken much of what we learned there with us. It is all too common to see and hear very ‘religious’ statements of belief coming out of the mouths of individuals who left the tutelage of men long ago. Despite all the lessons they have learned, there are still areas that have not yet been dealt with. Remember that our being conformed to the image of Christ does not happen in the twinkling of an eye. We must grow up into Christ… and at each step of our growth, a little more of self is crucified and put under. There are always things (beliefs, understandings) that we have held for so long… that we are honestly unaware of them. They are as natural to us as breathing. We have never pulled them out into the light of God and held them up for inspection. Oh, we may have debated them with other believers, but we have never gone to the Father and asked Him if what we are so confident of is in fact truth. How can we know if we have such an area in our life? Listen to what comes out of our mouth. When we make statements regarding the person and nature of God, The “I AM,” we had better be beyond sure… we had better have the witness of the Spirit validating our words.

It is possible to receive revelation in one area of Biblical truth, and be gifted to share it with others to the benefit of all, while in other areas we are still infants in our understanding. Unconsciously we fall back on predigested teachings that are so deeply rooted within our beliefs that we would never consciously question them. One indicator could be statements that connect “I” with “believe” and “God would or wouldn’t.” The entire premise of ‘religion’ is man’s attempt to explain and represent GOD. This process requires extensive study, interpretation, rules, explanations, and of course the all important rituals and traditions. Our words expose us for all to see. Just because we have received light in one area of our understanding, does not mean that we are now full of light. We can still harbor prejudices and misconceptions regarding Who GOD Is, and what is or is not pleasing in His sight.

The problems that trip us up are seldom the major issues, although they can also be sources of contention. We usually are in proper alignment when it comes to the basic tenets of the Gospel of Christ. Our weaknesses and errors usually involve the seemingly small, trivial points of our walk. Especially when it comes to applying our convictions to other people, passing judgment, and declaring what God would or would not do.

Too often we fail to seek the Lord’s guidance on the small stuff; the little things that we assume we can handle on our own. These are the things that can trip us up, and cause us to stumble and even grieve the Holy Spirit. Until we are completely emptied and can openly acknowledge that ‘there is no good thing in me,’and’I can do nothing of myself,’we will continue to stumble and be a stumbling block to others. There is a very simple reason for this … man has always had it backwards. Man views God as the supplier of all of’our’needs and wants. The Salvation message is often presented aswhat God wants to do for you. When the reality of the situation is actually the exact opposite; what can we do for God is more to the point. And all we can do that is pleasing is believe and obey. We see Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

God created all things for HIS PLEASURE. That puts a whole new spin on things now, doesn’t it? It makes an enormous difference whether we are God centered or man centered.

At our very best, our best could never be good enough to be an acceptable offering to a Righteous, Holy God. 1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. God does not desire our wisdom or our good works. What God desires is our obedience. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6. And again in John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

It is ALL GOD. He calls us out to draw us unto HIMSELF. That we may know Him as He Is, not just as we imagine Him to be.

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you” Philippians 3:10-15.

“But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth” 2 Corinthians 10:17-18.

This is the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of all the things we are suffer and don’t understand. That we may be commended, not by mere mortals, but by our heavenly Father.

That we may hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

Be encouraged! You are never alone! He that has called you out Is Faithful!…and He Will bring you unto Himself. This is all just part of being made pure and spotless, that we may be presented before a Holy and Righteous God and not be consumed.

Amen

Cathy Morris
http://lovestthoume.com/
August 10, 2008

Brittneys Story of Being Abused in Church

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Hi there!
My name is “Brittany” and I stumbled across your blog quite by accident but I am glad I did. I have a story to share with you and your readers. I am keeping this post anonymous and have changed my name because I am afraid of being discovered with my story.
For seven years I was an active member of a small non-denominational church in the Northern United States. While I noticed some controlling behavior, it didn’t bother me because I came from a broken home and loved the idea of being accepted into a family. Aside from Sunday services, I also went to church meetings and functions throughout the week and I was well liked within the congregation. One summer, I was offered a chance to be a missionary to Haiti with an outside church group. I jumped at the chance and my church family seemed to be behind me as it was a longtime dream. The only real trouble I noticed was that my church leaders seemed to have much more communication with the people I was travelling to Haiti with than I did. I also found that they were warning this group that I was ‘immature’. (I am a professional adult with a good, stable life and they had nothing to base their accusations).
I went to Haiti and felt VERY controlled by the group that I was with. I told my home church about what was going on and they urged me to come home, so I did. When I got home, they were eager to pick me up and get me feeling better. Unfortunately, all I wanted to do was be alone and process things. They did not like that. I noticed things started to get really tense with my church. They stopped inviting me to functions and started to hold their gatherings in secret. I was promised to be included on certain activities but then they held them without me. People started blocking me from their phones and once great friends would no longer speak to me. Saddened and confused, I asked the pastor to arrange a meeting with myself and one of my church friends to get to the bottom of this excommunication. He agreed and I was relieved that this was all going to be settled. I arrived at the meeting expecting things to be worked out–but instead I was verbally assaulted and abused. Vile, horrible untruths were spoken about me; the pastor pointed his finger at me and spewed so much unholy anger. We didn’t pray, we didn’t try to reconcile, it was an all-out attack.
I have a medical illness that the church group knew about. When the stress of the situation started to put me in serious medical danger, they laughed at me and ignored my cries for help. I used my cell phone to make calls to people from the church that I knew. No one offered support for me. In fact, in the coming days no one would even confront the pastor about his behavior for fear that he would exile them as well.
During that meeting, several elders walked in unannounced and continued the ambush. I now believe that it was planned.
Aside from the PFA I obtained, there is nothing the police will do to shut this church down because of the separation of church and state laws in the United States. To this day I am haunted by nightmares and I always fear running into a church member when I am out and about. I know that they have tarnished my name in the town where I grew up and attended that church.
I would do just about anything to shut them down so that no one else has to go through what I went through. Physically, it took me 20 months to recover fully from their neglect of my medical condition. Spiritually, I am forever changed. I no longer support organized religion of any sort and have made it a priority to tell my story so that other people do not become spiritually abused.

Believe it or not friends, Brittney’s story is not as uncommon as you might imagine.This sort of spiritual abuse has gone on for ages, and to this day is still going on in the organized church. Please pray for Brittney and the others who need healing.

Spiritual Abuse! The Churches Dirty Little Secret!

Just because it bears the name “church”, does not mean it’s safe. Sometimes churches can be the most dangerous place to be, and should offer disclosure statements or a label such as “Attending this church could be harmful to your spiritual health”.

Well, at least it’s been the “Churches dirty little secret” until the advent of the Internet when people like this woman “Brittany”, began gathering courage and coming forward with their stories of being abused in the organized church. Now, praise God, we are finding other blogs and websites devoted to exposing this horrible cancer of spiritual abuse that has existed inside the organized church, and helping people to receive comfort, fellowship and healing from Jesus and one another.

“Back in the day”, many of us, like me, for example, felt like we were the only ones who had ever gone through being betrayed and abused by the church, and didn’t know where to go or what to do. I thank Jesus He has made provision, through other believers online, and that is where I found answers and spiritual fortification after coming out of the Nicolaitan Institutional church.

However, I am aware there are some church folks that would like to cover up and keep their dirty laundry in the closet rather than cleaning up their acts and doing right, smugly inviting innocent people to come into their church version of Hotel California. Then, there are others who’ve contacted me recently who passively-aggressively suggest that I am using this blog to vent my own unresolved spiritual abuse issues. Whatever! They don’t know my heart! Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is, that I have been betrayed, used and abused, by church people in and out of church just about every which way you can! I shouldn’t be surprised by now that the enemy can even use those who come to you as Christians. I’m getting older and wiser because of these “learning experiences” but I have to admit I’m getting more than a little tired of it. The time is short and I don’t have time for game playing.

When the Lord turns the light on and you then find the wolves in sheep’s duds attacking you, (which they will when the evil spirits in them begin detecting the light in you), and so the Spirit leads you out…you want to do everything you can to reach out to the hurting and disenfranchised. This is the main reason for this blog, and for those like Brittany, below. And also to inform these abusive churches, their game is up. And for the garden variety church goer that seems to believe that spiritual abuse doesn’t exist, or isn’t important…. that the Lord will take their blinders off to the terrible crisis that exists in the modern mainstream organized church, as well as in the little para church groups scattered all over the US, Canada and the Western cultures. It does exist, and it’s dirt ugly!

The following is “Brittany’s Story”. If you have a personal story, you are welcome to tell it here. It is very healing and cathartic to journal or talk about the spiritual abuse we’ve gone through whether it was in the home, the church or both.

 

” Hi there!
My name is “Brittany” and I stumbled across your blog quite by accident but I am glad I did. I have a story to share with you and your readers. I am keeping this post anonymous and have changed my name because I am afraid of being discovered with my story.
For seven years I was an active member of a small non-denominational church in the Northern United States. While I noticed some controlling behavior, it didn’t bother me because I came from a broken home and loved the idea of being accepted into a family. Aside from Sunday services, I also went to church meetings and functions throughout the week and I was well liked within the congregation. One summer, I was offered a chance to be a missionary to Haiti with an outside church group. I jumped at the chance and my church family seemed to be behind me as it was a longtime dream. The only real trouble I noticed was that my church leaders seemed to have much more communication with the people I was travelling to Haiti with than I did. I also found that they were warning this group that I was ‘immature’. (I am a professional adult with a good, stable life and they had nothing to base their accusations).
I went to Haiti and felt VERY controlled by the group that I was with. I told my home church about what was going on and they urged me to come home, so I did. When I got home, they were eager to pick me up and get me feeling better. Unfortunately, all I wanted to do was be alone and process things. They did not like that. I noticed things started to get really tense with my church. They stopped inviting me to functions and started to hold their gatherings in secret. I was promised to be included on certain activities but then they held them without me. People started blocking me from their phones and once great friends would no longer speak to me. Saddened and confused, I asked the pastor to arrange a meeting with myself and one of my church friends to get to the bottom of this excommunication. He agreed and I was relieved that this was all going to be settled. I arrived at the meeting expecting things to be worked out–but instead I was verbally assaulted and abused. Vile, horrible untruths were spoken about me; the pastor pointed his finger at me and spewed so much unholy anger. We didn’t pray, we didn’t try to reconcile, it was an all-out attack.
I have a medical illness that the church group knew about. When the stress of the situation started to put me in serious medical danger, they laughed at me and ignored my cries for help. I used my cell phone to make calls to people from the church that I knew. No one offered support for me. In fact, in the coming days no one would even confront the pastor about his behavior for fear that he would exile them as well.
During that meeting, several elders walked in unannounced and continued the ambush. I now believe that it was planned.
Aside from the PFA I obtained, there is nothing the police will do to shut this church down because of the separation of church and state laws in the United States. To this day I am haunted by nightmares and I always fear running into a church member when I am out and about. I know that they have tarnished my name in the town where I grew up and attended that church.
I would do just about anything to shut them down so that no one else has to go through what I went through. Physically, it took me 20 months to recover fully from their neglect of my medical condition. Spiritually, I am forever changed. I no longer support organized religion of any sort and have made it a priority to tell my story so that other people do not become spiritually abused.”
 

Don’t give up! Keep seeking God. The Spirit will lead and guide you to the truth as you persevere. I’m not endorsing the church that made these videos. I am endorcing Jesus and His Word. Seek Him in that!

Spiritual Abuse in Church? Moving Out & Moving on

If you’ve been victimized by an abusive pastor or church, I think you’ll find this article very helpful. From the title you may think I am suggesting just to “move out and move on”. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There are those that have told me to “just get over it”, that if I were mature enough in Christ that I should be able to do just that. I feel I have…since the time I left the abusive church, or should I say, the abusive people in those churches, but this article isn’t for me, it’s for others who may still be in bondage in such churches and perhaps confused, hurt, in fear, and unsure about whether to leave or not. 

When I left the abusive apostate church I was in, I was literally crushed in my spirit. I felt I had been betrayed by people I thought I could trust. No, let me rephrase that. I had been betrayed.

I was confused and hurting. At that time there was no one I could turn to that would understand. After all, all my friends were in “church”, and wasn’t “church” where you were supposed to meet God, and wasn’t it ordained that one should not forsake the assembling together with the brethren?

I thought to myself, what brethren? They were all locked into the system, and the system I thought I could trust, the one I’d believed in was a sham, corrupt.

God had been good to me since my conversion, or I should say since my baptism in the Spirit. I had grown in the Word, and the LORD had blessed me in so many ways.

It took a lot of disappointments and more growth in the Word before I began to get my eyes opened to the things in the several churches I’ve been devoted to, that just plain were not of God.

It took months to even begin to recover physically and emotionally from the trauma I’d suffered from the years in church. But spiritually, I was devastated, and had to “rethink” my entire belief about “church” and what it was supposed to be scripturally. What I found was that it had no resemlance to the early church…and the way the LORD set it up.

I’ve learned later that many people who leave an abusive church walk away from God altogether and just try to get on with their lives as best they can. But for me, I had some serious issues that I needed to work out spiritually and wasn’t satisfied with walking away from God, because I knew he was real, and my experience was real, and like Peter, I felt, “Where would I go LORD? Only you have the words of truth”.

About that time I had been wishing I had a computer. Then, by the grace of God I received one as a gift. It was then I began searching for what others had experienced and found that the doctrines I’d been taught in the churches I’d attended were wrong….what the LORD had been telling me in my spirit all along.

I also found others like myself who were leaving the apostate organized churches for the same reasons. They weren’t “backslidders”. In fact, they were people who were devoted to God and completely serious in their walk. But they had also eventually seen the abuses and wrong doctrines, and controlling natures of the bird cages they’d been in bondage to.

After you come out of an abusive church or spiritual situation, expect to have some emotional healing to go through. It’s not pleasant to be sure, but it’s normal. You may look at it as a blessing in disguise because once you’re out, you’re no longer being under the control and expectations of others to conform to their ways and doctrines. You will not have the liberty in the Spirit to come to know Jesus according to the Word of God in a personal and living way. The Apostle Paul spent much time alone with the Lord after his Damascus Road experience, learning from Him directly before he ever made contact with the other Apostles and brethren.

This time alone with the Lord, for me, became a time of refreshing, reorganizing my spiritual thoughts…and a time of  healing eventually.

In a way, it was the biggest weight off my shoulders I’ve ever felt, even if at the time it felt beyond strange, with Satan laying a guilt trip on me that it was somehow my fault. No, it was not and I’ve come to accept that. For where the Spirit is there is liberty.

And God bless you as you continue your spiritual journey of healing and on to maturity in Christ.

Christian Women and Domestic Violence

I’ve been getting many inquiries from Christian women on the subject of domestic violence  in the home.  For that reason I will be starting a series on this issue which has been so misunderstood and caused so much pain to so many good Christian women who were endeavoring to both love and honor their husbands, and their Savior through obedience to the Word of God.

We’ll begin with a study of “The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy”

http://www.awildernessvoice.com/GEC.html 

The article above in text form.

Both Christian men as well as women need to study this epic teaching. It is in-YouTube Video form as well. It explains that King James himself had a vested interest in making sure that certain words were put in this translation.  Words like”rule”  and “submit” were intended to reinforce his headship and control over his kingdom. It’s only when we become aware of the truth that it has the power to set us free from the shackles of legalism. The Lord said, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. Knowledge of what?  God’s Word!
Indeed, knowledge is power. Let’s make sure we are armed with the truth so that we will not succumb to the lies and deception. As one of the Lord’s sheep, even though your pastor or husband is bound by man-made doctrines and traditions of men, of legalistic teachings, by studying the truth, prayer and fasting, you will not have to be. Jesus said to those disciples who believed him, “If you will continue in My Word, then you will be my disciple indeed and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” Jesus and his pure doctrine supersedes the faulty, unloving notions of men.

“THE GREAT ECCLESIASTICAL CONSPIRACY”

This is HARD!! Many will not be able to hear this at all!

Is it really possible that the Authorized King James Version of the Bible was INTENTIONALLY DOCTORED to reinforce and support a “priest class” and institutional, political hierarchies. The Protestant Reformation didn’t go far enough. It didn’t really eliminate the temple worship and priest class, it just put a nicer face on it.

This explains why things are this bad. It explains why most of this thing we call “Christianity” is in fact, not at ALL what Jesus had in mind. This explains why so many are being abused in a “system” that was NEVER what God designed in the first place.

This is the audio version of the free E-book available at http://www.AWildernessVoice.com and http://www.FellowshipOfTheMartyrs.com . MANY other resources available.

Repent. The days are short. The Babylonian mystery religions have consumed nearly all the “churches”.

The Lord is crying out, “Come out of her, my people!”

Run for the hills. You and Jesus are sufficient. Let HIM be your teacher.

 

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My Story of an Encounter with an Abusive  Christian misogynist:
I hadn’t been posting much for quite some time. Looking over the web offerings, I figured there were enough sites to offer help,warning and healing for those who had just come out of spiritually abusive situations, or….were still in one, and looking for answers. I was wrong. Just when you think there is nothing new to add, some new abuse presents its ugly head, or perhaps an old abuse presenting itself in a new and novel way. So…I guess it’s time to fire up the blog once again.

I post quite a few resources offering “other” folks help, warnings, etc…but this time it happened to be me that got spiritually stung and hurt…again. Me, who should know better how to avoid such situations and people. Me, who has had her guard up and warns others about how to avoid snares, spiritual abuse and the pain that goes along with it. So….how and where did it happen? On an Internet voice over chat room called PalTalk. PalTalk has a fabulous potential for interaction with other Christians, but it can also be a very dangerous place, especially for vulnerable believers who have been isolated, and left abusive church fellowships and/or even been rejected by friends for leaving these churches.

What happened was that I had been visiting, with great caution, spiritual radar detector turn on, a few spiritual chat rooms and had begun to meet a few people there I felt fairly comfortable with and that seemed to be mature Christians with a healthy grasp of scripture and sound doctrine. This seemed to be a godsend because I was needing the fellowship with like minded believers…perhaps more than even I recognized at the time. However, Satan, never a day late or a dollar short, recognized it and I now believe I was set up for a hurt. Looking back, thank God it was only a hurt and not something much worse.

I had been listening to a man who seemed to be above average in godly wisdom and experience. A really interesting man as well, who I’d seen in various Christian chat rooms, sometimes speaking, or other times posting comments and scripture. We began to cross paths, and he developed an interest in me. To be frank, I was both flattered and also, a bit in awe of this guy. This was filling a need in me for fellowship after having been isolated for so long after leaving the apostate church. We were on the same page…..or so I thought.

After about a month of meeting in various chat rooms, and also spending long hours in private chat rooms, sharing and talking about God, and our experiences, what we had in common, laughing, and praying, I began to trust this man and let my guard down. Something I haven’t done in a long time, and I’m not sure I realized just how much I opened up to this man at the time.

With male, female relationships in any realm, there is always the issue of dominance, but especially in the spiritual realm of Christianity and God ordained authority. I’m not going to get into the scriptural aspects by posting scripture on here. Most of you reading this blog are already aware of what the bible has to say about it. As for me, I don’t have a problem with allowing men to be men, and the authority figure in spiritual relationships………as long as they don’t abuse it, and in the process, begin to abuse me. I am God’s and he is and always will be my husband and the final authority.

If a person has been spiritually abused they will usually be very guarded about boundaries. With me, this is extremely true. Very guarded, even with women. God has given me a level of discernment through hours of prayer, tears, and experience that I am very grateful for. But experience is very expensive in terms of having gone through situations and learning from them, (as you learn not to stick your hand in the fire after the first time, or take fire to your bosom and expect not to get burned).

With abusers, somehow they have the uncanny ability to avoid being detected at the very beginning of an encounter with their victims. Even when one has developed a level of spiritual discernment, if they have an opening, such as loneliness, or need for fellowship, as I did, they are fair game for a predator to slip through the boundary and get inside where they can do damage.

So, to describe the scenario further, there was no question of a romantic relationship developing, so that seemed to make this friendship safer where I could relax and enjoy this mutual love of God with this man…He was well read in the scriptures, and shared many spiritual experiences that gave me no reason to doubt or be afraid of him. For the most part, I felt safe, and anyway, wasn’t I a safe distance from him in PalTalk. How could this godly man possibly hurt me? But in all relationships, sooner or later, traits will begin manifesting. One of the first “disagreements” I had with this man, was over the issue of misogyny. He was adamant that women were the worse abusers of men, and that men were “just as” or more abused than women. In fact, he was a little too adamant about it…to the point that I might have thought at the time he was a misogynist himself, a closet woman-hater. Little did I know at the time, just how right on my discernment radar was absolutely spot on. But……I chose to ignore it, but the red flag was up.

The saying goes that women have a high level of intuition, and I think there is something to this…..but especially true with spiritfilled women who have spent much time in the scriptures and in prayer. In any case, the red flag was up.

Sooner or later, a persons true colors will manifest, as the scriptures say, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. On PalTalk, for those who aren’t familiar with it, there is a way to talk directly to a person, just like you would talk to them on the phone. Also, there is a way to text little messages to a person, or leave notes for them. So, what happened next between me and my new spiritual friend is this, I’d left a text note for him to read later. The note was a short synopsis of my understanding of “Paul’s thorn in the flesh” and I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. I told him if he agreed with this to just disregard my note. What happened was that he didn’t read or understand what I’d said in my text note, and became irate, accusing me of “being a rebellious woman in the church and one of those women who usurp male authority in the church”, as well as some other accusatory, nasty and overweening remarks aimed directly at me. This floored me, and cut to the quick. I was not only astonished but felt attacked and falsely accused…..which I was.

I have been abused by both women as well as men in the church, but this frankly, was a new experience. I had let my guard down and this woman hating predator got through the door. I sent him a note in text, politely explaining my position and that in no way was I or ever had been a rebellious woman seeking to usurp male authority.
He sent back a lame excuse. I began trying to quietly shy away from him. The trust had been broken. However, not satisfied he came back and contacted me again and began criticizing me, telling me what I should think, what I should do, and “to obey”, not exactly explaining whom I should “obey”, but rather indirectly indicating it should be him.

By this time, I am wanting out. And also by this time, his true colors are showing and he is in full attack, wolf mode and begins to rip me up, telling me everything, (in his opinion), that I’ve done wrong, and what is wrong with me, and that I’m not really “walking in the spirit”.

After this last attack, I sent him back a note saying that Jesus would never talk to me, or treat me the way he did, and that I was not going to accept being spiritually abused in this way. After that, apparently he realized he was not going to be able to dominate me or manipulate me, and so sent back a hateful note with more accusations telling me I was not willing to accept “admonition”, (a handy buzz word for handing you your lunch), and then blocked me from further contact with him, as if that were going to be a problem for me. I was grateful it was over. However…there was the aftermath to deal with.

The aftermath was and is the old spiritual wounds this man left in his wake. Old wounds from the past abuse I thought were healed and now have found out they were still lurking under the surface, and this man ripped them open again. Now, I am praying,Jesus, just please come and love me, comfort me, heal me once again. And LORD, I thank you that you revealed to me what was going on, and that I have the right not to obey mean and cruel commands set up by those assuming false authority in your name. Or accept down in my heart false accusations of wrong doing, by those who would make sad those you haven’t made sad. And also, Jesus, I don’t know who or what made this man the way he is, but please convict him, heal him but keep him from hurting anyone else this way”.

Friends, there is a reason for having healthy boundaries in our lives and guarding our inner circle. Please pray for wisdom and discernment in all your relationships. There are spiritual abusers out there who will cut your soul down to the roots if you allow them to. If you see you’ve opened the door to one of these…back out, run away quickly and never forget to ask the Lord Jesus Christ for help and protection. He is our gentle and good shepherd. He is our protection from wolves that wish to rip us to shreds, and He will never do anything to spiritually hurt and wound us.