Monday, May 29, 2017

"The Greatest of These"

"The Greatest of These"

When I read this article, it kind of impacted me a bit, because I talked about some of the same issues in the "Where is the love article?" The church system is burning out many.  Some without any knowledge of where Mystery Babylon exists, are walking out in their fatigue and misery. Unfundamentalist Christian is a website, I am familiar with, while they do talk about some of the harmful things in evangelical Christianity, I do not agree with all their stances.

I posted this article to some friends, these are close friends, and said, "Look at this article, this is the loss of faith, that achievement and competition oriented American Christianity leads to". She may be a better "Christian" then the spiritual abusers who led her to this place. I had a weird thought while reading this, when she wrote, "I was doing things right and that counted for something". Even in the evangelical world, the works gospel can sneak in, not in good works but even just the contest to be a "good Christian" and this constant pressure to "Measure Up", this can lead to people massively burning out.

We cannot have a faith that is centered on "what we do or achieve", that is non-faith, it will be decimated, one's faith should be based on what Jesus Christ has done. In this article you can see where the vestiges of the prosperity gospel impacted her, this was the same as me when spiritual abusers told me I had to remove all sin in my life and have more faith to end the poverty and health problems.

"I am not a very good Christian any more.
I used to think that under it all, I was doing the things right and that counted for something. That it counted for a lot.
I wanted God’s blessing and God’s protection, and to get those one must do all the things just so, or try to. God forgives those who are trying to do the things just so, but fail, so he still protects and blesses the trying.
Now I don’t do all the things just so. Now I don’t try. I got exhausted somewhere in my soul, doing right and finding no harvest. No protection. No blessing. All this doing the things right got me exactly nowhere and I feel betrayed.
Doing the things just so made me feel better than those who didn’t. I tried not to let it, but it did.
Doing the things just so made me feel ashamed when I failed, which was all the time.
I can’t do the things that make God love me; can’t show my love by obeying. Someone tells me he does anyway, that he always did."

The focus on doing, and achieving and measuring up, is destroying faith. It's "god" as a parent who only "loves" a child for what they achieve or what narcissistic supply they can give him. Can one have a real relationship in that way? It is impossible. People who come from families where they are rejected for not being a straight A student or getting a six figure career or not being healthy or "perfect" enough, definitely have been hung out to dry. As one of my commenters wrote me, real love comes from God.  When she wrote, "I can't do the things that make God love me", it made me feel sad for her.

"These theologians. Spiritual pundits. These writers and speakers and church-leading-noise-makers teach me how best to manage the shame of failing to be like them–that is to say, like they say they are. I do the things they tell me God hates, and I wonder if he loves anyway. They predict doom for me. They do. I do. It’s easy to believe in doom. All the things they say are so intertwined with lies and shame that I am too weak to separate and pull out.
The shame makers taught me that faith is a thing in itself to amass. They taught me to hope in a mirage. That love is made perfect by shame.
I can’t sit through a “worship service”–that glorious production of music and exposition–because I am exhausted from the work of shame. I came to find community, not a dissection of God’s rules about who is in and who is out. I can’t watch the show.
I need to find people who know how it feels to have love exchanged for abuse and shame. When I find them, I know I find people who know how to love."

She's right about the use of shame from the false preachers in the pulpits. Surely in faith one is led to repent of sins, but there is a different kind of toxic shame, the religious narcissists can impose upon others with the main message being that other human beings are "inferior" and this implicit message within that they are "not good enough for God" even after salvation. I realized within myself, that those who focused on "fixing" me and telling me I was "not good enough" for God or society did a lot of damage. Sadly for people whose entire focus in life is the contest and "winning", they naturally elevate themselves over others. Spirit abusers impose false shame, and promote themselves as "perfect" having no humility or spirit of humbleness. She speaks of her rejection of "the show", the entertainment in the church. She desires love, I definitely shared like feelings in the "where is the love" article.

Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

9 comments:

Debra said...

It's funny when Christians want to Lord over you and pretend to be at a higher standing before God just because they go to a church building. But all the while outside the building they walk just like the world. They act pompous to make sure you know where you stand in their eyes. I say funny as a matter of speech but really it is rather sickening.,I think competitiveness began with Cain and Abel. Not on Abel's part of course.

Anonymous said...

Jesus said to abide in him and we will bear fruit. Of course repentance from our sin is necessary but the will of the Father is to believe on the one he sent and thereby the works of God will be manifested through us. If we compare ourselves and our works with the members of a church organization and their ideal of what being a good Christian looks like, then we are going to have a lot of grief because that work will not be done in God but according to the will of men. The truth is both hard to take and liberating. Hard because it means we suffer in the flesh but liberating because there is no worse bondage than bondage to the flesh and its unrighteous demands. I hope this woman overcomes all that she's suffered for in the deception of these babel houses and comes to know the love of God in Truth and in Spirit. - Dai

Debra said...

Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
God doesn't want our tassels, flowing robes, prayers to be seen in the market place. He doesnt want our outward appearance of Godliness but all the while denying His power within our hearts. He just wants our hearts. All else resembles the Pharisees, doing works to be seen by men. God is not far off that we need to struggle to find Him. We cannot earn His love or faithfulness. That type of mindset is more like performance based love. Yes, we are to show our love by our obedience but it is out of love for Him that we do so not out of striving to gain His approval.

Anonymous said...

I can understand why that person would feel that way. I left the church about 2 years ago, having labels- bipolar, autistic, anxiety- that made me a target for the worst church people. It was actually through a post on a spiritual abusers social media page that I found this blog. I struggle to understand grace. I spend lotsa time in the Christian fringe world, and I have noticed that they are just as legalistic, just as merciless, as the churches I left.This blog is safe. Please, keep the faith Bible Believer. you are an encouragement, as are the others whose comments I read. I will stay strong too. And if you grow too weary,please leave the archives here for us. AERW

Debra said...

We spoke with a gentleman who said he would never go to a church. He said it was a money making scam and does not believe in any of it. Later in our conversation he said he believed in God and in Jesus.

So what we find are "temples" created by men that many in the world find offensive because all they see is a business operating under the guise of a religious organization. No wonder it is tainted with defilement since the presentation is all based upon receiving funds. I remember a realtor coming to our home 10 years ago while the market was crashing. She pulled out some statistics and said you are in the LOWER 1/3 of homeowners in price within this valley. She was a regular attendee of the mega church near us.

I thought why would she have to bring this up in the first place? She told us she lived in a particular Country Club to let us know the type of home she had. That type of representation of a church would turn anyone off from going there. I also remember being in a store and I had to give the zip code at the time. The person looked at me and said, "I live in ______ zip code. Again I thought are you trying to prove you are a better person than me because you live in a different zip code? It's really creepy that it has all boiled down to this rather than loving your neighbor as yourself.

All this behavior is fueled by competition and pride. There is a lot of it going on everywhere. Some believers want to squash you like a bug so they feel like a bigger bug. The world does the same thing too. You don't know that you'e been slimmed until you toss it around in your head because you can't believe anyone would intentionally do or say such a thing.

When we know our position in Christ we do not enter into the world of jealousy, competition, pride or comparisons. We are loved and valued by God and no one can bring you down or bring you up higher because we are already seated in the heavenlies with Christ. We are His beloved bride who He cherishes.

The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall NOT want... said...

Miss Debra,

I concur with you.

One of the many reasons I too left church was because the portion of testimonies in the church service sounded more like a show off. In other words, because they have faith in Christ, therefore, they have the perfect life, job, income, etc.

Yet the WORD of God shows that this is not so. Jesus told the rich young man to sell all he had, give the money to the poor and follow him (Jesus). (Matthew 19:21).

Jesus says those who forsake all for his sake shall receive eternal life (Matthew 19:29). This allows us believers not to be attached to material/worldly possessions and use them as our definition of our faith in God.

Debra said...

From Ecclesia.org:
Churches are Businesses
All Churches, including the incorporated Church, unincorporated Church, unregistered Church, etc., are under the jurisdiction of man. These Churches define themselves in particular ways that you do not find in scripture. In other words, Christ did not define his ekklesia to be those things. These designations were created by the natural man, because Christ never defines His ekklesia to be incorporated or unincorporated. The laws of man have jurisdiction over the Church because they are man-made terms, and man has jurisdiction over man-made things. Whoever creates something is the same who controls something, and he retains the authority and the power to alter or destroy at will. So, if man creates an organization, no matter what he calls it, then man controls it. If God creates an organization, then He is the one who should control it.

If a church is incorporated by the State, they are legally defined as a business. And they are doing business on the so-called "Lord's day," which is prohibited by God. One of the evidences to show that they are truly a business, even if they are not incorporated, is that they want the money up front. In other words, they pass the plate before they even preach the Word of God. That's limited liability on their part, that's business, that's commercial activity, that's selling the word of God.

In other words, "I have the money up front, and if you don't like what I have to say, too bad. Even if I don't preach the Word of God, too bad. It doesn't matter, I already got my money. Besides, you won't know any different because I'm going to throw "Jesus Christ" in there now and then to make it 'sound' good. It'll look just like the Pharisees looked. I'll tickle your ears (2 Timothy 4:3-4)."

One of the original reasons for incorporating back in 1810 were things like, "I'm a pastor and I need a salary. I don't want to be paid by fee anymore. I want my guarantee of making a living at this." Which is directly against scripture. We're not supposed to make a living from the Gospel. Paul made tents! That calling was used to get him across from place to place to preach the gospel. Paul did not run up to people and say, "Hey! Give me 5 bucks and I'll tell you what it's all about." Today's pastor basically does that. When you walk into a church today, the church passes around a collection plate and basically compells you to give them money to hear what they have to say. And if you don't give any money, you are looked down upon by others. Churches have even told its congregation that it is a sin if you do not give them money (tithe). What you hear from modern pulpits is nothing more than what's called a sophist, which means "one who preaches ethics for payment." The Gospel is a life (1 Corinthians 9:14). If you are living the gospel, how do you make money off it? If you're living something you can't charge for it, because people see the witness that you bear, because you see and do things differently.

Debra said...

Second part of Ecclesia.org
A State Church is a Church that is recognized by the State, serves the State, provides revenue for the State, and serves a public purpose that is not contrary to established public policy. State Churches are registered with the State, with tax identification numbers. State Churches are producers of revenue for the State by paying taxes to assure the alleged solvency of the tax system. Taxable organizations are answerable to the government, open to the inspection and dictates of the government. State Churches are agents of the State by confiscating and remitting to the State taxes that the State has ordered the Church to confiscate. State Churches are servants of the State by keeping records for and remitting records to the State. Most Churches today, whether incorporated or not, are State Churches.

Acts 7:44-52 is what Stephen preached just before being stoned to death. He said that God "dwelleth not in temples made with hands" (Acts 7:48). In other words, God does not dwell in "Churches" or any other buildings, our body is now the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells within us (Romans 8:9-11, 1 Corinthians 3:16,17; 6:19-20, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Revelation 21:3). Believers are now "God's building" (1 Corinthians 3:9, 1 Peter 2:5, Ephesians 2:19-22). We are to glorify God in our body in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24, 1 Corinthians 6:20), not in buildings made with man's hands.

Hosea 8:6, "...the workman made it; therefore it is not God."
Isaiah 17:7-8, "At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made..."

We should not localize God:

Acts 7:49, "Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?"
1 Kings 8:27, "…behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?"

The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall NOT want... said...

Amen!