A Response To Christians Who Are Done With Church

You hear it all the time.

I’m done with church.

I don’t really need to go to church…my relationship with God is personal.

I’ve had it with organized religion.

The church is a man-made invention, not God’s idea.

I completely understand why a growing number of people are bailing on church. Even people who used to lead in the church often stop attending (here are 9 reasons why church leaders do that).

We’ve spent a lot of time working through the issue of declining church attendance (and growing disillusionment with the church) on this blog and in my leadership podcast. (For a summary of the issues, here’s a piece on the 10 reasons even committed church attenders are attending church less often).

I get it.

The church is far from perfect. Life is complex. There are growing options. And the post-modern mind distrusts most things organized or institutional.

But as trendy as the idea of writing off the church may be, it’s a mistake.

While writing off the church passes as sophisticated thinking, it’s actually the opposite; what if it’s a simplistic and even reductionistic line of thinking that leads nowhere constructive?

The church isn’t even biblical, is it?

People argue the idea of church isn’t even biblical.

So let’s start with the basics.

First if you’re a Christian, church is not something you go to. It’s something you are.

You can’t disassociate from church as a Christian anymore than you can disassociate from humanity as a person.

You don’t go to church. You are the church.

Second, the church was not a human invention. Half-reading the New Testament with one eye closed will still lead you to the inescapable conclusion that the church was God’s idea.

In fact, most of the New Testament is not about the teachings of Jesus. It’s about the work of the church that Jesus initiated and ordained. I won’t fill this post with scripture verses that prove my point, because, quite frankly, you’d have to get rid of the majority of the New Testament to argue that the church was a parenthetical, made-up organization.

If you want to get rid of the church, you also need to get rid of Jesus.

You can’t have one without the other.

Maybe what bothers you should actually amaze you

I understand that the idea of the church being imperfect makes some people despair.

But rather than making us despair, the fact that Jesus started the church with imperfect people should make us marvel at God’s incredible grace.

That God would use ordinary, broken human beings as vessels of his grace, and delight in it is awe-inspiring. He’s proud of how his grace is beating through your imperfect-but-redeemed life and through the church (have you ever read Ephesians 3: 10-11?).

The idea that God would use you and me is pretty amazing. He had other options.

He could have spoken to the world directly, but instead chose to use broken people to showcase his grace to a world in need of redemption.

For sure, community is messy.

People sin. Leaders are sinful.

Most of the New Testament is not a story of an idealized church where everything worked perfectly all the time (just read 1 Corinthians any time you’re frustrated with your church).

Most of the New Testament is a story of Jesus using his followers to spread his love in spite of themselves and as they overcome obstacle after obstacle.

The fact that Christ uses flawed people to accomplish his work on earth is actually a sign of his grace, not a sign of his absence.

The church’s story, as twisted as it gets at times, is a beautiful story of God’s grace, God’s power and God’s redemption.

So, by the way, is your life, which reflects the story of the church more than you would want to admit.

The church gives the world a front row seat to the grace of God.

The ultimate consumerism isn’t going to church…it’s walking away from it

People criticize the church today as being consumeristic. And to some extent, churches cater to consumerism—often to our detriment. I agree that consumerism is a problem for Christianity.

But ironically, much of the dialogue about why people are done with church pushes people deeper into Christian consumerism than it pushes them into deeper discipleship: Here I am, all alone, worshipping God on my schedule when it’s convenient for me.

Listening to a podcast of your favourite preacher while you’re at the gym or on the back deck and pushing three of your favourite worship songs through your ear buds does not make you a more passionate Christ follower.

It usually makes you a less effective one.

Disconnecting yourself from community is actually less faithful than connecting yourself to a flawed community.

If you think the church today isn’t enough (and arguably, we need to reform it), then do what the early Christians did.

If you want a more biblical church…don’t gather weekly, gather daily. Before dawn.

Get up before the sun rises to pray together with other Christians before you go to work. Pool your possessions. Don’t claim anything as your own.

Be willing to lose your job, your home, your family and even your life because you follow Jesus.

Then you’ll be more authentic.

And notice that the early church did indeed gather. 

Gathering always leads to some form of organizing.

To pretend the church doesn’t need to be organized is as logical arguing that society doesn’t need to be organized.

Because community is inevitable, organization is inevitable.

Our ability to organize and to accomplish more together than we can alone is one of the crowning achievements of humanity, and our ability to work together makes Christian effort far more effective. 

It’s also part of God’s design for how we should interact while we’re on this planet. Come to think of it, heaven is a community too.

The only one who wants us to believe that we are better off alone is our enemy.

If you really think about it, it’s actually a very clever tactic.

The church has helped even those who resent the church

Finally, if you’re reading this article and you have any modicum of faith in Jesus, may I suggest your faith is actually the result of the mission of the church.

Very few people come to know Jesus because he appears to them supernaturally when they are alone and calls them by name.

Does that ever happen? Sure. But not to 99.9% of us.

Almost all of us who follow Jesus have had our lives changed by a flawed body called the church that Jesus so passionately loves and calls his own.

Think about that.

We need more church

Do we need more churches? Yes.

Do we need more humble churches? We do.

Do you we need authentic, transparent leadership? Absolutely.

Does the church need to change? Without a doubt.

The church needs continual reformation and transformation.

So what will the future look like?

Will we gather in quite the way we do today in the future? In some ways yes; in others, no.

Hopefully we gather more frequently and work through our differences at a deeper level and impact our communities more powerfully.

These two posts offer 10 predictions about future church attendance and 11 traits of churches that will impact the future.

But regardless of how the church gathers in the future, we will gather…we need to gather.

We Christians need each other, probably now more than ever.

And even if you don’t think you need other Christians, I promise you you do, and so does our world.

Now, more than ever, the world needs Christian working together humbly under Christ to lead people into a growing relationship with him, in whatever innovate and fresh forms that takes.

The church is not dead.

Far from it.

Maybe it’s just beginning to take shape for a brand new era that desperately needs it.

868 Comments

  1. Mary on November 5, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I’ve been a Catholic, a Muslim, and a Christian. None of them led me to God. As a matter of fact, I was depressed, looking at how no one really cared for the name of the LORD, they only claimed to obey.
    It wasn’t until I left all man made religions and their places of of worship that I seeked and cried out for the LORD, I wanted the truth, the truth that the Holy Spirit is to teach us, just as is written. Also written “you need no man to teach you”
    He answered me in a dream, he showed me the evil that flies in and out of religious buildings, he showed me the spiritual part that we can’t see. He showed me these places filled with dead man’s bones and witchcraft. I wondered, why? Then the Holy Spirit started teaching me why…. he took me through the scriptures, revealing lies and also the whole point this world has missed, because they have decided to follow the ways of the world, the ways the world has always worshiped. Since Moses time, you will see that God always gave very specific instructions for any place or thing that would be used for His worship/His name. Anything he did not give instructions to use for His name, was and is to this very day, an abomination to the LORD. Also, the things and place that God did authorize for the use of His name, humans ALWAYS DEFILED THEM. So when Christ died on the cross and the veil to the place God authorized for His name, ripped in half, that represented the tearing away of the kingdom and the kingdom of heaven given to Christ, took hold. Our bodies then became the only authorized by God temple of the Holy Spirit. Christ teaches to this very day, that we’re not to take up titles on this earth to make ourselves superior to our bretheren. The titles of pastor, evangelist, prophet and so on, belong to the kingdom of heaven and should never be used on this earth to mislead and covet souls we did not die for, to ourselves, in an unauthorized by God, place of worship. Christ can do the works of these titles through any of his followers, but we never see the apostles calling themselves; pastor Paul, youth pastor Paul, senior pastor Paul, pope Paul (pope isn’t even used in scriptures), Rabbi, evangelist Paul. Go back and see how the apostles introduce themselves to other called out ones, in their letters. They don’t use titles that lift them up, that would be a thing of the world, and we were called out to Christ. If Christ is our only mediator and the head of his own body, why on earth would we go to some prideful person with a man given title? I’ve been given tasks directly from the Lord, why on earth would I go do what a man made religion and man titled religious leader tells me to do. I believe in the ressurection of Christ, he is the one teaching me via the Holy Spirit sent by God, in the name of Christ. Why would I worship in a place that people call “house of the LORD/God” when I know it’s a great big lie and rebellion against God? Why would I leave the fellowship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to fellowship with darkness?
    Why would I leave my bretheren who walk in the light? It’s Christ’s body, he is very much alive and able to kick out any evil that tries to enter his own body. I am in him and he is in me. I will never seek after another leader, who isn’t the good shepherd, savior, and the only way, truth, and life. All religious leaders, who slapped a title to their own name, are self condemned, because they never did believe in the ressurection, if they had believed, they would be taught and led by Christ himself. They would gather with the bretheren around the world, from their own authorized temple (their body) they would eat of the spiritual bread sent from heaven, Christ.
    To build a place that God nor Christ gave authority for their names to be used in, is an abomination and rebellion against God. It’s like your spouse going to their lover’s house and forsaking your own house.
    In this case, you have forsaken the true body of Christ and made up your own.
    Do not call child sexual abusing, fornicating, adulterous places of worship “house of the LORD” repent and seek God, through Christ. You cannot serve God through Christ while busy serving a religion and it’s own place of worship.
    This is why God says over and over “my people have gone whoring, and have forsaken this place, that I made for my name” now, it’s the kingdom of heaven, where no human can defile.
    Acts 7:48 the Most High dwells not in temples (places of worship) made by human hands.
    Jeremiah 17 : 5 cursed is the one who trusts in man.
    Learn away from alll religions and all man titled preachers and their traditions. Learn from the Holy Spirit. Gather in the light, with the rest of Christ’s body. Let the Spirit guide you on what you’re to do. We’re never to covet another man’s household, much less his wife, to ourselves, in an unbiblical and unauthorized by God, place of worship.
    In a man made place of worship, we do not know the personal lives of the people, some we know are false bretheren, yet we worship with them? When scripture says “come out from amongst then, and be ye separate” and also written “have no fellowship with darkness” also written “you must go to the place I choose, for my name”
    Sorry this is long, but I do as the Spirit guides, if you’re being called out by the LORD, then this is for you, check it, confirm it, and do it without the ways of the world interfering. Just you and the Holy Spirit. Adam and Eve needed no place of worship nor did they need a bible, they just had the LORD. Return to your 1st love.

    • Zack on November 7, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Mary,

      that was a great comment and I can really relate to your lengthy post.

      I’d like to chat further on the subject if you’re open to it.

      I can be reached here: ModernDiscernment.com/contact

      In Christ,
      -Zack

    • Hilton on November 10, 2018 at 3:04 am

      All my other comments Mary are awaiting moderation. (might be because of email addresses) I found your article thrilling and good confirmation to me about my directions. If you would like please email me ihavelights then the at symbol and the gmail bit on the end. Thanks

      God bless you. How did He lead you to find other body members of like mind and heart?

    • fessdo on November 17, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Mary,
      This is what happens to the churches that focus on works as a way to salvation. You will always have a person with a work mentality ask “what about James writings” but they really haven’t study what James was talking about. James is addressing Christians from Jerusalem. There is a famine going on, the same famine that Paul was collecting money for from the congregations in Greece and Asia. So he is exhorting fellow Christians to care for their brothers and sisters. He is not saying that you need to do works to be saved, but rather that God has commanded us to take care of the poor and needy, and provoking the thought that if you are not obeying God, are you truly saved? We are justified solely by faith, and because of the grace of God. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
      However, if we are not changed, and obeying God, including caring for the poor, has God really saved us?

    • Aldean on November 17, 2018 at 9:19 am

      The christan church goesers build there unity. Aroind the cross symble christion solders. The last crusade the Germans in the late 30’s and early 40’s. They raleyed with the USA to join in with them. The cross is an earthly symble. God is in the sperit. From the time of Mossis the ten camadments God made it clear that He was not asociated with a wordly symble or objek. The christans insist on the using cross. Brimstone and fire distruction so bad that the servivers wont be able to bury all the dead.

      • fessdo on November 17, 2018 at 10:47 am

        Aldean,
        Please give us your code book to the words you wrote.

        Thanks,

  2. Dale on November 1, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    1 Corinthians 7:19 KJV This verse and the verses around it tell us Not to get cicumcized. Not to obey Old Testament commandments. Galatians tells us that if we do we are making Christ of no effect and falling from Grace! So what are the commandments and more importantly HOW can we obey them? It’s not the ten commandments as Jesus asked for much higher when He said that hating your brother is murdering and looking at a woman to lust after her is adultery.
    A new commandment I give unto you that you LOVE one another as I have loved you. Loving God and loving people is the ONLY way to come to the purity and standards of our Lord. Only by a thorough work of the Holy Spirit can a man be free from lust and even the slightest dislike that can fester into hate.
    Love is the first fruit of the Spirit shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
    Trying harder to keep laws will actually produce sin as the commandment uses the sinful nature to produce more sin. This is not a pedal harder Gospel but jump in the plane of the spirit and fly above it all. Walk in the spirit and you will NOT fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Only true Holy Spirit intimacy and love will keep my heart from seeking false intimacy of fleshly lusts.
    If you love truly and abide in the vine you will obey all. What commandment can’t be obeyed through the true love of God in us? I challenge my dear brothers and sisters in this matter. Love peace and grace to both Gregg and Fessdo.

    • fessdo on November 2, 2018 at 7:50 am

      Dale,
      For years and years I did the “pedal harder gospel” till one day I burnt out. I can’t count the people who had tried to tell me about grace but with my prideful mind I wouldn’t listen I just pedal harder to prove them wrong. Then one day thanks to God I received grace, a grace that God gives to the willing humble, and as a bonus a rest that passes all understanding came with it. There is a great difference between know about something and receiving it.

      • Gregg Powers on November 2, 2018 at 10:10 am

        Dale do not be deceived. What fessdo teaches is NOT what scripture teaches – it is what men teach. A true and living faith causes us to follow the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads us to obey to love our fellow men with actions, not words. This is what scripture teaches. Friend do not follow men. Follow ALL of scripture.

        • fessdo on November 2, 2018 at 6:20 pm

          Dale,
          Gregg’s teaching would be spot on if you take Jesus out of the picture.

          • Gregg Powers on November 2, 2018 at 6:33 pm

            and your’s would be spot on if you took scripture out of the picture…..praying you do not mislead more….



    • Gregg Powers on November 2, 2018 at 10:16 am

      It does tell is what you say but also reaffirms Paul’s point to keep the moral law. Are you really saying before God that it is okay to murder? to steal? No you keep these because the Holy Spirit leads you to do so. The commandments have been restated over and over in the NT. Why? It is because we are to follow them as a part of loving God and loving man. Even what you quote about love is the EXACT same. If you murder your brother are you loving him? No, you are following the commandments which show love. This is why Jesus taught that to love God first and foremost and brothers as ourselves embraces the law and the prophets. In fact Jesus taught that the law of the spirit is even more encompassing then the commands. The commands of the moral law embrace loving others. So we play a game before God when we insist that we need not follow the commandments but must love other. THEY ARE THE SAME.

      • fessdo on November 2, 2018 at 6:22 pm

        Gregg,
        Unlike your ancestors, you didn’t come to Mount Sinai—all that volcanic blaze and earthshaking rumble—to hear God speak. The earsplitting words and soul-shaking message terrified them and they begged him to stop. When they heard the words—“If an animal touches the Mountain, it’s as good as dead”—they were afraid to move. Even Moses was terrified.
        No, that’s not your experience at all. You’ve come to Mount Zion, the city where the living God resides. The invisible Jerusalem is populated by throngs of festive angels and Christian citizens. It is the city where God is Judge, with judgments that make us just. You’ve come to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant. The murder of Jesus, unlike Abel’s—a homicide that cried out for vengeance—became a proclamation of grace.

        • Gregg Powers on November 2, 2018 at 6:36 pm

          you refuse to look at the breadth of scripture. fessdo for your own sake and the others you teach, you must read all scripture. do not be a cafeteria christian who believes the points you want and ignore the rest. obedience and works both proceed from a true and living faith led by the Holy Spirit.

          • fessdo on November 2, 2018 at 7:11 pm

            God’s decision to send Jesus to earth to suffer, die, and rise again was for what in you book?



  3. Doesn't Matter on November 1, 2018 at 10:34 am

    The church epistles were not written to organizations in different areas. They were written to the body of believers that were in that area. The church (in the grace administration of the bible), is the body of Christ (Us, the body of believers). The “church” is not a bunch of competing non profits, with pastors comparing attendance numbers instead of dick size…which is what we have in America today. American Christian doctrine and culture sucks! Gods love for us is so one sided, as demonstrated in the fact that He gave His one and only Son! (Jesus really is the son of God by the way, not God pretending to be His own son, but that’s another issue). People can’t stand the one-sidedness of the gospel, and the idea of them not getting partial credit for their salvation eats them up. So, they build a “ministry” with their own name all over it, and glory in all the things they are doing for God. What a joke. The story begins and ends with Gods love for us and how awesome HE is. Sorry to all the pop-christians out there ‘peddling the word of God for profit’ ( I think the Word has something to say about that too).

    • fessdo on November 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      Doesn’t Matter,
      You’ve done it now saying “the idea of them not getting partial credit for their salvation eats them up” you’ll be hearing from old (working my way to heaven Gregg) he’s wrote a book you know, have you?

      • Gregg Powers on November 1, 2018 at 6:47 pm

        sounds more consistent with scripture for 1 Corinthians 7:19

        • fessdo on November 1, 2018 at 6:59 pm

          there maybe hope
          Gregg made a joke

  4. none of yer business on October 14, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Reasons i left an episcopal church:

    Leadership that was cliquish and self serving catering to the vestry
    Disengaged from the poor in their midst and those with mental illness despite being very mentally ill themselves (yet with a superior attitude at all times)
    A priest who was self involved followed by a priest who rude, mentally ill, and harassed someone followed by a priest who was rude and self serving – three narcissists in a row
    Rude comments made to me by most of the women in the church who hated me for being younger and prettier
    Sermons that failed to do anything but kiss the ass of the vestry (who often gave money to projects and expected to get that reward back in the form of ass kissing)
    Comments from too many ppl putting down the poor (the church itself was in a poor area, but the ppl attending it were rich)
    A high school attitude esp from the horrible women who attended the church
    The few good nice folks weren’t enough to make up for all the shit including being overlooked when i worked on projects with no “thanks” from the woman who ran the toy drive
    Christians are my least favourite ppl in this world and the most hypocritical, self-righteous, and obnoxious and most are awful ppl
    I’ve met far nicer heathens, atheists, and agnostics (seriously)
    Church folk are just bigoted jerks, period

    • fessdo on October 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      none of yer business,
      Don’t hold back tell us what you really feel about church folks.

    • Virginia Burshaw on October 19, 2018 at 11:12 pm

      When the churches made an agreement with this Luciferian system that is when they made the hugest mistake and also when they asked Baal for permission to register for the 501(C)3 then they threw Christ out and became one with the system. Scripture says we can’t serve two masters, so see what they have done? Come out of her my people and touch not the unclean thing, she has become the habitation of every unclean thing. The leaders sold themselves out for 30 pieces of silver instead of letting Christ be the head of the body. Shame on the leaders, judgment is beginning with you. You leaders have betrayed the sheep, woe to you! The church is supposed to moving in power and authority, what a joke, you don’t see God moving in these dead churches, just a lot of talk and no power, from such turn away.

      • fessdo on October 20, 2018 at 7:33 am

        Virginia,
        You hit the nail on the head with the taxes. I’ve always believed that the church should pay taxes. When Jesus answered the Pharisees about taxes He said “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God” but what is the churches doing?,,, hiding behind the 501 c 3 nonprofit organizations. Yet if a poor member gets in a money bind the church will be quick to tell him too ” believe in God to fulfill their need” or ” God is more than able to take care of your little money problem brother just have faith.” You just want to say “You hypocrites!” and walk away. Churches should be an examples to live by, but todays church rule is “Do as I say not as I do”. Very sad times.

        • Virginia Burshaw on October 20, 2018 at 2:18 pm

          Yes, my brother, they have sold themselves out to Lucifer and so God is not blessing these 501(C)3 churches. Scripture says not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers!! So asking the unbelievers for something that already belongs to the church. When the churches made an agreement with this Luciferian system that is when they made the hugest mistake and also, when they asked Baal for permission to register for the 501©3 tax exempt status, then they threw Christ out of the church and became one with the system. Scripture says we can’t serve two masters, so see what they have done? Come out of her my people and touch not the unclean thing, she has become the habitation of every unclean thing. Revelations:18-4. The leaders sold themselves out for 30 pieces of silver instead of letting Christ be the head of the body. Shame on the leaders, judgment is beginning with you. You leaders have betrayed the sheep, woe to you! The church is supposed to be moving in power and authority, what a joke, you don’t see God moving in these dead churches, just a lot of talk and no power, from such turn away. Only the baptism in the Holy Spirit that we all need in order to do the works that Jesus did. He said, ye shall receive power , after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me. Acts 1:8. If we stay in dead churches and accept their dead dogma, we will be partakers of her sins, so we need to find a gathering of believers who are moving in the power and authority that Jesus gave us, if not , we need to gather in our homes and let God do what He wants to do, not what man wants to do. We need to bring back the Acts experience so the world can see that God is still on the throne and that He is alive, not dead, we need the gifts of the Spirit operating in order to bring people to Christ, without them we are a dead church, run from these dead churches and find one that is alive and moving in the gifts of the Spirit. Remember the scripture in Acts 1:5, Jesus said : For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the HOLY GHOST not many days hence. How clear is that? We need this baptizing in the Spirit or we cannot be effective for the Lord. There is nothing more glorious than to see God move amongst His people in a gathering, it is life-changing and brings us closer to Christ. Be ye doers of the word, not hearers only!

        • Peggy on October 28, 2018 at 4:37 pm

          I worried constantly about the fact that my mortgage and tithe offerings allowed me to pay no taxes. Finally, a loving sister took me aside and asked me if I was doing something illegal. Of course, I was not.

          Is a 501c3 illegal? No, it isn’t. The non-profit has rendered unto Caesar what Caesar legally requires.

          I do not believe the government would reject any extra money you feel personally obligated to send. However, If you have a neighbor that has kids and little money for school supplies or a backpack or have a favorite charity, couldn’t that extra money be put to better use?

          My church offers haircuts to children in the poorest school in my town. We purchase backpacks and school supplies and socks. At the Christmas holiday, we gather up a bundle of food supplies to keep the kids fed during the school break. This comes from gifts, not tithes . It’s a party atmosphere. The kids get an abundance of love, parents grateful and relieved and the church folks love the opportunity to help those who are in such need.

          Blessings on you!

          • Hilton on October 29, 2018 at 6:54 am

            Thanks Peggy for your input. That’s marvellous that your church is doing things like that in your community. I can’t say that many of the churches I belonged to in the past 50 years did anything like it. I wish they would have. I think what people are saying here is that they would rather belong to a living organism that is spontaneous, creative and being what He wants us to be. Unfortunately many churches end up being more like a corporation or robotic arm where most of the money goes to the few workers or as bank interest to the lenders for big buildings. They lord it over the people spending and directing the resources as they see fit. If we are wrong then we should see vibrant communities across the world growing an expanding in numbers fruit and love -shining forth the light and liberty of our dear Saviour. So many things that happen in the normal church each Sunday are not in the New Testament and most leaders and people are very unwilling to let go of them. God bless you as you seek Him and serve in your local community. Keep being the treasure that He wants us to be . Blessings to you too sister.



    • NE1 on October 24, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      none of yer business, while I don’t agree with your choice of words, I hear your heart and understand completely. I’m 49 and I’ve known The Lord for over 20 years. But for all of those years I have felt, not like a fish out of water, but a fish in outer space! I have longed for a church family to belong to but as of yet, I have not found one. After visiting many churches and staying at a few for a while, I have simply grown weary of ‘playing church.’ It’s unfortunate but it’s very difficult to find people who will cut the facade and just be normal and real.
      Yes, I know, “No church is perfect!”
      Yes, I know, ” You have to stop looking for the negatives and look at the positives.”
      Yes, I know, “Ask not what they church can do for you but ask what you can do for the church.”
      Yes, I know, “Do not forsake the gathering of yourselves….”
      Yada, Yada, Yada! I’ve heard it all and I could preach a sermon on the topic of your choice.

      A few years ago I felt like I was the only one who felt this way. Then I found out there’s a growing group of Christians called “The Dones,” as in done with Church (or done with playing church). Over the years, many times, rather than go to church, I will simply gather my family around the table, read the bible and pray.

      Keep in mind, I’m not advocating for Lone Ranger Christianity. I do want to become party of a group of Christians who love each other, honor God’s word and support each other. I just haven’t found it. I have been praying for over 20 years and until I find where The Lord wants me, where I don’t feel like a square peg in a round hole, I’ll keep praying, serving The Lord, sharing the Gospel, and searching.

      Blessings!

      • Heather kell on October 29, 2018 at 11:34 pm

        You can always set up your own Home Church ?

        I feel sorry for your experience and also your current attitude

        Follow Jesus and trust Him

    • Heather kell on October 29, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      I feel sorry for your experience and also your current attitude

      Follow Jesus and trust Him

    • Connie Anderson on October 31, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      I am sorry that you had such a terriable experience. Please don’t think that all Christians are bad spirited. And yes the devil is in the church. When you decide to pray and have God to lead you where he wants you to attend….you will have to keep your eyes on Jesus and not on flesh. God’s eyes are on you and you will only give an account for what you do. Do all things as you are doing them for Jesus. Don’t expect thanks and praises from people. Flesh will always let you down. GOD SEES YOU AND KNOWS YOUR HEART. HE SEES WHAT YOU DO. HE IS ELOHEIM. HE WILLL REWARD YOU. REBUCKE THE devil AND KEEP SERVING GOD!!!!! We need you to help show Jesus in this lost world. God bless you..

      • Dale on October 31, 2018 at 3:20 pm

        Well said Connie

      • fessdo on October 31, 2018 at 5:46 pm

        Connie,
        You said in your comment “HE WILL REWARD
        YOU”, my questions to you is how does God reward you, why would God reward you, and if God rewards does he also not reward some?

      • Stu on October 31, 2018 at 6:15 pm

        Well spoken Connie. We only need look at the life of Paul to see where his focus was—regardless of the circumstances. Blessings sister.

  5. Mike Jones on October 13, 2018 at 9:50 am

    >> how we should interact while we’re on this planet

    Learning Esperanto would greatly enhance planet-wide interaction.

  6. Beaver Cleaver on October 12, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    If you were born and raised a jew, you’d have been proving that Judaism is obviously the only possible truth, and that everything else is (without saying if as bluntly) obviously a meaningless pile of you-know-what. Fill in the blank with the name of any of the endless stream of current and dead fads – I mean, religions – in the history of the human race, and the same would be true. The part of every religion which is not said out loud, is that if you believe in our religion (and give us money please – it’s all tax deductable) you can do the worst things to anyone or thing, with no harm to yourself (if not detected and successfully prosecuted by law enforcement,) lead a life of evil, and as soon as you die, you’ll go to heaven and everything will be perfect for you forever, while if you don’t believe in our religion ( in which case, of course, you wouldn’t give us money) you can live a life of virtue and as soon as you die, you’ll go to hell and suffer forever. It can be kind of heartbreaking, and even take away your will to go on, to even seriously consider the possibility that you’ll never, ever again be with the people you love the most, not to mention that your own wonderful self will end in nothing, soon and forever. I hope not. That’s why religions have been invented and believed, or at least said to be believed, by most humans throughout the known history of humans. As in space there is actually no known up or down, in the spirit world there is no male or female. I think.

    • fessdo on October 12, 2018 at 6:55 pm

      Hey Beav,
      The truth is believing in religion will not get you in heaven, nor will living a life
      of virtue get you in the presents of God. It is only faith in Jesus Christ that will assure you a place in the kingdom of God for eternity.

      • Chris Hosmer on October 12, 2018 at 7:10 pm

        Fessdo,

        When Paul says “Faith in Jesus Christ”…I can see what he means.

        When Peter says “Faith in Jesus Christ”…I can see what he means.

        When Luther says “Faith in Jesus Christ”…I also see what he means.

        What do you mean by it?

        • fessdo on October 12, 2018 at 8:00 pm

          Faith that Jesus died to take away my sins.

          What can wash away my sin?
          Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
          What can make me whole again?
          Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

          Oh! precious is the flow
          That makes me white as snow;
          No other fount I know,
          Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

          For my pardon this I see–
          Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
          For my cleansing this my plea–
          Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

          Nothing can my sin erase
          Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
          Naught of works, ’tis all of grace–
          Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

          This is all my hope and peace–
          Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
          This is all my righteousness–
          Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

          • Gregg Powers on October 12, 2018 at 10:51 pm

            the key is to know what true faith is. it is not simply an intellectual belief, at least not according to scripture. it is the type that transforms one’s life. i remind you that both the Israelites leaving Egypt and the Demons leaving Heaven both had faith, just not the faith to obey as scripture says………

            It is why we must ensure we don’t hear the fateful words of our Lord “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I say?” These are people that acknowledge Him as Lord, but refuse to obey…….

            if we truly believe we can fly, we have no trouble jumping off a tall building. if we truly believe in Jesus, we submit to our Lord. this is true faith…..



          • fessdo on October 13, 2018 at 6:53 am

            So many people will not see the kingdom of God because some person has made salvation so complicated. If I miss it I want to be one of the ones that miss it by making it to simple.
            But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, YOU WILL BE SAVED. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:8-10
            With Jesus you don’t need a key he is the key.



      • Gregg Powers on October 30, 2018 at 10:58 am

        While this is completely true, a true and saving faith manifests itself in obedience and in works bringing glory to our Lord. This is where the Holy Spirit leads. The Bible does not teach we can believe and then act anyway we desire…….

    • Peggy on October 28, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      My brother, may I ask if you consider yourself a follower or desciple of Jesus? Christian means many things these days. It’s important now for you to know Jesus Christ as your friend and redeemer.

      Have you come to faith in Jesus, believe that he died for your sins and rose to life again, and repented of your sins?

      The “churches” you describe above are religious. Jesus is a relationship. You recognized they were about religion and not a relationship with our Lord and you walked away.

      Faith in and a relationship with Jesus are the greatest gifts you can be given to go on in this crazy world. Get a bible. I recommend an English Standard Version. Start reading it. It will make no sense at first, but you can talk to Jesus any time you want to.
      Any question or bad feeling you might have, ask Jesus to help you understand and guide you through it. Nothing is too big or to insignificant for Him.

      He will help you understand your bible. Start with Psalms or Proverbs. Move on to the first four books in the New Testament. They will tell you the stories of Jesus ministry and his 12 desciples.

      Pray. Talk to Him as though He is next to you, because He is. Tell Him your troubles. Tell Him you need a good bible believing church. Begin visiting churches. You already know what some of the bad ones are like. Be very careful.

      I’m going to suggest that you live stream a Sunday teaching from a pastor Jack Hibbs. Google Calvary Chapel Chino Hills. Services are at 7:15, 9:30 and 12:00 PST. He really teaches the bible. I want you to know what to look for in a church.

      Forget about the up or down universe and whether spirit is male or female. They sound like a New Age “church.” They will not teach you the bible. They are much worse than the churches you have already been to.

      I pray you will come to faith in Jesus and get to know Him. I will pray with you that you will find a church that will have someone to to teach you everything a new believer needs to know. May God lead and bless you abundantly! Peggy

      • fessdo on October 28, 2018 at 9:12 pm

        What an original comment “another mega church with all the right answers” now why didn’t I think of that? Oh you forgot to add Jack takes online contributions plus you can count them off you taxes, who could ask for anything more.

  7. His Child on October 8, 2018 at 6:39 am

    I came looking for expierence, strength, hope, and a little insight and all I found was this reprehisble piece of garbage. I don’t say that to be hateful, but by reading your opinion piece, it’s clear that you do not understand at all why people leave “church.”
    My parents were both active authoritarians in the church growing up. We were there everytime the doors opened. Didn’t own a radio or tv till I was about 9…… we were the epitome of conservative christian.
    Today, I haven’t been to church in over 10 years, and i’ d rather eat glass than have my children expierence the pure heresy, and dated corporate methods of “showing God’s love & doing his will,” the way most of these churches do. Ill leace with one of my favorite instructions…….
    “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”
    Romans 16:17

    • fessdo on October 8, 2018 at 7:36 am

      H. C.
      Ever notice the people who know a lot about church have more trouble than those who don’t? I guess Ecclesiastes 1:18 is right, “For in much wisdom is much grief and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow”.

      • Stu on October 8, 2018 at 7:57 am

        Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
        18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

        • Stu on October 8, 2018 at 8:01 am

          Ecclesiastes 1:18 (KJV)
          18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

          I thought the difference was interesting.

  8. Hilton on September 27, 2018 at 2:55 am

    For my friend Carey and pastors and leaders of churches in Brisbane Australia and all over the planet.

    Nailing it on religions door. Luther did it and MUCH more needs to be done…….

    I’m no Luther but I plead with my brothers and sisters to consider the following. I plead with myself to grapple with it wherever I am.

    Below is a list of traditions not found in scripture that have been invented by men. While these people who love Sunday Church throw one liners at the so called “hurt” or “rebellious people” – will they listen and grapple with the traditions, junk and lies that they want us to jump into willy nilly. I’ve looked for local assembly of the so called “body of Christ” that would try -Just indicate they are trying to address ANY of the following glaring issues. Prove to me they aren’t the false church when they embrace (or fail to embrace) the stuff I talk about below.

    1. The big meeting is always on Sunday. Why not meet on Thursday night and go away together for the weekend to be the real family where you can really get to know people. Don’t bring up Wednesday night as the “extra time” for body ministry and all the other things missing on Sunday. Most Wednesday nights are just a copy of Sunday anyway.

    2. The calendar is full of Easter and Christmas and all the stuff around it. One worships a baby and the other calls the festival after the Goddess of fertility nullifying the sign of Jonah with only two days and nights between Friday and Sunday. Bible verses please -at least stick to Passover.

    3. On Websites all over the world you can read doctrinal statements BUT where are the instructions on how to abide, meditate, sing and act in faith towards our Saviour. Coming along to know the pastor seems more important with bios and histories instead of knowing how to know, love and obey the Lord through His Spirit. Mental assent to doctrines is no substitute for a rich heart felt faith working by love.

    4. Tell me that God has told you to have a women’s ministry, children’s ministry or old peoples club. Or did you start them because “that’s what we have always done” , the denominations says we should, or God hasn’t told us not to. Where is a church that will let God build his church and that won’t move until a plurality of leadership has heard from heaven. Why is it that part of the most important parts of the Body of Christ is hived away from everybody else where their input and expression is never heard by the others? For of such IS the kingdom of God. I’m talking about the children. I’ve been a children’s pastor and these folk can hear important things from the Lord. Why do we fragment the body into groups to be held at differing times? I’m not saying it is wrong -I am asking people to “ask the Lord” about what he thinks of all this effort. Is it producing what he is expecting? Should we be splitting up families at all during the week?

    5. Money. Why are only a few or just one in so called full time ministry? Where is the room for body ministry. Has the Holy Spirit got any chance of breaking into your written order of service? Is the bulk of the finance collected ending up in bank coffers or real estate that gets used a few times a week? Are people taught wrongly that if they do works (give) then their abundance in life rests on that? Is there a place to really put money into things that do truly advance the kingdom? The moderns churches track record for local assemblies is amazing when you examine the holes that most of the money goes into.

    6. How long does the Clergy – Laity thing have to keep on going? Why is the term pastor mentioned so little in the new testament? When can somebody else pray for the sick, teach, give counsel or encouragement if they are not part of the normally very small ministry team? The answer is often the car park. When will true God anointed and appointed 5 fold ministry be birthed and activated in His body. There are many counterfeits in this area. When will these leaders be chosen on the grounds of fruit (and not gifting) as clearly shown forth in the New testament scriptures that explain the true qualifications for ministry (elders, deacons etc) Why is it that the “rest of us” can only minister through filling communion cups, collecting offerings, moving furniture, singing or running childrens work? Got some scriptures for this practice? (all geared towards an hour or two on a Sunday)

    7. Where is the ear? How are you trying to hear from God? My sheep hear my voice. Where and when is the time to hear from God? Who is hearing from God? Where and when is this precious information being given to His body? Whats steps are being taken to DO what he has said? Show me the list of what God has said to your group in the past five years and explain to me how and when you tired to obey? Do you really believe that you hear His voice and that you will not follow a strangers voice? What is the father telling you to do?Jesus only did what His father told him to do. Be prepare for some blank stares if you ever ask this one.

    8. Do people really believe that Christ dwells in their hearts by faith? Do you see ample evidence of people taking on their daily tasks with the belief that they can do all things through Christ. That they have all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Him. That they are rejoicing so much because he has already granted them everything pertaining to life and Godliness. Are they actively believing and seeking for His righteousness so they can boldly approach the throne of grace for help and favour in time of need? Or are they looking at themselves as sinners not good enough for Gods bountiful supply? Do they truly believe that our of their belly is flowing rivers of living water? Are they trying to believe these things or grapple with them on a daily basis? If not why not? I can honestly say that some people do believe these things but we need to labour so Christ is formed in all who believe.

    9. Why can’t fellow believers use a telephone? If those that do the will of God truly are my brothers and sisters then why can’t we all ring each other? I can honestly say that in fifty years of going to church I have had two people that I visited (or they visited me) or rang me on a regular basis. In those 50 years I doubt I had 50 phone calls. My last pastor verbally dressed me down asking why I left (at least 6 months afterwards) at the local Macdonalds restaurant. Why did he wait for this chance meeting? After 11 years he could not ring and ask? Nobody else could either. Ditto for the three churches before that too. I got rung by one where the people were paid to ring through the non attenders data base. If being part of the body of Christ (that should be one of the best things on the planet) is as wonderful as I think it should be then why can’t they try to be a real friend. We will love you while you attend but after that we forget you. Thank God HE does not forget me. Why can’t the Body be like the Head? -just a little bit? one phone call? Love shows no partiality ever. I try to visit believers I once knew but they don’t understand why I am doing it when I don’t go to their church anymore.

    10. Is worship really just about singing and the stage show that seems to go with it? If your 30 in Australia then you are probably too old to be on the worship team. Isn’t presenting my body a living sacrifice doing reasonable worship? Isn’t all that I do supposed to be worship unto the Lord? Do all things as unto the Lord. A church “service” just sounds like a car service. You go in get a grease, oil and filter change, coolant top up and some new spark plugs and in two hours you’re back on the road again. The church “service” though runs out by midday Monday and you need something else. When will we meet multiple times a week to pray, eat, sing, and encourage one another to a real lifetime of worship? You might say that I can’t make it once let alone multiple times. Try attempting to fix just a tenth of the above and I will be the first through the door. Don’t invite me to the same old useless traditions that are of no effect. Don’t add stuff that is not in the bible. There is plenty to do there. Only add what HE tells you to do. Then you can’t go wrong. Lets all think long and hard about what real love looks like. His love. His love NEVER fails. The non believers in my street and the folk in my motorhome club are far better at contacting me and “having a chat” than any church folk that I spent 10 years with. We have a mighty God that longs to express HIS love and goodness through all believers.

    I wait with patience and anticipation……

    • fessdo on September 27, 2018 at 7:35 am

      Hilton,
      You will have to change some things to be a good member of todays churches. Here’s a list to become a good member.
      1. Never read your bible on your own or better yet never pack one.
      2. Let the only pastor read the word for the service.
      3. Never question the pastor’s interpterion of the word.
      4. Never ask questions about a verse you heard during the week.
      5. Enjoy music for at least 45mins that shakes the floor next door.
      6. Do not say God told me,,,,.
      7. Dress extra fancy on Easter.
      8. Don’t expect the name Jesus said during the service.
      9. Only give your option if it shows how more money will come in to pastor or church.
      10. Don’t think only tithing is going to cut it, you will be reminded of this often.

    • LionessofGod on October 19, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      There is a Bible study I did a few years ago, and it is one of the most eye-opening studies I’ve ever done. It is called “Behold Our God.” You might like it. It is pretty critical of the modern day church, and I loved it. You aren’t the only one frustrated…

      • Gregg Powers on October 30, 2018 at 11:00 am

        I just finished my book as well: Pulpit Fiction: How the Modern Church is Endangering the Eternal Destiny of its Followers. It is also critical, largely on a doctrinal level.

        • Dale on October 30, 2018 at 11:12 pm

          You are right Greg. We strive to enter the rest to cease from our labours and to enter into His. Without the direction of the spirit of God our works could be placating men or wood, hay and stubble. We must do what our Father tells us -because we are the body of Christ -Jesus did the same. My sheep hear my voice and a stranger’s voice they will not follow. Make sure the religious voices you follow arent strange!

  9. Judy on September 26, 2018 at 8:04 am

    People have been brainwashed by this Christian cult for centuries. Just think what if a man walked around and said he was the son of god now a days. And did you notice every time someone wanted to go and take a look at this mysterious unseen being that the person would tell them Oh no you cannot go up there with me because you will get burned up. The bible was made up of over 40 jews. the whole bible was written by jews. Have you ever wonder how in the world they wrote the conversation exactly as the people have them. Were they standing right beside the person they were describing talking. The being I know that created us is for more powerful than us humans. We cannot comprehend what the creator is. I do believe we were created but not by some invisible man that no one can see and he tells these Israelite to murder men woman children and animals. How could anyone in their right mind even believe that a loving god as he was described was telling these different men who were going around telling people if they do not follow this invisible god hey will burn in hell it is so ridiculous it is crazy. No one was believing them anymore so they had to produce a man to be born and he was born to a virgin. Yeah right. Do you believe this crap. then over a 1500 year span these different men who didn’t even live in the time of Moses and Jesus are writing the bible I do not believe any of it. My creator is so magnificent that you cannot even phantom what he would look like. Why has all of the religious talk stop.?? Why ?? Oh because Jesus came down to save us all from the wrath of this mysterious god noone has seen. Another thing do you think if this god was so powerful and perfect he would of created angels or humans who would disobey him the bible has separated people be. accuse of all of the different beliefs why then did this god write the bible so all could understand instead of making it out of riddles. I will tell you cause men wrote the book and didn’t have any clue what they were talking about. Today there are no miracles no messages from angels nothing the heavens got really quite. Start listening to your heart the person who created you will talk to you in your soul no out in public We were born with a conscious even little kids no right from wrong before they are even taught. And do you really believe that this Jesus fellow died and then came back down and then went back up. this church is a way to get your hard earned money and split us humans up. I believe when we die we will be revealed the reason we are here. We are a part of the universe that our creator made. He isn’t wlking around speaking in tounges

    • fessdo on September 26, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Judy,
      What’s your creator’s name?

    • Stu on September 26, 2018 at 9:58 pm

      Hi Judy. I’m not here to convince you of anything. I can only share I was an atheist for 20 years who pretty much felt as you do. I was bitter, skeptical, arrogant, and who raised my fists defiantly in the air toward even the idea of there being a god of the bible. I studied Physics and Mathematics, and was all too certain that how I thought was closer to reality than some “mumbo-jumbo” written by a bunch of ignorant men. But something happened. I thought about what occurs when the atheist loses his footing; that is to say, you cannot test a bridge by sending a cat over it, but a train. I saw that every time the atheist was tested, the burden of his circumstances could not hold up, and they would collapse under his own weight. He had no real argument why he should not believe. Even Lenin on his deathbed cried out to Christ.

      I was invited to the home of the Dean of the Mathematics Department to discuss my disgust for this made-up concept of God. But I quickly discovered he was a believer —a follower of Jesus. How could this be? He was a brilliant man, and someone whose logic was flawless. He too was once an atheist, but after reading the Bible, he admitted he was transformed, saying, “It was because of the very logic of the Gospel that I was compelled to believe it.” The logic? Yet even God tells us to “Come now, and let us reason together.”

      Israel, in Old Testament times, was a very superstitious nation of people. God chose that time to invade their lives. He did not come to convince them how far behind the times they were. He did not tell them the Earth was not flat, or that a man would eventually land on the moon. He came as a Figure of authority and power so that He would be believed. Can you, instead of imagining He is not real, imagine He is?

      So, as I shared in the beginning with you, I am not here to transform you of anything. Simply, I cannot do that. I do not have that kind of power. I wish I had the opportunity to learn about you and why you really feel the way you do. When I look into the mirror, I am neither shy nor arrogant. I am not afraid of learning from others. You said, “My creator is so magnificent that you cannot even phantom what he would look like.” Describe what he is like to you Judy.

    • Eulogy4TheLiving on September 29, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      Um, Luke wasn’t Jewish and he wrote the gospel that bears his name and most of Acts. So, just correcting that. Peace

    • Hilton on October 4, 2018 at 2:52 am

      My dear friend Judy,
      If you think that the organised church (the one that you see) is the full representation of what Jesus died for then I can easily forgive you for thinking that He was after money and splitting people up. We are a part of the universe that our creator made and I have to agree that he isn’t walking around speaking in tongues. The reason why people do that is to speak mysteries in the spirit
      (1 Cor14:2) For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.

      The creator doesn’t have to do that because in Him are already the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. So you are right there. The truth is that Jesus told us to guard against many forms of greed -not just one.

      “Start listening to your heart the person who created you will talk to you in your soul no out in public We were born with a conscious even little kids no right from wrong before they are even taught”

      I have to agree with this statement too because that’s how you listen to the real creator. The problem is Judy is that there can be many voices and few bother to be quiet enough to do it. The very nature of human history teaches us that some of the leaders who listened to any voice did many bad things -in fact ancient and modern history is littered with people listening to wrong voices. I can state categorically that there have been many people who proclaim they are “christian” but have gone on to do diabolical things in the name of God. But what if there are opposing forces that can be easily seen in everyday life and history that people can listen to? Some working for good and others bad. How can we be sure that we are listening to the right force and voice? jesus taught and showed there was an enemy. One that tried to rub Him out. If there are enemies out there then isn’t it reasonable to assume that some of them are going to actively infiltrate the real and help them to do bad to give the real a bad name and turn people away from them? The real way to turn good people is to teach them good truths that attract them and then subtly inject lies bit by bit into this new truth. What if some of these enemies have been studying human nature for thousands of years and now they try tricking you and me who have been learning about human nature for 40 years. I can assure you that the real church is not having money and greed problems and that they love each other as Jesus taught. They are in this world but I doubt you will find them in a congregation on a street corner down the road from you. God did create people who could choose to disobey Him. He loves us that much. If we all obeyed Him we would all be mindless robots loving Him because that was the only inbuilt program. Who wants to be loved by somebody who can’t choose any other way. We could program a rasberry pi computer for less than $100 to say all the most lovely things to you but somebody who chooses to stay with you the rest of their life through free will -only then is it really true love. Why not ask the creator what his name is? Why not ask Jesus to be real to you. What you find out might be totally opposite to what you have seen and heard.

    • Gregg Powers on October 30, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Yes. We believe those things but the evidence is overwhelming they are true. If you want the proof, let me know……

  10. Prefer to be Anonymous on September 26, 2018 at 12:56 am

    This is something that’s been on my heart…I’m seriously considering posting this on Facebook…in some ways it could hurt people I care about; but in another sense I think it could also shed light on a very serious problem in church and could be the wake-up call the church needs and a light to those who have been hurt. So this is the post:

    So this is going to be a tough topic. For the past 14 years I’ve considered myself a Christian/believer in Jesus. My story is probably unlike any other story you’ve ever heard. But the problem is it’s also exactly like every other story you’ve ever heard. I want to be careful what I say here, because the truth is, there are some Christians out there who are extremely loving unconditionally. But the vast majority are just people who hurt people, don’t accept that they are in fact hurting and harming people.
    From the first week I walked into a church this has been true.
    The very first week I walked into a church, my only Christian friend told me there was nothing in the Bible that said we have to be friends (which actually isn’t true: Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you– better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away. Proverbs 28:10; “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23). I asked this person if I had done anything wrong, and she said no, I was just being myself. So I have done nothing wrong but must be excluded.
    A lot of people quote Romans 12:8 saying as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone, in order to justify ending friendships, for whatever minor or major reason they have, no matter how small or big. but notice the difference in context. In Matthew, Jesus is speaking to believers. In Romans, Paul is talking about non-christian Roman soldiers trying to kill Christians. Very big difference.
    So I took a hit, somehow I still kept going. This was the first week, and already experienced the hate, I tried the whole “forgiving without reconciling thing” because apparently that’s the Christlike thing to do.
    I’ll be honest…college was probably one of the better times when it came to church and church events. I’m not really sure why. But I did see one thing that made an incredible difference and did give me hope. Our campus crusade on some nights would contain catholics, mormons, presbyterians, pentecostals, all different denominations. The division that so many people raged against was just gone.
    But when I went back home, things weren’t so crystal clear. I began trying out other churches. The first church I went to in this period, I was met by a former coworker, who came up to me and said I should leave and find a different church. I asked if I had done anything wrong. Still no answers.
    So I did, I found another church. I had been dating a girl and found out she cheated on me, so I yelled at her. And even then I tried blaming myself and apologizing and reconciling. In this case it was even brought to the pastor and apparently she said she would leave if I continued going there, and the pastor said even though he agreed with me, asked me to leave until she left and then I could come back.
    So I left and found another church. This church quite frankly seemed fantastic. Everybody was loving caring. They encouraged me to get involved, serve, and I did, and this all went on for years, without a hint of negativity. When it all came crashing down. When in fact the pastor’s own family came to me, called me barely tolerable, and when I tried to work things out was told my feelings are not their “responsibility.” Well actually…let’s think of an example. If someone is driving recklessly, and damages your property, whose responsible? The owner, or the reckless driver? The driver is the one who is LIABLE, right? So when you leave emotional scars on someone, it actually is entirely your responsibility to fix it. I tried reaching out to both pastors to get an explanation for some biblical support for their boundaries belief, genuinely wanting to give them a chance. I was ignored. I asked them this because I discovered articles proving the authors of boundaries encouraged people to get divorced within 5 minutes of talking to one person, and making fun of less fortunate people.
    And this was the final straw for me. If you can’t love the emotional person whose only issue is he wants to be loved and accepted, then you sure as heck you can’t love the atheist, the drunk, the drug addict, or anyone else. Because here’s the harsh truth: That person might be transformed, and stop drinking let’s say. But the minute you reject him from your life, guess where he’s right back to? Drinking. If someone’s issue is they want to be loved by the church, and the church can’t love that person, then what are you even doing?
    So this is my way of saying I no longer wish to be associated with Christians. I’m still on the fence about whether or not I believe in God/Jesus, but the pain and damage caused to me by the church over the years has been more than enough reason to stop going. Maybe my boundary needs to be the church itself.
    And please understand, there are a few of you who have been incredible, please understand that, like anything else, there are exceptions to this, and you probably know who you are and please know that this is not really directed at you. I do love the people who genuinely loved me, but what’s hard is knowing that I love the people who don’t love me, but I can’t put myself in a position knowing you’re actively telling people God loves them while still hating someone who genuinely loved you.

    • fessdo on September 26, 2018 at 7:37 am

      Anonymous,
      You either had a bunch of pastors that was ball less, or they wasn’t the brightest bulb in the tanning bed, or they had the same problem as you. Your answer was in the last paragraph of your comment,,,,
      “I do love the people who genuinely loved me”. What good is it to be able to just love the lovable, even Charles Manson could do that. Read, study, and stay in the 12th chapter of Romans for about a year and then you could have people stone you and it would not effect your love for THEM. Just forgiving the forgivable is what comes natural but to walk higher you must forgive the unforgivable then love them TOO. The reason you’re jumping from church to church is because they’re full of natural people who only love those that keep loving them and the moment you stop loving them they stop loving you and you leave. Wisdom is knowing what’s going to happen before it does, so if you know the nature of people you’ll be able to overcome any thing they throw at you.

      • Anonymous on September 26, 2018 at 9:23 am

        You dont seem to get the common theme that it isnt just that they dont love me. These are Christian’s telling me they dont want me at church, including a pastors family. If they keep hurting me and always tell me to leave AND are saying they can’t tolerate me, then why bother going?

        • fessdo on September 26, 2018 at 11:01 am

          Just to piss them off.
          If you know that they really don’t want you there then go till they call the cops or till they see they’re wrong. But after they see their faults and apologize then leave them without giving them any excuse. God maybe using you to straighten them out, just get a little thick skinned and know you’re not fighting the people it’s the devil in them that your after.

        • Heather kell on October 30, 2018 at 12:32 am

          Very odd
          I’ve been a Christian 46 years
          Been in variety of churches

          Never been asked to leave one yet !!

          Maybe just double check there is nothing you are doing to exacerbate the situation ?

          If your heart is right
          Forgive and start a Home Church yourself

    • Chris Hosmer on September 26, 2018 at 7:52 am

      Anonymous,

      Please dont rely on how church or others behave before you evaluate Christ.

      Go into the desert, as Paul did. Lock yourself away from distractions.

      Then sit down and read through the conversations of Christ until you get a sense of where He is coming from.

      Then what you believe about Jesus will be based on what He says, not on anything else.

    • Gregg Powers on September 26, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      First, let me apologize on behalf of us all. But please, please don’t make the mistake of judging or viewing God based on our behavior. God exists, Jesus exists. He loves you more than you can know. He died for all of us. While the Modern Church has significant problems, we must remember the words of Jesus “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Jesus knows that He will find all sorts of hypocrites within the Body of Christ and is able to know who they are. There are further condemnations in Revelation. But friend, we are called to a relationship with Christ. I have been in a similar situation (not all that you list but seen plenty of hypocrisy) yet it is the relationship with Christ i value above all even as i try to love others, knowing i fail. Remember Jesus in the boat when all the storm was around Him and he was perfectly at peace sleeping? As hard as it may be to do, try to consider the relationship with Jesus as the place of peace while the storm of humanity rages around you. Please don’t ever make the mistake to allow your relationship with God to be viewed or filtered through humanity. You will only find yourself distancing yourself from God as the view of Him will be warped when viewed through a human lens. Finally, we are called to love the unlovable; this is one of the hallmarks of truly following Christ. Think about those who loved those who were about to kill them. I beg you brother to never give up on God and His Son. I will be praying for you that you will find loving brothers and sisters. in Him

      • fessdo on September 26, 2018 at 8:50 pm

        Anonymous,
        I think you’re looking for something that you are not going to find in any church, as a matter of fact you’re not going to find it any where on earth, that is if you’re looking for good people. Some will argue there is lots of good people here on earth but if you believe Jesus he said “their is NONE good but one and that’s God” Mark 10:18, so if you have someone telling you some people are good, then you can believe them or Jesus it’s your choice who to believe.

        • Prefer to be Anonymous on September 27, 2018 at 12:01 am

          incorrect. I’m not looking for good people. I’m looking for people who love each unconditionally despite not being good.
          Kind of like how a “good” parent for lack of a better term, loves their child unconditionally, despite the child not doing the right thing all the time.
          Hopefully that makes sense.

          • fessdo on September 27, 2018 at 8:09 am

            Anonymous,
            That don’t make sense, you stated in your first comment “I do love the people who genuinely loved me” but you expect the exact opposite of others? I mean you want to love them till they become unlovable then out you go, but they should love you unconditionally????



          • Prefer to be Anonymous on September 27, 2018 at 11:22 am

            @fessdo

            Well…it’s sort of different. I want to love them back, I want our relationship to be restored, but they don’t want that. It’s kind of hard to love someone who doesn’t want you in their life at all. I’m more than happy to extend grace and love…but I can’t love people who don’t want me around…if that makes sense. I didn’t leave because of the barely tolerable comment, I left because they made it clear they didn’t want to associate with me. The pastor was limiting my worship time to just main service and men’s breakfast, but saw no punishment for his son who was the one who offended. It’s all confusing to me.



          • fessdo on September 27, 2018 at 11:56 am

            Anonymous,
            After reading your comments I would have run you off too.
            Just a bit to much into yourself. Churches want problem solvers not problem makers.



          • Prefer to be Anonymous on September 27, 2018 at 2:55 pm

            Well, I actually did trying working things out/solving the problem; I met with the pastor a few times, and he said he doesn’t feel slighted in any way, so I’m not exactly sure what the problem is, but they still don’t want to talk to me and have blocked me…so either there is an offense someone isn’t saying, or they just think rejecting someone from the church is biblical.
            It doesn’t seem like I was the one making the problem here.



          • fessdo on September 28, 2018 at 7:59 am

            Anonymous,
            If you feel like you’ve done your best then forget them and move on. I really do believe God is in control of heaven and can do anything he wants there, but here on earth man is the boss and controls things so if you can’t be at peace with the boss then it’s time to move on to a new boss (church) and try them out.



          • KNJO on October 18, 2018 at 12:13 pm

            Sounds like you are wounded from your own life too. Wounded people look to the church for the family they speak of. The church is supposed to be our new family, we have a new name. But I too feel over the church right now. Learning by reading all the wise and not so wise comments. My advice to you and to me, spend more time with Jesus and sit in silence, fast and pray for those people, be the church. just find a different place to worship and be the church. and if you really do have annoying attributes, acknowledge them and own them and get counseling and work on yourself and who you want to be in the world. Acknowledging your own annoying tendencies is actually loving others. Because what is unloving is totally ignoring that you might need help. Be brave.



        • Hilton on September 27, 2018 at 3:28 am

          Fessdo He did say that none is good but God alone. But after Pentecost he came to live in us. In HIM we live and move and have our being. In GOODNESS we live and move and have our being. If we can be filled up to all the fullness of God then we can be filled up with all the Goodness of God too. If you abide in Him then HIS Goodness will be part of the sap flowing into your branches that bear much fruit. Lets look at the fruit of the Spirit. Its HIS love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Its the JOY of the LORD that is our strength. Its the PEACE of GOD that passes all understanding as we give our cares and anxieties to Him. Its His patience too and all the rest of them. It really is HIS faith that we have too and of course its HIS GOODNESS mentioned in those fruit too. Even the humility must belong to Him. Let us hasten the day where we believe and act like it’s no longer I -so that its Christ (and his goodness) that is shining out through you and I. Father I ask for fessdo, Gregg and all those that believe to be overflowing today with YOUR love and goodness today.

          • fessdo on September 27, 2018 at 7:59 am

            Hilton,
            Thanks for the prayer and no offence friend but pray doesn’t work in my life. I’ve been prayed over by the best, I even had a preacher that makes over $50 million a year lay hands on me and pray (cost me a $1000) with zero results, will it did have one result I had to take a second job to make up the $1000 I blew. One time I took a 6mts pray course and built a prayer room which I used for over a year each morning for 2hrs and still no results. Then one day I read where Jesus said hypocrites love to pray, so that end my so called prayer life. A man has got to know his limitations, if it hasn’t worked for you after 50 plus years then why think it will change. You know what they call a person that does the same thing over and over and expects different results?



  11. Chris Hosmer on September 25, 2018 at 7:31 am

    One of my favorite pastimes :

    Walk through the conversations that Jesus has, and put yourself there.

    Hear His emphasis.
    Hear His point.
    Hear His agenda

    Be affected by it.
    One of my favorite questions :

    What are you reading in the scriptures that is helping you draw near to Christ?

    Listen to the answers you get.

    “Church” is usually where people are just too busy to slow down and look at Christ.

    They do their thing and are headed out to door to rotate their tires.

    • fessdo on September 25, 2018 at 7:58 am

      Chris,
      You’re making a little sense now. As I look back I think did church help or hurt me and if I look at the ones who never messed with any churches they are way better off than me. While I was sitting in church and giving my money away plus not to forget all the work I did for so called follow believers at no charge (who don’t even remember my name now), the non church goers was making and saving money, they was and still are living in fine homes, driving fine cars and even have enough money to pay someone else to rotate those nasty tires for them, heck they have enough extra money to never rotate they just buy new ones. At this stage in life the best I can hope for is that with all my trying to live right over the years it got me a free ticket out of hell. When I get to heaven my only request is for God to erase all memories of my life on earth, now that would be paradise to me.

      • Hilton on September 25, 2018 at 11:20 pm

        Fessdo -if you are living and moving in Him then you will have rivers of living water coming out of you. That is not in vain. Abundant life is yours now. Not pie in the sky by and by but steak on the plate before it’s too late. I believe that any “getting” in the needs realm comes from being free from greed and believing in

        2 Corinthians 8:9 King James Version (KJV)
        9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

        It’s on the basis of the free gift of Calvary and not on our giving or works. Then there is no boasting in what we do but what he has done.

        Our father is a wonderful giver -yours too -but don’t judge the rich.

  12. Foodfor Thought on September 21, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Churches Fucking Suck………….I’m sorry, they do.

    • Greg Boss on September 23, 2018 at 10:00 am

      These people have such a good grasp of the written word. It is a shame they do not have the same on reality.

      • Hilton on September 26, 2018 at 12:55 am

        Give them time Greg – people who continue t look into His word aren’t far from the truth if they are seeking the person of truth too. When you have a grasp on the living word of God you have all the reality you will ever need. Real reality are those things that last eternally. The grass withers and the flower fades but the word of the Lord will stand forever. Now that’s reality. …… all these things shall be added unto you……..if you seek yea first the Kingdom and His righteousness.

        You must have powerful discernment too to know how “their reality” is going. I don’t even know where they live.

      • fessdo on September 26, 2018 at 7:53 am

        Hilton,
        Thanks and no offence but it makes me think or James 2:16

  13. Hilton on September 15, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Gregg I think what fessdo is trying to say is that if you live in the finished work of the cross then you will abide in Him. If you Abide in Him then you will bear much fruit (fruit is obedience -let me elaborate)

    Lets take the first three fruit of the spirit. Love, Joy and peace. I can try to “OBEY” by sheer will power OR I can walk in the spirit. Jesus never came to tell us to have more will power. He gave us the power to fly above that realm. If you walk in the spirit you will not fore-fill the lusts of the flesh. SOoooo if you walk in love (shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost) then you wont steal, fight, hate, lie or commit adultery. All sin is a love failure. Think about it. Rather than using sheer will power we choose to walk in His love. His love NEVER fails. Then we automatically obey. If you walk in love you walk in God and obeying starts to become automatic because the selfish tug of sin is being overrun by the selfless love of God. When Jesus said “it is finished” all the knowledge and wisdom of God was made available to us. All spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus are yours. Everything pertaining to life and Godliness became ours. As we abide in Him and walk in the spirit we walk in a new mindset and spirit where we supernaturally want to obey and walk in His love. If we abide in Him and His word abodes in us we can ask what we will and it shall be done. This IS the confidence that we have in HIm if we ask anything according to His will he hears us…. I tried to obey and read my bible each day. Then I tried harder. And harder. Now I choose to be near, draw close, seek His face, change from Glory to Glory….. Abide in the Lord, believe I am in Him and He is in me, rejoicing always… This love can fill us up to even the fullness of God -Wow that’s victory over sin -resurrection life -love that never fails. If you can walk in His love for five minutes then you can walk above sin for 5 minutes. Keep abiding in His love and the obeying will just flow. The motives thinking and the heart will lean toward what you are abiding in. Its the Love of GOD that’s shed abroad in our hearts -its the joy of the LORD that is your strength -it’s the peace of GOD that passes all understanding as you give your troubles and anxieties to Him. Abide and the struggle to obey will dissolve….. Thats why the scripture says this paradox. STRIVE to enter the REST so that you can cease from your labours (labour of will to obey) and enter in to HIS WORK. Lets patience have it’s perfect work -so that you might be whole and mature lacking in Nothing. The WISDOM of God is yours -he lives in you. The wisdom is part of the sap flowing through your vine. He who lacks wisdom let him ask (not doubting). Abide. in His sap today by faith and your branch will bring forth the fruit of Jesus. Are we to obey? Sure -but HOW do we obey? By faith we abide and realize that the God of the universe has made His home in us (love himself) -rejoice in this and believe all the great and precious promises. God bless you mate!

    • fessdo on September 15, 2018 at 7:51 am

      Hilton,
      Thank you for that grace filled comment, it is so refreshing to read a message that talks about not only the grace of God but also the love and mercy of God. One of the hardest thing to understand about God is his mercy. Try as we might we all mess up and sin but thanks to God’s mercy he doesn’t punish us as our sins deserve but will softy and tenderly remind us we’ve gotten out of the love walk. When we learn this about God then we can enter into his rest so easy.

      • Wilbur on September 22, 2018 at 4:22 am

        Hilton, thanks for impressing us, you’re a genius you sound so religious. Typical churchy babble of mixing in micro portions of Bible verses to make it appear as though you are clearly a scholar. From my perspective as a former “weekly attender”, the average church goer puts on the classic holiness costume when they show up at the First Baptist Church of Somewhere wearing their christian underwear and chewing their christian bubble gum and looking down on other attenders who don’t choose to pretend. I guess it’s all part of playing the game. If you come to church being who you really are, just another person who found grace, there is a definite tendency by the establishment membership to give you the look down the nose because your acting skills are not up to par with theirs. Who wants to go to a place like that?

        • Stu on September 22, 2018 at 8:15 am

          Hi Wilbur,

          I think a lot of what you said makes sense from your perspective, and once—for about 20 years as an atheist, I would have agreed with you. Let me make my case.

          The first time I stepped foot in a building where the church people went, I heard a preacher preach that actually had me laughing because of how sickly sweet he sounded. No human being, I thought, could ever come close to actually being that way, and no one ever has since. He became my best friend, and taught me that some—some—actually did what they said. When I was happy, he rejoiced with me; when I thought I was dying, he was there for me; in fact, I noticed that my wife—who is not a Christian, said that if anyone actually were, he would be as close to Christ as she could imagine. I came from a place of defiance, with my hands arrogantly shouting against even the concept of God. I called my Richard Feynman Physics Book my Bible and even dared a pastor to exchange his for “mine” for two weeks to demonstrate how pathetic the Word of God was. In three days, after reading the first page of Genesis repeatedly, I threw the book down, called the pastor and demanded my “real” bible back. I never saw him again. I was against everything and everybody.

          I left that church eventually because most everyone there didn’t even have the time of day when you asked them. But there were a few, and even they were not perfect. I say that sarcastically because I discovered that if I am expecting to see Christ one day sitting next me, I was only being deluded. It ain’t gonna happen. People are messy, but we are messes worth making. I am no better than you, but like you, I too have a dream and a hope, and now even a purpose. There is a huge difference in knowing “about ” Christ, or even “knowing” him. The old Devil knows him better than anyone. He can quote Scripture all day long. Many might even think of the Devil as Christ because of how alluring and convincing he is. But there is a difference in him and the real Christ: he is not “like” him. The reason we feel so lousy is because we do not behave like Jesus taught and acted. If we did—and there are some who do—we would ironically come to realize just how much he loves us. No longer must I depend upon men to form my own identity even though I still associate with them and befriend them, just as Jesus befriended sinners. But I do not have to worry about what they say about me or to me. I don’t even have to worry about what I think of myself. I only need care about what God thinks of me. God says I must interact with people who believe they follow Him. Whether they do or not, I am to interact. I don’t get to pull up the weeds in the field; God says only He will. God did not tell me I can hate some people. He told me to love those who do not love me back. He said I don’t get to repay evil for evil or insult with insult, but to pray even for my enemies and do good to them.

          So I came back to my old sickly sweet feelings. There they were. I was starting to believe what my pastor told me and follow what he showed me. He behaved like Christ as best as the Spirit led him. So I not only see a difference, I am finally experiencing one. I get where you are coming from. I get it. But like you, Jesus is telling all of us—me included—to overcome our bitterness because of all of the hypocrisy we see. Don’t let the lack of truth in what you see stop you from trying to be truthful. Don’t let the bitterness of others make you bitter. Don’t let others who walk away make you walk away. You see where I’m going. I was there. We reap what we sow. I lived on the other side of the street, and because I have, I have every right to make a reasonable decision which side is greater. While this side is far from perfect, at least I know what my goal is. Even though I can’t reach it in this flesh, I will “fight” to get there. Even though I want what I want in the flesh that gratifies me, I will pray that the Spirit has His way. Even though I will never be satisfied in man, I will be satisfied in Christ. He did not abandon us even though he said he did not trust us because he knows what is in n’s heart. How then can I abandon them who he loved and died for? If I love Christ, I can’t.

        • Gregg Powers on September 22, 2018 at 10:53 am

          I am not even sure what this means. If people are acting that is a problem and people should not be looking down their nose at anyone. But it is equally errant to believe that one can live anyway one wants once we truly come to terms with what our savior did for us (and what scripture teaches). I can’t tell but your words lead me to believe that you may believe that you can live any type of life you want based on infinitely elastic grace. Friend, live the life called to by submitting to the Holy Spirit. Not worried about the church and some of the hypocrites within; just counsel you to listen to God in all that He has to tell you. God Bless. in Him

        • fessdo on September 23, 2018 at 6:12 am

          Wilbur,
          “looking down on other attenders”,,, You only look up to people you admire, applaud, praise, commend, acclaim, or respect and I can tell from your comment you don’t fit that category. Winners don’t won’t to be around losers especially thumb sucking cry babies. Everything that happens to you in your life is YOUR fault, good or bad it’s your fault so quit trying to blame others for your mess and stop looking for someone to fix you. Put on your big boy britches and start looking at your faults and not others. People are in their messes because of lack of education, addiction, or laziness so pick your poison here Wilbur. People make a mess of their lives and expected someone else to fix it, we’re living in the generation of “I don’t take responsibility “, I call it the cry baby clan. Responsible people who knows life isn’t fair takes control and gets over it. I got a news flash for you there’s somethings God cannot do, so stop your crying and feeling sorry for little o you. Start living like a winner, someone who people will look up to and stop making excuses for your messed up life.

        • Hilton on September 25, 2018 at 3:06 am

          As a fellow former “weekly attender” Wilbur I want to sincerely apologise for sounding so religious. My aim is not to appear scholarly or impress people. I would be in church every Sunday if I wanted to play that game. I rarely even comment on any blog using any scriptures etc but I found in Fessdo and Gregg some guys who seemed as hungry to become the truth as well as “know the truth”. I will take more time to quote the whole verses and the surrounding ones but as I thought there were only a few reading this (and I knew they knew these verses) I didn’t bother. As for this part……

          I guess it’s all part of playing the game. If you come to church being who you really are, just another person who found grace, there is a definite tendency by the establishment membership to give you the look down the nose because your acting skills are not up to par with theirs. Who wants to go to a place like that?

          I could not agree with you more. I left “going to church” more than five years ago (after fifty years of various churches) because of these types of things but many others that I have mentioned earlier in this blog. I pray Wilbur that as we seek the perfect one we will both continue to love His people and desire to see them liberated into the full knowledge of Him and what His body is supposed to be and do in this hour. Once again my apologies for sounding religious. My personal desire is to shun religion and embrace life. I will not apologise for quoting lots of scriptures as I think we should all challenge each other with His truth. I thank Fessdo and Gregg for doing the same for me. After giving up on “commenting” on the net about 12 years ago this was my first try to run alongside some seekers here. God bless you Wilbur mate (Im Aussie) and don’t stop loving the Head and that way you won’t stop loving the body even though you might not like the things some of them do. Be careful trying to guess the intentions of people writing stuff as that can hurt people if you have judged their motives as wrong -I’m not hurt but others can be. But I will talk to dad about it. Hope that sounds less religious.

    • Gregg Powers on September 15, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      We are not in disagreement here at all (literally at all). Just finished a book on this(submitted to publisher Wednesday). A few things. What was finished is payment; not forgiveness. That’s what the Greek even means. Christ paid for the sins of the entire world but all are not saved, correct? So we must have forgiveness as well. That comes in Christ. Fessdo rejects the law. But the Holy Spirit leads us to keep the law. He does not understand that the moral law and the Holy Spirit lead us in the same place. The Holy Spirit would not lead us to murder, or steal right? We both acknowledge we cannot keep the law of our own volition. It is the reason scripture teaches that we are not under the law IF (conditional) we are led by the Holy Spirit; it is also the reason that the commandments are restated in the NT and that if we love God we keep His commandments. What we are not under is the civil or ceremonial parts of the law. Finally this is a game many Christians play. We (yes we) must submit to the Spirit but this is of our choice. We know this simply because we see how many Christians do not live according to the Holy Spirit. We see many many Christians living in the flesh, living in sin because they reject the Holy Spirit (which again leads us to live consistent with the commandments). But it is a grave warning sign that people do not understand the leading of the Holy Spirit and the moral law are the same. Most who focus only on grace are those who think they can willfully and continually can engage the flesh (which is opposing the spirit) relying on the grace of God. This is unscriptural. In the end we agree completely that we must rely on the Spirit. But that is not the thesis of what fessdo says. His message is all grace (which is the wrong focus) and that the law can be ignored. Our focus is to submit to the Holy Spirit. Remember how much our God hates sin. If the Holy Spirit is in us and we are listening to Him, it is only natural that we also hate sin. We need grace but relying on God’s grace and ignoring the spirit leads to spiritual death where as focusing on walking with the Holy Spirit leads to life. Remember scripturally being indwelt and following the Holy Spirit are not the same…… God Bless to you mate!

      • fessdo on September 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm

        Gregg,
        The thing I reject is one’s works to redeem his self. If someone else had paid my debt why would I pay it again? I do not think it’s all grace, as Paul put in both Timothy letters “Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father” also it’s in 1st john ” Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father” I believe you get peace that passes understanding when you find out about God’s grace AND mercy. Grace is God’s ability in us to do what we don’t have the ability to do, but God knew we would need more than just that with these sinful body so he gave us mercy that even though we deserve hell he forgives and forgets. Now that’s good news.

        • Gregg Powers on September 15, 2018 at 4:53 pm

          in general i agree with this but there is more there; it does not capture the breadth of scripture. we do works because we are led by the Holy Spirit to do them just as He leads us to do the Father’s will and follow His commandments. Every judgement in NT scripture is based on works, not on knowing Christ. Do works save us? NO. But for those who are truly led by the Holy Spirit, there are works. But we can oppose, grieve, and quench the Holy Spirit of our own will. We still have a life to live before God and if we don’t do so in submission to the Holy Spirit (which again leads us to keep the moral law and do works befitting true repentance) we are misled. So if anyone believes the grace of God allows them to live however they want (and not saying you said this) they are misled. Anyone who believes that all their future sins are forgiven and then is committed to living in the flesh are going to be surprised. Its simply not scriptural.

          • Chris Hosmer on September 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm

            God does require works….

            When asked what are the works God requires, Jesus answers in John 6 :

            The work of God is this, to believe in the One he sent.

            This is trivialized by those who don’t understand the difficulty of belief in Christ.
            In order to believe someone, you have to hear what they are saying.
            You then have to make logical sense out of what they say and compare it to what you think.

            Then you have to isolate your objections and allow the persuasion of Christ to overcome them.

            Beleif takes focus, effort, time and persistence.

            It is the Checed that is sought after in Hosea 6
            It is the bucket you draw water with in Isaiah 12
            It is the reasoning together that God pleads for in Isaiah 1
            It is the life breathed into the dead army in Ezekiel 37

            Ahhh…the living voice of Christ!



          • fessdo on September 15, 2018 at 6:29 pm

            Why do people want to make salvation so complicated? Complications lead to frustrations which leads to finding a way out and when it’s frustrations from trying to learn the bible people leave the church. Church needs to use KISS (keep it simple stupid). What is so wrong with believing Jesus paid it all and God is full of mercy and grace. I have never meet one person who after learning the truth of Gods mercy and grace start sinning more, all I knew begin to sin less not because they had to but because they wanted to. It may be that some people have to have the law to keep them in line (stiff neck) maybe, I’ve never saw one but of course if they’re around me much they don’t live under the burden of the law long. When they see the rest I live in the lord they’re quick to join in. If we try finding every answer to our lives in scripture then we wouldn’t need faith cause we could SEE it written down.

            Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

            Ephesians 2:7-9 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God Not of works, lest any man should boast.

            Bottom line I have faith in Him that I’m saved and not in Fessdo’s work plus Him.



      • Hilton on September 15, 2018 at 9:45 pm

        Gregg we are much on the same page. If we as you say we focus on grace does that mean we focus on His spirit given to us by grace – or does it mean that we now have a licence to sin.
        What I am trying to say is that I TRIED for years to fulfill all the man made so called “unconscious laws” that have been made out of the new testament. Don’t go to a place of ill repute. Put ten percent in the bucket. Turn up to all the meetings. Girls can’t wear swim suits. Don’t drink. Read your bible every day -yada yada. I tried to keep the moral law in my own strength too and failed.
        This is what was happening

        Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. Romans 7

        Focusing on law will never free you from it. Who will deliver me from this body of death -thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Focusing on the GRACE freely poured through the Holy Ghost is entirely different from reading laws and trying hard not to break them. My church experience has been laws , laws and more laws. My struggle has been with law and the sins that were sinful through it. While people gave lip service to Jesus helping me to overcome they never showed me or taught me HOW to abide and live and move and have my being in Christ and the fullness of his Holy Spirit. Focus on Jesus and follow Him and you will fly over sin. That’s what he died for. No longer me living but Him. Like fresh manna in the wilderness I need the bread of life fresh every day. I can’t survive on yesterdays teaching and revelation – I need his grace new every morning. True faith of the heart and not just some mental assent to doctrines and principles. When I got up this morning I did not focus on the list of the sins of the flesh in Galations. I abide and talk to Love himself. I expect His words of love and grace to come back. Why would I get up from that and go and get drunk and do bad things at a wild party -or go to a prayer meeting to spread gossip about my brother? ANYBODY who truly abides wont be looking for an easy road and a day in the flesh that is “covered” by easy grace. One is looking out for self and the other one is full of His selfless love. DO I sin that grace would more abound? May it never be!
        Will I abide and present my body a living dead -wholly and acceptable unto God? This is my reasonable service. Do I want to focus my fellow believers on Law? No – Jesus is the answer and we follow Him. This business that Christians break Gods law because they don’t know the moral law is rubbish. People Know that stealing murder hate and cheating on your wife is wrong -thats why they use the word “cheating”. They know cheating is wrong at school too. A NEW commandment I give unto you. If I can abide in LOVE then I don’t need to focus on what all the myriad of rules are. This is ALL about HOW you obtain victory over sin and where your focus is.
        By the way – if I can’t be cleansed from all unrighteousness when I are short with my wife this afternoon then my christian life has hit a massive brick wall. In my best striving to enter the rest of God I need to have His blood cleanse me of all sin as I walk in the light as He is in the light. Otherwise I cannot come boldly to the throne of Grace as I am not righteous. Thank God Jesus paid for that too. Does that mean I can relax and flow with Him -absolutely. Does that mean I should carry a list of sins and hop on the “try harder bike” -May it never be. Self righteousness is BORN out of those who know the law. I have been there and done that too. Focus on the law produces pharisees. People who know it backwards and think they are righteous when in fact they are blinded to what is happening in their hearts. There are more new testament pharisees out there than the old testament ever produced. I was (and can be) one of them. Pride is an absolute blinder. Law experts end up blind as they have lost sight of the light Himself being tangled up in what they are focusing on. How many think they are obeying the ten commandments but are failing miserably on the first commandment. But they can’t see it. The law is a school teacher that leads us to Christ. That’s why we need a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus so we will know the hope of His calling . the richness of His inheritance in the saints and the greatness of the power toward us who believe. Christians fail because they fail to abide. The prodigal failed as he left home. Christians don’t fail because they need more law. Grace was NEVER given for people to live how they want -Grace was given to live IN HIM. Grace is to overcome – it never produces failure.

        • fessdo on September 15, 2018 at 10:51 pm

          Hilton,
          Again thank you for blessing me others with another comment. When you said “Focusing on law will never free you from it” I was reminded of a pastor who was in his study one Saturday studying law and grace, it came to him that focusing on the law would produce a sin. He thought that can’t be right so he did a little experiment, outside his window was his two sons one 6 the other 8 also their friends about the same age. The pastor raised the window and told the boy “what every you all do don’t spit on that bush or you’ll be in big trouble. Now the boys had played together for hours and had never once even looked a that bush until they were given a thou shall not spit, but with in a few minutes one by one had spit on the bush. There is just something in people that cause them to this. If you ever drive a race car you’ll be told never focus on the wall cause where the eyes go the car goes.

        • Hilton on September 16, 2018 at 1:59 am

          When you think about it the Holy Spirit leads us to obedience faaaaarrr greater than the law. It captures the life and not the letter.

          Jesus lifted the bar on the law! Jesus made the requirements HAAARRRDDEERRRRR not easier.

          1. I say unto you if you HATE your brother you are a MURDERER
          2. whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
          3. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
          4. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

          There is no doubting it. Jesus lifted the bar on your thoughts, words and actions. No wonder the disciples declared “who can be saved” That’s another bar that was lifted. The big test of Mammon. The answer to the disciples questions came on the day of pentecost. There through Christ we have the greatness of the power toward us who believe -the teacher of the ages- the same power that raised Christ from the dead -the power to walk IN HIM -no longer us BUT HIM. I must decrease. He must increase. Only there is the ability to do the things that Jesus spoke of above. Those who walk in His spirit WILL do exploits far beyond the mere letter of the law. I would like to hear from anybody who thinks Jesus did not raise the stakes on what is required of us. I am sincere in this. But never fear Jesus is here -to do it for you-after all you are HIS body. You have HIS mind. And you live and move and have your being IN HIM. Greater works are for those who abide, put on and walk IN HIM.

          • Gregg Powers on September 16, 2018 at 10:49 am

            Right! The Holy Spirit leads us to fulfill the spirit of the law (as Jesus described). So what the Spirit leads us into is a much higher standard than the letter of the law. This is exactly the thesis of “The Law” chapter in the book….Amen



        • Gregg Powers on September 16, 2018 at 10:46 am

          Amen, yet we must make the decision to submit to the Spirit. Sadly, there are too many (research for the book) Christians that live as enemies of the cross of Christ. I suspect through the leading of the Holy Spirit, you now are led to follow the commandments, love others, share the gospel, etc. etc. Praise God that you listen to His spirit for He will NEVER lead you wrong. I don’t always know what others think but my experience has been when people say we are not under the law (and need not follow the commandments) they are looking to invalidate what God teaches in the OT and NT under the banner of grace. Yet this is not the comprehensive teaching of scripture. God Bless……

          • fessdo on September 16, 2018 at 11:56 am

            Romans 8:3–4
            For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
            What does Paul mean in verse 4 when he says that the aim of Christ’s death is “that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”?
            Some take this to mean that Christ fulfilled the law for us when he obeyed it perfectly and died as the perfect sacrifice on our behalf. In him we are perfect with his perfection and in him we are pardoned by his blood. Now I believe that is true. And it is foundational for everything. But I don’t think that is the point of verse 4. And the reason I don’t is that it won’t fit the wording of the text. Verse 4 says the aim is “that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us.” It does not say that the law is to be fulfilled for us. That is true, I would say, from Romans 5:19. But that’s not the point here. And then he focuses specifically on our walking, that is, our living, as the way the fulfillment will happen: “that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk . . . according to the Spirit.”
            So my question is: How do we fulfill the requirement of the law? And specifically how can any of my “walking” by the Spirit — which is always imperfect in this life — be said to fulfill God’s law which is holy and just and good. Since when does God’s holy law and divine standard say, “Pretty good will do”?



          • fessdo on September 17, 2018 at 7:19 am

            What Does It Mean to Fulfill the Law in Romans 8:3–4?

            What I would like to do is answer this question with a far-reaching summary of the relationship of the Christian to the Law in twelve theories.
            Theory 1: Fulfilling the requirement of the law in Romans 8:4 refers to a life of real love for people.

            Romans 13:8–10: “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
            Galatians 5:13–18: “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. . . . If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” (Compare Romans 7:4, 6.)
            Matthew 7:12: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
            Matthew 22:37–40: “And he said to him, ‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’”
            Theory 2: Our fulfilling the law in loving others is not the ground of our justification. The ground of justification is the obedience and blood-shedding of Christ alone, appropriated through faith alone before any other acts are performed. Our fulfilling the law is the fruit and evidence of being justified by faith.
            “The ground of justification is the obedience and blood-shedding of Christ alone.”
            Romans 3:24–25: “Being justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in his blood through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because in the forbearance of God he passed over the sins previously committed.”
            Romans 5:19: “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”
            Romans 8:3: “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.
            2 Corinthians 5:21: “He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.”
            Romans 3:20–22: “By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.”
            Romans 3:28: “We maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”
            Romans 4:4–5: “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
            Theory 3: This fulfilling of the law in loving others is rendered not in our own strength but by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

            Romans 8:4: “So that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
            Galatians 5:22: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
            Galatians 5:13–16: “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself. . . .’ But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
            Theory 4: This fulfilling of the law in loving others through the Spirit is rendered by faith, that is, by being satisfied with all that God is for us in Christ — the perseverance of the same faith that justifies.

            Galatians 3:5: “So then, does he who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”
            Galatians 5:6: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
            1 Timothy 1:5: “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
            Thesis 5: This fulfilling of the law in loving others through the Spirit by faith is not a perfect love in this life.

            Romans 7:15: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
            Romans 7:19: “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”
            Romans 7:23–25: “I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”
            Philippians 3:12: “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”
            Theory 6: But my fulfilling of the law in loving others through the Spirit by faith will become perfect when I die or when Christ comes, and I will live in perfection of love forever.

            Romans 8:30: “These whom he predestined, he also called; and these whom he called, he also justified; and these whom he justified, he also glorified.
            Philippians 1:6: “For I am confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
            Hebrews 12:22–23: “But you have come to Mount Zion . . . and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.”
            “Christ will be glorified forever in our salvation. We’ll forever lean on his righteousness.”
            Thesis 7: Even though I will one day be perfected in love, the totality of my existence will never be a perfect one because it will always include the first chapter of my fallenness. I will always be a forgiven sinner and will always be in need of an imputed, alien righteousness and a sin-bearing Substitute for my right standing before God. In this way, Christ will be glorified forever in my salvation. I will forever lean on his righteousness and his sacrifice.

            Theory 8: Even though imperfect, this Spirit-dependent, Christ-exalting love (which is essentially self-sacrificing gladness in the temporal and eternal good of others, 2 Corinthians 8:1–2, 8) is the true and real direction of life the law required. In this life we have new direction, not full perfection. This direction is what the law demands on the way to perfection.
            (See the texts under thesis 1.)
            Theory 9: This fulfilling of the Old Testament Law in the loving others through the Spirit by faith is sometimes called the “law of liberty” and the “law of Christ.”

            9.1. When the fulfilling of the Law it is called the “law of liberty” it means that as Christians we pursue love in liberty from law-keeping as the ground of our justification or the power of our sanctification. Instead we pursue it by the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2). We look to the Spirit of Christ for transformation so that love flows by power from within, not pressure from without. The law of liberty is the leading of the Spirit, and “where the Spirit is there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
            James 1:25: “But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”
            James 2:10–12: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, ‘do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘do not commit murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.
            Galatians 5:1: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
            2 Corinthians 3:17–18: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
            9.2. When the fulfilling of the Law is called “the law of Christ,” it means that our pursuit of love is guided and enabled by the life, word, and Spirit of Jesus Christ. The law of Christ is not a new list of behaviors without but a new Treasure and Master within. He did give us a “new commandment” (“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another,” John 13:34). But this standard of love is the life and power of a person who indwells us by his Spirit. We pursue love as “the law of Christ” by looking to Christ as our all-sufficient righteousness, our all-satisfying Treasure, our all-providing Protection and Helper, and our all-wise counselor and guide.
            1 Corinthians 9:21: “To those who are without law, [I became] as without law, though not being without the law of God but [in, not under] the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.”
            Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
            Theory 10: The Old Testament Law can be understood narrowly as a set of commandments, or more broadly as the entire teaching of the Pentateuch, or even all the instruction of God wherever he gives it.

            10.1. In the narrow sense one may think of the law as commanding perfect obedience which, if we could perform it by faith, would be our righteousness and our justification. But, because of our sin, the law does not impart life in this way (Galatians 3:21), but shuts us up to look away from law-keeping to Christ so that we might be justified by faith in him.
            Galatians 3:21–25: “If a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”
            10.2. In the broader sense of the whole Pentateuch or the whole Old Testament, we may think of the law not merely as making demands, but as also providing a way for sinners to be justified by faith apart from works, and to please him by walking in love (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6).
            “When the law is understood in its entirety, its aim is that Jesus Christ gets the glory.”
            Romans 3:19–22: “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe.”
            Theory 11: When the law is understood in its entirety its aim is that Jesus Christ gets the glory as the one who provides the only ground for our imputed righteousness through faith (justification), and the only power for our imparted righteousness (that is, love which fulfills the law) through faith (sanctification).

            Romans 5:19: “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one the many will be made righteous.”
            Romans 10:4: “The goal of the law is Christ for righteousness to everyone who believes” (my translation).
            2 Corinthians 5:21: “He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.”
            Philippians 3:8–9: “More than that, I count all things to be loss . . . so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
            Philippians 1:11: “Having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
            Thesis 12: Therefore, I give a summary, three-part answer to the question, “How can my imperfect obedience and love fulfill the perfect law of God?”

            12.1. First, my imperfect love is, nevertheless, real God-dependent, Spirit-enabled, Christ-exalting love that is based on my justification and not a means to it. And therefore it is the new direction that the law was aiming at and what the new covenant promised. In short, love as the fruit of faith, which exalts Christ, is what the law was aiming at.
            12.2. Second, my imperfect love is the first fruits of a final perfection that Christ will complete in me at his appearing. Romans 8:4 does not say that the entire fulfillment of the law happens in us now. But our walk by the Spirit begins now and so does our fulfillment of the law.
            12.3. Finally, my imperfect love is the fruit of my faith in Jesus who is my justifying perfection before God. In other words, the only law-keeping I depend on as the ground of my justification is Jesus’s law-keeping. His was perfect. Mine is imperfect. And so I will never have a whole life of perfection to offer God — not to all eternity. The acceptability of my life to all eternity will always depend on the perfection of Jesus offered in my place. My imperfect love now and my perfect love later will always be the fruit of faith that looks to Jesus, my only perfection. In the end the law is fulfilled in me imperfectly because it was fulfilled in him perfectly. And my imperfection is a pointer to his perfection, and that pointing is the aim of the law.
            Look to Jesus

            Wherever you look in Scripture, look to Jesus. Let every passage tell you something of his Father and his Spirit and thus himself. Make it your aim in all your use of the Scriptures to see and savor more of Christ. Be on a treasure hunt to satisfy your soul more and more in him. In this way the Spirit of Christ will be at work to transform you into his image. The aim of the law will be fulfilled more and more in your life. And you will magnify Christ in your life until he comes to complete the work he has begun.



  14. Chris Hosmer on September 12, 2018 at 11:58 am

    They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching….(Acts 2:42)

    One of my favorite questions is this : “What are you reading in the scriptures that is helping you draw near to Christ?”

    If this is actually happening for someone, then the need for “leadership” is de-emphasized” because they are already near the One who has more power than anyone else, and already can teach them directly.

    This is the Jesus that the apostles presented. We have their writings in order to help us see Jesus.

    The offices of the church listed in Ephesians were established BEFORE we had the New Testament in our hands.

    Thats a good thing to remember.

    Pastors today go to the school of their particular denomination to get trained. They become instruments of the denominational structure…because that is what they are trained to do.

    • Gregg Powers on September 12, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      Amen. it is why we must be in scripture……

  15. chosmer on September 12, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Mine 42day

    Im rolling these 3 around in my head today…put the puzzle pieces together and tell me what you get:
    I will report in later what my mining efforts produce…

    Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matt 5:4)

    Strongs 3996 (morn) penthéō – properly, grieve over a death

    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. (Isaiah 9:6)

    And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. (Zech 12:10)

  16. Hilton on September 12, 2018 at 5:55 am

    Carey I think when people say they are “done with Church” MOST of them mean the one they visited here and there that meets in a man made box that they sacrificed dollars to build at some point in it’s history. I am currently “done with church” meaning the vestiges of religion that seems to go more against what Jesus taught than FOR what he taught. After more than fifty years of “going to church” I realise with a closer relationship to Jesus that I am the church. But most of what is called the church has few clues about many of the truths about the church you state above that I agree with. Nor at this point in time are many of them interested in changing much at all. Here are some things that I can’t see many churches changing at all.
    1. You have to have a primary meeting (once a week) and it has to mostly be on Sunday. Then we can tell who you really belong to by which hut you are sitting in on Sunday morning.
    2. There’s normally singularity of leadership -generally a pastor with a few add ons (deacons or elders)
    3. Most of the “service” is written down by men beforehand and is generally strictly adhered to. Maybe some get around this by saying they “prayed about it” while writing it down. This should guarantee the “service (something done for you rather than something you are actively part of)” is spirit lead.
    4. There seems no room for any part of the body to bring a psalm, hymn, revelation or word of encouragement to edify. I am often told this happens at a home meeting on Wednesday night but when I get there its a Sunday repeat.
    5. Those who make this service will always tell you to have a personal relationship with God -but its a given that most of what you need will be done if you just turn up and do what we tell you on Sunday.
    6. You will be told that they love you unconditionally yet only a few learn your name and nobody rings you when you finally leave. If you have a need -ring the prayer chain and we will send you a frozen dinner.
    7. You have to come under our name -become our member and adhere to the rules. Paul said it was carnal for the one true body to say ” I am of Paul or I am of Apollos.”
    8. You have to pay for your blessing and give in order to get blessed. I thought Jesus bought all our blessings on the cross? This money goes to the wages of a few or to pay off debt.
    9. You all sit in rows and look at the back of peoples heads.
    10. This set up seems to sprout more law than grace. ( fessdo helped me with his law page -awesome mate)
    11. Few care if you come or go -let alone lay down our life for the brethren

    Why is it that hardly a church I know can deviate from any of the above and nor are they willing to try.

    God through Luthers revelation took us a few steps from the “works church” now we camp and don’t deal with any more.

    I’m so much like Ron. In fifty years I have done so much. Most (if not all) being wood hay and stubble.

    Ron said
    “I know many who have walked away from church because they think they don’t need the church. I am not numbered among them. As I stated previously I NEED the church,I long for the church.”

    Me too Ron – I left to FIND it too. I will find it first with Him. He will build the church. I’m done with church that’s around me.

    I want church that loves God and people with room for all to give that meets and finds it hard to separate. So much religion and law.

    I’m not after a perfect church just one that will START to unravel even the smallest bits in my eleven points -I could write 20 more but most reading this know what they are.

    Help us dear father -lead us closer to you. Help us to abide in you today.

    • fessdo on September 12, 2018 at 7:15 am

      Hilton,
      Thanks for your great comment, number 6 really gave me a chuckle cause it is so true it’s like” brother I’m praying for you” but if you ask exactly when and what did you pray, that’s when you get a blank stare because they’ve been caught in a lie.
      It’s so good to see some one else here that reads the bible with a grace mindset instead of the law mindset, a law mindset is an old testament mindset or works mindset where as a grace mindset is a new testament mindset or a rest mindset. It took years for me to learn to read the bible with a grace mindset and when I did then the rest in Jesus came in like a flood. That’s why when the law (or work) people make the comment “God’s going to get you for what you said” it just rolls off cause my trust is in what Jesus did not what I did but to them living under the law the statement “God’s going to get you” worries then bad because they can’t rest in what all Jesus has provided for them.
      Here’s something that I think will bless you.

      A New Testament / Grace Mindset
      Galatians 2:16”Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” The theme of the letter to the Galatians is the practical application of justification by faith. It is a major issue amongst many Christians today, yet it is the heart of our salvation, the fundamental truth and basis of our redemption in Christ Jesus. The letter to the Galatians gets to the core of true spiritual warfare which is law versus grace.
      2 Corinthians 10:3-5 is the warfare, the only true warfare that Christians need to consider which is in the mind. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
      The weapons of our warfare are the gospel, faith, grace, love and truth. When we renew our minds to the truth of God’s grace, or Romans 12:1-2, then we realize that the war is over, and we can stand and rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 6:11, 13-14 “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The Amplified Bible reads “that you may be able to stand up against all the strategies and deceits of the devil.” The word “wiles” in the Greek is the word “methodeia” which is where we get our word methods. It means the tricks, the mind games, the one way or one road. Verse 13 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand, stand therefore.” Notice the frequency of the word “stand”.
      I have a question. What or who is the armor and where did you get it?
      Romans 13:14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” The armor is Jesus Christ. How do you put Him on? You get born-again and renew your mind to the truth of who you are, what you have and what you can do in Christ Jesus and act like it is so because it is so! Remember Ephesians chapter one and two are before Ephesians chapter 6. They tell us that we are seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus far above all principalities and powers and might and dominion. They tell us that we are the body of Christ and Jesus is our Head and He has put all things underneath His feet. That means all things, the devil included is under our feet. Hebrews 4:1-3 “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, as I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
      What did Jesus mean in John 19:30 when He said “it is finished?” He meant that:
      1) Satan is defeated. He can no longer accuse you before God anymore.(Not that God would listen to him anyway.) John 12:31 “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”1 John 3:8 “He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
      2) The law is fulfilled. It is done. It is over. Nobody is under the law today. Hebrews 8:6 “But now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant which is established upon better promises.” What is the president ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ? He is our great high priest, our mediator, our intercessor and our surety of a better covenant. As new creation people we need a New Testament to live by. 2 Corinthians 3:6 “who also made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.” Colossians 2:14 “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” Verse 15 of Colossians 2 says “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
      3) Sin no longer has power over us. Romans 6:14 “Sin shall no longer have dominion over you because you are no longer under law but under grace.” 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
      So if there is no old covenant law anymore then sin has no more power over us. The old man is now dead, Romans 6:6, and doesn’t exist anymore. That person that now lives, the new creation, loves God, and loves His word. That new person loves the things of the Spirit, people and everything that pertains to the kingdom of God. So now I say with Paul “who has bewitched you?” Galatians 5:1. Do you see it? You can never experience the fullness of God, His love, His truth, His power or His miracles by works of the law! Philippians 3:9-10 “And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” Why are people condemned all the time and powerless today? Because they are still under the law (actually they are not). They are trying to obtain righteousness instead of living by faith in the grace. When we are living by faith in the grace, the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, based on what He did for us at the cross, then sin, sickness, the law, Satan and even death has no more power over us. We can work miracles, heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead, and operate in all the fullness as sons of God because “God the Father, who did not spare his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32.

      • Gregg Powers on September 12, 2018 at 10:21 am

        Sad; but this is what happens when you read 1/2 the New Testament. Hoping you find the other half. in Him

        • fessdo on September 12, 2018 at 11:34 am

          Gregg,
          I thought for sure that you would have saw it’s faith in what Jesus did not faith in Jesus and Gregg did by now.
          Jesus plus something = nothing, but Jesus plus nothing = everything.
          You just can’t see the forest for the trees, maybe if you remove the religious eye glasses and look for a loving Father instead of one waiting to beat the crap out of you then you would arrive at a true understanding what all Jesus has done for even you. You’re replying so that means there’s still hope for you.

          • Gregg Powers on September 12, 2018 at 11:57 am

            Friend, you listen to false teachers. 1 John 2:3. Can you explain how you understand this verse?



          • fessdo on September 12, 2018 at 12:16 pm

            Gregg.
            That’s an easy one, the answer is in John 13:34.



          • Gregg Powers on September 12, 2018 at 12:22 pm

            Two problems with that. 1 John 2:3 was written later. Also we are taught that if we truly love God we OBEY.



          • fessdo on September 12, 2018 at 12:42 pm

            Still seeing the trees and missing the forest, you strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. You’ve got to get focused on the bigger picture, just following the crowd don’t mean you’re right.



          • Gregg Powers on September 12, 2018 at 12:51 pm

            also do you know the difference between command and commandment? again friend, All SCRIPTURE….



          • Gregg Powers on September 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm

            I think we are done here. You reject large portions of scripture which are inconsistent with what you state. Hoping you friend the truth friend…..in Him



          • fessdo on September 12, 2018 at 3:13 pm

            Gregg,
            Ever heard the story about the poor man over seas that wanted to come to the U.S., well he worked and worked saving his money week after week year after year till one day he got enough money to buy a one way ticket to the U.S. plus one stick of bologna and one box of crackers. He counted out the crackers and knowing how many days it would take him to cross the ocean he had a figure as to how many he could eat three times a day. Each day he would walk on deck looking in the windows seeing all the people eating fine meals, but he would go to his room and divided out his bologna and crackers. He would also notice that some didn’t even clean their plate and he would think man if I could just have their left overs I would be so happy, but he would go back to his room for his few crackers and small slice of bologna. Then the last day of the trip arrived and he eat his last crackers, as he walked out of his room a man in a uniform stopped him and said “I work here on the ship and I have notice that you never eat at any of our buffets, why?, was the food not good enough”? The man explained that he only had enough money for the ticket, crackers, and bologna,,, but the worker on the ship stopped him and said “all the meals were included in the price of the ticket”.

            Gregg salvation is much more than Jesus just paying for our past sins, way much more. As for me I’m keeping my eyes on Jesus and not on the “don’t dos”.



          • fessdo on September 13, 2018 at 7:18 am

            Gregg,
            To answer your question, do I know the difference between command and commandment, the answer is yes. May I ask you a question, do you know the difference between Mercy and Grace ?



      • pradeep ivon on September 12, 2018 at 11:23 am

        thank you dear Fessdo and Hilton for a clear understanding of the so called “church” of today as i have personally experienced & observed this in the church we visit- having been also in the parish committee where i have seen the kind of manipulative aspirations of many. Indeed auditorium style sitting does not permit interactions among the members but only one way communication from pastor downwards. Yes i agree we are meant to be the church now, but we need to meet in a fellowship more often to edify and build each other up and also to move out in being a witness for our Lord Jesus, bring people to know him as the Only savior Lord and to heal the sick in his name.

        • fessdo on September 12, 2018 at 11:42 am

          pradeep ivon,
          You are so right and I hope that some of the church leaders see these comments and change their programs or maybe try a new thing an add Jesus in their message.

      • Gregg Powers on September 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm

        i cannot respond to your other post fessdo but you are right, all of us have sinned. We have no fear before God if we are earnestly trying to follow the Holy Spirit even though as you say, we will fail. God is able to forgive our sin in Christ just as He did David’s, Moses’s etc. The question is and always will be what is our heart before God. Hebrews 4:12. Here is where some get into trouble though. Those who claim Christ as Lord but refuse to try to submit to the Holy Spirit are in trouble. Now i know this sounds like works based salvation but it is not. It is submitting ourselves to where the Holy Spirit leads which is the natural path for someone devoted to Christ. The idea that we have nothing to do with our salvation, that we can live in rebellion to the Lord and be saved is the leading of the evil one. But i also want to remind us of Jesus’ teaching “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” We are to strive for righteousness and holiness. We can never achieve it without Christ, but we also must not live in rebellion to where the Holy Spirit leads. In short, we need not be perfect for we cannot be, but we are to strive to live as the Holy Spirit leads us. Also none of God’s people in the OT were perfect but consider the difference about what God said of the Israelites leaving Egypt and Moses (or David)…….this is the way i understand scripture.

    • Roger Ingram on September 13, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      The problem I see in this opinion is it is humanity focused and not God focused. All 11 points are centered around humans emotions, humans desires, humans involvement, etc., This is not what the bible is about. If you desire to know the bible more, it needs to be God centered. What are Gods desires, What does God want me involved in.

      • fessdo on September 13, 2018 at 5:10 pm

        Roger,
        If church isn’t to help humanity then what is it for? Or do you thing humanity doesn’t need any help?

        • fessdo on September 14, 2018 at 7:31 am

          Roger,
          I’ll help you out with an answer here before you write some churchy pat answer and embarrass you’re self,,,
          Luke 13:10-17 One Sabbath as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, he saw a seriously handicapped woman who had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to straighten herself. Calling her over to him Jesus said, “Woman, you are healed of your sickness!” He touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised and thanked God!
          But the local Jewish leader in charge of the synagogue was very angry about it because Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week to work,” he shouted to the crowd. “Those are the days to come for healing, not on the Sabbath!”
          But the Lord replied, “You hypocrite! You work on the Sabbath! Don’t you untie your cattle from their stalls on the Sabbath and lead them out for water? And is it wrong for me, just because it is the Sabbath day, to free this Jewish woman from the bondage in which Satan has held her for eighteen years?” This shamed his enemies. And all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.
          Now Roger you wouldn’t want to be like those church leader and NOT take care of the woman’s problem would you.
          The problem with you and most church members is you all forget that helping people solve THIER problems is helping God.

          Matthew 25:44-45 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And I will answer, ‘When you refused to help the least of these my brothers, you were refusing help to me.
          So to say that my dear brother’s comment is “humanity focused” is a churchy cliché used to try to gain points with God, just as what the church leaders in Jesus’s day said and you saw what Jesus called them!!!

  17. Chris Hosmer on September 10, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Mine 42day.

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:3)

    A poor in spirit person is easily convinced, ready to accept a new view in favor of their old one.
    This is good news when we walk with Christ, he can talk us out of our futility.

    “The one who lives by believing in me will never die” (Jn 11:26b)
    This means you get new life by listening to Christ and letting Him persuade you.

    In this case…you are truly blessed!

  18. Chris Hosmer on September 8, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    I like some of what Gregg Powers has to say.
    Try drilling down and questioning him on his real points instead of just trying to win.

    otherwise…

    You guys otta rotate your own tires if you need something to do….

    • Gregg Powers on September 8, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      thanks for the kind words Chris. I say before God that i have no desire for anyone else EXCEPT they get closer to God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God bless each person on this site with that. in Him

    • fessdo on September 8, 2018 at 4:04 pm

      Chris you’re just wasting words cause no amount of fulminating or needling would cause me to go back living under the law like you and Gregg. When the Son has set you free you are free indeed. The amazing thing is how people who Jesus has set free still want to live under the law (works or a work mentality, like rotating tires) instead of grace, don’t feel bad the Galatians tried the same thing but thanks to Paul most didn’t stay that way. I’m hoping you don’t either.

      • Gregg Powers on September 8, 2018 at 5:27 pm

        Read ALL of Galatians. The Holy Spirit leads us to keep the law and more than the letter of the law; the spirit of the law as well. The Holy Spirit also leads us to hate sin if we are listening to Him. We have never been freed from the moral law because the Holy Spirit leads us to keep it. Jesus and Paul expressly reiterated parts of the moral law. In upholding it we love God and our fellow man just as Jesus said. Romans 8 teaches us that “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” Paul told the Galatians “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Freedom from the law was never designed to allow us to live in sin. Let me state as plainly as possible. If you believe the freedom in Christ allows you to live in sin, you have a surprise in store for you. Hoping you find the truth…. in Him

        • fessdo on September 8, 2018 at 5:45 pm

          Gregg,
          Keep up the good WORKS but I have faith Jesus paid it all for me so all my works are useless. A good understanding of grace would do you wonders but first one must admit they could be wrong.

          • Gregg Powers on September 8, 2018 at 8:36 pm

            Paying for it makes no difference otherwise all would be saved. I do understand grace. I am praying for you to find the truth before the Lord says “why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what i say?” Praying for you friend……



          • fessdo on September 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm

            Paying for it makes all the differences but you have to receive it by faith not by your works.
            The Bible is universally known as “the Good Book” and rightly so. Its words are inspired and it will point you to Jesus. If you read the whole Bible through the lens of the cross, you will find redemption and life. If you read the written word to discover the Living Word, it will set you free.
            But when handled incorrectly the Bible is utterly lethal. Buried within lies the law which, the Bible fairly warns, ministers death (2 Cor 3:7). For thousands of years, men have been using the law-bits of the Bible to control and manipulate others. Their goal is to enslave and dominate and their tools are fear and condemnation.
            People have been living under self-imposed law ever since Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Jesus died to set us free from the curse of the law, yet some of us keep returning to the forbidden tree for another bite. Paul warned that we become “estranged from Christ” to the degree that we are under law (Gal 5:4). What makes the grace of God ineffectual in our lives? It is getting entangled again in religious notions about what it means to do the right thing.
            I’d like to think that if I’d been Adam, the first thing I would’ve built was a fence around that tree. Then I would’ve put warning signs all over that fence. It’s too late for that now, but it’s not too late to put warning signs all around the law.



          • boglene@yahoo.com on September 9, 2018 at 12:22 am

            “Praying for you friend……” under this context, is a condescending response. You have now declared yourself morally superior, but you will take pity on them and now hand it off to God, because you tried. It is the standard response when the rebuttal gets sideways, off the tracks, or becomes compelling. The Sermon On The Mount taught to us to speak to our brother if at odds. It didn’t say to pray for them so God can do the hard work for you. I commend your work, but this endeavor that you have chosen comes the greatest scrutiny there is. Make better arguments instead of taking the standard cheap shot, or just let it go and move on. The only thing accomplished from that response was driving this person further away from where you wanted them to go.



          • fessdo on September 9, 2018 at 8:05 am

            Seven signs that you may be under law
            1. You’re not 100% sure if you’re 100% forgiven
            God doesn’t do forgiveness in installments. All your sins were forgiven at the cross (Col 2:13) when God the Son abolished sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb 9:26). Neither God the Father (Heb 8:12) nor God the Holy Spirit (Heb 10:17) remembers your sin any more. Still not convinced? Then read this.
            2. You believe Christians have a duty or responsibility to serve the Lord
            Duty and responsibility are synonyms for obligation so this is a mind-set that says we are obliged, or indebted, to God. I’ve heard it said that “Jesus has done so much for you, what will you do for Him?” Indeed, God has given us everything. Ever wondered why? He did it “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:7). He is not just rich in grace, but exceedingly rich. You cheapen His grace by thinking you have a duty or responsibility to pay Him back. Your responsibility is to believe that He is good and true! It is not our obligation to serve the Lord, it is our royal privilege. It is not our duty, but our great delight.
            3. You suffer from performance anxiety.
            Performance anxiety is a rational response to the uncertainty of life under the old covenant. But anxiety has no place in the new. We are to draw water from the wells of salvation with joy (Is 12:3). We walk under law in anxiety and fear, but we walk under grace with joy and thanksgiving! “Happy are those whose wrongs are forgiven, whose sins are pardoned! Happy is the person whose sins the Lord will not keep account of!” (Rms 4:7-8, GNB) God has made us His Sons, and with such a Father we need not be worried about anything (Mt 6:32). He is our Provider who delights to give good gifts to those who ask Him (Mt 7:11). Those who serve under the law are insecure, but sons are secure.
            4. You think, “God will bless me as I do my part”
            The essence of a life enslaved by law is the mindset that says, “I must do something for God.” The motivation may be to earn salvation or some other blessing. But this mindset is anti-Christ and anti-cross. Contrary to what you may think, we are not justified by what we do but grace alone (Rms 3:24). Grace and works don’t mix (Rms 11:6). (And if you’re thinking of James 2:24, read this.) Grace, peace, and every spiritual blessing have been given to us by God our Father through Jesus Christ (Eph 1:3). We are not called to work for God, but to do the work of God. (Click the link to learn more about mixing grace with works.)
            Grace is God’s part; faith is our part (Eph 2:8). Faith is a positive response to what God has done. Faith is saying, “thank you Jesus!” Faith is healing the sick and casting out demons, because Jesus made provision for our healing and deliverance at the cross.
            5. You think we need more preaching on repentance.
            Repentance saves lives, but preaching on repentance doesn’t lead to repentance! A law mind-set emphasizes what people must do (repent!), but grace proclaims what God has already done (everything!). A law mindset uses inferior incentives (fear, judgment) that lead to temporary changes in behavior, but grace (God is good and He loves you!) changes the hardest heart. If you want people to genuinely repent, preach the goodness of God (Rms 2:4).
            6. You think you have to overcome life’s trials or Jesus will blot out your name.
            It really isn’t about you. Jesus is our overcomer and our victory (Jn 16:33). Everyone who believes Jesus is the Son of God has already overcome the world, because The Overcomer lives in them (1 Jn 5:4-5). Jesus promised the overcomers at Sardis that He would never blot out their name. Ever since then insecure performance-oriented believers have feared He might change His mind and do exactly that. For more on overcoming, read this.
            7. You mainly think of following Jesus in terms of giving up things.
            Christianity is a divine exchange, our life for his. No doubt you’ve heard people say that following Jesus costs you everything. And it does. You cannot call him Lord without renouncing the right to your own life. But see what you get in exchange! If salvation means nothing more to you than self-denial and personal sacrifice, you’ve missed the whole point. Christ offers us an unfair exchange; our life for His. God favors us with this exchange. We give him our sinful little selves and get everything in return. A law mindset looks at what we give up, but a grace mindset rejoices at what He offers in return! Stop thinking about what you gave up (nothing you could keep) and start enjoying what He has given you (everything!).



          • Neil on September 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm

            “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1).

            You make compelling arguments fessdo, and you are being heard. This is for real.



          • fessdo on September 10, 2018 at 2:32 pm

            Thank God somebody’s paying attention.



          • Gregg Powers on September 10, 2018 at 3:36 pm

            That which you posted is full of 1/2 truths. It is from an errant human teacher. Would you like to go through point by point? Let me just start you off with the first. Paying for sins and forgiveness of sins are different else the whole world would be saved. If you want to understand scripturally the difference let me know. God does forgive in installments. That is what scripture teaches. There is no place in all of scripture (including the OT) where God has forgiven or taken away sin in advance of its commission. Furthermore, we are told explicitly that PAST sins have been forgiven (2 Peter 1:9 among others). Once God has forgiven us, that sin is removed from us and we need not worry about it again. There are other passages which are quite clear about continuing sin. Let me know if you want these. Friend, if you keep following men you are going to have a problem. Get into scripture and understand the breadth of what it says. I will be glad to lead you point by point using the breadth of scripture……in Him



          • Neil on September 10, 2018 at 4:26 pm

            I believe that we are accountable for how we spend our time on earth. I was complementing your eloquence. The serpent was also compelling, and he was heard.



          • fessdo on September 10, 2018 at 6:29 pm

            Gregg,
            In your world the best a person could hope for is the minute after you’re born again die. That would be the only hope to enter heaven since Jesus told the rich young ruler “there’s none good”, but I got news God’s not mad anymore He’s not even in a bad mood and Jesus didn’t do a half way job. To put such a burden on people has zero grace and all law. It shows you haven’t study on the great grace that Paul taught.



          • Gregg Powers on September 10, 2018 at 7:19 pm

            I offered to address your ideas point by point from scripture. I will tell you again: stop trusting in men and trust in God and His word for “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.| God Bless.



        • Stu on September 10, 2018 at 4:39 pm

          Gregg, in another comment, you share what you believe Scripture says about Jesus forgiveness of sins—past, present, and future. You disagree with this.

          Can you help me understand the following?
          “If that were the case, you and I would lose our salvation every day–because we sin every day. Even if our actions are pure, our thoughts often are not. And even if our actions and thoughts are pure, we still sin because of the good things we should be doing but fail to do.

          Since our salvation does not depend on us and how good we are, but rather depends solely on Christ and what He has already done for us through His death on the cross, Scripture says that Christ “appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26).

          Does that mean it doesn’t matter whether or not we sin? “No, of course not. Sin is serious; it is an offense to God, and it breaks our fellowship with Him. Sin also compromises our witness for Christ. The Bible is clear: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).”

          Therefore, I am wondering if you might clarify what you mean when you said, “There is no place in all of scripture (including the OT) where God has forgiven or taken away sin in advance of its commission.” I thought this is the very reason Christ died on the cross for us—to take away all sin.

          I am not in agreement with you. Could you clarify what you mean

          • Gregg Powers on September 10, 2018 at 5:17 pm

            Stu. Thanks for the question. To answer specifically God is able to forgive our sins even if we do not confess them. However the question is always the heart before God.

            Consider this verse. ” For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

            Payment for all sins was done at the cross (in fact the sins of the world). But forgiveness comes when we accept Jesus Christ for all past sins. When we are faithful and confess our sins, God will forgive us and it is those sins that are forever removed from us. If with a true heart we forget to confess our sins, God is still able to forgive us in Christ. But if we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit, if we don’t try to avoid sin, and we refuse to humble ourselves before God acknowledging our sin, we are living in rebellion and the verse above is relevant.

            If all sins were fully forgiven at the cross, then all would be saved (including those who don’t know Christ). If all sins were forgiven when we accepted Christ, then those sinning wilfully would not be subject to judgment as shown in the verse above. Remember those above are described as “sanctified” by the blood of Christ. We are, per 1 John 1:9 to confess our sins and then God is faithful to forgive them. There is no need for a man who is fully and permanently justified (declared righteous) to be cleansed from unrighteousness. since they would already be clean. Sin is unrighteousness; that is stated a couple of verses later. Christ died to pay for all sin and provide an eternal sacrifice for sin that we might be forgiven on an ongoing basis, but the idea that we can live in sin since all were paid for is not scriptural.

            Let me ask a question to you (not saying you do this). Do you believe if all future sins are really forgiven once we accept Jesus Christ,. that no matter how much sin one chooses to live in it has no impact on their eternal destiny? We must tap into Jesus’ eternal sacrifice (Hebrews 10:11-12) and be faithful seeking the forgiveness of the Father and then God is faithful to forgive us. Forgiveness requires our humble heart before the Lord. What Jesus did in paying for sins had nothing to do with us.

            Finally, I don’t understand the verse you reference to teach what you see (James 4:17). If we understand this to mean we are always sinning because we don’t always (that is every minute) doing good, we find ourselves in conflict with Romans 6. As such, i see this verse as telling (look at the context before this verse) that if we reject the Lord’s will, shown us through the Holy Spirit, then we are sinning. If fact we are told in another verse that anything not of faith is sin. So if the Holy Spirit leads us to do something and we refuse, it is sin. Not that by simply watching TV we are sinning because we are not out sharing the gospel (unless we are led to share). So our commitment must be to live faithfully, not simply have an intellectual faith in Jesus Christ. Intellectual faith did not work out for the Angels or the Israelites leaving Egypt. This idea that we constantly live in sin is misrepresentation of much of the Modern Church and wholly inconsistent with scripture. We all sin, but we are to try as you said, to avoid sin. I respectfully invite anyone to demonstrate in scripture where God has forgiven sin in advance of its commission. It simply does not happen.

            I hope this helps. For what its worth Stu i am greatly encouraged by your understanding of the gravity of sin before a just and holy God and the price our Lord paid so that we might have forgiveness……in Him



          • Gregg Powers on September 10, 2018 at 5:28 pm

            I would offer one more point Stu, While we agree completely that our salvation does not depend on how “good we are” our salvation depends on our faith. That is the foundation. We see in scripture compromised, dead and shipwrecked faith. Our true and abiding faith leads us to follow where the Holy Spirit leads. But being indwelt by the Holy Spirit is not the same as following the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Remember what scripture says “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” Romans 8:12-14. A true faith leads us to follow the Holy Spirit. I always use the example of the bandleader. If we are going where the bandleader is leading we are following. If we turn around and walk the other way, we are no longer are being led by the bandleader. The same exists with the Holy Spirit……in Him.



          • Gregg Powers on September 10, 2018 at 5:29 pm

            Finally, may i respectfully ask you pray about this?



          • Stu on September 10, 2018 at 6:54 pm

            Gregg,

            The problem I genuinely have about so many followers of Jesus on this site is that they never seem to have a fault. I am grateful for your thoughts, how the Spirit leads you, and of course the Scriptures themselves. But reality is that we all sin, and when we appear above that, we do not sound realistic. We all wear masks—everyone of us—and to the extent that we do, we can neither receive love nor give it; only the mask gets the credit.

            I am not here, nor desire to be here, pretending I have all the answers to peoples’ questions. I listen and decide in my heart, and by trying to verify by reading the Word, whether or not I accept what the writer is revealing and sharing. Christians are at different places in their walk with Christ, but it does not mean they are devoid of wisdom or knowledge because they admit to not having all of the answers. It really is frustrating when people who communicate with other believers tend to, with unspoken words, try to make themselves look exempt from the comments they themselves make by virtue of the fact that they never admit to being flawed and blemished. This becomes a thorn of distrust in my side quite frankly.

            I am glad that you take great pride in desiring to help others grow. I am not taking that away from you. But the masks that we wear must come down before others feel less guarded when they are asking questions, or seeking advice. We all want to be right, and we all want to give others perfect answers, but I must confess immediately that I am horribly imperfect, and need Christ in my life every moment. If I cannot say that, and mean it, then I am only bluffing. Sadly, many have come here assaulting other people’s character, and insulting them personally because they need to pedestalize themselves. When I listen to you, I try to hear what you are saying. When I look at myself in the mirror, I need neither be too shy, nor too prideful; I can learn from others, even if they may not be as knowledgeable. Do I sound like mud here, or do I sound like I am making any sense? Some of what I wrote applies to others; take whatever applies to you, for I certainly can apply it to myself.



          • Gregg Powers on September 10, 2018 at 7:31 pm

            Stu. I got your follow up but am confused. What mask do i have? What is my self serving agenda? Why would I do this if not for love of others? Please ask yourself that. I am not pointing you at a church, don’t want you to follow me, or even listen to me. Its is why i asked you to pray. I responded to claims of another man with scripture and you challenged that. I responded. I don’t think i said anywhere that i do not sin. So just to be clear I do sin. But it is my fervent goal not to sin just as our Lord taught, just as Paul taught. This is where the Holy Spirit inside us leads. If we are not committed to avoiding sin, we are not committed to listening to the Holy Spirit. All ideas of contriteness, admitting our sin, i mentioned in the prior post. But we must never trivialize sin. I will offer if you would like to go through your concerns point by point from scripture. However this forum because of the problems in responding is probably not the right place. If not, no problem but i earnestly recommend that you pray to God to see what He thinks about the idea of us sinning all the time…….God Bless. in Him G



          • fessdo on September 10, 2018 at 7:36 pm

            Gregg,
            Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
            9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.



        • Stu on September 10, 2018 at 8:07 pm

          Thx Gregg for your comments. You said, “…I earnestly recommend that you pray to God to see what He thinks about the idea of us sinning all the time.”

          Here is an example of what I mean. First, you commend my understanding about realizing how sinful we are, and then infer I must pray about the idea of sinning all the time. I could not agree more than until we as Christians realize how black sin is and what it means to hate sin in some fashion as God hates sin, we cannot know Christianity in any mature sense of the word. But to appear to presume I am necessarily void of that knowledge by prescribing I pray about it—without ever having asked me—is what I mean by wearing a mask. Whoever got the idea that because I sin, I find it any more tasteful or attractive than you? That is a far, left-field comment to me, and the unspoken implication is that you are a “better” Christian. which in and of itself has no meaning at all. On our very best day, God calls us “filthy rags,” and if He did not wrap around us His Robe of Righteousness—always—we wouldn’t make it. You have a gift, Gregg, and perhaps I may be misunderstanding you, but you are right; this is not the platform to get into it. Wishing you the best in Christ.
          Stu

          • Gregg Powers on September 10, 2018 at 8:20 pm

            That is not what i said Stu. Please read again. I commended you that you understood how bad sin was, that is the gravity of it. But perhaps i read into (my shame) in your last post that you are sinning all the time. I read “I am horribly imperfect” as sinning all the time. My apologies. I should have considered better the concept you were trying to communicate. But the idea that all we do are filthy rags is not consistent with scripture either. Please read the context around it and then contrast with not only Hebrews 11 but also 1 John 3:7 . What ever we do in the Holy Spirit is indeed pleasing to God. It is only the works apart from the Holy Spirit that are an issue. In any event God bless……in Him Gregg



        • Stu on September 10, 2018 at 8:28 pm

          I think we are saying the same thing here, when you said, “But the idea that all we do are filthy rags is not consistent with scripture either. Please read the context around it and then contrast with not only Hebrews 11 but also 1 John 3:7 . What ever we do in the Holy Spirit is indeed pleasing to God. It is only the works apart from the Holy Spirit that are an issue.”

          Totally agree. My point was that unless we have the Righteousness of Christ wrapped around us, how could we have the Holy Spirit? Even our prayers are tainted with sin, and praise God we have a mediator in Christ who takes what we mean to the Father.

          Grace and peace.

          • Gregg Powers on September 10, 2018 at 8:49 pm

            Amen Stu, Amen



      • Gregg Powers on September 10, 2018 at 8:24 pm

        The verse you sent is true but must be considered in context of the rest of scripture. We stand by faith but scripture tells us that faith can be compromised, shipwrecked (destroyed), lost, misplaced (such as in works) or dead. The only way to get to the full truth of scripture friend is to read all of scripture over and over and ask God for wisdom. That does not seem to be too much given that our Lord sacrificed himself on our behalf that we might have eternal life.. In Him

        • fessdo on September 10, 2018 at 9:47 pm

          Gregg,
          Wayne is right about you, for someone to offer an answer to a question then go thru some mumbo jumbo then to say “the ONLY way to get to the full truth of scripture” is ludicrous,,, talk about putting God in a box. When studying Jesus you find he didn’t have just one way of getting a job done. Like healing the sick, one got mud in his eyes, another he just spoke the word, and even one got healed just touching his clothes. It’s interesting he never prayed for the sick to be healed???, but what I was getting to was there wasn’t just one (ONLY) way for God to work. I also see thru your answer you miss the main point Paul as making, I’ll help you it was grace.

          Hang in there and one day it’ll come to you, as Paul would say grace be to you.

  19. Antony on September 7, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    throughout the centuries the church was just what you call today a Company based on capitalized income from donations made by wealthy people that wished to manipulate the poor people. whatever country you visit they own all the land. whatever war was made in history they would always save their back while innocent people would die. what god and jesus represented has nothing to do with the church. they are just using you to become fortune makers.

  20. Chris Hosmer on September 6, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Mine 42day

    And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. (Jn 12:44-45)

    So far…

    They call Him a samaritian…He doesnt stop
    They call Him a bastard…He doesnt stop
    They call Him demon-possessed…He doesnt stop
    They call Him a blaphemer…He doesnt stop

    They try to stone Him…He doesnt stop

    They crucify Him…He doesnt stop

    Christ continues to cry out…and this for our benefit.

    His Perseverance and Mercy is our ticket to life.

  21. Wayne on August 24, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    So why does it matter as to wether Judas hung himself or jumped off a cliff…what is your point??

    • fessdo on August 24, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      If some one should kill their self wouldn’t you agree that it would just take one of these ways not both?

      • Wayne on September 7, 2018 at 3:10 am

        Hmmm. Well at least he did the decent thing…I’m sure he’s not burning in hell…he’s probably seated at the table with all the rest (my opinion)…he was appointed..we needed a sacrificial lamb, and he was used
        All hunky dory

        • fessdo on September 7, 2018 at 7:12 am

          Wayne,
          I agree, if heaven is only filled with perfect humans then it’s a lonely place.
          I always ask the Judas question when someone like Chris get on his soap box pounding this bible saying it’s all truth with no error. I did the same as Chris just parroting what I had heard a preacher say then one day someone asked me the Judas question then show me in the bible where one place says he hung his self and another says he went off a cliff and splattered.

          • Neil on September 10, 2018 at 12:23 pm

            There is no contradiction surrounding Judas’ death, just two descriptions by two different authors of the same event. First the hanging as described by Matthew 27:5, and eventually falling to the ground and bursting open with his entrails gushing out as described by Luke, in Acts 1:18.



          • fessdo on September 10, 2018 at 2:26 pm

            Neil,
            Let me see if I’m following you, first Judas picked a dead limb hanging over a cliff to hang on, then the limb or rope broke and his body turned upside down so he could fall headlong (head first) to the ground and then splattered? A man would really have to have a great imagination to come up with that, best to say that’s just one of the many contradictions in the bible.



          • Neil on September 10, 2018 at 4:09 pm

            I’m not making the claim that he hung himself over a cliff or on a dead limb. If there was a cliff involved, please provide the scripture. Secondly, I never claimed that he hung in the air. The scripture does not specify how it was done. Him flipping upside down is your imagination at work, which is a good thing. It is possible that he did hang, that he did fall forward, that he hit the ground and that he did in fact bust open. Which is important because, for him to bust open, he had to have fallen from a very high place, or onto something sharp or he was rotten and fell forward from his noose or something else. Judas was hung and Judas fell head long. Both are possible since neither negates the possibility of the other. A contradiction occurs when one statement makes another statement impossible but both are said to be true.

            “But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken” (Isa. 28:13).

            All the truth about a matter is not found in one place. This is why Paul said we must “rightly divide the truth” (II Tim. 2:15).



          • fessdo on September 10, 2018 at 6:44 pm

            Neil,
            The Bible says that for each miracle Moses and Aaron demonstrated the magicians did the same by their secret arts. Then comes the following feat:
            Moses and Aaron converted all the available water into blood (Exodus 7:20-21)
            The magicians did the same (Exodus 7:22). Wouldn’t this be impossible, since there would have been no water left to convert into blood.



  22. chosmer on August 24, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Who has believed our message?
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? (Isaiah 53:1)

    There has never been a more important question.
    There has never been a more important person asking it.

    What are you reading in the scriptures that is helping you draw near to Christ?
    “Church” is those of us who are “called” to Him. (1 Cor 1:9)

    • fessdo on August 24, 2018 at 7:34 am

      chosmer,
      Chris couldn’t help me maybe you can. Which is it that Judas did, hung himself or jumped off a cliff?

      • chosmer on August 24, 2018 at 7:49 am

        Fessdo,

        Look it up and tell me what you think…and btw…Im Chris. 🙂

        • fessdo on August 24, 2018 at 6:02 pm

          Where should I look?

  23. Chris Hosmer on August 23, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Mine 42day

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,e just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16)

    Real Power comes from real belief…in Christ, which draws you near to Him.
    You hear what He says, it makes sense, you begin to understand and agree, and it empowers you on the inside. (Jn 5:25)

    Dying with Christ and being Raised with Christ seats you with Christ so you can partake : (Col 2:12)

    • fessdo on August 23, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      Chris,
      Looks like you know the verses. Can you tell me which is it that Judas did, hung himself or jumped off a cliff?

      • chosmer on August 23, 2018 at 12:34 pm

        Fessdo,

        I cant tell but I haven’t studied it out that far.

        Why….what do you say about it?

    • Jerald McClain on September 5, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      Google: ROMANS 2:11. It says something along the lines of “god has no respect of persons.” Case-in-point, Summer 2015 when Dylan Roof walked in that CHURCH and shot all of those people. We’re not talking about the mall, the movies or school, we are talking about CHURCH. If “he” does exist, that was “god’s” opportunity to show up and step up. If “god” exists (which I no longer believe), then “he” is unworthy of worship because, in this case, those people’s faith was rewarded with betrayal. Suggering at the hands of the godLESS does not “strengthen” faith, it’s a betrayal of said faith. “Strength” without POWER is useless. In fact POWER is the difference between slavery and Mastery.

      • Jerald McClain on September 5, 2018 at 3:56 pm

        *suffering

      • fessdo on September 5, 2018 at 5:09 pm

        Jerald,
        You’ve done it now, when Wayne see you didn’t use a big “G” then theirs’s no telling what’s going to happen to you. Could be a reward or punishment only Gregg knows but he’s not telling, he only says “now or later” no more no less. Gregg has always been kind of selfish with his vast knowledge, although Wayne says Gregg’s an idiot?

        • Gregg Powers on September 5, 2018 at 6:35 pm

          Sorry but i cannot get the reply function to work consistently; has nothing to do with ignoring people or being selfish. I am not sure what Wayne is talking about. Everything that Jesus said was true, as is everything Paul said. Paul does not in anyway override God (Jesus). They don’t conflict although there are people that want them to. Jesus specifically taught that unless people believe (and continue believing) then people would die in their sins. God punished people who refused to do his will eternally (spiritual death) and temporally (physical death). Sometimes God will delay His punishment; sometimes it is immediate.

          • fessdo on September 5, 2018 at 8:29 pm

            Man sure glad Jesus paid the price for ALL my sins yesterday, today, and forever but don’t let it get out cause heaven will then be full.



      • Gregg Powers on September 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm

        There is no question that God could have stopped Dylan Roof. But your whole statement rests on an untrue assumption. That assumption is that this life is most important. It is not; eternal life is. There are people being killed every day for doing the will of God (that is sharing the gospel). Why do they do it? Because they know they are serving God faithfully and that this life is not the most important thing. If you can come to the understanding this life is not the most important (because it only last for a few years), the importance you place on it will decrease. Remember, you have eternity somewhere after this life……

        • Jerald McClain on September 7, 2018 at 3:47 pm

          Guess we will agree to disagree.

          • boglene@yahoo.com on September 9, 2018 at 1:28 am

            It teaches us that life on earth is precious, and this place where we live isn’t heaven, it’s earth. I want there to be a better place, with the victims now looking down upon us with true peace and great joy. I have a friend that believes in hell, but does not believe in heaven. I’ll be attending his baptism, just a matter of time. I can process the belief in neither, but not one without the other. When it becomes my turn to lead the funeral procession, I’m going to find out. If there is neither, it won’t matter. However, what if each us are to give an account of what dwells within in our soul? What are the reasons for not believing? It is everything to gain and nothing worth having to lose.



    • Jerald McClain on September 10, 2018 at 10:28 am

      “Real Power comes from real belief…in Christ.” If that were true then The Father/Son/Holy Spirit would have stopped Dylan Roof from killing all of those people in CHURCH. I wish I still believed in God, kinda like Cypher wanting to be re-inserted back into The Matrix (1999). But the PTSD wiped that doctrine from my being forever. “Strength” without POWER is useless. If God does exist, yet you can’t tap into that “power” and use it to at least protect yourself, then it isn’t “power.” We can go back and forth all day but in the end, we will just agree to disagree.

      P.s. “I know Kung Fu…”

      • fessdo on September 10, 2018 at 10:51 am

        Jerald,
        My new Ram 2500 has a lot of power it’ll tow around 13,000lbs but if I’m too dumb to start it is useless.

        PS. Kung Fu is no match against a tank.

        • Jerald McClain on September 10, 2018 at 11:28 am

          Actually it is. See, I’d use my use the “Kung Fu Grip” to open the tank hatch, drop a grenade in that shit and blow that mother-fucker up from the inside! BOOM!

      • Stu on September 10, 2018 at 11:09 am

        I think the kind of power Christ desires us to have is the power He gives us in our weakness, for Jesus said that, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” He was speaking to Paul when Paul asked Jesus to remove the thorn in his flesh given to him by a messenger of Satan. When you say that you know Kung Fu, you are speaking of power in the flesh. Real power in Christ is to actually believe Him. When the Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant at a distance, he really believed Christ could. He did not know God. He was a soldier who knew what power and authority meant, and he humbled himself and thought why shouldn’t he put himself under someone’s power and authority known to be greater than his. Jesus said he found his faith to be more than in all Israel, and healed his servant just as he believed he would.

        I was shown my blood tests for leukemia. I trusted God could heal me. I did what God commanded and sought the elders to pray over my sickness, confessed my sins and I believed, without wavering, that God does indeed love to do what is impossible for us. I enlisted prayer warriors in three churches, and I believed that I already received his healing as God shares in Mark 11:20-24. And I was healed. Believe God at His Word that He really means what He says, and do not waver in your feelings.

      • Gregg Powers on September 10, 2018 at 11:11 am

        Jerald. God’s will is not always done on earth. Many bad things happen here. The mistake you make is you assume you have the mind of God; you do not (neither do I). But as bad a thing as those murders were, those killed are most likely with the Lord and now in a better place. Most people (and some Christians) have trouble understanding that God’s ways are not about preserving life in this world, but preserving life in the next world. Our earthly life is not that important. It is why Christians are being murdered for sharing their faith and for refusing to deny their Lord. We are only on this planet for a short time. We will spend eternity somewhere. You can do the math as to where our focus should be. Please friend, come to Jesus Christ so that you will have the hope of eternity with our great God. Praying for you. In Him……

      • chosmer on September 10, 2018 at 12:37 pm

        Jerald McClain

        I watch Bruce Lee….but that’s about it for me in the Kung Fu department.

        I respect your honesty on this. Things that go on in this world sometimes make very little sense to me as well.

        All I can say is that Jesus has a different view than all of us, and that the power this is talking about doesn’t come from merely physical force. It comes from Christ and manifests itself in a new hope, joy and peace.

        Christ offers that to everyone, and I was merely trying to see it through they eyes of Paul as he discusses it in Romans.

        Being fascinated by Christ and His viewpoint is not a waste of time for me…it has produced a life for me that is worth living and passing on to others.

        Slowing down and sitting at His feet (not by going to ‘church’) and letting what He says challenge my viewpoint…and allowing my objections to be handled by Him. That gives me power.

        • Jerald McClain on September 10, 2018 at 12:53 pm

          Bruce Lee was an Athiest. Chuck Norris is a Christian. Bruce Lee kicked Chuck Norris’ ass. Guess we will agree to disagree.

  24. Wayne on August 23, 2018 at 3:14 am

    Wish I could reply directly to the comments on here but I can’t
    (I used to be able to) but the drop down box does not appear when I tap on the reply tag..so my comments ARE replies to others, but they appear at the top of the origional topic (sorry about that)

    • fessdo on August 23, 2018 at 7:19 am

      Wayne,
      I’m having the same problem, I have been able to reply by refreshing the page but sometimes it takes 2 or 3 refreshing to finally get it to work.

    • Stu on September 10, 2018 at 11:13 am

      It seems we are all having these issues. Sounds like one of the few we all agree on.

  25. Wayne on August 20, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    The phrase “when two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be in the midts of them” is sooo misunderstood.

    When Jesus went up the mountain, and appeared in spirit and spoke with Moses and the prophet Elijah, it is only for the purposes of the reader that he is referred to as Jesus. However he was ‘pure spirit’ or..THE WORD.

    In revelation 19v12-13 he is described as ‘THE WORD OF GOD’ by John the revelator who saw him in his spiritual form.

    Moses and Elijah WERE and always ARE gathered together in spirit (The word) and were not really waiting for him, because he was (and still is) always there.

    What I mean is this…

    Even when you are physically ALONE in your room reading THE WORD you ARE up the mountain where the likes of Moses Elijah, and allllll the prophets from Isaiah to Malachi are beside you

    And guess who else is already there?

    • fessdo on August 21, 2018 at 7:16 am

      Wayne,
      You are so right, I had never put that together before. It also shows people are the same today as Peter was, when they wake up by finding Jesus the first thing they want to do is put Him in a building.

      • chosmer on August 21, 2018 at 7:21 am

        Ha…well said.

        It makes sense that the fellowship you have is those you agree with. When you can relate to the testimony of Christ, you have fellowship with Him and those with whom you agree.

    • Chris Hosmer on September 10, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      Wayne….I like this comment. Thanks

      Im going to study that out.

  26. […] like to read another good post that is a response to Christians who are done with the church, click here. (It’s Carey […]

  27. Chris Hosmer on August 19, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    fessdo,

    Did you get the impression that I think “church” is something you “go to”?
    Check again, because that’s not where I was headed.

    I appreciate you sharing your history. Mine is similar.
    Abiding in the words of Christ is WAAAY better than abiding in a building or even in a group.

    I see you have arrived at a similar understanding…Im encouraged by your posts and have looked up your references.

    Keep up the good work of encouraging people to hold on to Jesus!

    • fessdo on August 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Sorry about that Chris but I’ve been so use to being beat over the head with misinterpreted verses on this blog to prove me wrong that I had a knee jerk reaction. People who truly understand the meaning of in Christ are few and far between. You know when a person fully understands Christ in them then 90% of the churchy clichés are really funny, the best one is you need to get closer to God,,, how can you get closer than in you?
      Thanks for the reply.

      • Chris Hosmer on August 19, 2018 at 1:11 pm

        Fessdo

        Thanks for saying that…I understand.

        Trying to get people to slow down and listen to Jesus is like pulling teeth….and it shouldn’t be. The more you really hear Him, the more you live. (Jn 5:25)

        The thing I hate the most is when people try to pretend that they are interested in Christ just so that I will “go” to their “church” with them.

        Talk about suicide….why would you pretend such a thing?

        Actually…to my shame I admit I used to do that myself.

  28. Wayne on August 19, 2018 at 11:51 am

    There is a situation in the scriptures, (Matthew 21v28-31) where Jesus is in conversation with some ‘chief priests’. Jesus knows that spiritually WITHIN these priest’s there are ‘shepherds’ who are meant to lead the ‘sheep’ WITHIN their followers…by way of teaching. its that part of us WITHIN that is very susceptible.

    (All purely spiritual)

    He’s going to test them, not just to see WHERE THEY ARE with their sheep…either in the truth…or miles away from it, but he also wants to see JUST WHO they are led by…man..or God.
    Because, he knows that wherever the shepherd is…the sheep will definitely follow.

    So he tells them of a ‘certain man’ (note…man) who had two sons. This ‘certain man’ approached his first son asking him to go into his vineyard. He initially said “no” but then (full of remorse) he changed his mind and said he would go…

    This same ‘certain man’ then approached his second son with the same request, and he initially said “yes” then changed his mind, not even bothering to turn up.

    So Jesus asks the question…

    “Which son did the will of his father?”

    If one truly follows the teachings of Christ, then you WILL KNOW that this man was NOT their father, as we only have ONE

    My son never calls me father, its either “dad” “pops” “old man” (amongst other names not mentionable here) but never “father”, because he knows that there is only ONE true Father, and that is God.

    This ‘certain man’ was indeed their dad, but Jesus wanted to know which son did the will of THE FATHER..(Spirit)

    They replied..”The first” which was the wrong answer, as the first son did the will of his ‘dad’, or…flesh and blood.

    Initially he wanted to do the will of spirit, because that is truly what spirit was telling him when he released his first answer..”No”

    But instead of taking heed to spirit, he ended up simply pleasing his dad by going off to do something that he definitely did not want to do..and no doubt was very unhappy.

    Poor guy..I can imagine him everyday in that vineyard being asked
    “Hows things?”
    And replying..”oh im fine”.

    The apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 6v9) mentions those who ‘abuse themselves amongst mankind’ thus preventing them from being within that special place that Jesus referred to as “The kingdom”
    (Luke 17v21)
    Paul also goes on to describe it as a state of ‘peace and joy’
    (Romans 14v7)
    This son was certainly not at peace..and definitely not happy!

    The second son (wanting to do what his spirit was telling him to do) changed his mind, and went off to do whatever it was in order for him to be happy (perhaps he’d made the mistake before).

    But just imagine..if the ‘shepherds’ were miles away in terms of their answer, their ‘sheep’ were totally lost as well, because THEY TOO were being led astray by fleshy minded men.

    The ‘hills and mountains’ that you read about in the books of the prophets (which are metaphors) are no joke..they exist..and they are real, every time you enter them meeting places, you’re on the mountains, being led astray with false teaching,

    Being “backslidden” is a term used to describe the condition of the inner man due to false teachings and doctrines of fleshy minded men.

    Business man Peter Green once said…

    “If you’re getting up in the morning to go off and do something that you dont want to do..don’t do it”

    I think we’ve got to learn to say “No” more, because it can set off a chain of events that will eventually change our lives for the better.

    Its not stated just what the second son went off to do, but its clear that he didn’t want to go into his dads work place, because he wouldn’t of been happy there.

    I’m sure there are parents out there that say to their kids..

    “Whatever you want to do..so long as you’re happy..were right behind you”

    Because its about how YOU feel inside

    Or as Jesus said…

    Fear not little flock, for it is your fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom
    (Luke 12 v32)

  29. Chris Hosmer on August 19, 2018 at 9:19 am

    fessdo,

    Coming to Christ and abiding in Him are clearly outlined in the scriptures. He is the only permanent rock. But coming to Him takes a genuine belief that His promises are worth it.

    Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (Jn 8:12)

    I would like to experience this all the time. Not just on a particular day or hour. Jesus is always fresh and new to those looking for Him. He leads them to good places:

    For the Lamb at the center of the throne
    will be their shepherd;
    he will lead them to springs of living water.
    And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Rev 7:17)

    • fessdo on August 19, 2018 at 11:53 am

      Chris,
      You say “I would like to experience this all the time” you can but you’ll have to dismiss some of the religious beliefs that (if you’ve been in church long) was taught you. The first step is to receive Jesus into your heart by faith then realize that day your are in Jesus and Jesus is IN you forever, even if you make your bed in hell he’s there with you IN you. (John 14:20) You would be surprised the number of people who has been saved and don’t realize Christ is in them, read the IN CHRIST verses. It took me 30 plus years of church and study till I found this out and when I did I was truly set free ( who the Son sets free is free indeed). I wanted ever one to see this but when I tried to share this with others in church I was quickly told I was wrong, so I went to another church to tell them but I was told I was wrong. After a while from church I went to yet another church but was told I was wrong. I did have one preacher come and ask me back to church, he said Jesus wants you to come back to him. I said that’s impossible cause Jesus is IN me and I’m in him he never left me he’s with me 24/7 365 no matter if I’m at home or at work or at church or asleep he is with me. If you have to go to church that’s fine but don’t put everyone in the same boat, there are a few of us who only need Jesus who is IN us.

      • Gregg Powers on August 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

        Not exactly true; may i suggest you read John 15:1-2?

  30. Chris Hosmer on August 18, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    When you gather to Christ, you find Him and fellowship with Him and the Father.

    Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Luke 11:23)

    People don’t do this because they lack the courage…and miss the blessing

    Rev 21:8

    When you gather to Christ..you are His church. Period. If you gather, but not with Christ, you are in the dark, and subject to the whims of the ruler of that territory.

    • fessdo on August 18, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      “People don’t do this”, Chris what is “this” your talking about?

  31. Wayne on August 18, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Errr…I think you will find it IS true, Jesus was not a Christian, I mean how could he of been?
    Christianity was a religion formed AFTER his death as a religion for people to follow. Christ didn’t bring yet another boring and dead religion, he brought the words of the father..
    The father is spirit..
    Jesus Christ brought spiritually, which is something completely different to religion. Christ was a totally spiritual being, his parables were spiritual..he took Peter James and John up the mountain and crossed over into the land of the ‘living’ where God is a God of ‘the living’ The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and there he was communicating with Moses and Elijah, with Elijah representing the prophets from Isaiah to Malachi.

    Yes Christ was brought up by parents that followed religious customs, however he was despised by the same ‘familiar friends’ who realised just WHY he was sent….

    Which was to set the spiritually captive free.
    (Luke 4v18)

    Remember now…
    The jewish woman that you read about in Luke 13 v11-17 had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years…she was not eighteen years old, she was thirty years old…This spirit of infirmity (which also caused her to be in a spiritually subjective state and dying of thirst) started when she was twelve, and it was satan (via the ‘stock’ mentioned in Jeremiah 2 v27 and 10v8) that had held her in that state.

    Proverbs 23v1-3 is very clear…no matter where you go to get your teaching..irrespective of wether it be a church, mosque, synagogue, or temple.

    Be very afraid

  32. Wayne on August 18, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Run back to Jesus??…’back’ ??…Boy some of you got some weird ideas in your head.
    Christ is (or should be) within you. The best thing a man can do is read and wrestle with the scriptures himself, and not gather with those who ‘entertain themselves in their own deceivings as they feast with you’.

    Or as I AM states..

    Look to Abraham your father…(purely as an example)…
    For I called him ALONE (as an individual)
    And look what I did for him

    (Jeremiah 51v2)

    In other words..

    If I did it for him can I not do the same for you

    Don’t forget people…God is ‘I AM’ not I WAS or I MIGHT BE.
    He’s not affected by time

    Therefore if I AM says that he cannot take those gathering places
    And that he’s tired of them, then I think he still means it
    (Isaiah 1v12-15)

    If after healing the man (body mind and spirit) by the pool Jesus then rebuked him for going into temple making it clear that his actions were sinful but that a worse thing would overcome him…
    (John 5v1-14)
    I think its pretty damn clear that the same ‘I AM’ was speaking through his chosen vessel at that time.

    There is a hidden ‘heaven and earth’ that is mentioned in the book of Peter, if you REALLY THINK that whilst you are sitting in those physical places alongside other physical people is harmless and not detrimental to the SOUL..then think on.

    The soul is involved in activities that are deemed sinful and unclean.
    Its not sitting inside you doing nothing.
    You simply wouldn’t believe what it gets up to in the ‘bed’ that you have entered into.

    You really need to be reading the books of the prophets from Isaiah through to Malachi,..Again ‘I AM’ was occasionally quoting them via his chosen vessel. And them metaphors in verses you come across, are not there for a joke, but are there for you to wrestle with until you get enlightenment from the same ‘I AM’ that is within you

    • fessdo on August 18, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      Wayne,
      You hit the nail on the head with “entertain themselves” I found that out the hard way. After many years and many churches I learned that you cannot change people’s beliefs especially those that are indoctrinated with the good old fashion religion. It’s like fighting a pack of wolves even when you have it in black and white. There is nothing so sad as those who will not admit they’ve been wrong for so many years, I guess that’s where pride comes before a fail came from. It’s just amazing people will stay in church for the sake of pride, too proud to say this isn’t right an I was wrong. Jesus never asked anyone to stay where they weren’t wanted, he said “whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart”,,,,,,(Mt10:14) notice he didn’t say stick around till they change or till they change you. Funny how people miss the word depart. Wayne keep up to good work seems you have found the truth and he’s set you free.

    • Stu on September 10, 2018 at 11:18 am

      “Run back to Jesus??…’back’ ??…Boy some of you got some weird ideas in your head.”

      I think the hope of this encouragement is not disputing that Christ is within you, but remembering He is. Jesus said, “Remember me.” In three minutes I will surely forget. It is not something physical as I believe you are pointing to, but being continually captivated by his Presence within you.

  33. Keith on August 15, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    I was raised evangelical Christian and I served faithfully because I love the Lord and I loved the church. I got tired of being told how to vote and that I was an outsider and a non-Christian if I didn’t agree with the church’s political stances. I got tired of hearing sermons about politics and news and everyone we deemed “less than” in some way. I got tired of being ordered to hate other’s in Jesus’ name and thinly veil it as “hard love.” After 30 years serving in the music ministry, serving in Christian music field, serving as a published composer/arranger and walking the walk faithfully, I passed 40 and was told my ministry was no longer needed in services, that I could take a backseat and watch a younger “praise band” perform every service…but my tithes and offerings were more than welcome. The church pastors and ministers live in mansions…MANSIONS… with luxuries beyond what a little church can afford…and they refuse to visit rest homes, hospices, or hospitals, but they encourage “has-been” used-up church-goers like me to cover for them. The last straw for me was to at long last admit that the evangelical movement has turned from the message of salvation, hope, and peace of Christ and evolved into a political power-hungry hate group in pursuit of fame, power, and wealth. I’m done.

    • fessdo on August 16, 2018 at 7:22 am

      Keith,
      Sounds exactly like the church I use to go to. It got to the point that I could preach word for word the preacher’s message depending on what holiday it was. What ever was going on in the worldly world was what was preached on. I asked the pastor one time did he get his sermons from the evening news, he said he was going to pray for me.
      It’s been 10yrs since I went to church and though I miss the people I have come closer to God cause now instead of being able to depend on people I now have to depend on God, instead of having people pray for me I have Jesus making intercession for me. My life isn’t perfect but I’m way better off now with more peace, more joy, less pressure, less condemnation, and a whole lot less confusion.
      There’s a time to speak and a time to keep silence so hang in there Keith cause God really does love people even those who don’t go to church.

  34. George Falconer on August 15, 2018 at 6:35 am

    I know people who abandoned church because they were hurt and after some discussion they have returned. Church is for us, not for God, It is for Corporate prayer, teaching and fellowship and without it you will not grow. If you think you will, you are deluding yourself. Indeed Paul tells the hebrews not to forsake the gathering of ourselves as is the habit of some.

    Looking at a lot of the responses. A large number of I think If I inteviewed a lot of these people I would find that what they say is a result of being hurt. For others, it is just an excuse they put up. Nobody holds a gun up at your head and forces you to celebrate chrismas or easter. If you do not want to do that then do not do it. I agree they are pagan, but I focus on the scriptures of his birth and death and enjoy the holiday period. Some people need to look in the mirror and be honest with themselves. The problem is not the church, it is themselves.

    • Stu on August 15, 2018 at 7:14 am

      I think many struggle in any gathering of people. We are a mess, but messes worth making. Jesus loved His Church, and died for it. It is not merely a choice, but a command to worship God corporately—as you iterated Paul saying, “not to forsake the gathering of ourselves as is the habit of some.” Yes, it is difficult sometimes, but Jesus was found every day standing in the Temple opening the Scriptures—even though there were people there wanting to kill him. We are to gather together, worship God, sing His praises, and encourage and admonish each other in the faith. Too many have become bitter. I see it here, and it has caused me to run back to Jesus when I cannot figure out what to do. It is not in my own strength, but in my weakness that His power is made perfect. Thx for your comments.

      • Gregg Powers on August 15, 2018 at 11:50 am

        You make an assumption that is not true; that is leaving a church results in the forsaking of gathering. Jesus himself condemned the churches in Revelation to the point of even removing their lamp stand. Indeed even some of Paul’s epistles condemned the churches. Read through the condemnations carefully. I believe that most churches today are apostate churches because they refuse to teach accurate doctrine. Christianity has developed into a religion not unlike other religions. In short, if you are blessed to be of a body where the truth is preached yet has some human shortcomings, by all means forgive and stay. If the truth is not being taught, move on……

        • fessdo on August 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm

          Gregg,
          The question that would be next after a comment like yours ,
          1. What is the truth?
          2. Where’s the proof that you’re right?

          • Gregg Powers on August 15, 2018 at 12:35 pm

            Scripture is truth. Period. The evidence that many churches struggle with the truth is clear. The Holy Spirit (according to scripture) leads men into the truth. But not all men teach the same truths, hence they cannot all be led by the Spirit for the Spirit does not lead men into different truths. If you ever have a doubt as to where people get their “truth” just look at the libraries of pastors – lots of books by other men, often with conflicting information. The Internet has only exacerbated the problem. Christianity has done exactly what Judiasm has done and which Jesus condemned “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” My friend go to scripture for the truth, not men. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. If you listen to sermons, check everything against scripture. How else will you know if you are being misled?



          • fessdo on August 15, 2018 at 2:51 pm

            2. Where’s the proof that you’re right?



          • Gregg Powers on August 15, 2018 at 3:06 pm

            I am confused; are you asking for the proof that when two people teach different things they are not both led of the Holy Spirit? Or are you asking for proof that scripture is true?



          • fessdo on August 15, 2018 at 3:29 pm

            Proof that scripture is true?



          • Gregg Powers on August 15, 2018 at 3:58 pm

            There are many proofs, some direct, some indirect. There is archaeological evidence. There is the proof of prophecy. There is the proof of scientific discovery. There is the proof that those who cowered when Jesus was arrested, later gave their lives for Him. In short, there are many proofs. Having said this, everything in scripture cannot be proven and some faith is required but there is enough reasonable evidence there, testifying to the truth. It is the same with a criminal trial. You may not have an eyewitness, but you can build a case to convict with enough other types of evidence even if all possible evidence is not available.



          • fessdo on August 15, 2018 at 4:23 pm

            That’s it? That’s all you have for proof??? You talk about Jesus teaching in the temple but Jesus didn’t just hold up the scripture and say “God said it, I believe it, so that settles it” if he had people would have done the same as what’s happening in churches today,,, not come back. Jesus healed the sick, opened blind eyes, caused the lame to walk, raised the dead, and even told where to find some money in a fish,,, proof,,, that is proof, not hear say but something people could see and feel. He just didn’t flap his gums about something he read or hear some one preach. The reason Jesus did those thing was for proof and people are the same today as back then they need proof. When was the last time you saw in church someone spitting on dirt then rubbing it on a blind mans eye to make him see?



          • Gregg Powers on August 15, 2018 at 4:47 pm

            You said you wanted proof of scripture; not who Jesus was or what he did. Nor did you ask for proof of what happened in Jesus ministry or the first century church. The proof of who Jesus is far different. I want to remind you that Jesus is the Word. All scripture is inspired of God.



          • fessdo on August 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm

            Thanks Gregg but looks like we’re on a different page,,,, Thank goodness



        • Stu on August 18, 2018 at 6:37 pm

          I am wondering where you got the verse that, ” Jesus himself condemned the churches in Revelation to the point of even removing their lamp stand”? I read the word “If” in front of it.

          Revelation 2:5 (NIV)
          5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

          Where does Jesus tell anyone to leave his church? You said that, “If the truth is not being taught, move on……” Even in Thyatira, where Jezebel was teaching sexual immorality, Jesus said the following: Revelation 2:24-25 (NIV)
          24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you):
          25 Only hold on to what you have until I come.
          Where does Jesus say move on?

          If you are adding or subtracting from God’s Word, then besides what Jesus admonishes in Revelation, it is being intellectually dishonest.

          Church is not about me. It is about all the Saints together. Where does it say that there are not weeds amongst the flowers, and who will separate them? Jesus will, not man. Sadly, many people have grown inward, and bitter, and have altered what Jesus tells us because we have interpreted what we desire his Scriptures to say.

          Please name the verses where Jesus tells us we should leave when we find church untruthful, or distasteful. I can learn. Let’s discuss it without pride, but with real intent to understand. If I am wrong, who am I to believe Jesus is not listening? I am simply not seeing what you are seeing and I have found no Scripture to back up your claim. Thx.

          • Gregg Powers on August 18, 2018 at 8:41 pm

            Brother, there is no pride here. What is my motive? My only desire is that people come closer to the Lord without putting other people between themselves and their relationship with God. I get nothing from this. Not asking anyone to follow me; in fact just the opposite. I want to point people back to Christ and the Holy Spirit and away from errant doctrine and those espousing it. My statement above stands; Jesus condemned them to the point of removing their lamp stand; it was a warning from the Lord if they would not repent. You should look up to see what actually happened to the church in Ephesus. Jesus fulfilled His words. You ask where does Jesus tell anyone to leave the church? Where does Jesus tell anyone to attend church? However to answer you more directly, we are not to forsake fellowship but that does not necessarily mean church. Indeed our modern churches have very little in common with the first century churches as you know. But here is the core issue: we are to separate from false teachers and the modern church has too many. Romans 16:17-18 tells us specifically to avoid false teachers. The whole idea of being unequally yoked applies not only to marriage as the modern church focuses on but also on separating from unbelievers (and this includes those who say they believe but do not act consistent with the claimed belief if they refuse to repent). It is a matter of spiritual life versus spiritual death. If we end up believing the wrong things we are lost. The same spiritual idea existed in Deuteronomy 7. Paul in 1 Corinthians 5 told the church to expel the immoral brother; again a commanded separation. Finally as you know, the idea of the church (ekklesia) has nothing to do with the four walls of a church. It has to do with the body of Christ. In reality, I am not against church or church worship in anyway, only the myriad of false churches today. I separate from false teachers if they will not sit down and go through scripture, but i do try faithfully to work with Pastors to address their errors. Very few are interested. They get their truth from other men mostly. We are warned over and over in scripture that false teachers can lead us away from God if we let them. It is why Paul cried for three years and warned those he led to the Lord. Brother, would you stay in a church where the pastor decided to suddenly teach that only works was the basis of salvation and refused to repent? I am guessing not. Respectfully, scripture teaches that false teachers can be a threat to your very salvation. Some of the doctrines the Modern Church teaches and the nature of the fruit they produce give evidence to their error. If you prefer to have a more interactive chat elsewhere let me know. in Him



          • Stu on August 18, 2018 at 9:22 pm

            Thx. Greg for your reply. It is good to discuss the Scriptures, meditate on them, and delight in them.

            You shared, “You ask where does Jesus tell anyone to leave the church? Where does Jesus tell anyone to attend church”?

            It is my understanding that Jesus tells us not to forsake the local assembly as we have been in the habit of doing. Jesus calls the Church his bride—later to become his wife who he said he loved and died for. Yes, the church is people made up of all kinds of flaws and defects, but Jesus tells us that every part of the Body is necessary, not to forsake it, and in 1Cor 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” By every account, being alone and outside of it cannot equip the saints for every good work. There is a time to gather corporately and a time to be apart.

            You mentioned that, “We are warned over and over in scripture that false teachers can lead us away from God if we let them.” That is certainly true—if we let them. I provided an example of that kind of church—Thyatira, where Jesus did not suggest anyone leave, but rather. “…to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you)…” That to me is very significant. The Holy Spirit plays a huge role in those mature enough not to be entrapped.

            Finally, I would not disagree that for various reasons a person’s motive for leaving has merit, he should not permanently remove himself from gathering together with like-minded believers however, who corporately worship our Lord. Again thank you for your thoughts brother.



          • Wayne on September 4, 2018 at 6:07 pm

            Matthew 10v14.

            Pluss you lack spiritual understanding of the scriptures..When the disciples came to Jesus privately to ask him about his return, he spoke extensively about THE SON OF MAN…not of himself.
            and where the SON OF MAN would NOT (repeat) NOT be found.
            Do you know WHAT the SON OF MAN is? .
            Where John 1v14 states .’ .And the word was made flesh’. I suppose you are one of the MANY billions of church going sheep following Christians who beleive it meant natural flesh eh?..so I also suppose you beleive he was condoning cannibalism in John 6v51-57 like certain others did…and were offended. (V61) This is the flesh of the son of man…the SON OF MAN is spirit.

            It is God..His word…his son (non flesh) and When received by man, its known as the SON OF MAN…and it remains a spirit

            He tells us where this same spirit would NOT be found.
            In secret chambers and the deserts (Matthew 24v26)

            Now IF you were reading your bible right, and
            (I discern you are not) you would realise that when Jeremiah is told to ‘HIDE’ the linen girdle in the ‘HOLE’ (13v1-11) it is relating to the ‘SECRET’ ‘ CHAMBER’ mentioned in Matthews account.

            The Jeremiah scriptures metions JUST WHO the linen girdle represents..TODAY and how GOD has DELIBERATELY witheld a people from true SPIRITUAL WATER and true SPIRITUAL LIGHT…This is Gods punishment towards those who cleave to man and not spirit.

            Jesus words are extremely clear to those who want to hear.
            The SON OF MAN..(word of God…flesh of God ) WILL NOT be found in those places…

            So why rebel only to end up being profitable for nothing?
            You are of NO USE to him in them places..clapping and singing and waving your hands in the air…like you just don’t care.

            Jesus was preaching people OUT of them places into the wilderness where John was baptising them.



    • fessdo on August 15, 2018 at 7:30 am

      George,
      It maybe some are hurt and they decide to leave the church but I think most feel betrayed. This world is setup to work on a contract agreement or covenant, meaning I do this for you and you do that for me. This works for everything from buying gas to a marriage between a husband and wife but when you pay for 10 gallons and only get 2 or even zero then Houston we have a problem, the same goes for the bible. It don’t take long reading the bible till you come across you do this God does that, but when it becomes all one sided and you’re doing all your part and the other don’t do theirs then it don’t take long to figure out I’m being taken advantage of.

    • Gregg Powers on August 15, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Not true; we grow when we come close to the Lord. That is not done corporately. It is the reason we are taught to “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” It is absolutely a lie that we cannot grow without a church. In fact, in most cases churches can be a barrier to spiritual growth. Spend time with the Father, serve others, read the Word and you will grow much, much faster than simply attending services.

  35. Matthew on August 13, 2018 at 2:36 am

    Im done with the organizational churches of today because there are too many pagan traditions that are intermixed with there practices. Christmas, Halloween, Easter and many other holidays are nothing but pure pagan god worship. How can a person claim to be one of God’s children and at the same time take part in adulteress traditions. Back in biblical days why did Israel keep getting in trouble? Adultery Israel keep going after false gods and there triditions. Israel kept committing “SPIRITUAL ADULTERY”.

    The churches of today are doing this same thing, so as a believer in God’s word of 100% truth how do you all expect me to support such a group of people. Did Jesus and the apostles go to church to learn from the pharisees? No Jesus went to the pharisees to tell them of there “EVIL” ways. Jesus told the apostles to go out into the world and tells those who wanted to know Gods word 100% truth.

    Today the only truth out there is in the Bible itself. Yes there are a few people in todays churches that are seeking truth they are the wheat among the tares. They are the sheep among the wolves.

    The so called biblical doctrines of todays are not inline with 100% biblical truth. Evil men have set themselves in positions of self professed authority which they are not suppose to hold for there own self gain.

    We are warned throughout the new testament of these wolves in sheeps clothing and where are they in todays churches!!!

    The bible does say we as believers should gather together in spirit and truth. If there is no unity in todays churches then how can you gather in spirit and truth?

    Todays churches get involved in all of the worlds business God tells us to lead quite lives and that we are to mind our own business. God tells us to take care of our brothers and sisters and he will deal with the outside world.

    Today the only 100% true way to become closer to God is to read kur bibles for ourselves and gather with peoplewho are willing to change there lives to fit what Gods rules are todays churches change Gods rules to fit there lives. This is what got Cain in trouble in the book of Genesis. Cain knew he was suppose to bring a blood sacrifice before God but instead he wanted to change God to fit his sacrifice. Cain even went as far as to kill his own brother because God was not going to change his rules.

    What would God say today about the churches claiming to teach his word when there leaders teach false doctrines every time they meet?

    Most people don’t think, what did God look at when he decides to end a biblical age? The answer is the condition of the “church” (his people). Now almost everyone will agree that we are living in the last days. So if we are today living in the last days what condition is the chuch in? The church must be out of line with what Gods decrees, rules, regulations and teachings are, therefore this is one reason why people are leaving todays churches.

    This is why i left the church is was going to, there was very little biblical truth the teachings were just Denominational triditions of men just like all churches of today. The bible is the only way to get 100% unadulterated truth today.

    Read your Bibles for yourselves and do not put the trust of your salvation in the hands of a fleshly men or an organization. God is 100%, Jesus is 100% truth and the Bible is 100% truth.

    • fessdo on August 13, 2018 at 7:19 am

      Matt.
      Truth which truth? Proverbs 26:4 or Proverbs 26:5,,, 2nd Samuel 6:23 or 2nd Samuel 21:8

    • Gregg Powers on August 13, 2018 at 10:40 am

      A M E N

  36. Jeffery Poor on August 7, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Christian Community > Church Attendance

    I agree the church is not dead, but needs a new model. We’ve made church so much about the service and not about community. I don’t think that’s all bad, but it shouldn’t be the central focus. The point of church is that together we have a much better shot at following Jesus then we do apart from him. We should go to church find other Christians that can encourage, challenge, and equip us.

  37. esther leave on August 4, 2018 at 1:57 am

    prayer of a vooodo spell caster to save my broken relationship with my husband 2017
    how do i restore my broken marriage spectator get my ex back

    • fessdo on August 4, 2018 at 7:23 am

      Esther,
      For you it would be a two step program.
      Step 1. Go back to school and learn how to correctly write a letter or comment.
      Step 2. You fix you and stop being so superstitious, wise up your problems today come from your actions yesterday.

  38. Inconvenient Sundays – Kurt Bubna on July 20, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    […] you'd like to read another good post that is a response to Christians who are done with the church, click here. (It's Carey […]

    • Bobbie on August 4, 2018 at 7:16 am

      It’s very sad when i became very ill,the church I was attending, the Head pastor judged me. How he did it was horrible. Why would a man that is a leader & also didn’t have the best life growing up, but then turned to God judge others. Isn’t it God’s choice ? Every church I tried / try to attend in the last 3 years has honestly been about helping the pastor not about helping each other. Why? I would love to have my own small gathering to learn, love & grow with JESUS! I’m not well, but i do live for Jesus.

  39. Carla Munson on July 18, 2018 at 2:08 am

    I’m done with church because the pipe organs have been silenced. I hate and detest guitars, drums and portable keyboards screeching out scared music. I want to hear the deep bellowing tones of the pipe organ rattle the stain glass window panes like I remember as a child. I want to feel the the music in my body and soul. I can’t any longer with the disgraceful “edgy musicians” who think they can supersede a blessed pipe organ. Pipe organs are sacred gifts from God. The devil has silenced the organs and made the guitar a mainstay in church. How sad.

    • Linda on August 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      The cost of pipe organs which can be anywhere for $30,000-$850,000 is prohibitive for most churches. They were the popular, “hip” instrument in the Baroque period for musicians who played sacred and secular music. Guitars are that instrument for modern day musicians, but are accessible to people of all economic backgrounds.

      • fessdo on August 14, 2018 at 5:21 pm

        Linda,
        One excuse is as good as another, if you installed the best $850,000 organ in Carla’s church it wouldn’t be a month till she left over something else. The sermon went 5mins over, the preacher didn’t ask how I was, they used LED candles at Christmas, the A/C was set on 75 instead of 76, or nobody said a word about my fried chicken at the pot luck. When people realize that what the preacher is preaching don’t work then they want to leave but they don’t want to say this crap don’t work, so they come up with some stupid excuse. You can fool some of the people some times but not all the people all the time. You know that a pyramid scam stops when you run out of gullible people.

    • dmc on August 17, 2018 at 4:21 am

      Carla,
      The early church did not have that awful sounding organ. That was added way later. In fact, the early church sang chants and had men and women separated standing for 3 hours!!. I hate the organ!! It is loud and overpowers the people’s voices. All those old hymns from the olden days are in minor keys and are unsingable nowadays. Who sings King James English today??
      In Bible times they had string instruments. Not some organ that was used for the circus which the Roman church brought in to keep people coming. Until the Reformation, no one sang in churches but the monks! You stood there listening to Latin not knowing what was being said or sung. Martin Luther brought corporate singing back to the church.
      But times are different. I love the Hymns, I am not fond of an overpowering organ. And I’m glad God is giving new music for a new generation. I may not like a lot of it myself. But this is their time, their generation. If you stopped going to church because of now organ music, then Carla, that organ became a god to you.

      • fessdo on August 17, 2018 at 7:36 am

        dmc,
        Personally when I went to church I preferred any instrument that was loud enough to drowned out those sad, sick, out of tune, whining, dying calf in a hail storm, sounds coming out of the mouths of people who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. If you weren’t depressed when you got there you was after you sit through that ear scarring sing and the solos were the worse especially a Capella.

  40. Martin Smith on July 10, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    HOW I GOT OVER DIVORCE AND GOT MY EX WIFE BACK. CONTACT DR AMIGO TODAY.
    Thank you Dr Amigo for bringing my ex wife back to me and re.uniting our love together. I so much love my ex wife and can’t ever imagine myself losing her to anyone. Am so thankful Sir. You can Google his amazing works how he has helped a lot of people going through breakups, divorce, heart broken, depression and rejection. ETC.He can help you dear. Contact Dr Amigo today via Google his name as Dr Amigo the online spell caster for a review of his articles

  41. Bill on July 4, 2018 at 7:12 am

    I live in small town Montana
    and an oil worker . I’m no longer a church member. I actually quit going after I turned 18 and was out of my parents house. Sometime back in the 1990’s I went back sporadically. In 2000 I was removed from a church service by uniformed police officers. It was a case of mistaken identity inasmuch as I looked like some people who was harassing them. I was able to convince the officers of my intentions and I was not cited or jailed. A couple years after that I attended another service and the pastor took issue with me being in there. He was up on the stage giving me shit for daring to come into his church. He went on and on for maybe half an hour at me then he stated,.
    “You guys took us to court and had a law passed that says ‘we’ are not to have you come to our churches anymore”. He made reference to a religious freedom law passed in the 1970’s. I felt their reliance on that public law was misplaced but he made it clear he was upset and that it was also time for me to go. Still I felt I could attend church somewhere which I did. I was in the hospital some time ago and the chaplain held a small ecumenical service right there in the hospital. Just as he started, someone who worked there and was in attendance at the service looked right at me and said, “They aught to build you guys a place where you can practice your religion.” I had no idea what that meant other than segregated services since that was supposedly an ecumenical service. The chaplain and the other employee started discussing whatever but I left the room as they were now involved in their own discussion. It’s been 11 years now that I’ve been in a church. I’ve finally read my Bible. There are loads of online study guides to help me in my walk with the Lord. I discovered so many things about the gospel and I find it’s a real blessing to know the Lord finally and to follow his example. A Christian is of Christ, someone who follows him. I cannot follow both a church and its doctrine and follow the Lord at the same time. I learned that building centered spirituality brings nothing but Christ centered spirituality is what was actually commanded of us, he said nothing of attending church on Sunday. Here of late I learned I was trying to matriculate into the large cult of churchianity. That is definitely NOT a part of me and I’m happy I havent invested much into it. I’m grateful in a sense I’m excluded from the church system by public opinion but my owness is to keep reading the word of God and going forth.

    • Fessdo on July 4, 2018 at 8:27 pm

      Bill you see the churches today are the good old boy clubs, meaning you scratch my back and I’ll forget you. If you want to have some fun go to ANY church and tell them when they ask (and it won’t take long) that you are a mechanic, the next words out of their mouth will be “oh good I know who to call when my car tears up” then you say thank you I need the extra money I charge $75 an hour but you being a Christian and wanting to help people I’ll charge you just $85 a hour. Watch their face change from a smile to a oh crap look. Like Jesus said there’s none good.

    • Tina Isennock on September 6, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      Amen brother! You make rhe most sense in here- check out the book – THE CHURCH OF THE END-TIME ZOMBIES- EXCELLENT BOOK!

  42. Valerie on July 3, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Denominations are the concern. They are man made. Nowhere in the bible does it talk about denominations. Each denomination picks and chooses what it will and will not teach from the bible or what it will twist to its own best interests. I’ve seen young people in Pentecostal churches fake being filled with the holy spirit so the prayer team will stop pressuring them. I’ve seen other denominations with people walking around clucking like chickens attributing this to the holy spirit. Where is that in the bible? Denominations are the problem.

    • Fessdo on July 3, 2018 at 6:44 am

      “Denominations are the problem” No it’s people, have you noticed everything God created was good till he finished man then he left out “and it was good”, also when Jesus came along he said “their is none good” so when you have people trying to be something that’s imposable for them to be then you have a problem.

      • Jay on July 5, 2018 at 9:33 am

        Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day. All of creation was perfect, before the fall.

        • Fessdo on July 5, 2018 at 7:12 pm

          One of God’s OOPS,,,, if the creation had been “very good” the first sin wouldn’t have happened.

    • gregg powers on July 3, 2018 at 11:35 am

      It s a bigger problem then that. What is preached from the pulpit as truth over the years has changed. Just look at the history of the “church” and how it has changed. Those closest to Christ’s time believed different than the Catholic Church which believed different from the Reformers which believe different than some today. It is why we are taught that truth comes from God, not man (John 16:13, 1 John 2:27). There are faithful servants but there are also false prophets. The diversity of Christianity (at least at a doctrinal level) testifies to the work of the evil one. Test everything (1 Thessalonians 5:21). PLEASE don’t automatically believe everything that comes from the pulpit; go to the breadth of Scripture to see if what is preached is true for if we believe false teachers, they can separate us from our salvation. We are responsible before the Lord.

  43. […] Original article here […]

    • Sharon T Coray on July 1, 2018 at 9:19 am

      I have left a church that at first I loved and would never miss one Sunday. Then something started happening and I had to leave. They started following Bill Johnson’s teachings. People were speaking in tongues all at once, I was given a book on how to do it, the pastor started laughing for no reason, one lady looked like she was having a seizure and I was concerned but was told not to worry she was just “feeling the spirit” The small groups never taught from the bible but from books by various authors. They would go up in front to get healed. People fell down on the floor. I felt like I was in an evil place instead of church. The pastor was always talking about getting more members. Now I see that they are having Sozo, and people are coming from Bills church to teach them. Will people in this church be “blessed” for following this? I have good friends who think it is the only way to go and they are not getting healed or blessed. Will God bless people who follow these weird churches?

  44. pedro on June 25, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    good

    • Larry on June 27, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      You make the assumption that the “church” that is manifest is the one Jesus is building, it’s not. One leaving the current representation of the “church” is leaving a counterfeit institution authored by The Evil One and successfully deceiving, if it were possible, the very elect. I would encourage those who have been called out to leave, and those who have not, stay.

      • jerry on June 27, 2018 at 7:36 pm

        Was it just me or did anyone else hear ” bal bal bal ? try speaking English Larry.

        • Sam on June 30, 2018 at 2:45 pm

          One more thing how can you speak of persecution when from the moment you had any power you turn around and for 1500 years or more persecuted any one who had a diffrent religon and oppressed and killed innocent Christians that where endorsed by the church. And you want me to look towards you for morals and trust
          Is just flat out dumb. Like i said im just a bad speller. Maybe you should get jessus to help with ths spell check on your site. Its almost as broken as your outdated church twisted morals and corrupted leadership good by church cant go away fast enough for me
          But the history should be kept as well as all the old churches,art ect
          As there is some beautiful art and buildings that should be protected

          • Fessdo on June 30, 2018 at 3:03 pm

            “Like i said im (just) a bad speller” Sam don’t sell yourself short, I think you’re much MORE than that. Have you ever thought about starting your own church?



      • Emari on July 25, 2018 at 6:54 pm

        I agree. Today’s “church,” at least the one I’ve rejected, is not the one Jesus spoke of in the New Testament. I have nothing against gathering with fellow believers, worshiping together, encouraging each other or belonging to a community of people who help and support one another in understanding the Word and in life. It just doesn’t happen to be in a big building with a worship band, clubs & activities, cliques and snooty rich people looking down their noses at the disabled and mentally ill who walk through the door.

        • Stu on July 25, 2018 at 7:34 pm

          Do you not believe that churches formed in Jesus’s day were not similar? Look at the Church at Ephesus or Galatia. In fact all seven churches, save two in Revelation, Jesus spoke about cleaning up their act, but he never told a righteous man to leave, but simply to do what was right and he would be rewarded.

          The Church of Christ is not about what we want, but about what our brothers and sisters need. If we make “no mistakes and do not sin,” we can take the speck out of our brother’s eye. Imagine Jesus leaving the church because sin was among it? He didn’t of course because He loved and died for His Church as broken as it was. Did Jesus not say, “And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Many commentators believe that the “thorn” in Paul’s flesh was not physical, but reflected some in the church that were always fighting against him. Jesus told him that “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul understood and accepted that, even saying, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Paul accepted that he could not change things in his own strength but realized that, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

          I think there are very few times we ought to leave a church, such as when heresy is being preached, but instead we are to encourage and admonish our brothers who are falling. When we leave because we are unhappy with the way circumstances are being played out, we are leaving for selfish reasons, not for wholly other reasons. Jesus never said that being where there are broken relationships was easy. But Jesus never walked out on them. He preached at the Temple daily with very hateful, turbulent, and combatant enemies. Just my two cents.

          • fessdo on July 25, 2018 at 10:08 pm

            Well Stu at least you got the price right. You labeled people who leave church as selfish. Now fellowshipping with a church full of unhappy, miserable, but unselfish people, man that’s where I would look forward to going each week.



          • Stu on July 25, 2018 at 10:35 pm

            fessdo,

            My very first article on this channel put into perspective my own bitter feelings about staying in the church I was attending. But after realizing how many other people who walked away shared their own bitterness, with blame attached to everyone but themselves, I couldn’t wait to run back to Jesus and admit my own bitterness, blame, and pride. If your desire is to pretend to falsify your pride in order to satisfy and gratify your own flesh, by all means, soak it up. And to label all churchgoers in a single church as, “…unhappy, miserable, but unselfish people,” is really over-the-top don’t you think. If they are all you can find, then perhaps it may be time to look inwardly, because misery surely loves company. Hope you truly are at peace. Blessings, Stu



          • fessdo on July 26, 2018 at 7:17 am

            Stu Stu you missed my meaning, you was the one who said “When we leave because we are unhappy with the way circumstances are being played out, we are leaving for selfish reasons”,,, that tells me you think people should keep going to church even if they are unhappy and if they leave then they’re selfish. With your reasoning unhappy people should just tough it out and lose all joy, peace, and continue to be unhappy until it turns to bitterness. I have found it much more peaceable to not attend church, I’m with Jesus 24/7 365 days a year cause he live inside me. You don’t have to be in church to find Jesus as a matter of fact I’ve been in a lot of churches that Jesus wasn’t there till I showed up.



          • Stu on July 26, 2018 at 7:55 am

            fessdo,

            You shared, “With your reasoning unhappy people should just tough it out and lose all joy, peace, and continue to be unhappy until it turns to bitterness.”

            No, that is not what I said, or meant. Jesus preached daily in the Temple with some extremely godless people filling up the “pews.” He did not leave because he was unhappy, or joyless, but instead overcame it and remained faithful. He did not jump ship. When the talents were distributed to the three men in that parable, two were faithful with what their master had given them. One was not. To the first two, what did Jesus say? Enter into my master’s joy my good and —what?—faithful servant. Jesus wants us to overcome our problems, not in our own strength—but His. We cannot do that in the flesh, but by His Spirit. Imagine if we were left to our own shortcomings? Imagine, instead of Jesus loving and dying for His Church, He abandoned it. Who then could we go to as our Advocate? We are not in this alone, but every step of the way with Christ. He sits next to us when we worship, and it is to God we should be among His people—to do just that—publicly give thanks and praise to Him in a corporate setting. That is why we get together, not bite and peck at each other, but to build each other up and encourage one another. And if others will not do that, then we must do it, as Jesus did for us.



          • fessdo on July 26, 2018 at 12:10 pm

            People who try good works to enter into God’s kingdom will ALWAYS end up bitter now and in the end, it’s only knowing Jesus, receiving him, and have him live in you (not sitting next to you) is when the peace comes.



          • Stu on July 26, 2018 at 12:39 pm

            fessdo,

            Yes, of course Jesus is not literally sitting next to you. It was metaphorical to mean Jesus resides in us, in our hearts and minds. In fact you said, “… it’s only knowing Jesus, receiving him, and have him live in you.” But I say it is more than simply knowing Jesus. The Old Devil knows Jesus far better than we. It is not knowing him, or knowing ‘about’ him. It is being LIKE him. Jesus went to the Temple everyday because he was going about and doing his Father’s business. Jesus was not merely hearing his Father, but being obedient to His will. He was doing his Father’s work because he loved Him. You can argue all you want about not being in the corporate assembly of believers, but Jesus was there and read and taught from the Scriptures and unbelievers heard the Word, and many responded. He was there.



          • fessdo on July 26, 2018 at 5:39 pm

            God’s ability in you to do what you don’t have the ability to do. This is one of the best definitions of God’s grace but you’ll not hear that said in many churches. You will hear God loves a giver, God blesses those who bless others, or God is so pleased you came to church today,,,,, the fact is you are saved by grace thru faith and that not of yourself it is a gift of God, so salvation is a gift. Why is it so hard for people to receive a gift, is it the pride we’ve been taught? You can give someone a gift and they’ll say I’ll help you back someday (PRIDE). Now it became a trade, You’ve scratched my back now I’ll scratch yours. This is what todays churches think and teach which leads to,, I know Jesus gave his all but that just wasn’t quite enough so here’s my WORKS to finish the job. Sad that the church has forgotten the last words Jesus spoke,, it is finished.



          • Stu on July 26, 2018 at 8:21 pm

            fessdo,

            What you say is true. We think sadly with our flesh and not the Spirit. We are human. In the flesh, life is just a bunch of deals: I do something for you and you do something for me—in that order. But Jesus’s way is better; that is, “I do something for you.” Period. Do this then for others who might not being taught that. You have much to offer. Don’t abandon your brothers and sisters who meet regularly who are just trying to get to shore—like each of us.



    • Sam on June 30, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      That was a week arugment with no real facts or aknowlegment of why people are not going to curch. From the hipocricy, bloody history, past and current scandals or how about the simple fact of how the bible was put together or how many times its been changed over the years. To the fact that jessus story isnt even original. Look up the tale of Gilgamesh the first great novel over a thousand years be for Jesus. It tells the same story of the garden of eaden and the son of god and more
      The bible is just a collection of storys applied to a dude with a good message. And usedto controll a population. The reason people arnt goint to church is because the church cant keep them in the dark or kill them for asking questions and once people are able to think for them selfs its hard to look at a church and think for all the death lies and changing of the bible to fit the naritive of the day. Any one who has higher then a 3rd grade education can hoestly belive its real
      You dont need a church to teach you go be a good person statistics would show more crimes are carried out by people who belive then dont. And a god who would not step in with how much we have changed the bible with out his ok. or all the pain and death endorsed encoureged and taken part in by the church and if god dosnt see the need to step in there then he is either ok with it or not real
      Eaither opption is one only a scared or stupid person would want go take part in. Although i may be a terrible speller im neaither scared nor dumb enough to belive any of your lies and think the church going away is a good thing

      • Don Baker on July 9, 2018 at 10:59 am

        Yeah but some churches have schools or at least ‘Sunday Schools’ where one learns to read, write, spell and possibly learn to think. You should try one

        • Fessdo on July 9, 2018 at 6:06 pm

          Joe Don your heartless type of remark is the very reason people have given up on churches. Ephesians 4:31-32

        • Sam on July 10, 2018 at 4:54 pm

          Thanks for reinforcing my point. you have nothing to defend your point of view so like a little kid you lash out at anything to try and sound like you have the mental capacity to prove me wrong
          With everything I said about what you hold so close to you in your life and your only response is my grammar and a inaccurate comment about Sunday school teaching basic curriculum.
          Take your own advice and learn to think them maybe you can respond like a big boy and maybe have something to say about the content of my message. If it helps you can draw a picture to help your self if you smell something burning it might be your brain thinking for it self. Or you pooped your pants or both.
          But please dont waist my time or yours of you dont have the brain power to understand what RESPOND means you can ask your mom to tell you what that big word means provided they didn’t leave you at gas station when they found out how dumb you are once you started to speak.
          I really would love to hear you try and put togeather a argument that is worth reading. But my thoughts are it will be non facts stories or a bunch of other crap I’m just supposed to believe. Like your silly book and useless religion just something to make dumb people not worry about God. And yes you are dumb if you really think about it and the whole history of your fairy tail only a dumb person would believe it
          And sorry to take away 99% of your argument or response. Yea I have bad grammar cant spell very well and my penmanship is pretty terrible then only thing that’s worse is your ability to please a woman
          Have a good day or dont and please stop breeding we have more idiots then villages.

          • Fessdo on July 10, 2018 at 6:19 pm

            That a boy Sam but watch out if you play on a muddy creek bank you could slip in. Old Joe Don is so convincing about the Christian love with his sweet replies that he may convert you to being just like him.



  45. Chris Hosmer on June 10, 2018 at 9:29 am

    You focus on Christ listen to Him and walk with Him.
    The church is what you become.
    You have fellowship with the Father and Son.
    You also have fellowship with others who are in that place.
    God will lead you there.

    Don’t listen to those who think that “church” is THEIR GROUP.
    Its not.

    You are the church if you are of Christ. Period.

    Suffer being rejected, misunderstood, and avoided…you are outside the camp.

    Be ok with it…Jesus is ok with it.

    • jerry on June 10, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      “The church is what you become” I think Charles Manson said that very thing. Like I said they are all guessing.

      • Chris on June 11, 2018 at 7:01 am

        Ha…good one. What I meant to say is that the church is not a building, its simply those called by Christ.

        I agree that they are guessing.

  46. Jose Rafael Cruzpagan on June 9, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    I AM A Christian! MY FAMILY ARE TOO!!! BUT WE DON´T HAVE A CHURCH, BECAUSE ALL THE NEGATIVES, DONT´s EXPLAINED BY EVERY BODY IN THIS BLOG… EVERY BODY AROUND MY AREA ARE EITHER, 7 Day Adventists, JEHOVAH Witnesses, Mormons or Super Charismatics… I was thinking of going to the Baptist but now they are also in the list of false churches!!! WHAT I´M SUPPOSE TO DO!!! Even reading the BIBLE IS SOMEHOW DANGEROUS, IF YOU GET THE WRONG BIBLE…

    • jerry on June 9, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      Really don’t matter which church you chose they all are just guessing, save your money and time for more important things in your life.

    • gregg powers on June 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Listen to God and God alone; earnestly ask Him for truth and God will provide it. Remember He loves you and desires you to be close to Him. To be close to Him, we must know the truth; we come closer to Him when we are earnestly seeking the truth. But we must not rely on preconceptions. Just open your heart to God as you read scripture asking for understanding through the Holy Spirit. Be willing to submit to His ways. God tells us specifically in John 16:13 that the Holy Spirit will “guide you into all truth”. We go to church online in a different city because it is there we have found a pastor with a heart for God. While it is always better to be in fellowship remember that it is the Lord that sustains us. Think about your fellow brothers and sisters in prison for years with virtually no fellowship. Who sustains them? The Lord. Spend time with Him. It will NEVER be wasted. God Bless……

    • Aminu Danmaliki on June 13, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      Jesus was not a Christian.He did not found the church or called his followers Christians he knows nothing about them or their bible which is man made not divine.The Book revealed by God to Jesus is called Injil or the Gospel which is an Islamic Book that Paul plagiarized and twisted the meaning.

      • gregg powers on June 14, 2018 at 10:49 am

        Simply, untrue

        • jerry on June 14, 2018 at 7:25 pm

          Gregg I open your heart to God and he said Aminu Danmaliki was telling the truth.

        • jerry on June 14, 2018 at 7:29 pm

          Gregg I opened my heart to god and he spoke and told me Aminu Danmaliki is telling the truth.

          • gregg powers on June 14, 2018 at 7:36 pm

            Check your heart again friend for Jeremiah 17:9. The words of Jesus are compelling. May you find the truth.. in Him



          • jerry on June 14, 2018 at 7:52 pm

            Double checked it Gregg and still Aminu Danmaliki is telling the truth, think god may be lying to me?.



          • gregg powers on June 14, 2018 at 8:34 pm

            No friend. I think you may be thinking you are hearing from God, but you are actually hearing from the evil one and cannot tell the difference for 2 Corinthians 11:14. We test all against Scripture……God Bless



          • jerry on June 15, 2018 at 4:14 am

            Islamic people are guessing their scripture is right, the Jews are guessing their scripture is right, and you’re guessing your scripture is right. Like I said it’s all just a guessing game and the quicker Jose realizes this the less he’ll get taken advantage of. Some days you get the bear and some days the bear gets you, the trick is to be smarter than the bear.



          • gregg powers on June 15, 2018 at 11:09 am

            There is only one document (the Bible) that proves itself to be supernaturally inspired. There is only one document (the New Testament) we have more manuscripts preserved than any other historical work. There is only one person who ever gave His life to free us from sin. There is only one historical account that gives proof that Jesus was God and that he was resurrected. There is only one truth testifying other religions of the world cannot be true.



          • jerry on June 15, 2018 at 5:08 pm

            “There is only one truth testifying”,,,, Gregg sounds like a case with some perjury.



          • Wayne on September 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm

            How. Could you belittle the creator by spelling his name beginning with a small letter?
            It’s something you just don’t do.



        • Wayne on September 5, 2018 at 3:50 am

          Gregg you’re an idiot…check what you are saying..

          Jesus WAS a Christian??? Really???
          I think you’v lost the plot.
          Thats the same as saying….Thomas Telford came from Telford

          Its impossible…Jesus wasn’t a Christian…Christianity was formed AFTER his death as a religion for people to follow..BY PAUL.

          Jesus may have been brought up within a religious household, but he was a spiritual person..he brought the words of the father. The Father is..SPIRIT …Therefore Jesus brought SPIRITUALITY not religion.

          Religion is pure dogma

          • fessdo on September 5, 2018 at 1:57 pm

            Wayne,
            Getting a little nit-picky with the little “g”, I think the all mighty has got a little more to think about than someone using a little “g”.



          • Wayne on September 5, 2018 at 5:21 pm

            😁 I know fessdo…just ignore me when I go off on one…blow this got in late going to bed..done!



          • Gregg Powers on September 5, 2018 at 6:50 pm

            Friend Wayne, you have some real issues. The fact that you act this way suggests you don’t really know the Holy Spirit. I didn’t say anything about Jesus being a Christian. Jesus is GOD. Jesus had disciples in his time. Scripture tells us they (the disciples) were first called Christians at Antioch. As i have stated in my posts i know there are plenty of problems with churches but we acknowledge that the first century disciples assembled themselves in churches. Jesus confronted the seven churches in Revelation. I don’t even understand your point about God being spirit. Where did i say different?



          • Wayne on September 6, 2018 at 1:36 pm

            Sorry Gregg…I do apologise.
            I don’t believe Jesus is God though,I believe THE WORD is, but there you are



          • Gregg Powers on September 7, 2018 at 10:33 am

            no problem Wayne; in Him



      • Connie Wade on June 24, 2018 at 5:19 pm

        How could Paul plagerize something that didn’t exist 600 years before it was written? Cliff Wadea

    • Wayne on July 13, 2018 at 3:56 am

      Just get a king James bible with decent references UNDER THE VERSES (as opposed to the references in the centre page column)
      And a good “red pill” to start swallowing would be something like
      Jeremiah 2v27 and Jeremiah 10v8..because following the references is no different to “Following the white rabbit” they eventually lead the seeker to the truth. And you begin to realise what you were led to believe was “light” was really “darkness” and what was “darkness” was really “light”

      • Fessdo on July 14, 2018 at 9:28 pm

        Wow Wayne seems like you know your stuff, but which King James version are you talking about? The one printed in 1611, 1629, 1769, or the New King James version, the 21st century King James version, or the authorized King James version?

        • Wayne on September 4, 2018 at 3:21 pm

          Sorry but couldnt get back to you any sooner as I stated above I couldn’t re-fresh the page and therefore couldn’t reply to any comments….The authorised king James version is the one I read

          • fessdo on September 5, 2018 at 7:24 am

            Wayne,
            Are you just guessing that version is the correct one or do you have a reason it’s the one to use?



  47. jerry on June 7, 2018 at 6:01 am

    Was told in the 60s that God can use anyone and that the church could use me, it took almost 40yrs to realize “man I’m being USED”. Should have seen it sooner after all in my 20s I had lots of friends but my wife said you ever notice the only time your friends come around is when they want something? I’m gifted (or cursed) with a Mr. fix-it mind so when I didn’t have time to fix my friends problems they stop coming around, sad but that’s life. I guess that’s why Jesus said theirs none good.

    • Ricky Sandefur on July 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      I can no longer attend due to the fact so many so called christians support the racist foul mouthed hater that has colluded with Russia.

      • Wayne on September 4, 2018 at 3:34 pm

        Careful…2 Peter 2v10…what you have to understand is that from Pharaoh to Trump God has put them there..they are pre-ordained..chosen, and its not
        I AM that uses and demonstrates his power and authority via that vessel, but
        I AM THAT I AM. This is where he operates on the world stage, and becomes every character in the play (so to speak)
        (Se Isaiah 45v7 and also proverbs 16v4). All we have to do is sit back and watch the movie premiere from…our front row seats. He’s in total control

        • Gregg Powers on September 4, 2018 at 3:53 pm

          Absolutely not true; go back and read the account of Pharaoh. Understand that God responded to Pharaoh hardening his own heart. Indeed the entire OT and NT testifies to the fact that God rewards or punishes man’s choices……

          • fessdo on September 4, 2018 at 5:18 pm

            Gregg,
            What kind of rewards or punishes are we talking about?



          • Gregg Powers on September 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm

            both temporal and eternal



          • fessdo on September 4, 2018 at 8:13 pm

            Gregg,
            Your answer could have not been more vague, kind of like asking a guy what he drives and he replies a vehicle.



          • Wayne on September 5, 2018 at 3:39 am

            Once again…The lord maketh all things for himself….even the wicked for the day of evil (proverbs 16v4)
            Irrespective of wether it be a vessel of honour or dishonour…he creates it and uses it for his own purpose.

            God rose up pharaoh to demonstrate his power through him

            You do realise that God can be both light and darkness…or two sides to the same coin ? (so to speak)
            If not read and understand…

            2samuel 24v1-24……2 chronicles 21v1-4



          • Wayne on September 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm

            Simply to correct the chapter and book below…its..
            1 chronicles 21v1-4



        • Gregg Powers on September 5, 2018 at 7:03 pm

          Incorrect on so many accounts Wayne. I see that you are Calvinist but that is simply misguided understanding of scripture. Let’s just start with a small thing. Pharaoh made his own heart hard to start with; this is what scripture teaches in multiple places. God responded to Pharaoh’s decisions. The same way God responded to the Israelites before whom God gave a choice. Even the idea of predestination is incorrect. The word proorizo (which is translated to “predestine” by apologists) is used rarely used in ancient Greek. However the root of the word is pro (beforehand) and orizo (boundry); It is where we get the word Horizon. But the six places in the NT where the word is used is never in the past tense – always aorist so it is timeliness. So it is a stretch at best to understand predestination as Calvinists do. Friends I implore you to not get sucked down into the errant doctrine of Calvinism. We all will be held to account by God. God Bless…..

          • Jerald McClain on September 5, 2018 at 10:50 pm

            Sorry. Did you just say that Donald Trump was “god sent?” Yep. One other reason to leave said religion behind. Ezekiel 25:17. If you’ve never heard of said bible verse, it’s the one made famous in the movie “Pulp Fiction” (1994) by American actor and Bad Mother-Fucker Samuel L. Jackson. Anyway, Donald Trump represents the Weak and the tyranny of evil men and he proved that by separating those families but I digress. I understand what you mean by comparing him to the Pharaoh of Egypt, however, if “god” NEEDS the godLESS then he is not omniscient. If “god” is not “omnicient,” then he is not “God.” Hence my use of the small “g” when referencing him.



          • fessdo on September 6, 2018 at 7:26 am

            Jerald,
            It’s how you look at it, to those who have stock he’s a god sent even the ones who didn’t vote or can’t stand him still have a special place in their heart for him when the stock keeps rising. Best way to make a friend is give him money for no reason. In 20 months the Dow went from little over 19000 to a little over 26000 I’d bet not one of those making money off the stock market would want to trade Trump for Jackson and if the stock stays up then they’ll secretly vote for him next time?



          • Jerald McClain on September 6, 2018 at 11:32 am

            Greg, since you brought my “mama” into it, let me give you a little tip when it comes to debates: when you resort to personal insults, you are Losing the debate! But I digress, here is another bit of that little thing us Athiests like to call “evidence.” Ever heard the concept of Numerology? For example, “5” means “The Grace of God,” “9” is “Fruit of the Spirit” and “12” means “Governmental Perfection.” 12 + 9 + 5 = “26.” “26” means “The Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Now if you take 12, 9 & 5 and correspond them with letters of the alphabet, it’d look like this:
            12 + 9 + 5 = 26
            L I E = The Gospel of Jesus Christ

            Game over. You Lose.



          • fessdo on September 6, 2018 at 12:16 pm

            Jerald,
            I hope you’re more accurate on you’re little number game as to who asked what your mama taught you. It wasn’t Gregg it was me, might want to get the old bifocals checked, it could cause you to be off a number or two making it #24 = Jesus is alive.



          • Wayne on September 8, 2018 at 3:38 am

            You see nothing gregg…you simply see yourself and thats it.
            You’ve got this ‘self importance’ thing going on. You come out with replies such as “It’s not true” and “Its simply not true” you give the impression that you and you alone are the only one that God speaks to and through. Its as though you see yourself presiding over the headline topic. It wouldn’t be so bad if you were to say..
            “I don’t believe this or that” but to come out with replies such as..
            “Not true”? Who are you to say something isn’t true?
            There may be lots of things that I (or others) might not believe, but it doesn’t mean they might not BE true.

            I think you should come down off that high chair take that imaginary crown off your head, along with the linen garments and sandals..put some jeans and trainers on..along with a T shirt and a baseball cap, and stop making yourself out to be someone sitting at the right hand of the father..period

            Oh and one last thing..SPIRIT led me to tell you that!



          • fessdo on September 8, 2018 at 8:29 am

            Wayne,
            You are right on target and I believe Gregg will get a lesson from this. Years ago I was a lot like Gregg till one day I was using my bible debating with a brother at church telling him how wrong he was and how right I was till he said “man you know your bible pretty good and when you get over your pride problem you can then be able help people” that pissed me off bad cause in my mind I was the meekest man in the church with below zero pride. For months them words would come to me over and over till one day I asked an old wise brother about it, he said ” was you closed minded trying to prove you was right or was open minded to see if you were wrong” as I thought on it I realized that not only was I very prideful but also saw a know it all has a closed mind. It didn’t take me long to repent from the pride but it did take awhile to not be so prideful. The amazing thing was in a matter of a few weeks people started telling me that their was something different about me, then wanted to know what I was doing. It’s true God does uses the foolish things to confound the wise, my pride had led me to thinking I was real wise but when I started getting rid of that pride I began to see how unwise I really am. Although it’s a daily walk for me to keep the pride in check I must confess some days I still miss it by a mile.

            Thanks Wayne you help me to remember to keep that the old pride out.



        • Jerald McClain on September 6, 2018 at 10:26 am

          jesus christ is dead and the elites made a religion to control the simple minded. The real reason he was killed by his own people was because he wouldn’t lift a finger against Roman persecution. That’s basically like helping Hitler.

          • fessdo on September 6, 2018 at 10:37 am

            Jerald,
            I’m guessing that your mama told you that Easter was about a pink bunny?



          • Gregg Powers on September 6, 2018 at 10:52 am

            Lie. I urge you to repent while there is time. Jesus is alive and will be forever more. Jesus is God.



  48. David Brainerd on May 23, 2018 at 12:45 am

    The church has become a feminist female-supremacy hellhole, so it can go to hell where it came from.

  49. Donna on May 15, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    The Church today is not the same church as the New Testament church. Today’s church is plagued with false doctrine, false teachers and there is a lot of new age practices in place. We have contemplative prayer, soaking, barking like dogs, the kundalani movement, the prosperity gospel and of course Bill Johnson and Bethel infecting our church’s today. The truth of the gospel has been mixed with a lie changing the very nature of the gospel to something entirely different. You would be wise to run from such places as what is being set up is the church of the anti christ. The true church has scattered in order to be preserved from the heresy’s being preached. From my perspective this article is not in flow with what is happening in the spirit, but it’s speaking from a rote position. This is what i was taught, this is what the church is, this is what we must do, without using the discernment of the spirit for the day and time we’re living in. Don’t we realize that the seven church’s in revelations are upon us? However, after saying all that I do agree that as the Church (individuals) we must stay in fellowship. We are to encourage, uplift, rebuke and pray for one another. Going to church doesen’t guarantee fellowship of anything spiritual. Sure there are coffee clutches, ladies night out, game night, etc. This isn’t what it means to fellowship. The fellowship in the bible was always of the spirit. 1 Jn 1:3 say’s that what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the father and with his son Jesus Christ. so unless a church has spiritual fellowship able to build up the body why go, except to say you go to church? Fellowship is 2 or more so we need to stop asking people if they go to church, but rather are they in fellowship. Donna

    • Chris on May 15, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      Well said Donna. I was making the same point to someone the other day.

      They just dont get it…they think that church is a building instead of those called to Christ.

    • Pam Kukde on May 26, 2018 at 1:14 am

      These patterns are becoming more evident in the church, Donna. Your perceptions are exactly right. But is’t that exactly what Jesus warned us about in regard to end times before He returns about the seven churches, and particularly luke-warm Christians he will spew out of his mouth. It is a struggle to know whether true believers should remain involved in the Church to speak out against the false doctrines, false teachings, and new age practices (to the point that we will then become ostracized) or whether to disengage because we do not want to be condemned by Christ when He returns to condemn the modern churches who have foresaken his teachings. It is so amazing that all that Christ had prophesied about Christians falling away in the end times and churches teaching a false doctrine– leading up to the AntiChrist– is falling into place. It should validate our beliefs and strengthen our faith rather than making us fear or tremble or feel anxious. We need to concentrate on keeping strong in our own faith and our own relationship with Christ, especially when we see these influences around us, and we know that they are spawned by the new age movement which is at its core (from its fundamental teachings of Blavatsky and Bailey) as being Luciferian. We as Christians need to be prepared also for the warning of Christ in regards to the persection which happens in the end days and we are seeking more and more that this is also taking place. Stay strong, Donna. Seek out fellowship with true believers even if it is one on one, or in small groups. Blessings. Pamela

      • michael on May 26, 2018 at 2:03 am

        End times happened in AD70 ,end of the temple age

    • pradeep ivon on June 15, 2018 at 5:06 am

      yes i agree with you Church is meant to be a spiritual fellowship, but then still this building and its occupants need to be visited by those who know the real meaning and try and win people to your understand this truth about the Real church.

    • Cliff Wade on June 24, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      Dear Donna; Look for a church of Christ. If the have a coffee clutch ladies night out, or a game night, look for one that doesn’t. Anything that a chursh does that is not found in the New Testament is not right.{2 John verse nine

  50. David Brayshaw on May 12, 2018 at 9:11 am

    No. 1 reason for leaving. Church leadership is centered on money: While I was in college, I attended a Charismatic church that did not see me at all. No one welcomed me with a handshake or hug as I entered the building. I was stone broke, but I was able to play the bass for worship services, which meant all of them, even during revivals and big to-dos.

    Then, once I graduated and joined another church that met in an elementary school, and gave a regular tithe, those handshakes and hugs came at me like a flood. I was actually worth something to them.

    No. 2 reason, not speaking the same things or in the same mind and judgment. The worst doctrinal lie today is that a person can lose his/her salvation when plainly the Bible states otherwise, if one understands the true makeup of a believer: spirit, soul and body.

    No. 3 reason, All that matters is whether the bills are being paid. To get their money, those who preach the prosperity doctrine will tell the unknowing that if they give to the church they will get a hundredfold return on their money. And, as I see it, no group of believers in the first days went out to build churches. They met in homes where the demands of money weren’t as strong and obsessive.

    No. 4 reason, either the assembly is all Word (evangelical) or all Spirit (Charismatic). We used to say “All word and no spirit, we dry up; all Spirit and no Word, we blow up; both Word and Spirit, we grow up.” The Spirit filled groups have gone haywire with their insistence upon evidence or manifestation, which has led from being slain in the Spirit, to laughing, and then barking like dogs. Where there is no Spirit, there are no tongues, singing in tongues or prophecy as written in 1 Cor. 14. Plus, their understanding of Scripture is sadly lacking. “When the which is perfect has come, that which is in part is done away with,” they believe, which is to say once Jesus was born, all of the gifts vanished, which is hogwash. Try to find a church that is balanced in both the Spirit and Word is like trying to find a needle in a haystack,

    Reason no. 5, Worship has turned into concerts where they might as well form a mosh pit. Contemporary music, without a bit of anointing, is replacing truly inspired and God centered worship. Today, the words are all about how the person feels, not about the attributes of our Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Today’s music is simply not directed toward God, but are written about how the writer feels about himself, as a kind of therapeutic diary. Plus, the words are repetitive and void of God’s anointing. I must wear earplugs just to sit with members of these churches because the music is so LOUD.

    • gregg on May 12, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      i encourage you to avoid doctrinal issues here since that is not the topic, especially since the one you quote has scriptures on both sides.

      • Pam Kukde on May 26, 2018 at 1:20 am

        You are right Gregg. The once saved, always saved (or eternal security) doctrine is hotly debated within Christian circles, with sincere Christians espousing both sides due to differences in interpretation and what they focus on. We as Christians should avoid getting drawn into this kind of debate on Christian forums and avoid divisiveness and arguments that simply tear us apart when we should try to seek common ground. You are very right in reminding us to stay focused on the topic of why many Christians are discouraged from attending church these days.

    • Gordon Southgate on May 13, 2018 at 8:27 am

      There is something self-defeating within humanity that goes beyond reason even sanity for that matter. In my thinking it is simple: we have God the Father whom we have a relationship with “in His Spirit and in His Truth” (word and spirit).

      Well that is how it should be (we all have heard it), there is a lot of lip service going around and you are correct you won’t find “Spirit and Truth” easily, not because of the church structures, errors they make (or don’t), how lively they are (or not) it is not about the leadership or denominations/sub-denominations, nothing like that. For there are numeral denominations or professing to be the right one and within these denominations, there are countless subcultures, again all believing they have it right. I am sure you know this 🙂

      The simple test of the true Church is this: Is Christ really the head is He really the King? In 99.999999% of cases, the answer is NO! They say He is the head but that is not true, for if it was not true then they would not call anyone else the head.

      You may say it is just a name but it is not it is a mindset. The reason most people go to church is not for faith reasons but self-righteousness reasons. They believe that if they go to church (attend a church) then they are doing the right thing? If it were the right thing then the church they were part of would have Christ as the head and no other, no “pastor”, no “vicar” no “priest”. No other mediator between themselves and the father except Christ Jesus. Even this blog writer has the title pastor, pastor of who?

      It is a wonder, to think that an individual can be plucked from nothingness and crowned with glory by grace and then run to the beggarly elements. To think the work laid out by the Godhead to make this happen would be shunned for religiosity is not beyond reason, (well not a biblical reason).

      Churchgoers have become masters of platitudes, learning all the Christianese to prop up their vanity/ego and idolatry. Personally, I have learned to just let them get on with it. No point in attempting to sort them out, their minds are already made up, they want a king but not Jesus… Therefore they choose tithing, hypocrisy, false teaching, arguing about meaningless details, heresy, pretense, formalism, chaos, passivity… in short, throwing their God-given crown to the ground, trampling the Son of man under their feet in exchange for dust.

      1 Samuel 8 sums it up

      • Chris on May 14, 2018 at 10:46 am

        Gordon,

        I agree with your analysis. There is only 1 Church. The called of Christ. There is only 1 Father who does the calling, and only 1 Son, to whom we are called.

        Most of what people call “church” today is an illusion.

    • Amberrose on May 20, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      To say these things as if they are fact for every church is terribly sad. Not every church is the same. In fact, I can’t even relate to you on most of these things. I was raised in a home church, and the church I attend now is the opposite of what you speak. If you were in my area, I would encourage you to come to the church I attend. To have these reasons be why people don’t go to church is so mortifying, it leads me to question why there isn’t an overhaul in the way these churches you speak of are run!
      My church is run like this:
      1. The only bill we have is a small monthly rent for renting above a large coffee shop Sunday mornings. Which as a congregation we all chip in on.
      2. I have NO idea what kind of church teaches you that you can lose your salvation. As long as you accept Christ, you are saved, period. End of story.
      3.Our pastor has a job outside the church to pay his own bills. He takes no money from the church. To him, the church isn’t meant to be a job, it’s a calling, it’s a duty that the Lord has given him. We get together at our homes afterwards for lunch or dinner, our “congregation” is simply too big to all fit in one of our homes.
      4. When scripture is brought up, there is open dialogue among everybody. People are encouraged to ask questions. If people have trouble grasping an idea, they speak up and say so and we pray. Often, somebody prays in tongues.
      5. Our worship isn’t a concert at all, the pastor has a guitar and sings the songs up on the screen, he asks different people from the congregation to use the other mics to help him out, different people pretty much every week.

      • gregg on May 20, 2018 at 10:50 pm

        again i counsel you to avoid doctrinal statements here, especially those which are not accurately presented. these are off topic

  51. Gytaryst on May 3, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Simply using the phrase “The Church” can be misleading. If you ask a hundred contemporary self-identified “Christians” to define that you’ll probably get a hundred completely different answers. “The church is far from perfect. Life is complex. There are growing options. And the post-modern mind distrusts most things organized or institutional.”

    Maybe the post-modern mind does distrust things organized. Is that to suggest that post-modern thinking is to blame for the mass exodus from . . . “The Church”? Maybe it is – maybe it isn’t.

    I can tell you that I reject most, if not all post-modern nonsense I’ve come across. “The Church” today, at least here in the US, seems to have [A LOT] more in common with the man-made religious systems that Jesus condemned than with any Biblical precepts we “Christians” should be following. I would go as far as to say that “The Church” is probably the number one reason why people are becoming disheartened with “The Church” in America. Not post-modernism, or technological advances, or “other options.” But charlatans playing church because they can make more money than they can doing honest work.

    Just my thoughts. If there are “other options” it’s that people have access to more knowledge than ever before and don’t have to rely on a select few to inform them – the same reason the mainstream media is in decline.

  52. hoodaticus on April 9, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    I’m all for living in the context of a loving, biblical Christian community.

    That is why I am against Churchianity, which at least in my country is little more than a business.

    • Ian orwin on April 11, 2018 at 7:16 am

      ” They will worship me in vain and for commandments preach the doctrines of men.” Why join them? He said to pray in your closet and who God hears in private he will reward openly. He says call no man father yet the pope likes being called Holy father and contradicts the Bible even wanting to change the Lord’s prayer. Why join them?

      • Ricky Miller on May 2, 2018 at 8:29 am

        Wow, I get it, I read the bible and then I go to several local churches and what they are teaching is not what the bible says for us to do. I am quite honestly so tired of religion, I just want to let Jesus live in me.

  53. Miss Gwen on April 4, 2018 at 5:46 am

    Hi..I left a comment when I first found this site June 24th. I don’t think it was ever posted. It would not take my email address which is dr_mack @yahoo. com……it waited to use a email address I used a few years back when I published a couple of blog post on WordPress. I really hope this post get published because I have been to share my testimony on how i got my lover back …. this is a miracle. So much is going on right now…..but mostly I want say i am so happy. Dr Mack was a great helper when i my Husband broke apart from me but he later came back after i used the service of Dr Mack.

  54. Vincent on April 1, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    The thought that all the evils of this world will be taken care of later in the hereafter is not helping those who want help now. Religion is good but we must provide the answers now in this life. Can you help?

    • Stu on April 9, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      When I look around me Vincent at the world, I do see Christians helping. My brothers just finished building a new hospital in a torn, African village. We have fed 300 people a week who are homeless. When I didn’t have any money to pay a bill, someone shook my hand and in it was a twenty dollar bill. Thousands of these things happen daily, and in the same way we must open our eyes to see it, we must open our closed fists to receive it. The real deal is really not about us, but others, just as it was Jesus who became so disfigured and unrecognizable on the Cross for us.

      All of the things which Christians see as bad, God merely sees as unfinished good, but if we knew beforehand what those things were, we would not need God. Faith must precede them. When I look at Christ and see the wounds in his hands and feet, after he was resurrected, we are able to take a peek at the very things God used to deliver Him—the same way every reminder we will see of us when we are resurrected. Those are the very things that God is using to bring us to fruition as conquerors who have “fought the good fight, who have finished the race, who have kept the faith.” We give up too easily and too soon.

  55. Pastor on March 29, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Why does God make it so hard for most of us to sense Him? I’m a former Pastor, missionary, etc. but God never revealed Himself to me beside a healing I received in youth group (which frankly could have been from anything). Over 20 years of fasting, praying, meditating, trying to see in the spirit, and just trying to sense anything spiritual has led to disillusionment and frustration. God doesn’t seem to answer any of my prayers. If I treated my wife like this, I would be divorced. How can we be part of “the bride of Christ” if we’re ignored like this?

    • Stu on March 29, 2018 at 11:19 am

      If I felt that way, I might want to reread Job, who was blameless. He felt he was being punished, but God was finally giving him understanding who exactly he was up against. Then God gave him twice what he had. Sara had a child when she was 90, and laughed at God. What we tend to see as bad is merely unfinished good in God’s eyes. It is our perspective, after all.

      • Pastor on March 29, 2018 at 11:28 am

        What does Job have to do with how I feel? That was an isolated case when God and satan essentially challenged each other. A lot of people have intimate relationships with God and interact with Him every day, that is not the point. Who cares what God gave Job? I’m not looking for God to give me stuff, I already have plenty. I’m talking about how He is treating me (and many others). Yeah, I see it as “bad” as you say.

        • Stu on March 29, 2018 at 12:03 pm

          Well, would you not believe that every case is an isolated case? I am not anyone’s clone. God treats every person uniquely. I gave those illustrations because one waited “too” long for God to have done anything, and I noticed you neglected to respond to that. I have a thousand questions about God; should I expect He must answer them? What I am hearing you say is how much you do not understand His ways. If I understood them, I wouldn’t need God! I search, and I seek, and I want to find just as much as you; at least you are not being persecuted in prison, and tortured for your faith. Imagine their feelings?

          With regard to Job, you stepped over my entire point. It was not about stuff, though he was given it; it was about his not understanding why he was going through what he was going through. You knew that!

          • Ricky Sandefur on July 3, 2018 at 2:04 pm

            God spoke to me in a dream and he
            is laughing his ass off at all the supposed christians supporting a
            racist bigot who demonises immigrants and abuses women.
            He will not be letting them into his kingdom.



        • Clint Plyler on May 1, 2018 at 8:43 am

          That’s not what the book of Job was about. God wasnt challenged by Satan, that’s like saying I was challenged by a sugar ant that wandered onto my porch while I was watching it with ant poison in my hand… No contest. Satan is only part of the book of Job for the opening chapters. The rest of the book is about Job struggling with his own faith. In the end of the struggle, god lovingly chastises job for his ignorance about who god is and what god is doing. The point of the book of job was that god was teaching job, changing him. Job was blameless in the trials that occurred in the opening chapters of the book, but job had lost site if god and was adrift in his own success and arrogance. Satan challenging god, no, Satan couldn’t even defeat job much less god. The trial was for jobs own good.

          • Pastor on May 1, 2018 at 9:42 am

            God clearly spoke to Job, case in point. why not all of us doing everything we can to get any sense of Him?



          • Fessdo on July 3, 2018 at 2:44 pm

            Ricky now that’s good news, “He will not be letting them into his kingdom” that means there will be more room for perfect ones like you and me Rick.



        • Wayne on May 12, 2018 at 9:56 am

          Maybe (at this point in your life) this is as the waters of Noah..In the same way that he hid the face of the earth for a while, maybe he’s hiding the face of his deepest thoughts from you (Isaiah 54v9)
          I (like you) was taken out of what I call “gangsters paradise”
          Because what I was being led to believe (via their interpretations of scripture) was a perverted and distorted version of what true spirit was giving me. The “Mob” in the ‘market place’ piped and expected me to dance, and mourn when they lamented, because the ‘market place’ is all about the control of ones mind, hence why they are referd to as ‘prison houses’ and its of no wonder why Jesus familiar friends wanted to bump him off when they realised just WHY he was sent in the first place (how dare he come to free prisoners) to the point where would even run them out of the temple after he had already cleansed them outside (Jn5v1-14) I think you need to re-read the scriptures, starting from the books of the Prophets, because God is always ‘I AM’ not I WAS, and via the prophets ‘I AM’ constantly expresses AND EXPOSES the face of his deepest thoughts to you. The thing is if you do not understand those books you will never really understand the new, because your understanding of the new will be that which you already have, which has simply been rolled off the production line and fed to the ‘many’ when in truth you need the hidden bible within your bible which has only been revealed to the few, and (like Jesus) is quite controversial

          • Gordon Southgate on May 13, 2018 at 2:20 am

            Well put Wayne. The way I see it is that organically (in a spiritual sense) we truly are part of His body, born into Him spiritually, connected to life. How this works out practically is distorted and it is this distortion that is the controversy. Not everyone can articulate that controversy but anyone who is honest can truly say “something ain’t right” and it is at this point you choose. You either choose to go along with the charade or seek the truth.

            wide road/narrow road



    • gregg powers on March 29, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Brother. Try not to look for God in the things he can do for you or that you expect. Rather, try to focus on what God gives you that you may not naturally focus on. That is peace, joy, understanding, patience, etc, etc, etc. God does not always answer our prayers the way we want; He is not an ATM or a genie who perform according to our will. I have had prayers answered and not answered, but on several occasions i can see that His not answering my prayers was the better thing. We are here to serve Him. He is not here to serve us. I counsel you to not let the relationship with God be based on the concept of how He can serve us but rather focus on how we can serve Him for He is the one who is worthy. Hope this helps. in Him

      • Pastor on April 4, 2018 at 7:31 am

        Gregg, I’m talking about having a basic relationship, not getting things or even understanding anything. I can’t sense Him in any way and that is not right. Imagine a husband treating his wife like this… never comes around, never talks to her, refuses to touch her…he is completely absent and she feels abandoned because he is close to many other people, but despite her efforts and even begging, he ignores her. Perhaps you are fine with that kind of relationship, perhaps you are just waiting to die to begin a real relationship, but I’m sick of waiting while others have incredible tangible intimate relationships with their Triune Creator and Father. So much for loving orphans, I feel like one.

        • gregg powers on April 4, 2018 at 9:53 am

          I cannot answer effectively here because i don’t know all the issues, but can only share that as i have sought to be closer to God (in His word, praying), i feel Him closer to me. Remember what God told the exiles “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” I know you indicated you are seeking Him, but please be patient and don’t give up for He is there. I remind you that even Jesus felt betrayed on the cross and David had times (Psalm 22) where he felt the Lord was far away and this was a man after God’s own heart. Praying for you Pastor…..

          • Kully on April 22, 2018 at 1:06 am

            I will be praying for you. It sounds like there’s a blockage of some sort. Maybe pray God shows you what is in the way. He is there … He won’t leave you.



        • HunterAR on May 9, 2018 at 5:05 pm

          Talk to the God above all things. Above all religions and realities. The source of everything. Say your lonely and you feel like no one understands you. That God is above any confusion of doctrines, religions or ideas..an incomparable thing/person/energy. Why be scared of that? I felt comforted by that when I just wasn’t feeling sure of the churches teachings and felt like people didn’t get me.

        • Wayne on May 12, 2018 at 11:18 am

          Ahhhh..well maybe you need to ‘sing’ more (Isa 54) in other words you need to express youself more, from day to day by doing whatever YOU want to do both in and with your life. If you are single with no children, then (as the word states) you already have more life than those who are married, at least you’re free. (Thats if you are) To be in and feel his presence you’ve got to be spontaneous in life, and THATS where you will feel him (Just think about the Nike symbol and meaning…JUST DO IT) God dwells in ‘THE NOW’

          You’re waiting for him???

          He’s actually waiting for you

    • Gabrielle on April 7, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      Dear Pastor,
      Please be encouraged that God is always there with us even when we don’t sense or feel Him. Sometimes we can’t sense God’s presence because there’s something or sin blocking the communication between us and Him. You seem hurt and angry with God, maybe start there and respectfully come clean to Him about why you’re angry.
      I am currently going through a health crisis, and when I received the news from my doctor, I felt as if God had abandoned me and left me to cope with this all on my own. I found it difficult to pray because I felt like He didn’t care about me. Last Sunday I spoke with an Elder at my church, I told him that the news had thrown me, and I had been struggling to pray & talk to God, he told me the best advice he’s been given when he was struggling with prayer was to pray! I tutted in my head and rolled my eyes inwardly. But when I got home I thought about it, and I started pouring out my heart to God. I told Him that I feared the impending surgery, and I felt like You’re not here for me in this crisis. I confessed & repented of worrying and for distrusting Him. I kept talking to Him and reading the Bible over the passing days. I pulled out and meditated on His promises where He said I will never leave you nor forsake you, from that I started giving Him thanks for His goodness, for being a loving Father to me and thanking Him for always being there for me. My circumstances have not changed, but since I stopped worrying and put my focus back on Jesus, such a peace and calm has come over me, and although I don’t know how, I know that He will use this situation for my good and for His glory.
      You say, “God doesn’t seem to answer any of my prayers.” Again, please don’t take this the wrong way, but is that true? May I suggest that you write out a list of all the prayers God has answered over the 20+ years, you will see just how much He has done. I keep a prayer list for everything I am praying for, no matter how small, I then write out the day and how God answered that prayer. I then look back and remind myself just how faithful He has been.
      Please rest in the fact that God loves you, and if you have confessed and trusted Jesus Christ as your personal saviour, then trust in His promise, whether you sense him or not. Matthew 28:20 (KJV) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

      Keep reading the Bible and keep praying and talking to God no matter how you are feeling; we are always on God’s mind and God is always with us.

      May Jesus give you His peace.

    • Cindy on April 26, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Far out! I agree with you! How good it is that you are honest enough – in this ‘lets pretend all is well world’ – to say it. I think God prefers an honest and doubting faith (when this is your experience) to one that pretends.

      I wonder if the silence some of us experience is what the people who lived in the 400 years of silence – the years between the old and new testaments – experienced. Although lots of the Psalms cry out ‘God, hear me!!’ ‘Turn your ear to me’. Presumably the author felt God was far away.

      And by the way…. note to all ‘well meaning’ (but poor thinking) people who say ‘If God seems far away, guess who moved’. You need a good shake! This is a cruel thing to say to those who are genuine seekers and/or those experiencing what St John of the Cross called ‘the dark night of the soul’.

      • Pastor on May 1, 2018 at 9:51 am

        Thank you Cindy and I agree with everything you said. What’s worse, people are telling me I have word curses, demons, sin, need to cleanse my DNA, have generational sin, and a million other things causing the “blockage,” yet no one offers to help or even provide a solution. People love to tell you what’s wrong with you because it makes them feel better, even though they’re just guessing and it doesn’t help us at all, only brings confusion. How demonic is that? They think whatever pops into their head is Holy Spirit. Ugh!

        • Chris on May 14, 2018 at 11:03 am

          What helps me is abiding in the Words of Christ. It seems counter-intuitive, like marching around a city 7 times. But when you do it, you get a sense of who Jesus is. That is worth EVERYTHING.

          Don’t assume you already are familiar with Him. Just sit in His conversations and “put yourself there” You will find that He is there too.

          Helps me with the same issue

          • Stu on July 3, 2018 at 3:29 pm

            Good answer Chris. We are all, to some degree, like the pastor espouses, and since we as Christians know this, it should help us realize that we are all flawed, and that apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. I would love God to heal my sickness, and thanking Him for it is counterintuitive, yet God gives us His strength in our weaknesses—if we believe it.



  56. Joy on March 28, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Gathering doesn’t have to be on Sunday. For various reasons, we don’t attend Sunday church as a family. I do involve myself in women’s groups throughout the week (which I can easily do as a stay at home mom), and my kids get religious education through AWANA. I have built a Christian community through these programs that is stronger and more supportive than when I used to work and go on Sunday mornings each week. We are to have relationships with other Christians, pray together, and support each other. If that’s not happening during the Sunday morning show, then it’s not really compelling as a Christian to go.

    • Stu on March 28, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Joy.

      I wonder if “the Sunday morning show” is even designed for building relationships, which as you say is not happening. Corporate worship is designed to setting your mind on worshipping the Creator, praising Him, singing songs to Him, praying to Him. It is not about us—but Him. Churches did not just start having problems in the Twenty-First Century. They existed 2000 years ago as well. The Roman Empire, politics, Pharisees, and pretend Christians existed in the Temple then as well as now, but Jesus still attended them, and preached there as well. In the seven churches in Revelation, Jesus never once told anyone to leave the church—even as corrupt as some of them were. He said that whoever did what was right would be rewarded. What do you do with His commandment, “Do not forsake the local assembly, as some have been in the habit of doing.” Did Paul abandon the Churches at Corinth and Galatia? They were having all kinds of problems. The whole, corporate body was never meant to be abandoned. Each of its members who are believers are given gifts for the whole Body, and when you depart with your “arm” or your “leg,” you take a part of Christ’s body with it. We are to serve others, not be served.

      I understand how you feel. I started right here feeling the same way, but after I saw the bitterness of so many people leaving the Church, I ran right back to Christ so that He could show me what I needed to do to remain. Did not Jesus love His Church? Did Jesus not die for His Church? I think we are to do likewise.

      • gregg powers on March 29, 2018 at 8:39 pm

        While the essence of what you say does have Biblical support, we are to separate from false teachers and unfortunately there are plenty of churches with false teachers. To not do so is to be seen accepting all doctrine as true even if it may not be. Furthermore (and this is the theme of other postings), the church is the body of Christ not the four walls of a building. So while we should not separate from other believers there is no biblical teaching where we must go to a given building. Indeed, we may be better off to spend the money we have taken in on the work of God rather than all the upkeep and staffing in our current edifices. The passages in Revelation 2/3 talk about those called out (Greek ekklesia) to a specific area; that is the underlying meaning of church. We note that the condemnations to the churches in Revelation 2/3 were to the body of Christ, that is the believers in a given area, not a physical church building. Furthermore although God did not tell anyone to leave, He did tell them that He would take away their standing (that is their ability to give light) because they were acting in a manner inconsistent with the gospel. Looking at the underlying Greek, there is nothing i am aware of in scripture that says one must meet at a given type of building. In fact, in the 1st century, most often people met at homes because the early church was not awash in cash. In short, while attending church and participating as a part of corporate worship can be beneficial, it is certainly reasonable to leave a group of believers where all doctrinal truths of God are not on display, especially when those in error refuse to repent. Finally, i note that the last building (that is actual building) that God inhabited here on earth was destroyed by Him because of how those in it refused to be faithful to Him. A church building does not necessarily guarantee improving our relationship with our God.

        • Stu on March 29, 2018 at 9:33 pm

          Nowhere did I imply a building was the church. True indeed believers can meet anywhere. If however only the body consisted entirely of believers, no one who was not already a believer would be saved. So a body of people are comprised of both wheat and tare until harvest time. While the body can meet in homes (or in a ditch for that matter), it also met in buildings for many conveniences.

          You stated: “Furthermore although God did not tell anyone to leave, He did tell them that He would take away their standing (that is their ability to give light) because they were acting in a manner inconsistent with the gospel.” The logic is contradictory. If Jesus did not tell anyone to leave, and at the same time took their light away, that would be nonsensical. One is true, but both simultaneously cannot be true. Individuals are still saved even under horrific conditions; not only, but many remained to teach and rebuke those choosing to sin in no less the same way they are today. Men of the Gospel have always been sent to less reputable places to preach the Word of God—even in church bodies struggling to follow it; there have been churches in prison where deranged individuals served out their sentences—some whom were changed.

          More than that, remaining in a body whose preachers distort the Word of God does not imply you must follow their teachings. Yes, many may be led astray, but some who choose to remain, mature in their faith, will know when the Spirit is telling them which way to walk.

          If the Church of yesterday and today were not important, Jesus would not have loved her and died for her.

          • gregg powers on March 29, 2018 at 11:03 pm

            The argument you made in the previous post was that Jesus did not tell anyone in the condemned churches to leave in Revelation; I did not say that; you did. I said exactly what scripture does say. That is Jesus will come and take away their lamp stand. To me, this implies that faithful people would indeed leave a church (or body of believers) that refused to repent as Jesus commanded since Jesus himself no longer believed it to be a church faithfully representing Him as signified by the removal of the lamp stand. If the majority of the congregation had that problem (as Jesus indicates) would you stay among them if they refused to repent? Would you stay in a church God has condemned by removing its lamp stand? Hmmmm

            The example you give about the wheat and tares talks about the field being the world, not the church alone. The church is to be holy and set apart (e.g. called out). While you IMHO make the point that tares may be in the church, the idea is that they are not to remain there as tares for long. They either come to Christ or leave. Would you tolerate an unbeliever in the church who came drunk and kept interrupting service? But individual parts of the Christ’s church (read Christ’s body) in a given locale were often condemned with eternal implications. Consider 1 Corinthians 5 to understand how we are to separate from those who claim to be Christians and yet are committed to sin, but not tolerate sin. We are to strive to be holy as Christ is holy. So we can remove people from the fellowship who are unwilling to repent. What do we do when a leader is challenged in his understanding of scripture and will not repent? The choice is obvious to me….

            Christ died for people who are collectively referred to as “His Church”. We are not concerned with unbelievers. They are welcome among us wherever they are in the hope that God will grant them faith unto repentance. We are concerned with those who are unfaithful and refuse to repent. Once people have tried to help individuals who are committed to living in error, why would we stay? This is another scriptural case of being unequally yoked…..
            May i correctly assume that you would not continue to attend a Mosque after trying to help them see the truth because of their ongoing teachings?

            And yes, there is guilt by association. If you tell (or invite) someone that you attend a church that teaches works only salvation (just as a silly example), you are viewed as a supporter of such doctrine by people who know you (otherwise why would you associate with such people unless you had common beliefs?). People have largely separated over what is believed to be errant doctrine in others with the underlying assumption that people gravitate to churches which align with their beliefs. It is not logical to continue to attend a physical church which teaches things inconsistent with our understanding of scripture after we have tried to correct errant doctrine.

            my $0.02

            God Bless



        • Pam Kukde on May 26, 2018 at 1:57 am

          I completely agree with you Gregg- your postings at the end of March about our obligations to leave a Church that is not Holy, not obeying God or His commandments, or is teaching or practicing false doctrines. You explained it very well.

  57. Gordon on March 25, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    What do you mean with “done with church”? What does church mean?, yes we know it is the people and not the building. But it is how the people are organized that makes the difference. In His word the Lord makes it clear that intimacy is key. The phrase “one another” is mentioned over forty times in the new testament, forgiving 70 x 7 is impossible without intimacy. In fact without intimacy you rarely need to forgive.

    The early church was all about intimacy, intimacy with the creator and one another. Salvation can only truly be worked out with one another. The ministries and gifts were distributed to the body by the Holy Spirit for the body, for the building up. A total action and interaction between believers guided by the Holy Spirit with Christ as the head. One body, One Spirit, One Head. This is what God means by entering in.

    You will not find this today in any church. The concept of church today is so far removed from the reality of what Christ and the apostles laid down. It is counterfeit. Today we do not have one another we have divisions in the body, Christ divided. You have a stage, platform, etc where leaders perform and the rest remain passive. Those at the front and the rest, the bums on seats, a far cry from God’s intention. That is the format worldwide, with variations.

    You see there is no “one another” today because the church organisational structure is not “one another” but “some and others”. Most if not all churches have a single pastor who identifies themselves as “The Minister” when in fact the ministry belongs to all the body. No wonder these people burn out. People aren’t rejecting church they are rejecting what church has become; formal, hierarchical, divided. A place where you can hide your sins, let someone else take responsibility, a place where you can pretend to be real without challenge because there is no one another. Lets be honest. There is very little one another in modern churches, cliques yes but acting as one body, no.

    Perhaps we should be done with that church?

  58. Bill on March 25, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    In spring of 2000 I attended a church service in the town I was living in. Soon after the service began 2 uniformed police officers came up to the pew I was in and removed me from the service. I was taken to police headquarters and questioned by the offiers as to what I was doing to have the church summon the police. I was showed that this would happen. I wasn’t causing a ruckus or anything. I wasn’t being disorderly. The police repeatedly asked me if I had been drinking. It was obvious even to them I was sober. They had no idea, same as me why they were called to remove me from their service. A detective tried to locate the complainant and find out why I was to be taken away. They had no reason to jail me or issue a citation so eventually I was loaded into a squad car and taken home.
    I was unable to attend any more church services because a second time would go very badly for me.
    Since that incident I have been reading my Bible and finding some good online resources. I have found options for people who are unable to attend services for some reason.
    I feel that since I was removed from the church of my longtime faith, I have learned a lot about the Lord, prayer, deliverance, salvation than I ever would by reading and learning about Gods word and reading and rereading the Gospel. I doubt those who air church services on the small town radio station know that I, an able bodied, appropriate person am tuned in as well along with those who are unable to attend due to health concerns or other health reasons.
    I surely miss going to services and being part of an honorable fellowship…

  59. Adam on March 6, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I read the post and then descended to read the comments and it appears the latter exceeds the former and the post author is gone with the wind. Well, I have a few observations:

    1) We are facing a crisis of validating the Bible according to the present age and global culture. This is something that even the Israelites had to deal with when they emigrated from Egypt towards the promised land. The found themselves swinging between the Mosaic laws and the Egyptian culture…between Monotheism and cultist polytheism. We face the same problem today. We don’t know how authority descends from God, Jesus, or their words (Bible). So we can bicker whole day without regard for what is at stake.

    2) The second observation I make is that “individualism” and “independence” and “a claim to being knowledgeable” is really itching in us all the time. I reminds me of how I was really confused between understanding the old testament and the new.

    Let me explain something very important here. Have you ever asked yourself, what is the Bible? Why does it’s accounts look so consistent from Genesis to Revelation? And why does it seem consistent in storyline as well as themes and meanings? The Bible is simple….it’s a narration of how God is trying to redeem His people. Adam fell, he then tried to redeem his “cleaner” heritage line. Cain killed Abel, God gave Adam another son, Seth….then to Enoch…then to Noah (redemption in the floods)…Abraham (father of faith…faith is belief in redemption)…then to Jacob…then to Joseph (redemption from the Famine which compelled them to come down to Israel)…then Moses…then Joshua…and so on. The patter is very distinct. It’s all about redemption. Jesus is the ultimate redemption, meaning we no longer need the blood of animals to “cover” our sins. We need Jesus’ blood to (this time round) redeem us FOR SURE!

    There had been prophets before relaying the word…probably beginning with Moses (he was in fact more than a prophet)…but time came when there was a long period of time before any prophets could appear and before any word could be heard from the Lord. Then came the forerunner in the desert (John the Baptist)…the Jesus (the ultimate sacrifice) and then here we are….racing towards the end of times. So what am trying to put across is that the Bible is a guide and an account of redemption.

    Now READ THIS WELL:
    The Mosaic law had come to the Israelites and NOT the whole world, otherwise even the Egyptians and the Canananitish tribes could have been compelled to believe it, which was not the case. But we the gentiles, are not subject to the Mosaic law because 1) it was not meant for the gentiles but the chosen people (Israel), and 2) It has been overshadowed by the redemption of Jesus. Take note of that word “overshadowed.”

    We the gentiles can only come to the Lord through Jesus and not through the Mosaic law. That’s not our gateway. But we have to understand that the Mosaic law also represents God’ interest and therefore we cannot just dismiss it entirely as such because Paul made that very clear. Those laws represented some of the things that the Lord had wanted the Israelites to be doing, which for the most part they did not do, and we the gentiles cannot even keep them to be honest. Don’t think of the 10 commandments! There were very many laws (600+ laws) that they had to keep and they failed terribly.

    You have to remember that the Lord had given Abraham a promise and we are indeed enjoined on that promise and that’s why we can heed the words of Jesus and it can make a change in us. God is VERY VERY gracious and that’s why we are here today proclaiming Jesus with every confidence we have.

    Living in the spirituality of Jesus should give you a spiritual guidance of how you conduct your life: If you listen to Jesus and KEEP his word, and the spirit of the LORD take control of your wills, then you will know virtually all you need to know about being a follower…AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE ARE REALLY MISSING! We proclaim to be followers of Jesus but we in fact, are simply saying BUT NOT actually following Jesus. If we are Jesus’ followers, WE WOULD DO ALL HE COMMANDS, AND THE SPIRIT WOULD GUIDE US IN THE WAY.

    The reason we have this post here and these lengthy comments is because we have not had that very intimate experience with God and all we are doing is RELYING ON OUR REASONING RATHER THAN HEEDING AND ASCENDING TO GOD TO ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT HE WANTS OF US!!

    It reminds me of a conversation I had with a certain friend a few months back. We were discussing that, no one can actually criticize your belief system due to the simple fact that FAITH IS NOT PROVABLE! If you can do a great miracle here in front of me to believe in you, chance are that I will be WOWED by what you did but will NOT UNDERSTAND or even GET CONVICTED by the power that made you do it, and I bet this is why JESUS ONLY PERFORMED MIRACLES WITH RESTRAINT….NOT FLASHILY!

    We need to get back to following Jesus. The answers of whether you will need to walk out of church, whether you will need to pay tithes, offer alms in church, or get involved in church activities WILL COME VERY CLEARLY WITHOUT ANYONE TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO! I CAN GUARANTEE YOU THAT. Let us not rely on our own understanding. God can ONLY BE UNDERSTOOD BY CONNECTING WITH HIM AND NOT “REASONING” WITH HIM. He made us and we are very feeble!

    I pray we all reach the answers we are looking for. The Lord shine upon all our hearts. Jesus saved us. Amen.

  60. gone on February 18, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    This post is written very much from the perspective of someone who “spent a lot of time working through the issue of declining church attendance (and growing disillusionment with the church)” without ever listening to or consulting with the purported target audience of people who have or will leave the church. It’s a little condescending and tone deaf.

    It’s actually the very thing that will drive away more people, people who are agonizing over the decision of whether to go or stay as they stumble upon it. It gives voice to the prevailing philosophy within the church, which is after all what people reject when they leave the church.

    “If you want to get rid of the church, you also need to get rid of Jesus. You can’t have one without the other.” These are the words of someone who has no idea of why a person leaves the church. It’s not trendy, it’s not simplistic or reductionist, it’s the most constructive avenue for some people.

    Have you ever considered that your “sophisticated thinking” is what’s actually simplistic and reductionist? No, I doubt you have, or will, but if you can bear to, then try it. Shift your paradigm. Change your perspective. Talk to someone outside your filter bubble.

    • Blanche Quizno on February 23, 2018 at 12:27 am

      gone, up top, noted some of the details that really spoke to me (and not at ALL in a good way) and came away with the same general feeling from the article. So if we’re going to leave the church, we have to discard Jesus, too? Says who? Cary Nieuwhof?? Who would NEVER give ANYONE permission to leave a church under ANY circumstances anyway?? Who made Cary Nieuwhof the boss of anybody??

      What most people realize is that those who have some sort of vested interest in the church industry will never EVER provide an avenue for people to leave with their blessing. No, they will be condemned and maligned if they leave, and they will be argued with at every opportunity as to WHY they are wrong-wrong-wrong. People who’ve had the misfortune of having been involved with a church typically discover too late that they are no longer “allowed” to decide where and how their personal time will be spent. They’ll be criticized and scolded if they miss a service or study; they’ll be nagged and harangued about “doing MORE for the church”, and no matter how much they donate, it’s never enough. Nowhere NEAR enough.

      At no point is the question of whether or not this particular congregant is getting his or her needs met through church participation even addressed. If it somehow comes up (typically by the congregant making known this lack-of-getting-needs-met), the congregant will be blamed – not putting Jesus first enough, not putting OTHERS first enough, not participating enough, weak faith, SOOOO selfish. At no point will anyone acknowledge that this may just be a poor fit and the person in question may well be happier somewhere else. No, the malcontent is expected to do whatever it takes to become happy in THAT church, no matter what.

      No wonder people are fleeing the church.

  61. Marti Hatch on February 16, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    so this one hits close to home!
    After a lifetime and 27 years as a pastor and being married to another pastor for 15 years, I’m preparing for a “church leave.”
    I totally get I AM the church! I also know you understand the issues of burnout intimately. A career of addressing the pain caused BY the church has led me to a new focus. But as I transition to becoming a full-time pastoral counselor, my family is taking a break for so many of these reasons mentioned. In order to not leave permanently, we are planning on not immediately getting involved in a local congregation when we move but to visit any and all places that have intrigued us for our first 6 months. Different denominations, different religious expressions, different states, different styles…
    It is the business and busy-ness of the church that I have allowed to get out of control in my own well-being. I truly believe our break will be temporary and will help us all rediscover life-giving ways we are the church. Maybe my new calling will be to model such actions and be a safe place for others to create their own church vacations in order to reclaim their vocations!

  62. Steve on February 16, 2018 at 12:19 am

    I am 70 years old and had the privilege and honor of teaching Sunday School in some large churches for 36 years. I loved God and The Church and wanted to take my last breath teaching some Sunday morning. I believed The Church to be the most vital entity in this world. But three years ago I experienced a situation with the Pastor ( a big deal in Southern Baptist) of my church and one of his staff members that led me to the conclusion that today’s organized church is often more self absorbed and harmful to its members than it is a true ministry. These individals were so arrogant and narcissistic with seemingly no concern for anything but themselves. Some of their misguided theology was used to manipulate the membership into leaving their brains and questions at the front door but bringing lots of money for their needs. In fact I describe them as maintainence men. They see themselves as masters and not servants and their main mission has become to maintain the kingdom they have built for themselves and their families.

    I have a pretty extensive background with things Southern Baptist and my experience is by no means an isolated event.

    I left and have no desire to be involved in a local congregation again. When all these great scholars start trying to teach us why people are leaving the church they usually miss the point completely. Most often before they place the blame on those leaving they first need to convince our leaders that they are our servants, not our masters and more and more members are understanding that.

    Sorry for the negatives but I am tired of church leaders using “Christian speak” to frighten and manipulate their Members and as soon as someone has a concern or question they are branded with all sorts of names. Often members are wrong but often the leader who thinks he is the master is wrong and ought to be humble enough to admit it.

    • Lee on February 20, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      It seems to me if we look at the modern church today….I can see a spiritual pimp….pushing women mostly and men to start worldly programs and entertainment to get people in the church with more money. I hear from ladies that they are tired of all the cooking for parties…dinners and decorating the church to entice people at every holiday!
      This is pretty close to Zechariah 5:1-10.
      Women feel guilty if they say no.

    • Pam Kukde on May 26, 2018 at 1:38 am

      I had a similar experience in a Baptist church in Ontario, Canada (based on Southern Baptist teachings, even a minister imported from there). Rich church in terms of wealthy parishioners and even more focus on wealth, status, elitism, materialism, ego, worldly recognition, competing for adulation (praise, attention, approval) from the congregation. Serving God humbly has been replaced by vanity and seeking of personal glory and praise…. reminding me of what Christ said would happen in the end days… many becoming lovers of themselves, proud, vain, etc. etc. I had an experience where a deacon in the church, bible study teacher, church counsellor, and graduate student of divinity was condescendingly mocking another parishioner in private conversations because that person had a lower status and a difficult past (all behind that person’s back) and shared what that person confided (to that individual in a counselling relationship as a basis for mocking them– violating every tenet of the confidentiality placed in them and the trust. To make it worse, the congregation was being nearly pressured through various bible study groups and even the minister to buy books that denied Hell existed, that rewrote the bible in terms of focus only on God’s love but not His judgment, and basically rewrote many aspects of the bible (reinterpretations) — clearly with new age thinking. I always thought Baptists stayed very close to the strict and literal biblical interpretations but this church and its books being espoused was taking a non-literal (metaphorical) interpretation and questioned many of the miracles in the bible (as just being lessons and messages)– very much in keeping with new age. Indeed, this book was encouraging so much questioning of the bible that I could hear from the questions during bible studies how much DOUBT WAS BEING SEWN and how much it was leading Christians to question the validity and truthfulness (accuracy) of the bible. This was a strong indication of the new age seeping into Christianity and it was tragic. Hang in there Steve… you are not alone in your experiences or perceptions of the arrogance of today’s church leaders who are no longer servants. Jesus will judge according to man’s heart and humble service rather than His position or how he presents (pretends) in front of others for show and recognition. As Jesus often reminded us, the least (servant) will be the greatest, and the greatest will be the least or the last (e.g., parable of the guests at the wedding).

  63. BJW on February 11, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    I stopped going to church last year, when I started reading the Bible for myself. I realized the church was telling me to do things I shouldn’t be doing. I’ll give some examples:

    1) The church is big into this New Covenant thing, where they say the old laws of Moses don’t apply anymore. I went through the old laws myself, and they’re all about living healthy lives, treating other people and their things with respect, and helping the poor. My question was, “Why wouldn’t I want to follow these Laws? They’re great!” I looked at what Jesus said about the old laws, and he actually tells us to follow them. He also tells us, God and Moses will judge us in the end, which made me say, “Wow!” It got me thinking, what if I had died suddenly before last year, and on Judgement Day, God, with Moses by his side, asked me why I didn’t follow his laws? Answering, “My pastors never told me that” would have made me look like silly little child to my Heavenly Father. I would have been embarrassed… God says we’re still guilty of breaking laws even if we are unaware of them. I’m just thankful I started studying on my own. I feel on Judgement Day, I’ll be able face God and Moses as a man. I’ll take my lumps, admit to what I’ve done wrong, and ask for forgiveness, but I know God’s Laws so I can be judged with my head held high.

    2) I’m big into fitness and nutrition, when I came to God’s eating laws, I was very interested. I was shocked to see that pork is on the do not eat list, which made me think of the many times I was fed bacon, sausage, and pepperoni at church. I was a youth leader for many years, and a number of times we ordered in pepperoni pizza for the youth. I was unaware of what I was doing to the youth, feeding them pork, I feel really bad about that now. I’ve even asked God for forgiveness for doing that… Despite what the churches tell us, God’s eating laws are still valid. All we have to do is watch youtube videos on why we shouldn’t eat pork and shellfish, and we can see why God told us not to eat them. Also, both sections in the New Testament, where the church says God did away with the eating laws, if you keep reading, it’s explained. The first one is about Jewish hand washing laws, the other one is a vision God used so the believers would go preach to the Gentiles. It has nothing to do with eliminating the eating laws.

    3) Christmas and Easter are pagan Holidays. Reading through the Old Testament, God many times told us not to worship the way the pagans do. Like the food laws, watch videos on youtube about why Christians shouldn’t celebrate Christmas and Easter. Both are based on the lives of Nimrod, his wife, and son, they have nothing to do with Jesus. In the Old Testament, when it mentions worshiping Baal in Babylon, that’s Nimrod, his wife, and son! Nimrod’s son was born on Christmas, not Jesus, and Easter is about Nimrod’s wife coming back to earth as a rabbit in an egg… The sunrise Easter service and the coloring of the Easter Eggs, is disgusting! It has to do with the priest in the Babylon churches sleeping with virgins in front of the congregation, and then sacrificing the 3 month old babies, from the virgins they slept with the previous year. The coloring of the eggs was done with the blood of the sacrificed babies. Gross!

    4) Churches never mention Nimrod. I was blown away at how major a character Nimrod is in the Bible. Out of order of importance, Nimrod is probably next in line after God, Jesus, Satan, Moses, and Abraham. Satan created an entire anti-Christ religion with Nimrod, and out of my many years attending church I had never heard about him. Why not?

    5) Churches ignore the Old Testament. Before I left the church and started studying on my own, I always wondered why God would create humans, only to tell the Israelite’s kill them all. I’ll never turn my back on God, but I always had a problem with all that killing. This past year I found out, those humans God told the Israelite’s to kill were descendants of the fallen angels of Genesis 6. They were giants, who worshiped Baal, and God wanted them gone! It finally made sense to me. Again, I wondered why I had never heard of that in church. Also, a good lesson there is how the Israelite’s didn’t listen to God. God told them to kill all of the descendants of the fallen angels, and destroy all their possessions, but instead the Israelite’s didn’t listen and mixed their traditions and customs with theirs, which causes trouble later on, even today… The Old Testament is filled with great examples of God’s people not listening to his commands, and what happens to them. For the church to ignore all that is just silly.

    Those are 5 examples I can think of off hand, there’s more. After attending church my entire life, I am very disappointed that I had to find these major things about our faith out on my own. I’m also very disappointed to see how pagan church has become. We’ve gone away from God’s laws and instructions and worship like the pagans, something he told us many times not to do. Church has compromised and turned itself into something God doesn’t like.

    Instead of praying for revival for people outside the church, I’ve been praying for revival inside the church. Christians need to open their Bible and read for themselves, and pastors need to preach God’s Law, instead of leading people away from them.

    Those are some of the reasons why I left church.

    • Sarah on February 15, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      First, let me say I’m sorry you had a bad experience with your former church(es). Was it a Catholic Church? Because if it was, then you absolutely heard from the Old Testament. Not just weekly, but daily! Every day a reading from the OT, NT, and a psalm is read. I can’t speak for other churches as my experience with them is limited. I wish you peace and joy on your spiritual journey. May God bless you and keep you, May His face shine upon you and be gracious.

    • Craig on February 18, 2018 at 12:12 am

      Ideally, a church you or anyone would attend would strongly advocate personal bible reading and offer bible study classes or groups along the way. Not everyone comes to the same conclusion (I.e. interpretations) as you, but it is truly sad that you were seemingly never encouraged to study the Bible on your own. Perhaps you would benefit from taking some classes at a Bible college or seminary, even online classes. It sounds like you are hungry for self-study, and not merely marking time. Also, you might pursue getting access to scholarly commentaries to assist you as you learn how to interpret the Bible. No need to make old-age mistakes when thousands of bible-loving scholars offer access to their interpretations and how they arrived at them.

    • Gina Smith on March 2, 2018 at 11:50 am

      BJW – You did not “start reading the Bible yourself” and have a “sudden” burst of enlightenment. You found some Hebrew Root Movement cult materials and decided to take another route.

      Leaving a Christian cult to join a Jewish-laced cult is no better. You simply left one cult to join another.

      I have been studying the HRM and its destructive teachings for 2 years now…and you covered the bullet points perfectly, all of which I can systematically refute.

      We ARE the church and sadly, we live in the onset of the great apostasy Paul foretold. What will defectors look like? They will look a lot like Judaizers.

  64. carmen d gutierrez on February 10, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Good Read sister Carey , Amen & thank you. Jesus is Lord!

    • Blanche Quizno on March 28, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      Carey’s a MAN, in case you couldn’t see.

  65. mrhatch on February 10, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

    2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

    Acts 7:48-50 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 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? Hath not my hand made all these things?

    Acts 17:24-25 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

    • spw on April 3, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      Amen mrhatch!! We are also told in the Revelation to come out of her, lest we become partakers of her plagues. The mother of harlots, the great whore is mystery Babylon. That Babylonian system are man made churches that have mingled with the world and government. She partakes and prostitutes herself with kings of the earth and has left her Husband. Jesus is the Husband to His Church, His bride. Revelation is a Great warning to the Church to wake up and purify herself before its too late. The Church has become wealthy idolaters, fornicators, lovers of self, mixed with worldly pagan worship, she is filthy and unrecognizable. This is every Church across the globe of every denomination, but the roots are from Rome. These aren’t just Catholic churches, but every man made institutional church created by man for man. The worst of all the darkness is people are blind and ignorant to the scriptures and are not led by Gods Spirit, so they don’t think want they are doing is wrong. God has handed people over to a reprobate mind because they refuse to see the truth. Its a very scary thought, because when people are warned they still will not listen.

  66. Eric C. on February 6, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Once churches (believers) get into salaried positions and buildings, then the money problems begin and taxing/tithing the sheep. I think believers are generally far better off meeting in homes and as equals without the shepherd/sheep mentality. Money and sex problems ruin churches. Believers can operate as nonsalaried equals without buildings expenses.

    • Mick on February 10, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      I agree eric

      • spw on April 3, 2018 at 7:52 pm

        Amen Eric

    • jmatsilv on February 15, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      Nice blanket statement, painted with a big broad brush…. So no… I don’t agree Eric. And neither does Paul the Apostle.

      Sure there are SOME con-artist false ministers out there; just like there were in Paul’s day. But that doesn’t negate compensating authentic church leaders.

      1 Timothy 5:17-18 | “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” ”

      1 Corinthians 9:7-14 | “Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

      8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?

      Nevertheless, we HAVE CHOSEN to not make use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.

      13 Yet do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.”

      Paul chose not to use the RIGHT himself, yet he was the strongest defender of those who preach and teach being compensated a living wage.

      • Michael on March 29, 2018 at 2:47 am

        Only Missionaries which are modern Apostles should get financial help when on a mission not blackmailing people and calling it tithes biblical law tithing was food.for the priests who weren’t allowed to own land.

        • hoodaticus on April 9, 2018 at 3:37 pm

          At the church I left the pastors all take 6 month vacations on the church’s dime and then spend every other sermon begging for money.

  67. Nett on February 5, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    And one more thing – the enslaved people were brought here and were forced to learn the words of teh Bible the very book they used to jusitify theor capture……assimilation was their favorite word….if the succeeded in getting you to believe that corrupt copy of the WORD you would be so obiident…..there is so much to say..wonder why the erous were so s\keen to murder and pillage cause the need to gather all evidence of teh true messiah (and the tint of his skin) to carry out they lucifaian doctrine. Findsorry for al spelling errors..have the “Synogqoe of Satan ” Eye opener and them Jesuit priests where evil…….They have always known who we are and it enraged them….and so by deleting, burnin, stealing they plotted. Ever notice on some of those sphinx..all the noes have been broken off so they are no longer “bubulous”

    • Pat on February 9, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      “One of the scandals of contemporary Christianity is the negligence to appropriately ‘teach’ the importance of spiritual warfare, especially in these Last Days when Principalities and Powers and the innumerable, rebellious ‘angels’ and fallen spirit beings plot ruin and instigate genocidal horrors worldwide.” Art Katz

  68. Nett on February 5, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Started acutally reaseaching the Bible an dits history….well…Remeber reading “He deceived the whole world” Started lokin gin 2016, because I counld”nt understand why “esau/gentikes” hated brown people so much….demoni hatred…….It’s in the name, they names christian use to praise him…Oh some well it’s all in translation, yes wircked translantion. Yashau was a Hebrew (and Brown) all those pagan holidays we enjoy in his name…biggest lie ever, he asked for no xmas presetn, easter egg, all that mes.. Lets see what else. Them Jews parking their taking up space in Jerusulum-imposters-and they know it….look uo H.R. Bill 1242 passed on 1/8/18= real reason for the 400 years is biblical-they plan on silencing all the awoke hebrew Isrealite..and who are they , lok to your left an dright…..Religion was the key to have the whole world deceived….CAn anyone please show me scriture that says to call you self a christian..those pagans called themselve chritos- and JE (latin) EARTH and SUS means pig…-why would the latin version even be used. for they spoke Aramaic and Hebrew. And for centuries theres was no letter “J” in the hebrew bible only an I.

    • Pat on February 6, 2018 at 10:48 pm

      Nett – I get what you are saying and pretty much agree with much of it. You bring up some excellent points that most “Christians” (the majority) are not even aware of because most “Christians” do not study their Bible’s but rely solely on a preacher, whose Bible college teachings are still passed down from the man-made doctrines, traditions and precepts of the Catholic church. A piece of paper called a “Diploma” hanging on a preachers wall means, to me, falsehood. False teachings simply passed down through the ages and continue on to the masses today.

      The Reformers, although they broke away from strangle-hold the Catholic churches of that time, kept much of the false teachings, the fables even though they broke away from the “Mother church”. You are right, there is NO letter “J” in the Hebrew alphabet. His Name is Yahweh, YHWH – instead of a title “God” or “Lord”. Both titles are not His Holy and True Name. His True Name is YHWH, Yahweh, His Son Yahshua or Yahshua Messiah. His Name is extremely significant as He constantly tells us in His word and will become even moreso as the age gets darker and evil increases. The beast will say “I am he” pretending to be “Jesus Christ” and most will believe it is their real Messiah coming to save them. Satan is the great deceiver and has certainly deceived the majority. The only Truth is led from the Holy Spirit, the Helper, and the majestic Word.

      Easter bunny, Easter eggs….”Easter” comes from the fertility goddess Ishtar…it’s all in the Bible! And as most believe, December 25 was NOT our Saviors birthday. The sheep and shepherd’s would not have been out in the cold, wet winter, for one thing. Our Messiah is not to be worshiped among all the many god’s whose birthdates were December 25. Yahweh is set apart and never to be worshiped with any other god.

      You bring up some good points. There is an excellent book written by Texe Marrs “Mysterious Monuments, Encyclopedia of Secret Illuminati Designs, Masonic Architecture, and Occult Places.” You would be shocked at the “Christian” architecture, very notable and highly regarded preachers, colleges, that are connected with the Illuminati and the occult!! Deception abounds. When we sincerely repent and “ask, seek and knock”…He does open His Truth in a mighty way.

  69. Pat on February 4, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Matthew 15:7-9 Tradition and Worship
    …7 “You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you: 8 ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. 9 They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’”…(In other words, their worship is worthless! Any man-made teaching, doctrine, precept outside of Scripture is false.)

    All of the churches of today continue to be steeped in pagan religion, not the truth of Scripture. Scripture is truth. Churches are pagan and false in nature with pagan customs and holidays. Even Sunday is also a named for sun worship day, thanks to King Constantine, a devout sun worshiper. Any good Encyclopedia tells us this. And much more. Historical writings document this as does the Holy Bible.

    Hence, Isaiah 29:13,14 –
    13 Then the Lord said,
    “Because this people draw near with their words
    And honor Me with their lip service,
    But they remove their hearts far from Me,
    And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, (memorization, same thing over and over)

    And there is a huge price, judgment, to be paid for false worship –
    14,,,,,, And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
    And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”

    Has any preacher ever taught or figured out that the True Messiah could not have been in the tomb only 1 full day and about 1/2 day – Friday noon to Sunday at dawn…. when He said over and over, to hundreds of people that He would be in the tomb 3 full days and 3 full nights…..Any child can easily do the math!

    “Easter” the “nice” contrived pagan name for the pagan fertility goddess Astarte, Ishtar, Ashtoreth. Each pagan god had many names. These were changed to “Easter” where “man” worships the resurrection of someone called “Jesus”. Another “Jesus” not the Messiah of the Holy Scripture. Deception.

    Yet in the Holy Bible Messiah gives the only one sign of His resurrection – the sign of Jonah – Jonah 1:17. Three full days and three full nights in the tomb, in the heart of the earth – 72 hours – in the Sepulcher before He is risen. And it’s not on a Sunday morning! This is important. The Holy Bible is true and gives us the details. Hebrew days are from evening to evening. Not midnight to midnight. Yahshua Messiah always had a pattern. His death and resurrection is a type of man’s death (tomb) of his old nature and into his new God-centered nature (resurrection) led by the Holy Spirit.

    Man’s teaching is false, has been for generations, and is worshiping another Jesus…not the Messiah of the Scripture. In the last days Satan will say “I am He.” “I am Jesus.” The majority will worship this evil deceiver because they have been deceived by man-made precepts and their worship is in vain, or worthless. When have we ever heard a preacher telling his congregation of this truth?

    That’s why the Scriptures tell us that the majority of people will be going through the wide gate to their destruction. Few will be through the narrow gate that leads to life.

    Matthew 7:13,14 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.…”

  70. Pat on February 3, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    “Church” is not about a building. Everyone who loves Yahshua Messiah, who worships Him in Spirit and truth, John 23, 24, with reverence and awe Hebrews 12:28, 29, and loves His word and believes He came in the flesh, fully human and strives to be obedient to His word by the power of the Holy Spirit and in deep faith is the “church” or the “ekklessia” or “called out ones.” We are His temple.

    There is a whole body of True Worshipers who worship Him this way and they are not all sitting in a building but at their kitchen table studying deeply, or where 2 or more are gathered even on the phone in talking to Yahweh, hearing His majestic voice, worshiping Him intimately, and learning at His feet, His Word. Too many “churches” still continue to teach the “milk” to the babes and to pastors who prefer it that way instead of gnawing on the tough “meat” of the Word. Too many “churches” seem to tend to please their congregation by worldly songs, and pandering to worldly deeds. Deception is rampant.

    Isaiah 29:13, 14 ” Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, 14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”…There is little discernment in today’s congregations. At a time when it is and will be needed the most. Matthew 15:8,9 and Mark 7:6,7 say the same thing.

    Leaving “church” was an eye-opener. When reading, diligently studying His Word my comment to myself was “Why did I never hear these things in “church” from the pastor?” Well, the answer I came up with is that the “church” is for the new comers, who cannot and are not yet ready to, handle the deeper truth’s
    of Scripture. The pastor’s cater to newcomer’s to get them interested in coming back. Many are in it for the money and “church” growth. Most churchgoers never actually study their Bible’s outside of Sunday service.

    Then there is the issue of the 501-c3 tax exempt churches who cannot teach what Yahweh really requires, the deeper subjects like abortion, homosexuality, transgender and how the Almighty condemns such sins. What about the Ten Commandments that were NEVER ABOLISHED? Of such churches the Scripture is real clear and the strong warning in Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, M y people, (WHO?) that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.” (WHY?) Judgment begins in the house of God, 1 Peter 4:17. There is a reason for it to begin there.

    This message is directly addressed to Christians. Come out of her, mM people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. The angel says, “My people,” because he is representing Yahweh (God). These words each resemble Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:l; Jeremiah 1:8; and especially Jeremiah 51:6, 8 and, 45, and recall also the warning of Yahweh in Matthew 24:16 and Genesis 19:22, “I cannot do anything till thou be come thither”. The harlot is identical with Babylon and is representative of the faithless part of the Church of God. These words form a direct and strong warning to Christians.

    Our Father knows who are His. He knows who they are, where they are and none will be missing when He calls them.

  71. Jim on January 25, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    I dont like church anymore because it has hurt me a lot. when a pastor gets up there and exaults himself, and condemns everyone laying fear and heavy burdens on them, then I only see satan at work messing with my head and chaining me up to works. and the other church preached that we are once saved always saved and can not loose our salvation but being given over to satan for the distruction of the body that the spirit might be saved is a real thing, I ended up in such a mess, and trying to get back to Jesus by struggling only made me more of a target for the devil, and churches made it worse, they did not help me in my dying hour, they ran like hirelings. only Jesus helped me get out of that, sometimes I come home worse than I was when I left for church, it always seemed like satan showed up there bright and early as a constant variable in his strategies to blindside me and when I started worshiping God and spending the day just me and Him, then things were better. I miss church, but I cant find one that isnt doing wrong things, and making it harder for me to hold onto Jesus.

  72. William on January 14, 2018 at 4:50 am

    As a leader of a church, established by man, Carey has all the credibility about telling people to stay in church as a Ford salesman has in telling you what truck you should buy and if you should trade in your car right now for a new Ford truck.

    Part of life is encountering bad people. People that lie, cheat, steal and are hypocrites. Nobody in their right mind would tell you to stay in such an organization unless they’re getting something from it. And what’s nice in most churches, is that you get to be judged by people who are just as sinful as you or even worse, and led by people who either are confused about the Bible or use it to justify their own perspectives. Pushing some political or financial agenda.

    How many times do you have to hear that you have enough when you’re struggling to make ends meet but the church never has enough? That the pastor has to take some trip somewhere or has some boondoggle of an idea that needs funding? How many times do you go to church and hear the pastor telling you you’re a bad person because you’re not liberal or conservative? Or how about watching televangelists lie through their teeth, fornicate and steal all in the name of God?

    The main thing to know about church is that your pastor can’t save you. He or she won’t act as your lawyer before God and that’s not what God wants. God will hold you alone accountable for your actions. What Carey and his fellow snake oil salesman don’t want to tell you is that yeah, you can stumble on your own, but he won’t admit what would happen if the people at this man-made social club called “church” make you do so and leads you even further away from God.

    • Bertski on January 16, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      Sounds like you’ve seen a lot and maybe little of the good. No doubts.
      But maybe many might have misperceptions which is very common and maybe they need others who’re knowledgeable and will be honest. No other motive.
      Which a lot of it is doing as well as not doing. Getting a fuller picture of what’s said, referenced, to what audience was being spoke to, etc.
      Many have many different perceptions of God, shaped by the Shakespearean style presentation, association to authority figures in their life or a projection of themselves or those they’ve seen process the faith. But if you really want a good image of God, go to Galatians 5:24 on…. Do you see a contrast between your perception and a direct presentation even if a brief synopsis, not entirely complete, but conveys the general idea.
      If this isn’t of interest to you, just ignore. But in case you might be interested or someone else, I put it here.

    • Jeanette yvonne on January 22, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      Why are you on this site??

      • William on February 25, 2018 at 3:06 am

        Jeanette, I’m here to offer my side of the story and encourage people who are authentically seeking God and protect them from people like you that put your man-made social club before the Gospel.

  73. Annie on January 8, 2018 at 12:47 am

    I have been struggling with the decision to stop, or at least limit, attending the weekly Sunday morning worship service at my church for some time now. So I appreciate Carey’s post and everyone’s input.

    As a bit of a prologue:

    Each week I attend a small-group meeting at my large and caring church. For 10 months of the year I meet with a small group of eight people (and one group leader per table) to study, share and pray. At the end of the session each group breaks for coffee and a time of fellowship with all who are part of the larger group of approximately 100 women.

    I have been very blessed in attending these meetings. These meetings have become the real ‘church service’ for me. We gather in Jesus name to learn, pray, share, sing and bless each other, and also reach out to our community. We are not just ‘going to church’ but rather, we are ‘being the church’ when we meet like this. It is a powerful time of drawing near to the Lord and of worship, growth, fellowship and blessing.

    Here is where I am having the problem, and I hope this will not sound mean-spirited. I am posting this not to criticize, but rather as a plea for understanding and guidance as I pray and think through my decision regarding discontinuing weekly attendance at the Sunday morning service. I do want to be a faithful member of my congregation and to do what is right in the sight of the Lord. But increasingly, when I attend the Sunday Service, I am not blessed. I am stressed.

    Here are some of the well-worn (and much discussed) reasons why I am stressed:

    The music goes on for more than half and hour. We stand for the whole time, and I find that very hard to do. Plus, the loud music truly hurts my ears. I had a distressing ear problem for a long time that has recently been healed, but I can only tolerate loud noise for a short time or I am in pain. I find the worship music loud and painful. The music is followed by an hour-long sermon with more loud music at the end.

    I feel so exhausted and stressed by the time that it is over that I find myself avoiding the Sunday morning services more and more. I can’t remember an hour long talk that moves very quickly through many passages, references and cross-references; I can’t hear myself or the others sing praises to the Lord (and we are indeed commanded to sing praised to the Lord) and I am grieving over my feelings about this matter, as they certainly aren’t very pleasant or honourable.

    I acknowledge that many people are blessed by the morning worship service, and I am glad for them. But for me, attending the Sunday morning service is becoming a chore. And I feel very badly about this. I do want to do what is pleasing to the Lord and to support those who give of their time and talents to glorify his name in and through the worship service. Yet I find myself choosing to stay at home more and more on Sunday mornings.

    I want to share something that amazed me a while back. I went with a friend to an AA Meeting as a guest. It was an open meeting where guests where invited to celebrate the anniversary date commemorating the years of sobriety by the person who had invited me. I had never been to an AA meeting before and was truly humbled and blessed what I experienced there.

    Everything was done ‘decently and in order.’ The leader opened the meeting with a prayer and a greeting and the AA Motto. The people who were leading the meeting or giving a testimony introduced themselves to newcomers, welcomed the other members, gave their testimony and shared something of their trials and victories in their daily living. At the end there was a time of thanksgiving, refreshments and fellowship. When it was over I couldn’t help but think how much I wanted my church experience to be like this warm, interactive meeting I had just experienced. I had been truly blessed. I felt a oneness with the group that was both powerful and encouraging.

    The weekly group meeting at my local church mentioned at the start of this post is very similar to that AA meeting. We draw close to each other, we pray, we share, we sing and we reach out to others. It is a time of blessing, renewal, fellowship and sharing.

    Our Sunday services are not at all like that. I am often overwhelmed by the professional performances of the worship leaders; my ears hurt because of the loudness of the music and I often have to withdraw into the hallway until the music is over as the loud volume causes me both physical and emotional distress.

    Then try as I might, I often get lost in the hour-long sermon as I can only absorb so much. Most Sundays I leave feeling overwhelmed. And then the guilt sets in. I want to go to church and worship with my brothers and sisters in the Lord yet at the same time I feel that I am being disloyal or critical or selfish because I am struggling with these feelings of frustration and discouragement .

    So what is really going on here? Is it just me, or are our Sunday morning worship services no longer following the Biblical precedents for meeting together? Possibly a bit of both?

    Is this passage about meeting together not intended to be followed in this day and age?

    1 Cor. 14: 26-33

    26 How is it then, brethren when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

    27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

    28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

    29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

    30 If any thing be revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace.

    31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

    32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

    33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    It seems to me that the operative words in this passage are ‘EVERY one, ANY man and Ye ALL.’

    I do not see where it says ‘THE Pastor’ or ‘THE Worship team.’ Both of these terms (and concepts) seem to me to be conspicuously missing in the above referenced passage.

    That Corinthian pattern is close to what I found at the AA meeting and what I find in my mid-week meetings. What I am finding on Sunday mornings is an increasingly sophisticated show and tell performance. (Albeit a seemingly sincere and God-honouring one!)

    And that is what I am struggling with. I want to be with fellow believers on a regular basis to worship, pray, learn, exhort, be corrected if necessary, and to reach out in love to those around me. I do not want to be merely an attendee at a professionally staged performance.

    I know that the Sunday morning service is “not all about me.” Yet ‘me’ is the one who is struggling to do the right thing. I truly want to serve the Lord with all my heart and soul and strength. And to do that, I need to have Godly counsel to make the right decisions for the right reasons.

    Thanks for hearing me out, and I appreciate your comments and corrections.

    • Stu on January 8, 2018 at 8:22 am

      Hi Annie.

      I suppose no one is here because they simply love everything about what they are doing, or why. You were right to suggest at the end of your letter that the Church is not about you. God gives us each gifts, and we are to use them for others. The old Devil has a way, doesn’t he, of trying to harden the hearts of believers so that they walk away from their faith. After all, he sits next to us in church unaware. He just loves it when you feel the way you do. God is not doing this.

      But God is greater than the Devil. God lives in you, and Jesus could have not attended the Temple. He had Pharisees and money lenders to deal with who not only made it hard for him, but hated him. No one hates you but Satan. Do you think God would mind you putting some ear plugs in your ears and sitting down for awhile? God is a God of grace, not legalism. God does not want us to please Him. That is law. He wants us to trust Him. That is grace. And is not trusting Him pleasing Him anyway?

      I am not trying to be hard-hearted. I left the church I attended for twenty years. I was growing and feeling the same way you are. All of these stories only make me cling to the church I am now attending even though other problems, unique to that church, are unfolding. No church will be just as you want it to be. God uses struggles so that we can overcome them, not fall away from them. Jesus loved his Church enough to die for it. There is no church in the “Revelation Seven” that Jesus asks anyone to leave—and some were pretty awful. Instead he said those who do right will be rewarded.

      So, put those earplugs in, sit down for awhile, and become lost in worshipping God, and use your gifts to help those who have fallen in the cracks. Share these things with your Bible Study group, and make one or two very close, trusted friends that you can meet with and just hang out as friends. I mean, Jesus went fishing and went to parties, and did things with people. He was not only duty-bound to read the Word in the Temple, but live life to the fullest.

      Let me know your thoughts. Wishing you the best.
      Peace and Grace,
      Stu

      • Annie on January 9, 2018 at 2:29 am

        Stu: Thank you for your insightful response. You make some excellent points. Points I truly needed to hear!

        One comment in particular where you say: So, put those earplugs in, sit down for awhile and become lost in worshipping God, is exactly what I have determined to do.

        I am aware that my critical feelings and possibly even feelings that “church ain’t what it otter be and I ain’t goin’ to play no more” are definitely are not coming from the Lord. And much as I hate to admit it, it is those feelings that are causing me to want to stay home on Sunday mornings.

        But the last part of that comment where you say “use your gifts to help those who have fallen in the cracks” was also something I really needed to hear and was a real eye-opener as to what I am working through.

        I am not using my gifts at all in my church and it is because I am a taker rather than a giver. I take from the ladies meetings and I take from the Sunday services, and taking without giving is perhaps why I dwelt on the “Each, Any and All” portion of the above passage that I quoted. It seems to me that when the early Christians gathered it was not only to worship the Lord in praise, thanksgiving and song, but also to share with each other, to strengthen each other and to learn from each other. Not just sit and watch each other!

        I know it is necessary it is to give as well as receive. And I want to give. I just don’t know how to do it in the Sunday morning service because I am letting myself be distracted by things that I don’t like and consequently, I feel like a spectator rather than a participant.

        Thank you for taking the time to respond. You have given me lots to think about and I appreciate your kind perspective!

        Annie

        • Stu on January 9, 2018 at 8:38 am

          Hi Annie.

          I wanted to respond to your last paragraph: “I know it is necessary it is to give as well as receive. And I want to give. I just don’t know how to do it in the Sunday morning service because I am letting myself be distracted by things that I don’t like and consequently, I feel like a spectator rather than a participant.”

          The “how” part cannot really be done at the worship service. It is a time to worship God. Think about our Lord, the cost He paid, the love He gives to us by his willingness to die for us, sing his praises, and reflect in prayer. Listen to “His” sermon.

          It is afterwards, by being with sisters, who together, can form a bond to do good works for others. It is more than Bible study. It is going to the shopping market and giving a coupon for ice cream to the young checker, or sitting beside a homeless person and just listening, or forming a group of friends at the Barnes and Noble Book Store who are not only Christian, but people from all walks of life. Just hang out, and when you see an opportunity to share your walk, let His Spirit speak through you. I knew the uncle of a boy who lived with the boy and his father. The father was always insisting the boy grow up knowing God, but the boy took affront to his demands. The uncle was always kind, not talking about God much, but simply showing the boy small things of God’s kindness. After the boy reached 20, he went to his uncle and said, “I want to be like you.” Did not Paul say that? “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ”?

          In his grace,
          Stu

        • Gregg on January 9, 2018 at 12:34 pm

          It is at least worth considering that attending a church may actually be harmful. While there is value in being there for others, it is not worth it if the cost of doing so results in adopting errant doctrine. It is the reason that Paul cried in Acts knowing that wolves would come in and not spare the flock. It is the reason that Paul told Timothy to watch his life and doctrine and to persevere in them in order to save himself and his hearers. It is the reason Jesus told the Laodicean church that he would “spit them out of his mouth”. In short, we must be wary of false prophets so “that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position”. I counsel all to spend time with God in His Word often and pray for understanding through the Holy Spirit.

      • Pat on February 6, 2018 at 11:34 pm

        The “church” IS about us…True Worshipers of our Creator, our Messiah. WE ARE HIS TEMPLE, His “church”. His living stones, living sacrifices, wherever we are…we are His body and in one accord. He dwells in His people. Read it. It’s all in His Word! Leaving “church”, a building, a place where the truth may or may not be told….DOES NOT MEAN WE HAVE LEFT OUR FAITH. We leave the rock and roll, the distractions, the gossip, judgment. Yes, that’s absolutely fine for most people. Most need and desire the interaction. Others find solace in His Word and with fewer people in going into holiness.

        Wasn’t Moses called out for 40 years for a far greater purpose to lead His people out of Egypt? Wasn’t Paul called out as he was a murderer of Christians blinded and his eyes were open to His Truth? Wasn’t John put aside, alone on the Island of Patmos to reveal Yahweh’s greatest truths through Scripture and for the end of the age? There were many more who were set apart, called out, alone or in a small group to go deeper for His much greater purpose to come.

        Leaving “church” means we are called out to whatever His ultimate purpose in these times that we are coming to. He works His plan, takes away the distractions. Our faith deepens even so much more as we worship and learn diligently. Some do not need a preacher telling them about the Scriptures. All we need is the Holy Spirit. Led by the Spirit of Truth. Talking to the Almighty Creator, hearing His voice, the words of His Truth come alive and pierce our hearts, our souls. Faith deepens even more.

        Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
        1 Corinthians 3:16 Know you not that you are the temple of God,…
        2 Corinthians 6:16 – 17 What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” 17 “Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”…
        1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost …
        Revelation 3:12 Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God,
        Revelation 1:6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be …
        Revelation 5:10 And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

        • Stu on February 7, 2018 at 9:22 am

          Thanks for your response, but please permit me to push back a little.

          The Church, as we know, is about people—about relationships—about Christ not coming for religion, but for interactions between one another. What do you do with a command among others, “Do not forsake the local assembly, as some have been in the habit of doing.” You have presented many verses of Scripture. It demonstrates your hope in God’s Word, but you left out the verses that you are uncomfortable with. “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.” How about the seven churches in Revelation? They were not abandoned. In fact, in not one of them did Jesus command a single person to leave—even in the midst of pure evil. He told those who remained to do what was right and they would be rewarded.

          Do we think that in a church of many, all are saved? Surely not! But even where only two are gathered in His Name, ten may befriend them—just as Jesus spent time with the many who did not believe. He stood in a Temple of them. Yet He still read the Scriptures to them all. The church can be a gathering where all are broken, hypocrites, prostitutes, tax collectors. Who are we not to invite them? Jesus did. Church is a time of humility, worship with those unsaved so that they can hear the Word in the company of those who are.

          My first comment on this platform was how I left the Church because I felt like so many here. When I read their stories, I saw arrogance, defiance, bitterness, and disgust—like they had arrived. When I reflected upon that, I began to see it in me. That, friend, is what drove me back into the arms of the Church that Jesus said He loved, and died for.

        • hoodaticus on April 9, 2018 at 3:49 pm

          “All we need is the Holy Spirit. Led by the Spirit of Truth. Talking to the Almighty Creator, hearing His voice, the words of His Truth come alive and pierce our hearts, our souls. Faith deepens even more.”

          Exactly this. Not by might, nor by power, [nor by music nor by programs nor by elder boards but by my Spirit says the Lord God of Hosts.

    • Bertski on January 21, 2018 at 11:09 am

      Any number of churches are bull crap.
      Many things taught in seminary has to do with orchestrating a service, when to pray, when to sing, when to stand, did and other things.
      You’re correct, there is only do much you can listen to before you zone out.
      When have you ever heard a preacher teach that a tree with a birds’ nest in it, which the Bible may mention having eggs, I don’t recall exactly. But not to cut the tree down, Do Not. Or a righteous man regards the life of his beast? Where an animal desires activity, social & emotional interaction, etc. But most wouldn’t want to hear that, much less have to exert effort or thought.
      Or have you heard, Jesus fulfilled the law with his death and resurrection? Matthew 5:17? He didn’t come to change the law but fulfill the law. He fulfill the law with his death, Hallaleuah, Amen. Bullcrap! To put the New Testament, new testimony of Christ, in the Bible one requirement was that a book has to cross reference the Old Testament. Any preacher ever learn you that? No. But Matthew 5:17, cross references Isaiah 42:21, where Isaiah is prophecy that cross references to Matthew 5:17. Where Isaiah 42:21, he comes not to change the law, but MAGNIFY the law. Magnify and fulfill meaning the same thing or saying the same thang. Got you an 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary.
      Then read Matthew 5, you’ll see Christ gets to the seed of sin, other words of a man is angry with his brother “WITHOUT A CAUSE (reason)”, he’s guilty of murder in his heart.
      Or Jesus came to save the lost sheep. That isn’t referencing you and me, it’s referencing people of Israel who already knew the law, where they weren’t bad people, but they weren’t shepherded and wondered off and went astray. Which Christ being the good shepherd came and gathered them. Then like a steep injured from animal attacks, Christ healed them from the affects of sin.
      Where honesty isn’t a common trait in any number of churches.
      Some are innocent, where they never understood what things actually meant but grabbed into excuses others found effective and ratifying enough to end questions.
      But the truth gets warped and is perpetuated through generations.
      Then learning to actually love one another requires efforts. Too many times this gets warped too.
      Which I’d like to heard from others who is sincere in thar desire fer God.
      Which I may have wrote enuff already where others done been tired of reading like the long sermons that lose attention.

    • Paige on January 28, 2018 at 9:19 am

      First of all, you’re not going to learn a lick of truth about any of Gods true word if you’re attending or rather gathering with a group of people that have forsaken God by not keeping his commandments,statutes and judgements. Did not Christ himself say that many will come in my name saying I am Christ (acknowledging he’s Christ) and deceive many? His church is a small church, there’s actually only 2 churches that he approves of out of the seven and not the very very many Sunday churches that 97% of the so called Christians gather with. He said that if you walk contrary to me that I will walk contrary to you and that he will send a strong delusion to you so that you will believe a lie. Many don’t even know who they are, many don’t know that the entire old Covenant (wrongly called Old Testament) from front to back concerns this country, the British commonwealth and that region in the latter days. The difference between the house of Israel, Israel,Jacob,and house of Judah. That Israel goes also by Bashan,beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,Joseph,4th part of Jacob and eventually all the tribes. Every tribe is foretold as to what nations they will be in the latter days,but even these many teachers haven’t a clue. You’ll have these teachers that will try to explain aways as to how Christ changes this and that when he himself said that he did not come to change the law but to fulfill. Fulfill the meaning which is love. Against such there is now law. There’s a difference between commandments,statutes,and ordinances. The only law that Jesus came for and to make better was the blood ordinance, which is the law referred to by the disciples for when Jesus healed on the sabbath and on more than one occasion, the Jews were in an uproar,wanting to put him to death. When the Jews accused Paul and others of teaching against the law of Moses, not once was the changing of the sabbath ever even hinted at. Only circumcision which is a blood ordinance and the sacrificing of bulls and goats for forgiveness of sin. Which is why Yeshua came and that perfect sacrifice was literally nailed to the cross. In Rev, the thing that’s mentioned concerning the elect and those persecuted is this. Those who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Then I’ve heard some say they choose this Sunday because that’s the day Christ rose. Well,they choose death. For no such commandment was ever given. Take note and please read Hebrew chapter 4 in it’s entirety. Obey God and you’ll receive his rest and you’ll never have any sort of foolish issue such as “should I leave the church” ever again. Let his spirit teach you and no man who they themselves walk not with God. Outwardly these may appear so, but inwardly they are full of darkness and nothingness. Don’t take to heart everything you hear, but confirm by the word of God. There are true teachers out there,but not many. When one dies another takes his place. It’s the way he has ordained it,but the parable of the fig tree and the final generation is here, alive and for now well for eyes are being opened of the truth and the fruits producing. There’s many things that people should know,but Satan doesn’t want you or anyone else to know these things. Christ teachings are in simplicity and not vain philosophies,one verse sermons, reliving the preachers life,jokes,a beggar of tithes nor openly passing the plate, for God doesn’t send beggars and the tithe is between you and the father,for of a truth God provides for his own, beautiful buildings,calling any man father, confessing sins to a mere man or any man, kneeling before statues or images and heaven forbid praying to,at or even having them in your presence,musical concerts,pretty hair,the costliest clothes,jewelry,eye crossing babble as if speaking in tongues in which no one can understand, for if you can’t understand it and he’s genuine, he’s from another country who’s language you haven’t learned and there will be an interpreter present, for if the spirit of cloven tongues were present, every single language that’s known would be understandable to every known person of those languages by this one person. Be not deceived,for these things are what the devil relies on and that’s confusion and the lie. I’m not coming down own you by any means, they know who I’m talking to, for the judgement starts at the alter. If you or anyone else who may by chance be reading this. I encourage you to examine these things I’ve written and you do well for the sake of your own soul to stay away from these false peoples, for these things are what defiles the purity of the virgin bride and stains the garment forever. But take heart, for upon receiving knowledge of the truth, he is just and true to forgive you. If you wish, I would be ever so happy to teach you many many things that when understood, will open your eyes to prophecies for us to know and just how much God truly loves his people. All that’s required is a willing heart, prayer for understanding and a bible to confirm these things followed by more prayer and thanksgiving to him the Father.

    • Susan on February 15, 2018 at 9:51 am

      Anne, Leave and don’t look back. Attend your weekly Bible study and make it your “church”. What you are describing on Sunday morning is an “entertainment event”. I had a similar experience and journey as did you. My “church” is a weekly study with other women on the book the “LIfe of Christ”. That study has spiritual depth, sound scripture, fellowship, laughter, community and lots of growth. I look forward to it every single week. When we finish this book, we will find another spiritual classic or we will do a study with a book/ DVD speaker. Your entire being (heart, soul, mind, strength) is telling you that Sunday morning isn’t right. Maybe some people are blessed and encouraged by it, but you aren’t. No shame. No guilt. The good Lord knows your heart. Leave and don’t look back. I have absolutely no regrets. Susan

  74. BETHANY on December 18, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I MUST TESTIFY DR.MACK201 BROUGHT BACK MY BOYFRIEND WITHIN 48HOURS.

    • Stina on December 28, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      I agree with comments about today’s corporate (big C) church. I can’t stand it; I left my last church home in the late 90’s where my husband and I had served for nearly 15 years) when the pastor of that church died and the love of community and true worship died with him. Why? Because the big C replaced him with a pastor who thought that the former parsonage was too far away for him (4 miles), so the church purchased a home across the street (a beautiful but badly in need of repair) center hall colonial and refurbished it by replacing hard wood plank flooring to match what was there and didn’t need repair, blah blah blah. After that we needed a new parking lot (actually, all it needed was new paint lines). And then the “new broom” syndrome within the church: “how do we know the teen leaders are qualified?” (that was me..teen leader for 10 years). Then the meetings with the new pastor and the deacons who knew my husband and I for 15 years. I could see the looks of “sorry you’re going through this” on their faces. So, I finally said, “with all due respect, Pastor so-and-so, these men have known me for 15 years, why don’t you ask them about my qualifications, standing in the church, satisfaction survey results, and the love of the kids? If anything, I’m beginning to question your tactics here; and, as such, beginning to question what appears to be an authoritarian approach to leadership. And based on the facial expressions of the deacons, I don’t think I’m alone.” And I got up and left. Within two weeks of sitting under a man who preached about deacons and elders and sitting under authority, my husband and I gave a 2 month notice to the church board that we were going to be leaving and why and that was it. Have I visited churches since then? Of course I have and they are all the same, except, now it isn’t a matter of coming forward during an alter call anymore, they all have their man-made rules about joining and the hoops one must go through…really, Carey, do you think this is what Jesus had in mind? I don’t.

      • Stu on December 28, 2017 at 1:28 pm

        Dear Stina,

        I admit that my first article written here came across the same way, but after I read many, God began to expose my own feelings of bitterness. The churches were political 2000 years ago as well. Caesar was alive and well; the Pharisees were alive and well. The Seven churches in Revelation were alive and well. Jesus never told believers to leave, but told those who remained to do what was right and they would be rewarded. The Church is filled with unbelievers, but God may be calling believers to use their many gifts to change the heart of the church dynamics. I left the church I attended after 20 years. It was a dead end, but I “dusted myself off, straightened my tie,” and found a church I believe God called me to, and I discovered it is not about me, but about others who are hurting, need encouragement, or admonishment sometimes. We will never find a church the way we want it. Jesus never had that in mind; He wanted the rag-tag, outsiders to come. He called the folks on the streets who offered nothing. He himself became nothing for us. We want a lot; we build pedestals for ourselves and unwittingly perch ourselves upon them. But Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” What then do we do when we are commanded to do things we do not like to do, or in our own strength cannot do? We run to the One who, by His grace, gives us what we need by His Holy Spirit, to do it. We run to the One who can enable us.

        I hope you do not give in, or give up. This is a faith exercise for you, like it is with all who Jesus loved and died for. We do not throw down the Bride’s wear in front of the Groom—not this Groom!

        Peace and Grace,
        Stu

        • spw on December 30, 2017 at 5:41 pm

          If the church is filled with unbelievers, then we have a very serious problem! Believers cannot be unequally yoked with unbelievers. This is how many wolves have crept in and caused destruction among believers. The church can only consist of Godly righteous people, they are to be set apart for God’s glory. The true church of Jesus is not confined in bricks and mortar that’s visible. Nothing or no one can stop or come against the church of Jesus, because her power to evolve is Sprit led on the outside of complacency. For the most part the church has abandoned her first Love and is weak and falling away

          • Stu on December 30, 2017 at 6:26 pm

            Where two or more are gathered in His name is the Church, but ten may be gathered with them who profess to be His, and is why Jesus said let them be side by side and He will separate the wheat from the chaff. It is not a building I am speaking about. Even in the Upper Room, one was a traitor, but only Jesus knew—yet the others considered Judas one of them. It is the same with us. The one with you, whether in a building or not, may be saved—or not.



          • spw on April 3, 2018 at 8:16 pm

            Stu
            God tells us that we will know those that are His by their fruits. After Jesus went to be with God the Father, He sent His Spirit to indwell believers. The fruits of Gods Spirit will be made manisfest as a beacon of light in those that are His. Satan even comes as an angel of light, so we cannot be fooled by wolves and goats, lest we be led astray. We must be enlightened with pure truth from scripture and and Kingdom of God to know the difference.



          • Stu on April 3, 2018 at 8:33 pm

            In Reply to spw regarding his April 3, 2018 at 8:16 pm comment.

            Nothing in your response is anything I disagree with, but how is what you are saying applicable to my comment?



  75. Georges on November 30, 2017 at 4:58 am

    It is clear that churchisms on Earth are monetised edifices of men… I do not make this claim lightly or paint all churchisms with the same stroke of the same brush. Anyone worth his salt must sit down calmly and ponder this bold statement made by an outsider of the churchisms.

    There are two aspects of “Church” to behold. One is the Invisible Church concept that Jesus Christ as risen Lord is building and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. In this Invisible Church, Jesus Christ is enthroned. He is building it with living stones and no man or earthly human institution has a hand in its establishment or processes. This Invisible Church has the entire Bible understood and every true doctrine deciphered. All true believers who are the elect saints of God, whether dead or alive, belong to it.

    Then there are the churchisms on earth which are not the Church of God per se but sectarian edifices of men, run by men and occupied by men. They each teach a different Gospel or soteriology (such as being saved by grace through faith, elected and predestined unto salvation; others believe in being saved by their rational free will exercised faith without being elected and predestined unto salvation. Others quote baptism, Sabbath keeping, repentance, many or a few sacraments or ordinances, Law abiding, Feasts keeping, church membership, the Antichrist Pope, etc… as being salvational. All these are in contradiction to Ephesians 2:4-9, 2 Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 1:4), Ephesians 1:11,12, Romans 8:28-30,.2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, John 1:13, etc…

    On the question of the grace by which we are saved through faith, some believe it is a universal, sufficient, resistible grace of a resistible non God, others believe in a saving or irresistible grace of an irresistible Sovereign God who saves them.

    In other aspects of the faith churchisms on earth lie about the Messiah or hold assumptions about Him which are true or false or else, unfathomable from reading the Bible alone. The fight between universalism and particularism in quite evident in the churchisms for all men can and will be saved and others believe that only some who are believers in Him or the elect saints of God will be saved, etc…

    Churchisms on earth worship on Sunday and follow the Antichrist dictates instead of the Sabbath. Being Sabbaterian does not mean that the churchism is on a sound footing either or having arrived anywhere in particular because all this is worksism, pietism and perfectionism which are all contrary to the above mentioned Scriptures and others. And the cacophony of the disunited faith continues into blah, blah, blahs without end.

    Thus, the only viable, unmonetised Church of God is Invisible and in heaven far away from the cacophonies of the sectarian and denominationalised churchisms on earth.

    Needless to say, I am unchurchimised and the Bible, the Bible alone and the whole Bible alone is my religion and that of Protestants of the Protestant Reformation type.

    • Gregg on November 30, 2017 at 11:07 am

      In general i agree with this point even though not of the all of the espoused theological foundations. But the Holy Spirit is the one that leads us into all truth. Men can be guides but they can also be false prophets. We must rely on the Holy Spirit’s leading first and foremost for the Holy Spirit does not lead us into different truths. In the end we will answer to God, not men. While going to church can be valuable to both ourselves and others, the time has come where we must ask ourselves if participating in a church where the truth is not consistently spoken will do us more harm than good. The mere fact that there are so many doctrinal differences testifies quite clearly that many of the men leading churches are not led by God for God is not divided and does not lead us into multiple, conflicting truths. The Word and the Spirit must be our greatest allies and source of hope in these times.

      • Stu on November 30, 2017 at 11:55 am

        I wonder Gregg…is not the same Spirit in all believers? Should we avoid church because we disagree with pastors who may unwittingly belie the Word of God? Are we not supposed to check for ourselves, like the Bereans, who questioned every word to Christ’s delight, to make certain what was being preached was true or not? No man is perfect. Even our prayers are tainted with impurity. That is why we have an Advocate who takes them before God clean and whole. The preacher will be held responsible for what he preaches, but we will be held responsible for hearing and retaining what is true as “iron sharpens iron.” Is that a reason to “forsake the assembly of God as some have been in the habit of doing”? Our love, and therefore our fellowship of like-minded believers is the very tangible evidence of our love for God. Isn’t that what church is all about—brothers and sisters interacting with one another—praying, worshipping, hearing the Word, and breaking bread together?

        • Gregg on November 30, 2017 at 12:40 pm

          Stu, the same Spirit is in all believers, but all believers do not listen to the Spirit and the Spirit does not lead us into differing truths. It is the reason we have the problems we do in the Christian world. I view church as an organized worship and learning time. It is not a case of a pastor being perfect; i fail God also but it is a case of a pastor of truly having a heart for God. I can often tell when a pastor has a heart for God and when they don’t. For example when a pastor says one need not be baptized, i understand this to be a heart apart from God for God commands this be done. Who does a pastor think they are to say that what God commands can be ignored? If a pastor refuses exegetical examination of what they are teaching, this also tells me something. Consider this if you will: why does God command us to separate from false teachers. Would we not give them the same grace? Finally i would never counsel forsaking the assembly of brothers and sisters. For example, I lead a Bible study and attend two more (at times). There are good churches and praise God for this, but there are also churches which are doing more harm then good. Remember Revelations 2 and 3 in which God says He will remove the churches lamp stands (removing their ability to give light). I would also remind you that the same God that seems to be “blessing” Christian Churches with growth is also “blessing” other false churches with growth as well. To me truth is paramount….

          PS the Iron sharpens iron used as one man educating or revealing truths to another, is not exactly Biblical. The actual underlying word paniym means face (and it is rendered differently in the KJV) as “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Nothing about truth. Rather i read it to mean that one man encourages or upholds another man. God is pretty explicit where truth comes from.

          Please don’t take this as a condemnation of all churches Stu. Nothing is further from the truth. But we must be on guard against false teachers….

          in Him Stu

          • Stu on November 30, 2017 at 1:04 pm

            Thx Gregg. I appreciate your heart for God. I have a question, probably about doctrine regarding salvation in your comment to me: “Stu, the same Spirit is in all believers, but all believers do not listen to the Spirit and the Spirit does not lead us into differing truths.”

            If someone is a believer, is he not trying to discern what the Spirit is trying to say to him? If a believer does not listen to the Spirit, then is he not like anyone else in the world? The Spirit of God, who gives us His Spirit, testifies with our spirit that Jesus Christ is everything He claims to be. Without hearing what the Spirit has to say, how are we discerning whether Christ’s words are the real deal? How is a person a believer if he is not listening to the Holy Spirit, but instead, conjuring up his own evaluation of the Scriptures? Salvation is regeneration from being dead to being alive in Christ, and His testimony is revealed by the Spirit which we also glean through His Word, which is alive. I am not sure therefore what you are sharing, How can a person not listening to the Spirit be a believer in Christ?

            Peace and Grace,
            Stu



          • Gregg on November 30, 2017 at 1:39 pm

            Stu, we have a God given free will. We can choose to ignore the Holy Spirit. In fact that is what we do when we sin after we know Christ. I would think that if the test of a believer is that they always listen to the Holy Spirit then there are no believers for believers continue to sin after they know Christ which grieves the Holy Spirit. But your point has merit; that is true believers should always endeavor to listen to the Holy Spirit. This is what pleases God. However there are often unbelievers in the congregation and there are those that have turned away from the true faith which also may be in the congregation.

            Our free will can get in the way of the truth. That is why we have many different doctrines in the church. If all were truly being led by the Spirit, we would have no disagreement in doctrine for the Holy Spirit leads us into truth. Does this answer your question?



          • Stu on November 30, 2017 at 1:54 pm

            Yes, it does. I was taking the portion of your statement, “…but all believers do not listen to the Spirit…” as to mean all of the time. Thanks for clarifying.



          • spw on December 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm

            Matt
            You and I are from the same garment of Truth. If we touch the hymn of His garment, Jesus will open our eyes and minds to all truth that cannot be denied. May our Spiritual discernment be elevated, as not to be deceived by the religious bunch of our day. The Pharisees are still hard at work bullying Christ’s followers. I believe what you posted and the true church is living in very dangerous times, but her testimony will stand strong in the midst of it.

            Amen to you Gregg for everything you’ve said! May we all be bold with truth.



      • JD Strawgert on January 1, 2018 at 8:50 am

        AMEN!!!!
        Thank you!

    • Jeff Pearson on December 17, 2017 at 10:52 am

      I can see that the writer of this article is a pastor or church leader… I don’t mean to be unkind, but it is so inescapable for a church leader… They simply must imply that a person leaving the church is wrong, when those who leave are not leaving God or the Church at all. First of all… We are the Church and we can’t leave ourselves… We are not leaving the Church we just can’t find “community” in an organization that stifles deep relationships through it’s focus on programs and busy schedules. Those who are leaving the church are leaving an “institutional experience”, which has very little in common to the original first century church. I love the Lord and I desperately need his people, but it’s pretty hard to find God or His people in the current state of the American church, which has truly become a circus. Finding people that have not been brainwashed by the traditions of man and the vanity of philosophy can be very hard to do… The influence of church leaders dating back to the 3rd century and onward have been very instrumental in corrupting a very beautiful and simple community where Jesus Christ was the Head of the Church. Today, we don’t perhaps believe in priests being a mediator between God and man, but in this post-reformation period the “Pastor” fills the role. Show me a member of a congregation that can disagree with the Pastor and not be marginalized or railroaded right out the door. Jesus is still the Head of the church and a pastor is merely a low-level servant who finds joy in helping others. These men are also very hard to find… I suggest a thorough reading the “Pagan Christianity?” By George Barna and Frank Viola. This book is an eye opener and it reveals why so many who are dedicated to the Lord are so frustrated by what they experience in church.

      • JD Strawgert on January 1, 2018 at 9:37 am

        @Jeff Pearson:

        I was thinking the same identical thing, Brother Pearson, as I began reading the contents on this website. I left the last congregation I was a member of because of the lack of the teaching and preaching of sound doctrine and the use of paraphrased, so-called bibles, or error-filled bible commentaries in place of the real Bible as well as being fed up with the lukewarm, Laodicean-type messages that were being preached in this church I was attending, which seems to be the norm now in MOST churches—the same errors and warmed-over sermons as the church I left. Sadly, this same kind of teaching seemingly, is coming from most pulpits today.

        Since leaving, I’ve visited several other congregations, trying to find another local assembly of believers where sound doctrine is being taught (to no avail). It’s really sad. The true Word of God is not being taught or preached any more and then these pompous preachers and “pastors” accuse Christians of leaving the church for other reasons rather than their true reasons for leaving–a hunger and thirst for the Word which just is not being fulfilled.

        They won’t admit that true Christians who sincerely crave and want only the TRUE WORD OF GOD are leaving because it’s just not being taught anymore! Rather than continue being frustrated with what goes on in “churches” today I stopped attending and I am currently and very diligently seeking a REAL church of Christ as described in God’s Own words.

    • jonathan goodwin on December 27, 2017 at 4:40 am

      I agree with you that we should go to church in. And want to talk about Upon This Rock I will build my church and the Gates of Hell shall not Prevail against it it’s not talking about Peter it’s talking about Jesus Christ is The Rock. Anyway last year I accepted Jesus Christ that’s my personal saver by his grace. Took me many years to find the truth I was brought up in Christian family but I didn’t accept him. Instead I was going to different cults I was Catholic from New Year’s almost 30 years as a Mormon when I found out the truth I left the Mormon church. I was almost 60 years old when I accepted Jesus Christ that’s my personal saver and I currently go to the Baptist Church. Send a tough time because after I was saved a text later little stop going to church staying home not doing the right thing doing things that God doesn’t like me to do and I’m doing sin final I’m talking church again because when I wasn’t in church is that easier and easier just to stay home cuz I’m sure grateful being with other Born Again Christians. And I really liked your article. If some of my spelling isn’t very good I can’t spill I have to use a microphone to spill for me

  76. Matt on November 17, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Hi,

    Let me start by saying I do believe you come from a good place in that you want to help. But let me explain a few things that scream ignorance in the points you have raised. You come across as many of the arrogant pastors I have met that just talk but never listen.

    Point 1:
    “In fact, most of the New Testament is not about the teachings of Jesus. It’s about the work of the church that Jesus initiated and ordained”.
    Agree with this statement on the surface but I don’t understand the correlation between this church in the new testament and 45000 plus arguing/ corrupt denominations we see today. How are these related in any way shape or form? History tells another story of a corrupt Roman government taking control of the historic church and changing Christianity into lie we see today. The protestant movement didn’t fix this it just created more corruption.

    point 2:
    “If you want to get rid of the church, you also need to get rid of Jesus. You can’t have one without the other”.
    Um your original definition was we as individuals are the church. If by the church you are now changing this and referring to those 45000 plus arguing denominations we see today in there fancy building asking for money then I would completely disagree with you that this is the church in any way shape or form.

    Point 3:
    “That God would use ordinary, broken human beings as vessels of his grace, and delight in it is awe-inspiring. He’s proud of how his grace is beating through your imperfect-but-redeemed life and through the church (have you ever read Ephesians 3: 10-11?)”.
    Monetary corruption, lies, emotional/ spiritual/ child abuse, murder just look at the crusades and pedophilia within all major denominations just to name a few issues with the modern church. What is God proud of exactly in this? Not sure you understand the extent the modern place you call the church has fallen.

    Point 4:
    “He could have spoken to the world directly, but instead chose to use broken people to showcase his grace to a world in need of redemption”. “For sure, community is messy”. “People sin. Leaders are sinful”. “Most of the New Testament is not a story of an idealized church where everything worked perfectly all the time (just read 1 Corinthians any time you’re frustrated with your church)”.
    I think you underestimate the sins of the modern gatherings. I don’t see the sins of the modern church being talked about in the new testament and given the ok. In fact I remember Jesus speaking of the fruit and how to know the false prophets. Perhaps you should read this verse again before saying we should all run back to the false prophets who repulsed us? Matthew 7:15-20

    Point 5:
    “The Ultimate Consumerism Isn’t Going To Church…It’s Walking Away From It”.
    No, walking away under the circumstances that a lot of people have from the church is called wisdom and turning from the lies. Just because men call it a church and come in the name of christ doesn’t mean we as believers should be followed. For you to make such generalized judgements of the ex church followers is ridiculous and reeks of ignorance.

    Point 6:
    “Listening to a podcast of your favourite preacher while you’re at the gym or on the back deck and pushing three of your favourite worship songs through your ear buds does not make you a more passionate Christ follower”. “It usually makes you a less effective one”.
    Not sure you can prove this point, Many who have been abused by the modern church I’m sure would say a podcast or worship in a gym would have been much more beneficial then what they suffered at the hands of those you profess God would be proud of.

    Point 7:
    “Get up before the sun rises to pray together with other Christians before you go to work”. “Pool your possessions”. “Don’t claim anything as your own”. “Be willing to lose your job, your home, your family and even your life because you follow Jesus”.
    Wow show me and tell me where this church is in the modern age and where it exists? I would join this church but lets face it the major denominations are not interested in following christ and obeying what the bible says. It’s much easier and profitable to collect 10 percent in cash before taxes as lot of pastors inform me and have houses/ cars and consume.

    • Jeff Pearson on December 17, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Matt, I can see that you are very passionate about what you believe… What you have shared here today contains so much truth and reality about what people are referring to as “church.”

    • spw on December 30, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      Matt
      You and I are from the same garment of Truth. If we touch the hymn of His garment, Jesus will open our eyes and minds to all truth that cannot be denied. May our Spiritual discernment be elevated, as not to be deceived by the religious bunch of our day. The Pharisees are still hard at work bullying Christ’s followers. I believe what you posted and the true church is living in very dangerous times, but her testimony will stand strong in the midst of it.

  77. […] is an awesome article on the myths about church and the importance of the institution of the […]

  78. Michael Wall on November 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    My reply is going to seem harsh to you, but I really do not mean it to be so, because I know that you really do mean well. It’s just that you have stepped on a nerve already worn thin by the pomposity that is modern (so called) christianity.
    You created a variety of straw men arguments and predictably knocked them all down and you used some of the most tired, worn out arguments to do it. If I were to answer them all one by one, my reply would be as tedious as your article. Let me just answer the main point or what I conceive to be your main point.
    You are not the first and *sigh will not be the last to argue that the (church) is made up imperfect humans that have *gasp flaws. Believe it or not, I don’t think anyone suspected they would find anything else when they opened the mahogany doors of your temple and trod their pilgrim’s path in to your halls, just as I think any person would expect to find ignorant people in various levels of education if they were to enter an academy. The difference is that we would expect those people to be growing toward, if never reaching that elusive goal of being educated, and we would expect there to be a teacher, maybe even a group of teachers somewhere on the premises. Were we to enter ourself in to this academy, we would desire to have some hope of being educated ourselves and that hope would either be bolstered or deflated by what we observe in the denizens of this scholastic habitat.
    If I enter in to a (church) or even pass by one, I am likely to see the name of Jesus or God on the sign, if it’s not there it is often implied as in “The First Baptist Church (of God)” . If I were to stay through a service at most of them, I am sure I would be enjoined to “give unto the lord”. Is it to much to ask if we catch a glimpse of this “lord” you profess to represent in the character of the inhabitants of this institution? That is after all who we came to see. If not, will you in the interest of truth in advertising take His name off the sign?
    People will always be flawed, but it’s not so much what is there that is driving people away, it what is not there.

    • Patricia Muir Henderson on November 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Interesting! I guess if everyone was looking as Christ-like as I think you are implying you would hope to see, a whole lot of us that bailed on church during our teens might not have come back (speaking from my perspective only). When I look into the building, and see the people I knew from childhood, as well as people I know nothing about, the one thing I look for in people struggling with their journey as much as I struggle. Its like life…I believe in life, but am constantly messing it up. The thing about ‘church’ is, its just a microcosm of any human gathering, with the one caveat: we are there to worship. That’s really the point. Schooling for our soul. Thankfulness for what we have already received, and prays for hope and grace. Its not just an old argument about a building full of flawed people. I suppose any point of view would sound old if someone doesn’t want to hear what you are trying to say 🙂 I struggle daily, have Christ-like moments, and others that require me to eat my words and actions in humility. Thank goodness I can’t pay my way to God’s ear, or maybe the Visa card would be coming out. I can say that being with, or even observing, other people and their life long journeys is important to me. Not being around perfection, except that I believe God alone has, is somewhat refreshing!

      • Stu on November 14, 2017 at 7:42 pm

        Hi Patricia.

        I thought what you wrote was very well said. We are messy people, but we are messes worth making. I delivered in my first comment here how I left the church I was attending of twenty years. It was a veiled but bitter and sarcastic review of my experience. Though I chose to leave, there was un-forgiveness that I knew needed addressing, and I did. But permanently leaving was not an option. I am obedient to a calling to another body of believers and I am finally contributing as I believe God desires me to.

        But to your point. The only chapter in 3 John deals with the very same, un-unique problems we are dealing with. Here is an excerpt of the commentary that I thought was pretty revealing:
        “This epistle presents one of the most vivid glimpses in the New Testament of a church in the first century. The characters, Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius, are sketched with bold strokes of the apostle’s pen. Characteristics of church life are also clearly seen in the epistle. The independence of the believers is outstanding, and their personalities, as well as their doctrinal problems, are patent. This brief and very personal letter shatters the notion that the state of things was ideal, or nearly so, in the first century. Contrariwise, it reveals the problems of a vigorously growing faith.”
        —-The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

        What was new? What is old? Nothing. Many people I read about who have left their church body still show signs of bitterness and hostility, though they might never admit it. They are restless inside, experience turbulence they refuse to articulate nor want to examine, yet to listen to them, you would think they were the happiest people on earth. Jesus both loved His Church and died for it, and he was crucified by those very people who later would give their lives for Him once they were saved.

        Thank you for a very tenderhearted and loving review of your own experiences. May God bless you in your walk with Christ.

        Peace and grace,
        Stu

      • spw on December 30, 2017 at 7:14 pm

        AMEN…AMEN….AMEN!!!!!!!!!
        Michael, I could not agree more!!!! When worldliness and its inhabitants takes over the congregation, it not longer has it’s Oil, nor can it be a beacon on a hill. There are many metaphors in scripture that defines the true church and also the false church. May God open our eyes and minds to see the Light, the Truth, and differencesdifferences of both, least we go down the broad road into darkness. Those of us who have left what the complacent church has become, is not over petty squabbles and disagreements, its because wolves, darkness and false converts have taken over with a false gospel and untruths of scripture, and the great falling away is at hand.
        God says, “Come out from among Her My people, run for your lives, run from the fierce anger of the Lord” Jeremiah 51:45.
        The same scripture was repeated in Revelation 18:4, “I heard a loud voice from heaven say, Come out from among Her My people, be not partakers of Her sins, so that you will not receive Her plagues”
        I would say when God needs to repeat Himself in scripture, the church shouldshould wake up, listen up and take notice! God’s not playing around, nor should we. The word “Her” is always speaking of churches in scripture and the church we see today on every street corner is in a very dangerous position, to say the least. If those churches cannot compare to the true Church of Jesus, I suggest we run as fast as we can and don’t look back, least we become a pillar of salt.

    • Jessica Martin on November 15, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Amen! Yes. Because God is absent in the church today is why I am no longer an attendee of the so called “church.” I am also aware that this article is 3 years old.

    • Jeff Pearson on December 17, 2017 at 11:06 am

      I appreciated very much what you had to say Michael… The truth hurts, but what you said is not at all harsh.

  79. Tina S on November 12, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I’m not sure of the original source but I received this from my Pastor today and thought I’d post it here; it may help someone who is contemplating on leaving the church or encourage someone to return.

    A lady went to the Pastor and said… I won’t be attending Church anymore..

    He said, may I ask why??

    She said, I see people on their cell phones during the service, some are gossiping, some just ain’t living right, they are all just hypocrites…

    The Pastor got silent, and he said, OK… But can I ask you to do something for me before you make your final decision?

    She said, what’s that?

    He said, take a glass of water and walk around the Church 2 times and don’t let any water fall out the glass.

    She said, yes I can do that!

    She came back and said it’s done.

    He asked her 3 questions:

    1. Did you see anybody on their phone?

    2. Did you see anybody gossiping?

    3. Was anybody living wrong?

    She said, I didn’t see anything because I was so focused on this glass, so the water wouldn’t fall.

    He told her, when you come to Church , you should be just that focused on God , so that YOU don’t fall.

    THAT’S WHY JESUS SAID “FOLLOW ME,”!!!

    He did not say follow Christians.

    Don’t let your relationship with God be determined by how others relate with God. Let it be determined by how focused you are with God.

    • Stu on November 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Hi Tina,

      Here is the original story by a Pastor (my hero of the faith) being tortured for Christ for 14 years in Romanian, Communist prisons. You will find it far more real:

      “A young prince was quarrelsome and gave no peace to the wise old king of a neighboring country. The old king entreated for friendly relations, but in vain. The young prince started a war. The old king, remembering how many foolish things he himself had done in his youth and there is an age from which we cannot expect wisdom, gave orders to his officers to capture his young enemy alive. So it was done. He was brought in chains before the victor. The old man pitied the youngster, but pretended to be very angry with him and sentenced him to death. The young prince begged for his life. So the old man told him: “I will give you a chance. Tomorrow you will be given a jug of water, full to the brim. You must carry it from one end of the main street of the city to the other, without spilling a drop. If you do not succeed, your life will be lost.”

      The next day the procession started—the prisoner with the jug of water; around him soldiers to guard him; behind him the executioner with his axe, a terrifying reminder that he would be beheaded on the spot if he failed. The old king had given orders that on one side of the street there should be a mob to boo the prisoner, on the other side a crowd to cheer him.

      The prisoner succeeded. He did not spill a drop. The old king asked him: “When so many people were mocking you, did you answer them back?” The young man answered, “I had no time for that. I had to be careful about my jug.” “But did you thank the ones who cheered you?” “What business did I have with them? Their acclamation could not help me. I was concerned with my jug of water.”

      The old king set him free with this advice: “You have been entrusted with a soul. You have to bring it back to the Lord whole and clean. That is the only thing that counts. If you do not succeed, you perish. Don’t seek the applause of men by cheap victories. Don’t worry if they mock you. Watch over your soul.” ———-Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

      Thanks so much for replying, and I am glad God is doing great things in your heart.

      Peace to you,
      Stu

      • Jeff Pearson on December 17, 2017 at 11:15 am

        One thing I notice about the comments of both Tina and Stu is that they use the “writings of men,” which is so typical of the modern day church. While these writings feel inspirational and contain some elements of truth, they are used to manipulate and maintain control over passive sheep. Please remember that the sheep hear the voice of their true Shepherd and they wisely follow not the “hireling.”

        • spw on April 3, 2018 at 8:01 pm

          Amen Jeff!

    • Andrew W. on November 14, 2017 at 6:09 am

      All that means is come and be a hypocrite like us, so long as we don’t actually point out to each other that we are all hypocrites then we can all pretend that we aren’t !
      Someone who points out others failings might well be saying, I have failings and weaknesses too but I’m not going to share them with you cos I can see that you don’t have any answers ! And they may be seeking answers ! It’s elephant in the room folks, but don’t mention it cos it’s not really there !

  80. Glen on November 12, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    This article completely misrepresents why people actually leave the institutional church. Many leave due to spiritually abusive leadership which isn’t addressed. Clergy and church leaders assuming a controlling “lordship” of the laity is an epidemic problem which causes a negative reaction. People not only leave, they lash out against all churches, good and bad. People leave due to apostasy. The church growth movement has many heretical trends adopted by the local church. These include acceptance of sinful lifestyles, the Emergent Church, the New Apostolic Reformation, the Prosperity Gospel, Ecumenism and others. People leave to find true community, not simply be a spectator on sunday morning or be squeezed into a box that is not their gifting. People leave to find Christ as Christ has been left out of many churches.
    Are there good churches? Very few and far between.

    • Larry Cashion on November 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      Yep! I got tired of getting involved in ministries and helping supporting church ministry only to wind up being kicked in the teeth and to the curb over some stupid missunderstanding. I don’t need to go to church to get abused. There’s enough of that out here in the world.

  81. Frank on November 12, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Hey Carey,

    I love your podcasts and I listen to them on Tuesdays every week. Mark Batterson was excellent. To be honest with you, I am tired of church. I was a business person who was asked to start a campus as a volunteer. I did that. Then run groups while running my business. I did that. Then sold my business and became that same churches XP.

    I finished my time there and moved to another city to be closer to my adult kids. I have literally done everything other than senior pastor at a “mega church”church mostly as a volunteer. In my new city, its been like fighting through a brick wall trying to serve at this church I attend. And we went to several others before landing here.

    The church is led by Pastors and it seems to believe the people are not needed or qualified to serve. Don’t know how they could get there but they have. The Pastor is great but its an under utilized mass of people at least from my perspective.

    So I serve in a prison and do bible studies etc not affiliated with any church. I need to spend my life trying to work my way in to serving at a church? Nah no thanks. They make it too hard and my life is too short to spend it trying to be partner in the cause with some church. Which also makes me less committed to it because it then becomes only a church service which I can easily get online…

    Sick of church and I don’t feel the need to keep trying to convince a group of pastors that they should let us insignificant people in the pews or theater seating chairs be allowed to serve!! Nope I’ll pass…

  82. Tina S on November 8, 2017 at 4:31 am

    I have been attending a very small church (around 12 people on a good Sunday morning) for the last three months. I have been walking with Jesus a little over a year but I am really struggling at this church. Long story short; I was saved in a rather large Pentecostal church last September 18th 2016 but the size of the church & some of their teachings & practices didn’t seem right. So I started praying about the issues while looking at scripture, and doing research. I didn’t want to church hop but I ended up visiting four churches and out of them picked my current one because they were the most Christ centred church and the Pastor preaches God’s Word faithfully – I visited a church where they didn’t even read from the bible on Sunday nor at the bible study.

    Excluding the Pastors wife there are only four women including myself in the church. One is an elderly lady (80), one is unable to engage in conversation due to having missing teeth, one lady only attends on a Sunday morning & doesn’t fellowship. That leaves only one other lady that I have connected with; she is in her late forties, has two teenage kids but she’s 10 years older than me. I attend Sundays & midweek bible study / prayer but I am really struggling in this church and I don’t know what to do. Am I being selfish for wanting more female connections, fellowship & a small group? The church is mainly male & a couple of the men there are very overbearing & moody at times so it’s hard to know what mood they will be in, with the exception of one they are all over 50.

    I have been praying about this since I left the Pentecostal church in May but there’s been no answer. Or maybe I’m not hearing God. Admittedly, I went about things wrong, I should have stayed at the Pentecostal church and waited for God to lead me to another church but they were so “handsy” and I was so uncomfortable therefore I just left, but I did speak with my area Pastor about it beforehand, explaining to her that I felt lost in the church; they were around 400 people. I didn’t mention the doctrinal issues I had a problem with since I didn’t want to be negative. I ended up getting frustrated with God because I couldn’t find a church & for two Sundays ended up listening to live online sermons by the Metropolitan Tabernacle, but my gut told me this wasn’t right to be a lone Christian at home so I went back to this current small church & have stayed put since, but why can’t I find peace here? I know it’s not God’s fault and I have repented & said I’m sorry for feeling frustrated with Him.

    Anyway, I don’t want to quit & leave this church if this is where God has put me so I have stayed put, but why do I feel like this if this is His will? After visiting some local churches I’ve picked the best church out of the bunch (although a 30 minute walk from my home) & feel like I have no choice but to stay here, but now I feel stuck and I don’t feel at peace here. I haven’t spoken with the Pastor for his attitude when people don’t return to the church is “let them go” and I don’t want to be negative so I have kept my feelings to myself. The church was once thriving I’m told but a lot of families left due to location & other reasons. There’s been no growth people wise over the years & no visitors come but they don’t know why this is, even though they evangelise every Saturday. I’ve tried to surrender to God at this church but I keep feeling that this is not the church for me but even though I want to walk away from this church, I can’t because it may be the church God has picked for me. I’m feel myself starting to withdraw & only plan on attending on Sunday mornings, even though I don’t want to be a Sunday only Christian.

    I’m at a loss as to what to do, since not going to church is not an option. Maybe I’m going to have to look for a church that is not so local.

    • Stu on November 8, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Hi Tina. I can see you are concerned about what to do. You submitted your thoughts and comments at 4:31 AM.
      =
      Let me share that I just left a church of over twenty years. But I am very aware that the body of believers—even two—is not about me. God puts us where we can contribute to others by using the gifts He has given to us. In Revelation, Jesus never suggested that anyone necessarily leave any of the seven churches mentioned, no matter how bad they were. He insisted we do what was right while in them.

      I believe God has placed me in a church body that is far younger than I, but I also discovered that the believers there are looking for more mature Christians so that they can learn from them. Now I am able to use my gifts for others, and they are welcoming it. It is not about me Tina, but about Christ—always.

      Remember Jesus spent much time in prayer, many nights in solitude, and also during the day. Wrestling with our prayers, God will begin to lead us with a clearer vision as we seek Him. Read the parable of the widow and the judge. She would not give up until her needs were met. God desires us not to give up. Your heart is right, and you will do what is right. It is not about pleasing God, but about trusting Him; and isn’t trusting Him pleasing Him after all?

      Grace and Peace,
      Stu

      • Tina S on November 9, 2017 at 8:23 am

        Hi Stu,

        I wasn’t actually expecting a response from anyone; so thank you for taking the time to respond.

        I have to be honest that I initially didn’t care for your response yesterday; but that’s because I know that you’re right. Having now thought things through, I agree that it is all about Jesus; I do desire to please God & yes you’re right, I can do this by trusting Him, even though things are not clear right now and seem foggy. I must confess, even though I don’t understand the reasons why right now, deep down I know that God has placed me in this church. Back in May after I left the Pentecostal church, I prayed for God to send me where I can serve & be needed, He’s given me His answer but because I don’t like His answer I think I keep fighting & resisting it and it’s making me frustrated & miserable.

        I listened to a sermon on Psalm 139 & then read through the Psalm last night. He really does know us inside out and I know He has my best interests at heart, is all knowing and has my life and everything else under His control at all times. I hear Him saying “trust me” so I’m going to do just that.

        I came across Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” this morning and so I prayed for the grace to help me be obedient to His will and if that means remaining at this church I asked Him to help me do just that. My attitude has completely changed since praying this while at work this morning. There still may be times when I want to run but I’m going to keep surrendering this back to God.

        Back in August when I started looking elsewhere for another church, the one lady that I have made a connection with at this church asked me out for a coffee, I ended up talking to her about my testimony and confided in her things I’d never told anyone. The conversation came so naturally that out of that we have become good friends, we both confide in each other and I see her as my sister in Christ. She too has struggled there due to the lack of females at the church so she has thanked God for me & I know I can be a support to her. Months prior, I began praying for at least one friend that I could be completely honest with and be accountable to. I prayed for discernment for who to trust and God has answered that prayer by bringing her in to my life. Even though there are a lack of women at this church, I am grateful for her and I’m going to be a good friend to this lady, for I know should I decide to up & leave it would affect her and I do not want to hurt her in any way. I’m also going befriend the other three women and keep praying for God’s help to love everyone who comes to the church and the members who are currently there regardless of how they treat me. The men there are going through divorce / separation issues with their wives, therefore if they are moody & unpredictable I’ve decided not to take this personally. Instead of hanging back I will get involved & serve in the church and let God use me as He chooses.

        I’m imperfect, so is the church but there is no other place I’d rather be then with God’s people. God is good!

        Blessings to you.

        Thank you,

        Tina

        • Stu on November 9, 2017 at 10:22 am

          Dear Tina.

          I want you to know that you have inspired me to be more faithful in God’s Word and tenderhearted toward others. You demonstrate a willingness to serve, and just as Christ is the head of the whole Body, he was also the greatest servant.

          Here is something I am discovering: how to be generous. I often wonder if today’s “Me llenials” have such a name for a reason—the reason of course being about self rather than about others. It is really learning how to be generous. So I thought about what that meant: I bought online a Rubik’s Cube for $1.69 and shuffled the numbers around. I spoke to the mother of her eleven year old daughter to make sure I had her permission to give the Rubik’s Cube to her to solve. Her daughter was to tell me, with help if she needed, when she got the numbers back in alignment. When she succeeded, her reward was $10.00—but, it was not hers. Instead, she must go to her school and choose from her classroom another student who, in her estimation, had the least. With daughter and Mom and the $10.00, they would go to the store and buy something her friend in class needed—with the words on a note: “From Jesus.” This is now in progress, and I pray that this lesson would illustrate something to this girl about generosity. Children more than ever are suffering from the plight of the old “god” called SELF, and it is heartbreaking.

          Something Tina you can do. Establish a “girl’s night out.” Make some friends, meet at Barnes and Noble once a week or somewhere, and simply get to know them. Don’t make it religious because people will not share. Invite not just believers, but unbelievers. Talk about anything—wives’ GF, bio-ethics, God, struggles in life. Give a struggling cashier in a grocery market a few dollars to buy herself an ice cream cone, and build a relationship. Invite her to hang out with you at the place you meet. We always want to put a big mask in front of our faces that say, “This is who I want you to believe I am,” but we cannot give love or receive love when we wear a mask; only the mask gets the credit. Taking time to be friends without an agenda will make people desire to be yours, and with prayer, God may just do some incredible things. Church cannot be a building where we invite people to; we must go to where the heartbroken, the destitute, the have-nots are and let them know we care. That is what Jesus did. That is church, right? Where two or more are gathered together in His Name? You and Jesus. Make some friends. Tell me how it goes. 

          Blessings sister.
          Stu

          PS: Order free online “Tortured for Christ.” by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand (my hero of the faith), and you will see what loving God with our whole heart really means. 🙂

          • Tina S on November 9, 2017 at 4:01 pm

            Dear brother Stu,

            I’m glad I reached out, your comments made me think and helped bring my focus back on Jesus. It absolutely amazes me how God can turn my heart around, many times in an instant!

            I was first saved in my early teens which had a Pastor that was very domineering & controlling, no members could make a decision without first speaking with him. The fellowship is known now for its cult like behaviour. To cut a very long story short, I backslid in my early twenties because I couldn’t take the pressure. I swore that I would never go to church again & walked away from God.

            Recently I asked God why “am I so reluctant to settle in this church” And He showed me, even though I had forgiven the Pastor for the way he treated us, I was still carrying the wounds, for many years I felt like that church had robbed me of my best years. I was scared to give myself to yet another church just in case I got hurt or the same thing happened again. I have now given this to God and will continue to do so until it no longer hurts, I have to let it go so that I can keep moving forward. My past is no excuse to turn my back on the church and finding another church is not the answer since the problem is with me it will only follow me. Therefore I will stay put here and work through my issues with God.

            I sent my Pastor a text today asking to speak with him on Sunday. He is such a humble man, not once has he been overbearing. We are only small in number here but I have never picked up any disappointment from him over the size of the church, he really does have a shepherds’ heart & I see he truly cares for us. I’ve shared my testimony briefly with him but I’m going share my story & explain why I have been so reluctant to get involved in the church. In my early years I viewed God as impossible to please & angry because of the way the Pastor was but God has done a transforming work in me over the past year, I was backslidden for 13 years and God drew me back to Himself. I was so broken when I came to Christ last year but God has restored me, He has been so gentle, patient & kind that I have come to genuinely view Him as my loving Father now.

            I will start organising fellowships & invest in the other women more, I will let you know how it goes.

            Thank you again for speaking the truth and for the correction, God has completely turned my heart around. I have thanked God for you & your response; may God bless you!

            I have downloaded the book.

            Tina



        • Stu on November 9, 2017 at 5:36 pm

          Dear Tina,

          I am seeing that because of the smaller and smaller blocks that are given to our replies, there is no more room for one to be inserted. So I must respond with a previous Reply. If you desire, we can continue sharing in this way if you like.

          You spoke of the un-forgiveness you felt and how God convicted you to let it go and trust Him. I too dealt with un-forgiveness and was startled to hear from a married woman the truth about its effect it was having on me. I was angry, hurt, and even somewhat overcome. How could anyone do something like that to me—and for no reason? The married woman shared with me everything I already knew with such empathy and tenderness, I put my head down. Then she said something that changed everything: “Stu, while God is patient and full of grace with you—as you so rightly discerned—you are still reaping what you are sowing. If it is bitterness, God will wait. God will give His grace, but you will suffer great loss.” I looked up fearfully to see tears rolling down her face. I knew I had to ask forgiveness for my attitude of holding onto something that God wanted me to let go of…and a week later I did just that. Her husband came along side me and told me that he was glad his wife was able to give me the confidence I needed—that they were both praying for me for several weeks.

          The irony of it all was that three days prior to the whole un-forgiveness incident, I was praising God for allowing me to have never experienced what I had just gone through.

          I am so glad you too found the strength in Christ to overcome yours.

          How precious the Lord is.
          Stu

          • Tina S on November 10, 2017 at 8:24 am

            Yes He is precious – Jesus truly is a wonderful healer. No matter what we’re going through God makes everything work for His glory.



          • liz on November 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

            Tina, I want you to know you can trust the Holy Spirit in you. If you are not feeling good about this church. Do not go. You can trust the Lord in His plans for you- and you do not want a covering in that church where the men are moody- if the Spirit isn’t there, I’d be gone too. Dead works. What if Jesus wants to take you into a season of Hiddeness- just you and HIm, without the church? What if He wants to heal the wounds you have before you can serve others continually. I’m not saying you shouldn’t serve, but we sure know how to exercise our serving arms to the demise of our hearts and intimacy with the Lord. You can hear the voice of God, and you can enjoy spending a churchless year (or years) hidden in Him, and then seeing the hidden people He brings to you. The lost and broken are also outside of the four walls of church. The church is you, number one. He resides in you. You do not need someone else to tell you that you can’t trust the Holy Spirit in you. Take it before the Lord like you have been, and He will show you. And it’s not in a striving “I must stay and complete mission/ never quit” mode. It’s in His rest. Follow His peace. Love to you on this journey! pick up a book of Jeanne Guyon’s ” Experience the Depths of Jesus Christ. So so good.



          • Tina S on November 15, 2017 at 7:48 am

            Dear Liz,

            Thank you for your response.

            A couple of months ago while I was wrestling with whether to stay in this church or not, I spent two Sundays listening to live sermons. During that time I felt God chastening me. My peace had gone and the prompting of the Holy Spirit was telling me that this is not what The Father wants for me. Every time I would leave this church (three times) in search of another, I would end up in distress & in tears because I did not have peace in any of those churches. Finally, I broke down before God and said to Him, “why won’t you tell me where to go & why does this keep happening again & again” it wasn’t like an audible voice but the words “ I answered you & told you where I want you, you can either surrender or we can go through this again. (I once heard someone say if the same thing keeps happening over & over, it may be God trying to teach me us something)

            Anyway, did I listen? No! I did not like God’s choice for me. So off I went to yet another church which was around a 15 minute walk away. I thought this would be the church for me, I thought great, there were a couple of friendly ladies my age there & it was close to home. But it was not be. I attended two Sunday services there & on the second Sunday I wanted to give my tithe but was told tithes & offerings were for members only. I thought what? I had never heard that giving was for members only in any church before. Also, all the women had to wear hats during services & this would be a requirement for membership. After the service finished, I walked straight out of there dejected & I held back my tears as I walked home. I arrived home & said to God right I’m done, I’m just going to stay home & listen to sermons at home, I can’t keep going through this.

            Again the prompting to go back to the church I had left was still there but still I kept fighting & resisting God. If you read through my previous posts here, you’ll see where I speak about a woman I have since developed a close friendship with at this church. Well, I had lent her a book & texted her to ask her to post it back to me once she’d finished. It was here that she reached out to me, we met up for a coffee & I was so uplifted after our conversation. And since then I have been blessed by her friendship. (Had she not have reached out, I probably would not be in church now) I talked with God all the way home that night & went straight on my knees before God when I got home and poured out my heart to Him, I said if this is where you would have me be & serve then you’re going to have to help me surrender. So I went back at the beginning of September & kept going until my little wobble when I posted on here on the 8th of November.

            A response from the user named Stu helped me see that it’s not about what I want & that it is always about Jesus. How we please God by trusting in Him at all times. I prayed for God’s grace to help me to truly surrender & be obedient. I listened to a sermon on Psalm 139 and then read through Psalms 139 that night & God showed my His total sovereignty, how He is always in control over everything in my life. And since then a joy & peace has come over me that I can’t explain. Following these months of struggle I now have a closer relationship with Him – I’m resting in Him. I may want to run away again but if I do, I will keep submitting this to God. Things are not perfect in my life & this church but I know He will work it all out for my good & His glory.

            Regarding the men who can be moody; I have prayed & will continue to pray for God to change my heart towards them, I have no control over how they treat me but I do have control over how I react & God is helping me look at them through His eyes. God will deal with anyone who mistreats me but I will choose to love. And you know what, last Sunday this much older gentlemen who doesn’t normally acknowledge me, he came up to me after the service, said hello, asked how I was & shook my hand. It’s only something small but as I walked home smiling I thanked God that he was so friendly.

            Last Sunday I spoke to my Pastor about how I can serve & get involved with the church, he told me the area where I could serve & that’s what I have done; no more sitting back for me.

            I thank God for this church; the Pastor preaches God’s Word faithfully, preaches on sin & repentance and living Holy lives, Christ is at the centre of our church & that should be the main thing; everything else I will trust God to work out. We may be small in number but it is not a dead church, we love God & desire Jesus Christ to be proclaimed. And as I walk with God, He’s begun healing my pasts hurts from the damage the church I spent eight years in during my teenage / early twenties.

            If I took time out away from God’s people Liz, I don’t think I would survive out there by myself. My mind was assaulted with so many lies when I stopped attending. I was isolated & vulnerable when I was away from His flock & looking back it was only by God’s grace that I wasn’t devoured. I’m sticking close to Jesus, praying & immersing myself daily in His Word. I’m going to stay put and love & serve in this church. Should God lead me to another church down the line, then fine but until then I will wait on Him.



        • stu on November 15, 2017 at 5:33 pm

          Hi Tina.

          You have led me to think of something in your very personal reply to Liz. You need not respond if you don’t want to. It helped me understand something about sin, how we scold ourselves when we fall into it, and why it is unnecessary—and btw, thank you for remembering me in your testimony to her.

          We practice trying to be so perfect—perfect with our words, our feelings, our desires, our hopes because we are always mindful of how imperfect we actually are. It can be a very stressful project. I am reminded of the bride dressing for her groom. No bride would forget to put on her make-up, forget her veil, or any accessories that would make her appear, in front of the one she loves, as if she left anything out. She is always looking in the mirror to make certain. No bride would stand before the groom and say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot this or that.”

          In your story to Liz, you continually were sharing the steps you took returning to God. You made yourself once again radiant before Him. You put on all of your spiritual jewelry. You returned to your first love reflecting to us, as it were, you examining yourself in your spiritual mirror, leaving nothing out. Instead of berating yourself for the things you didn’t do, or couldn’t do, you kept appearing before the One who could give all of those things to you Himself. How radiant before Him you appeared.
          You have given to me that same desire to go to the One who can make me shine again. There is not enough I can do to be as perfect as I dress up to be, but I can go to the One who can. Jesus clothes us in His Robe of righteousness—always.

          Thanks sister.

          • Tina S on November 20, 2017 at 7:57 am

            Hi Stu,

            I hope you do not mind but I’d like to ask your opinion on something that has happened in our church, since I cannot turn to anyone in my church about this, I thought I’d reach out to you.

            You may call my telling you about the woman I had become close friends with at this church. Well, she confided in me that she had been secretly in a relationship with a man in the church since 2016. He is still living with but separated from his wife and the divorce has not been legalised. When she told me back in mid-October I told her straight away that this is not right, he is still married and that you need to tell Pastor. I did not feel comfortable keeping this from Pastor so I told her there & then to contact him. That same day they both went to see the Pastor and confessed it all to him. They have both kept this a secret from the entire church for well over a year. To make things worse the church has been praying for his marriage week in & week out little knowing he had no intentions of reconciling with his wife. He had indicated marriage to this woman but started to get cold feet after speaking to the Pastor that day, who remarked to them “so when is the wedding” To cut a long story short, he subsequently texted a brother in the church to tell the woman that he thinks that they should call things off, which led to the women to tell the church members about the it all out of anger over his dismissal of her. Now it is all out in the open and our already fragile church has been deeply hurt by this deception. I’ve only been there for three or so months so but even I am shocked by the level of deception this would have taken to hide this from everyone for so long. It must be even more shocking for these long serving members who have become a family.

            She did not want me to let on to the Pastor that she had confided in me & that I knew anything about any of this but I told her that I was not going to lie & pretend that I did not know. Last Sunday I already had a meeting with the Pastor to speak with him regarding something else, I mentioned it to Pastor that I knew about their relationship & that I told her straightway to tell you the day I found out, since “I did not feel comfortable keeping this from you”. I didn’t tell him any of the details she confided in me, just that she had told me about the “affair”. Now she texted me this morning and basically said that I have betrayed her confidence by telling Pastor that she had told me about their relationship. Tell me Stu & be honest, was I in the wrong for telling the Pastor she told had told me? How could I lie & pretend I did not know? I fear had she not have told me that day, they would have carried on with the relationship & the church would be none the wiser.

            At the meeting when they went to confess, Pastor asked them had they done anything physical, they told him no they had not but last Wednesday after church she confided in me that although they did not fornicate she has said that there was inappropriate kissing & touching. Again, I told her that she must come clean & tell the Pastor since you both lied to him when he asked you “had anything physical happened between you”. I said a little leaven leavens to whole lump & that this could affect the church & your walk if you cover this. She said she would tell him, the Pastor was meant to come by to speak with her last week but never did. Now she says she’s not going to say anything because she has confessed it to God.

            Stu, I’m now done with all this and I’m not going back to this church. This is all too much for me, she has put me in a difficult position, I know things that they did that the Pastor should know but I can’t say anything because she confided in me in confidence. She’s already saying I betrayed her by just revealing my knowledge of this saga therefore I feel I cannot turnaround & reveal the level of intimacy they actually committed with one another.

            Growing up in church it was drummed into me to always tell the Pastor if anyone confided in you about any immorality because it will affect the church but how can I tell Pastor? It’s not my place to do so and they should tell Pastor everything themselves but won’t. I have fought to stay put in this church but I cannot do it anymore, this is the final straw. I don’t see what other choice I have but to leave, now my relationship with this woman is going to be fractured. This whole thing has affected so many people, the men have even openly cried over this. We are only twelve members but this has rocketed the church.

            I know the church is all about Jesus but I just can’t go back Stu. I have tried & tried & now I’m done. My stomach is in knots I feel numb, I don’t know what I’m going to do but I will pray while I seek another church. Should you get to read this & have time to respond your advice / view on this would be much appreciated.

            Please pray for me.



        • Stu on November 20, 2017 at 8:56 am

          Dear Tina,

          First, I am praying for you that you will come out of this with a clean heart—not a pure heart as Paul said, but a clean heart.

          You are wise to be so honest. There are a few things I can share with you. First, read 3 John. The church then is no different than it is now. There are three actors in that church, and the turbulence was no different. Read a commentary to help you capture the flavor of what was going on. It is a beautiful illustration of a church in controversy, struggling to maintain its faith.

          When you read about the seven churches in revelation, they are types of the same kinds of people we are today, but nowhere is anyone told to leave the church; instead, we are to do what is right in its midst and Jesus will reward us.

          I think Matthew 18 is appropriate because here is a woman who has sinned against not only you, but everyone in the church. Listen to these words of Jesus:
          Matthew 18:15-17 (NIV)
          15 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
          16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
          17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

          Remember that we are to be gentle, but firm—speaking the truth…in love, always wanting our brother or sister to be restored, not destroyed. Jesus said He would not snuff out a smoldering wick. If she is saved, she is precious in God’s sight; and if she isn’t, she is also precious because Jesus died for all men on the Cross. because He loves us.

          We are all sinners. King David was the greatest of kings brought up in a righteous home—even considered a type of Christ, yet he committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband to cover it up. His consequences were horrendous yet God forgave him. Jacob, later named Israel after the nation Israel was a liar, a thief, and a cheat. Moses was a man who was the go-between of God and men. He was called God’s friend, yet he killed a man. Jesus talked about how perfect the religious leaders were in his time, who followed every law, but because they had no grace, Jesus said that prostitutes and tax collectors would enter Heaven ahead of them.

          Your heart is right; your knowledge may be insufficient like every believer’s knowledge. We are not speaking by accident. You came to me, and I have prayed that my words to you are of the Spirit, not of me. When you shared that you believed God placed you in this church, did you believe it would not be without fault? Did you believe that God called you there for no reason? Your friend can be restored but she needs someone with the truth, and empathy—in that order. If you saw another person commit murder, would you not for everyone’s sake tell those who could help? Your friend is committing eternal suicide and she needs you more than she knows because she is in a place where the enemy has lied and deceived her, and there you are just at the right time.

          Now, I hope to encourage you. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God; and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

          Tina, we are all on a big boat—all together, but alone—just trying to get to shore. When your heart is right, God will take even the worst of situations and turn them around. Be patient, persevering through the storm. God is right there.

          With peace to you,
          Stu

          • Tina S on November 20, 2017 at 9:29 am

            Hi Stu,

            Yes of course I knew the church would not be without fault; I grew up in church (albeit spiritually abuse) and am well aware of how messy it can be. I did believe that God may have placed me here for a reason but I can’t see it anymore, maybe I was telling myself He did in order to make peace with staying, I don’t know. But Every time I resolve to stay put in this church, something always happens to throw me off.

            I have spent so much time talking with this woman, telling her of God’s healing & restoration over this that it has drained me. She’s angry with the man for leading her on, angry now the Pastor has asked both of them to not partake in communion and now she’s angry with me. I haven’t even shared with Pastor everything she’s even told me, just that I know about it.

            Anyway, I will read through the books / scripture you mentioned and pray about this but right now I don’t think I can go back.

            Thank you.



        • Stu on November 20, 2017 at 10:09 am

          Dear Tina.

          I am empathetic towards you. I cannot say do not leave; I did. I understand. I hope you will consider what you just said: “But Every time I resolve to stay put in this church, something always happens to throw me off.” What if this happens to you in another church, and then another, and so on, until it is too distant to go to church? Do we ever find a church “good enough”?

          So I am in one now that desires to have every kind of sinner. Some are really struggling. Some may be in a state of horrible deception. I really care about your spiritual journey because you are my sister struggling. But let me say this: God is not so much concerned with us who are struggling—but with those who have stopped. God places us where we must struggle.

          May I ask you Tina, God gives each of us a cross to bear that He asks us to wrestle with and overcome. I do not get to have yours, and you do not get to have mine. Which is the one you have been given to overcome?

          God bless you,
          Stu

          • Tina S on November 20, 2017 at 11:16 am

            I know there is no perfect church, that is not what I am looking for. All I desire is to love & serve God and to do that with likeminded people. I know should I go to another that there will be problems. This church is just so small therefore everything is magnified. I am looking for a family church but sadly I don’t think it exists nowadays.

            I don’t have any family Stu, I grew up in foster care. You know I was involved in a bad church at a very young age who took advantage of my youth, when I left that church I didn’t think I’d ever be able to step foot back in a church again after leaving. But Jesus has restored me and wooed me back to Himself and to the body of believers but I will not be broken again by people in the church, there was nothing left of me after the last time & I will not go through that again, not now that I am more mature and my eyes are open. It took a lot for me to walk back in to church in the first place and give it another chance but God made it possible.

            Should this women just take her friendship away because of this, what am I to do here – we are only two of the four women attending there. As I said before the other two women are elderly so are not able to fellowship. I haven’t responded to her message and don’t intend to, I don’t even know what to say.

            Yes we must carry our crosses but must being in a church be a constant struggle. Who knows what God must think about all this. One of the men commented that our all our prayers could be hindered because of this deception, if that’s the case, why would I stay here. I’m pray that God is not angry with us, and I pray for Him to search my heart if I did betray her in any way.

            You’ve given me food for thought and I will think things over & pray.

            Thank,

            Tina



        • Stu on November 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm

          Dear Tina,

          “I don’t have any family Stu, I grew up in foster care.” I am so very sorry; I do not recall you ever sharing that. Now I can be even more understanding that perhaps a healthy and wholesome family is what you are looking for—and will find.

          Do you remember me sharing with you how God blessed me with a solid group of men—about twelve now? We meet weekly at Barnes and Noble. We are not all Christian, but how beautiful that some are warming up to Christ as we discuss everything from wives’ GF, the Bible, Bio-Ethics…you name it, and we talk about it. But here is what is happening Tina; through this gathering of men, troubled marriages are beginning to come together. One husband and wife are finally talking, and now they are coming to the church I attend, together. Another believes in spiritualism, but now attends church and hears the Word of God preached. God is incredible. You are seeing what I am unfolding—and who is to say that a Pastor in search of a ministry might not be interested in building God’s church with you and your friends.

          Tina, I hope you stay in contact with me. God is not done with you by any stretch of the imagination. I know in my heart this is only the beginning for you because you are determined to see this out. You are in my prayers.

          Stu

          • Tina S on December 9, 2017 at 1:40 pm

            Hi Stu,

            I hope all is well with you; I thought I would give you a little update.
            I ended up leaving that church, but I didn’t leave on bad terms. My friendship with the woman has been restored and we are keeping in touch. I told the Pastor that I had been struggling to find my place at this church and that I would not be returning.

            After my struggle in that church, I was planning to take time out from looking for another church until the New Year but once again I felt God chastising me about this decision. I wasn’t planning to go to church last Sunday but on Saturday night I sat praying to God & I cried out to Him to help me and begged Him to turn this situation around”.

            I had visited this other church one Sunday six months ago and felt a prompting to head there on Sunday just to be in church; but my pride was holding me back from going back there because I had chosen the other church over them because the other church seemed to need more people, and I worried about turning up up there again. I swallowed my pride and went along to the service. Well I needn’t have worried! They welcomed me back with open arms, everyone was so friendly and seemed to genuinely care for me and one another. As the service begun, I said to myself I’m home. One of the Elders & his wife even invited back for lunch with some others; it was such a wonderful time of fellowship.

            I wasn’t expecting for this church to be “the one” but I think it may be. I went along to the prayer meeting Wednesday gone, and I’m finding myself being drawn back there. I know we don’t live on our feelings as Christians, but I feel at peace in this church. I am praying for God to show me where He would have me serve in this church and I will ask one of the Elders for guidance on this but after six months of searching for a church God has answered my prayers.

            Even though I went about it the wrong way when looking for another church, God has used this for His glory and I’ve grown closer to Him through this and I’m learning to just trust & rest in Him. He leads, and I follow.

            Thank you for your prayers.

            May you have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

            Tina



        • Stu on November 23, 2017 at 9:57 am

          Hi Tina.

          Happy Thanksgiving.

          Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)
          8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
          9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

          Grace and Peace to you,
          Stu

          • Tina S on November 23, 2017 at 10:47 am

            Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

            Thank you for all your advice.



        • Stu on December 9, 2017 at 5:13 pm

          Dear Tina,

          Thank you for staying in contact and sharing a beautiful end to a turbulent beginning. The HS has given you wisdom beyond your years because you listen to God and appreciate the cost Jesus paid for you.

          Jesus always gives us things we cannot do ourselves. A question was put to my Pastor. I asked him, “Because I know God loves me, I should want to give him whatever his pleasure is, but this seems negated by His expectation to.” You will understand my pastor’s reply to me Tina.

          “The New Testament especially makes clear that God wants not obedient actions from us, but obedient hearts. Thus we are commanded to “rejoice always,” and “in everything to give thanks,” and to give “cheerfully.” God is not content with mere external compliance, that is, compliance in our outward actions, but He demands our hearts. This has always been the case, and that is why the first commandment is to “Love God with heart, soul, mind and strength,” but it is emphasized in the New Testament.

          It is impossible for us to obey such commands in our own strength. So when we come up against such a command, we must cry out to God and confess our inability as well as our utter dependence upon His Holy Spirit to enable us to obey. But then we must believe, and from that faith, obey.

          Yes, God does command us to do things impossible on our own. He commands us to give freely. We want to protest, “If it is a command, how can I do it freely?” He says, “You must give, and you must do it freely, not grudgingly or under compulsion.” So what are we to do? Flee to Him to give us what we do not have in ourselves. True Christian obedience is entirely impossible apart from Him. It is fulfilled only in Christ. Our obedience now, as Christians, is not about obtaining salvation, but experiencing it.”

          I want to commend you for doing that. Stay in touch, and likewise have a very blessed Christmas, knowing that God and your brothers and sisters in Christ are your greater family at a time when you struggle to wish for yours nearby.

          As for me, I am going to another church, but one whose body is not where it believes it is “supposed to be.” I have an old car—too old to go to a distant bible study. My eyes welled up with tears when the group wanted to buy me one that would make it. I was overwhelmed, but suggested to them to save their money for their families—that there would be one soon to start where I live. Tina…I had only been there six times! Together, we are working on being generous. They are teaching me. 🙂

  83. Andrew W. on October 31, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Sorry Carey, “leaders are not sinful” – not if they’re christians they’re not. Christians are saints not sinners, and the refusal to accept this basic doctrine is one reason why I no longer go to church.
    I was in church one day when the elder preached,
    “….Bless the Lord oh my soul, Who forgives all my iniquities and heals all my diseases”, then he said “but He doesn’t” – the guy just called God a liar and ~100 people apart from me and my daughter didn’t bat an eyelid – this is why I don’t go to church, they are full of hypocrites who won’t accept the Word of God when it contradicts their dogma.
    “… For all that is in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh etc etc” . . . ” is NOT of the Father” – so why do christians celebrate xmas, which is most definitely of the world – because they are hypocrites.
    Come out from among them and be ye separate !
    You can keep church, after 30 years of wasted time I’m just not interested. Blind leading the blind as Jesus said.

    • Jason on November 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      If the church is really people and not a building then it is ignorant to spend thousands of dollars on a place to worship. That money should be spent helping people get out of debt. Too bad the leaders of the church tell people it is ok to go into debt for a house or a car or a school loan when they know that the bible preaches against being in debt! maybe the reason pastors never preach about staying out of debt is because they are in debt themselves after their schooling! Hypocrites!!!!! I have never been to a church that does not have a tithe time, and if the truth is told only a Jew from the tribe of Levi has the authority to collect a tithe! If you are not Jewish and can prove that you are from the tribe of Levi then collecting a tithe is robbing your gods people. I am sure your god is really proud of your lies. Anyone can collect a donation but as soon as you call it a tithe YOU ARE A LIAR AND A THIEF. if JESUS was alive he would probably make a whip and chase you out of your own worthless church building! The only thing these pastors really care about is taking your money so they can live however they please.

    • liz on November 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      AMEN!!!

  84. Stu on October 2, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Church, where two or more are gathered in Christ’s name. Strange when I sit with a building full of us, I notice that after 20 years we are still full of us. When I ask my brother how he is, I hear, “Fine, Just fine. Everything is fine. Sister’s fine. Brother’s doing great. Yep, we’re all fine. Fine, that’s how we are.” Imagine being in your own house with your flesh and blood brother or sister and only knowing after twenty years that he or she is “just fine.”

    It is worse if you are married and talking with a sister, because in this culture, you automatically are believed to be crossing a red line if you utter more than the same words—“Doing just fine.” I suspect I know why: Recalling in Kindergarten when the teacher might divide the class into two sections. One half might say “please.” The other half might practice saying, “Thank you.” The teacher was a role model and the students practiced, so that out of the classroom they could actually have a real exchange. The Church today is nothing more than a lounge, where pew-sitters “put their feet up with their hands behind their heads” and believe that is all there is. I wonder if the disciples in the Upper Room were doing that, or might they have been talking with each other about things that mattered?

    So I left the church of twenty years. Not a single person called to find out if I was dead. I assume they are just fine. So God called me to make friends with some guys. Now, one at a time, after three months or so, about eight to twelve of us meet at the Barnes and Noble Book Store. Some are Christian, some are “spiritual,” some believe in “nothing.” But not a single one of us wishes he stayed away. Why? Because each one of knows he is not fine, and we can actually talk about it, call one another, share real issues—whether they be a girlfriend, a Scripture verse, bioethics. Our friendship is growing. It’s alive. We give one another permission to look at each other in the eyes and see the heart. I suggested to one participant that we should bring some to church. He shook his head and said, “THIS is the church”—a church without a Pastor. One of the guys now goes to the church of twenty years I forsook—the one with “no belief.” That’s church!

    The real church is underground. The real church does not play church. You can sing God’s praises and raise your hands and shout all the hallelujahs you want, but better ever not stick your foot in God’s House and play church. Better to rob a bank. At least you get something for that. Forty years! No one knows how to even become friends let alone true brothers or sisters. Fellowship is merely a word whose meaning is somewhere in Heaven, but I have not seen it in the Church here on Earth.

    After reading six books by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was tortured for Christ for 14 years in Communist prisons, said, “Once I professed to be a Christian. Now I know. The only way I know I am not in Hell is because of this ¼” cup of water sitting next to me.” The only friend he said he had was a dead, cold spider clinging to the freezing steel bars of his cell. He saw no light, heard no sounds except for his torturers in the morning. He heard no birds chirping; saw no children playing outside, no pretty woman to look at. The torturers told him his wife turned to prostitution, and that his son was dead. When everything was taken from him—even his own name—he looked upward, toward heaven, and said, “Now, I have everything.” Church is a place of sacrifice, not riches. When he tithed, he would give the one slice of bread per week he received to the weakest of them. Starvation was real. It was not a game. The Room #4 was the death room, where people lived out their sentence until they died. God preserved Richard. That was church and God honored it. The Church of America is a brand—it is pretend. Many are deceived!

    • liz on November 14, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      amen!!!

      • Stu on November 14, 2017 at 9:05 pm

        Dear Liz,

        I hope this comment finds you well—and joyful in Christ. I am writing a reply because I do not want your “amen!!!” to be exclaimed for the wrong reason. Though my veiled bitterness and contempt was building up over a period of many months, and I did finally leave that body of believers, I still in my heart know that Jesus loved His Church and died for it. We are after all, His bride—which is His Church—as He declares.

        I have also discovered that many who have left the church do not seek another. In fact, eight out of ten in the Baptist Church who leave it never return to church at all. It is their right just as it might be a person’s right not to believe in Christ at all. But what I found even more seems so sad to me; that is, many who have left are still full of bitterness and blame and somehow alter Scripture’s meaning to exempt them from the body of believers.

        I found quite astonishing once a Communist soldier who committed a crime and was thrown into prison. In the cell with him was a Pastor, tortured for his faith—the one you just read about. But what this soldier said after Pastor Richard Wurmbrand asked him if he was a believer caused tears to run down my cheeks: “I will believe if I have orders to believe.” Here was a man who no longer could think for himself, whose brain was merely positioned in his body that served no function. When this pastor, who was finally ransomed to the USA after his 14 years of torture gave his first testimony, he said to us that in Romania, “We believe in Christ with our whole heart; but in America I found that you only believe in Christ with half a heart.”

        I am so sad to acknowledge that, but just as Richard tithed his only slice of bread to one weaker than he, he knew that the body of believers was all he had—that the church in prison was the only beauty that kept him alive—and so it should be with us.

        We are messy and do stupid stuff. We are robbers and thieves, hypocrites and deviants—if not only in thought. We are flawed, frail, imperfect. But we need each other. Jesus took twelve men and made them the Church. He discipled them for three years, and he took nobodies and told Peter that “upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” I believe Jesus at his word.

        I hope God blesses you.
        Peace and grace,
        Stu

    • spw on December 30, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Amen Stu!!!!!!

  85. monk of YHVH on October 1, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    This poor author got lambasted in the comments section. But then that’s what bait is intended to do; to get nibbles and bites from all the people in the lake; from all spectrum: Nevertheless, YHVH uses all things; the rain falls equally upon the just and unjust alike. Hence, those who seek truth-above-all-else, will surely find it, even as they dig around places like here & elsewhere; it is good to see all sides of a topic. Reading this page days ago, I decided not to comment – then. The disaster relief efforts have taken up much time lately. But the Holy Spirit placed it upon my mind-heart-Soul today, and whenever that happens, I obey and let fate work; seeds submitted; done.

    As an elder (an old man), I have been through all the theological productions of the westernized religionists; I have a veritable PhD in all the theological products of the COPs (Catholic; Orthodox; Protestant); whatever comes to your mind from within those camps, I already know, and I too have said them in the past: No need to parrot them back to me here. Justifying whatever manifestation of money dependency you are enslaved to, might sound wise now (esp. when endowed with scripture), but in time, you will regret doing so.

    If you still enable any of Satan’s organized religion businesses, or dens of thieves as my Master, Messiah Yeshua referred to them; that act is proof that you have overdosed on milk; you are wayside seed; chaff awaiting the fire! All organized religion; indeed, all religions that has or ever will exist on Earth, are the workings of the devil; Lucifer; the god of this world: “Pleased to meet you! Hope you guess my name: But what’s puzzling you, is the nature of my game.”

    Messiah Yeshua came onto Earth for one main (but not only) act: to bring an end to religion itself; to expose it and its benefactors, as masked actors on a stage (5273 hypokritḗs); to replace religion with relationship. Messiah Yeshua avoided the politicians and their militants, but walked/served among the poor, the rejected and sinners, but diametrically opposed the Pharisees (those who represented organized religion during His time/culture), and to the point that they wanted Him dead. Why? He was turning people away from ritual, tradition, wealth-mongering and idolatry; but why would this bother anyone? Mammon! Power! Because religion was/is the greatest manifestation of evil, on Earth forever: They monetized YHVH. Anathema!

    They oppose/d the Genesis Directive, one of which was to labor by the sweat of the brow. They (over many generations) created or enabled a monetary system so they could force others to build their homes and grow their food and service them. They have a god-complex. They hunger-lust to be lords of land, and to have authority over other humans. They will live and die without so much as a conceptualization of true brotherhood and sisterhood, or equality, or justice, or unity. They are hierarchical, territorial (even patriotic), bibliolatrous; they thrive best in us-against-them-ism. They take these primal carnal traits that verily define their true character, and Christianize them (hence, Pauline Christianity).

    Love is the great mystery: To Love ones neighbor (yes, humanity) as you do your kids, is beyond them. Until you die, you cannot and will not be born again. Your natural man must be decimated; destroyed utterly. YHVH IS Love; Satan IS pride! Church-businesses are stages for the pride-conquered to expel their inflated egos upon, and to monetize the presence of YHVH, via a tithe-enabled show (a service indeed) that tickles ears, panders to emotions, strokes egos, fakes fellowship and worship, but mocks YHVH. The Indwelling Holy Spirit takes you in the opposite direction. This conversation could take a book: I’m on #17. A disciple of Messiah!

    • pradeep ivon on October 1, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      thank you Monk of YHVH! you have hit the nail on the head, bravo this is the truth and facts of organized religion (which so ever) laid bare for all to see, agree, comment or walk away back to the usual world ruled by the enemy!

    • Andrew W. on November 8, 2017 at 6:20 pm

      “let fate work” – did you really mean that ?

      Also I understand the tetragrammaton is YHWH in the biblical hebrew, the “v” came in c1600 and is usually referred to as modern hebrew, a minor point to some but as it’s God’s Name perhaps not; as my favourite preacher says (different context), it all depends on “how you think of/about God” and THAT is the most important question in the world.
      kind regards,
      Andrew

    • liz on November 14, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      SO SO TRUE. Bless your words, a harbinger for these times.

    • hoodaticus on April 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      I hear you, brother, as was intended. Thank you for being about our Master’s work.

  86. FirstTina on September 29, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I have noticed you don’t monetize your site, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn extra
    cash every month because you’ve got hi quality content.

    If you want to know how to make extra money, search for: Mrdalekjd methods for $$$

  87. Arius on September 21, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Happy Trumpets – Please let God call you out of the great delusion:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6US06ZUaRg

  88. Jim on September 17, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    The author said,

    “If you want to get rid of the church, you also need to get rid of Jesus.

    You can’t have one without the other.”

    NOTHING BUT A LIE! Go back and read your bible! I’m so glad I’m disconnected from you idiots.

    A person can be a Christians without the body of messed up believers. You guys all suck.

    • Bob on September 25, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      Are your remarks made out of your love for God’s people. Sounds like a lot of hate in your expressions. Is this what happens when people leave church? If so, maybe I was wrong in thinking about leaving.

    • Brad on November 5, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Well, that was mighty “Christian” of you. Just overflowing with compassion, you are.

    • Brad on November 5, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Well, that was mighty “Christian” of you. Just overflowing with compassion and forgiveness, you are.

    • Bob on November 16, 2017 at 12:23 am

      Couldn’t agree more!

      My relationship with Jesus has grown exponentially since quitting the hypocritical church and it’s deluded following!
      My old pastor once told me I would burn in Hell for a mistake I made – God chose to forgive me and I’ve grown in His love and knowledge since.
      Self-righteous “Christians” are more damaging to the church than anything else!

  89. Shirley Lockhart on August 23, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    My marriage has been a blessing until few months ago when my life almost get sucked. A strange woman took my husband’s love away from me. He left me and our 3 kids to this lady. I was in shocked because i know my husband still loves me. I tried all i could to get him back but the more i tried the more he went far away from me. All my effort yielded nothing. I lived in pains for 3 good months without any plan of getting out of this mess. Till I met an old school friend who showed me to dr_mack@yahoo. com, he restored my marriage and brought me and my kids happiness. I never believed i would get my husband back, My husband came back with apologies for all the pain he has cost me. You can contact DR MACK for relationship or marital problems

    • Bob on November 16, 2017 at 12:15 am

      Take your voodoo crap elsewhere!

  90. Karen on August 18, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I absolutely love this. You have explained everything so well and plainly. Church is an absolute must, flawed or not. I just wrote a post on how to maintain your passion for God over the slow summer months, and I included attending church. I will definitly be leading my readers towards this article.

    Thank you so much!

    • Lisa Hammond on August 20, 2017 at 7:27 am

      I thought this article covered it all. To the people who bash the church i say this : There is no perfect church. Perfection is only in Christ. But we must remain faithful in obedience. He set the foundation for us to belong to a church. If you are not happy or have been hurt by the church then find another one. Yes they all have flaws but that does not mean you get a free ticket in disobedience. Pray for Him to lead you to the right church. It took me going to several until ai finally found one and I couldn’t be happier. God is so good and He answers our prayers. It is His will that we are in community and fellowship, tithing and worshipping. There are many churches out there and its not one size fits all. Ask, and you shall receive. It is His will for us.

      • Ally on September 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        Hi, I to have left church after attending the three different ones. I found them all to be unloving, control freaks for the most part. I still believe in God but know if I would attend a church again for the fourth time. I pray to God and believe in his word.

        • Ally on September 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm

          Hi, I to have left church after attending the three different ones. I found them all to be unloving, control freaks for the most part. I still believe in God but know if I would attend a church again for the fourth time. I pray to God and believe in his word.

          • Aaron House on September 2, 2017 at 3:19 pm

            I grew up in the Jehovah witness cult. I always knew that God was real but even as a child I knew this “religion” was false. I grew up and my heart began seeking after God but my heart became like granite to organized religion. So I did the only thing I knew was true my prayer and the bible. And I listened to Christian sermons on the radio. God let me go on like this for over a year and then he slowly started to coax me into the body of Christ. I adamantly refused to follow the Holy spirit. There was no way I could trust any religion. Finally the urging I had in my heart became too great. So I set out to find a true church of God. He led me to one and although it is not perfect and all of us are flawed, when I walk in I know I’m in the house of God. People genuinely help and love and seek God. They are out there. Satan loves and lives to keep us out of God’s protection that he gives with a church family. You listen to God and pray for him to guide you and you will get to the church where he wants you.



      • Bruce Halstead on September 12, 2017 at 8:47 am

        Sister I’m not looking for perfection God’s people need to get back to praying the church was built on prayer fasting and Bible study

      • Wayne on October 21, 2017 at 1:52 pm

        You on about a building…”find another one”
        When Jesus healed the man who had been waiting by the pool for 38 yrs, he afterwards found him in the temple
        (no doubt giving thanks) and read what Jesus says to him.
        Being made ‘whole’ wasn’t just purely related to his physical condition, but also his spiritual state.
        Luke 4 mentions Jesus going into the synagogue, on the sabbath as was his custom..things immediately got murky when he recited the words taken from Isaiah 61 where he made it plainly clear that HE was the one appointed to..free the captives..open the eyes of the blind, give liberty to the bruised and broken…these were related to the spiritual conditions of those who were bound by the religious systems of the day…in other scriptures he referred to them as being ‘sick’ and in need of a physician (confirming what the father says in Isaiah 1v1-6)
        Remember that the word of God is not I WAS…but I AM…so this relates to THE NOW its not historical stuff, and was never meant to be. The Luke account I mentioned above goes on to tell us that the very one who was ‘sent’ to free those that were bound, was seen as a threat, and by verse 29 those whom he had been accustomed to were out to kill him. There is no need for a building, not even for baptism due to the fact that his name is The word of God (Rev19v12-13) so being baptised in his name is simply being totally submerged in his word. And finally as John the Baptist said ‘The friend of the bridegroom rejoices when he hears the bridegroom’s voice…(NOT the voice of an intermediary) all an individual needs is…The word (1John2v27)
        The spirit within will teach

        • liz on November 14, 2017 at 8:29 pm

          ameeeeen!!!!!

      • Stu on November 11, 2017 at 6:46 pm

        May I ask you Lisa, what is it that makes you happy—something that pleases you, or something that pleases others? 🙂

    • Tj Woods on September 7, 2017 at 12:06 am

      Hi I want to go to church but I can’t because I work on,Sundays to keep payments on,my apartment will god still accept me into his kingdom if I can’t make it to church I truly believe and trust him but I feel guilty not going to church bc I have to work what do I do if I can’t go to church but have faith and truly believe in Jesus and the heavenly fathet

      • Bob on September 25, 2017 at 1:27 pm

        You have been hooked into feeling guilty about for not attending a church. That is why many people are leaving the church. Being a follower of Jesus is not about attending a church. It is about a personal relationship with Him. Going to church is something you want to do because you belong to Him. He wants us to assemble together for encouragement and accountability. So, you should find a way to get with other Christians regularly. If that is a church, there are churches who hold Saturday night services many hold services on Wednesday night.

        • Shona on October 27, 2017 at 6:27 am

          Only problem is most churches don’t have Christians in them, they have people that believe in doing the opposite of Christ and quite often they are preaching that opposition to Christ, preaching at me to hate gay people and pregnant woman, preaching at me to pick up the sword of the law beat them to death with it. So no I won’t go to church to forget what jesus taught.

          • Andrew W. on November 12, 2017 at 5:36 am

            Quite Shona, I am definitely in sympathy with you. Some have equated obedience with going to church, what a load of rubbish. When the disciples asked Jesus what must we do to work the works of God, HE DID NOT SAY go to church. He said believe ! ! the question is simple, if it is actually harder to actively and faithfully believe Jesus in church cos they don’t believe then DON’T GO. We are commanded to meet together with believers not people who just call themselves believers.



  91. Diana on August 8, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    This post is not what i thought. I am/was a christian and been away from God for almost 10 years now, although i still attend church. Recently, i feel that i hate God a lot. My sister, supposedly, is the biggest offense in my life. She hurt ne a lot n continues too yet she is involved in church. I think if she hasnt been involved itwould have been better. I now hate the fact that i was bon to be her sister? So alonee…
    N offended……. I cant get rest even physical….stuck in cycles….i feel and see that. god hates mee

    • Alana on August 12, 2017 at 3:07 am

      Hello

      I understand your Sister should be your most loyal friend and be there for you. You seem very hurt and I don’t know what she has done to cause you this pain and hatred but you can’t change the person she is. You need to set yourself free by forgiving her and rising above all this nonsense. You can’t continue on like this, it’s no good for you and no way to live. Please don’t blame God or hate God, he gave us all a free will to live our lives the way we choose, we are not puppets. It’s not his fault and he does not hate you one bit, he has unconditional love for you. Don’t turn your back on Him. I pray God will heal you and give you peace within yourself so you can enjoy your life again.

      Kind Regards
      Lani

    • Vickie on August 19, 2017 at 1:39 am

      Offences will come…..don’t take them!

  92. Melinda on August 2, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I don’t doubt that the church was important to Christ. Scripture makes that pretty obvious. What I do doubt is the traditional version of church we have created and the judgements placed on those who look beyond the traditional and suggest that if we are to be good Christians we must attend said churchs.

    • Stu on November 12, 2017 at 7:20 am

      Dear Melinda,

      What do we do with Jesus’s command to not forsake our local assembly as some have been in the habit of doing? It is a command. We do not go to worship men in our fallen state, but God. Did not Jesus say, “I came to heal the sick, not the well”? He was of course being sarcastic to mean, “No one is well enough not to need me.” We are all hypocrites in degree. We all have things about us others dislike. On our best day Jesus calls us “filthy rags.” We do not have any righteousness of our own. We are clothed in His righteousness. We are indeed to meet regularly. Did not Jesus meet regularly with his twelve disciples, and wasn’t one his enemy? Did Jesus stop the meetings because everyone was not a Christian? Going to meet with brothers and sisters, no matter how messy we are is not an option. Jesus loved and died for his Church—you and me. He did not forsake us. Lastly, and most harshly, meeting regularly is not about us. It is about using the gifts God gave us to help others. It is not about what we ought to have. It is not about what we need to satisfy us.

      I hope you reconsider your point of view. As my sister in Christ, you matter to me, and all of us in our miserable, ugly, fallen state need one another. We go to church corporately to hear God’s Word, be among those of us who love Jesus, help others who have fallen in the cracks, who have back-slidden, or who do not know the Lord at all. I hope you write me and let me know you have sought a place to be among His people. 🙂

      Grace and Peace,
      Stu

      • Andrew W. on November 12, 2017 at 9:24 am

        Dear Stu
        if you are still in your miserable fallen state then you need to get born again. But I hazard a guess that you are not (in your m f s) you have just, like it seems 99% of other church goers, believed the lies of the enemy when he tells you that you are.
        I AM NOT A SINNER SAVED BY GRACE – that is NOT what the bible teaches. I WAS a sinner, I AM saved by grace and I am now a SAINT, a joint heir with Christ Jesus my Lord and Master. I died with Christ on the cross, the bible teaches that He took me to the cross in Himself (positionally) and I HAVE BEEN resurrected to a new life where I AM NOW seated in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus. He has given me everything that pertains unto life and godliness.
        This is why people like me will not go to church cos people like you do not ACTUALLY believe the Word of God, and you end up pulling us down to your level of defeat, NOT deliberately, whereas Jesus made us to “soar like eagles” I AM going to soar as an eagle, I AM going to get to know my God and I WILL BE BOLD and do exploits.
        every best wish, blessing, but more than anything God please open Stu’s eyes to the Truth of your Word that he may see Who You really are, and that What You really are is a million miles from what the average teaches.
        Well did Isaiah say “My ways are not your ways and My thoughts are not your thoughts”
        much love,
        Andrew

        • Stu on November 12, 2017 at 1:29 pm

          You sound like a “saint” perched on a pedestal of conceit and bitterness friend. But I am glad you believe you are standing. You can quote all the Scripture you want—and preach all the truth you want, and texture it anyway you please, but without a heart of love and compassion, your words are empty. I think there is One whose heart is beautiful in every way, who does speak the truth in love, the Jesus in whom I will find my solace and wisdom and discipline. Thanks for your comments.

          • Andrew W. on November 14, 2017 at 6:00 am

            Dear Stu
            I didn’t think for one minute that you would like my post.
            Far from being perched on pedestal etc etc I am trying to stand on the Word of God, despite best efforts of the religious to tell me God’s Word isn’t true, and incidentally I note you didn’t quote any Word to counter what I actually said in my post.
            so let’s try again:
            Do you actually believe that you are a new creation, if so what does that mean, I take it to simply mean re-made like Jesus. Are you new or not ? If you are not then we have nothing to discuss because Jesus said “Except ye be born again you cannot see the kingdom of God”, if you are a new creature then like me you are in Christ Jesus, you are in the Spirit. If you do think/believe that you are a new creation then did God make you a below average new creation, or perhaps He made you half a new creation and the other half is produced by sanctification between now and heaven ?
            Are you comfortable with the doctrine that we are triune beings like God, ie, spirit soul and body ? It’s one of the ways in which we are made in the image of God.
            I really look forward to your response.
            I would quite understand if you don’t wish to continue any discussion but for now just humour me; could you put these into order of greatness for me, Daniel, Moses, Jesus, John the Baptist, Obadiah, yourself and then you can shove me in somewhere too. Just curious.
            By the way bitterness is something that does creep up, yes, bitterly disappointed that those in the church who should have loved, nurtured and taught me the truth were discovered as being false shepherds. I’ll give you one concrete factual recent example, I was in church when an elder quoted Ps103, “Bless the Lord who forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases”, then he added on “only He doesn’t” – he just called our heavenly Father a liar to His face, in front of 100+ pew sitters. God CANNOT LIE, the elder was the liar, was anything said or done about it – not a thing except by me who confronted him with scripture – “Oh, that’s convenient, was his reply” I have to forgive them regularly and resist the enemy when he tells me that I haven’t.
            Sorry Stu I’m not interested in such christianity, my faith is based on the Word of God whether we are experiencing the truth of it or not is mainly up to us (and yes I have scripture for that too) but to call God a liar is totally unacceptable, in fact it’s heretical.
            Oh and finally you mentioned love, have you got to point where you realise love and truth are synonymous yet ? Apologies if I sound condescending, I’ve only just got there myself, perhaps you got there years ago. Jesus as we know was full of grace and love; He is the Way the Love and the Life, and John (the Beloved disciple) said “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in love”. You can have the appearance of all the love and compassion in the world but if it’s not based on Truth then it’s not love and compassion, it’s man’s good works which without truth are filthy rags.



        • Stu on November 14, 2017 at 8:39 am

          “…and incidentally I note you didn’t quote any Word to counter what I actually said in my post. so let’s try again…”

          I have read most of your other posts Andrew. You appear to be a very condescending, conceited, divisive and mean-spirited person, and to say, “…I’ve only just got there myself,” gives me good reason to think that. No one in this shell has “arrived.” If so, we are about us, not Christ, and we wouldn’t need Him. However, I accept your apology. To me, a born again Christian is not all about patting himself on the back, analyzing, and deciding how another brother is not walking in the way Jesus is guiding him according to your standards; rather, it is always about His, and the Holy Spirit will guide him.

          By the way, your quote, “He is the Way the Love and the Life,” is actually “I am the way and the truth and the life,” if you are quoting John 14:6.

          I do not believe love and truth are synonymous. Jesus had a reason for quoting that we should say the “truth in love.” There is a reason for the order; for example, I could first love believing in Communism and pass that on as being what is true. But espousing an ideology that is counter to Christ’s, no matter how much one loves it is not truth. Therefore, truth must be spoken first. Love must accompany it because without love, truth is brash, ruthless, uncaring. Truth is not interested in feelings—but love cares, is kind, keeps no record of wrongs. It is why it must be second and necessary in the list of attributes Christ makes. The order is important, they are not synonymous.

          Let me give a quote you were insistent upon even though you precluded it with the word, “incidentally.”:
          “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
          1 Corinthians 13:2 (NIV) Zero!

          Quoting Scripture is all well and good, and needs to be done so that we are not led astray, but I will leave you with this:
          It is not enough to know ABOUT Christ. It is not even enough to KNOW Him—even the old Devil knows Christ better than we do, and can quote all the Scripture he wants; we must be LIKE Him, doing the things He commands. He gave this command: “Love each other.” Why would Jesus say that in the New Testament when He already tells us to love with “heart, soul, mind, and strength”? Because the world cannot love us, and Jesus sent us out into an unloving world. We must cling to one another and fellowship with each other, reading His Word, breaking bread, and worshipping Him—realizing that all the truth spoken without love means nothing! “Love each other.”

          • Andrew W. on November 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

            You’ve misquoted my “only just got there” as with scripture a text out of context is a pretext. I actually said “I’ve only just got to the realisation that truth is equivalent to love” – not as you imply that I have claimed arrival in any other sense at all. The fact that you corrected the Way, Truth, Life quote shows you missed the whole point, in that group of 3 quotes I misquoted ALL of them, to emphasize the importance that scripture places on Truth.
            So satan actually knows Jesus, wow, I know satan knows – about – Jesus, but the father of lies knowing Love, sorry don’t think so, got any scripture to back that up ? satan didn’t even know/understand the plan of salvation otherwise “he wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of Glory”
            I don’t think you’ve thought through what you have said “truth isn’t interested in feelings” – you say, but I thought Jesus is the Truth, so Jesus isn’t interested in feelings ? Sorry again, don’t go for that. I think you’re muddling factual truth and the Truth, Pilate did the same, “What is truth?” It should have been Who is Truth?
            I don’t think there’s any point in continuing we’re not converging towards any meaningful point.
            all the best,
            Andrew



        • liz on November 14, 2017 at 8:32 pm

          Andrew- whoohooooo!!! Heirs with Christ!! Pastors are obsolete when we realize we ARE saints, that’s our old nature that wants to get picked up. We are MADE righteous by Jesus. wow!!

          • Andrew W. on November 15, 2017 at 6:09 am

            Amen Liz. We ARE new creations here and NOW. It will not be difficult to be extremely blessed, healed and prosperous in the sweet by and by in heaven, the “trick” is to be those things in the grotty here and now.
            Jesus came to give us ABUNDANT life and I AM NOT talking financially I am talking WHOLISTICALLY in every single area of our lives we are supposed to walk as Jesus walked. Jesus did not walk in lack, He did not walk in sickness, He did not walk in defeat. We are to walk as He walked doing the SAME works as Jesus. This is 100% clear from scripture.

            The question is not whether this is the life we are called to but the question is HOW do we move into this life ?
            Anyone interested ?