CONVERTED TO CHRIST, NOT CHRISTIANITY!

Dozens of thoughts crossing my mind this morning.  My Spirit has been wonderfully stirred out of complacency this morning.  Let’s hope I can do justice to what it is I experienced a few minutes ago.

I often walk my son to school.  We live in a semi-rural area of England, where we get the best of both worlds: the closeness to “civilisation” and all the amenities, but also the quietness and absolute beauty of the countryside.  This morning is one of those crisp, chilly, bright blue sky September mornings when the last of the summer warmth begins to ebb away, and the chill of the autumn threatens to make its way.  Despite the cold air, I have to say I love days like this, when the sharpness in the air just makes you feel grateful to be alive and awakens your senses to the beauty and potential all around you.

During my walk back to the house, having dropped off my son at school, I got to a point in my path where I could either continue walking alongside the main road, or alternatively, I could turn right and go through a gate which leads to a different path away from the busyness and noisy main road and which cuts right across through nature.  I never choose the “nature” trail, but always walk parallel to the main road, and in doing so my mind is numbed by the noise of the fast cars driving past and the potent smell of the car fumes.  If I am with my children, I tend to take the other path, but I must say that if I am completely on my own, I take the “safe” option and keep to the main road where I know that if anything was to happen to me, there would be more chances of anyone witnessing it or even helping me.  In other words, I live in fear.  I take the easy option, the one that has no risks but no major thrills either.

This morning I was going about my business, quietly walking back, lost in my mundane thoughts, and when I got to the point where I could choose which path to continue down on, I clearly felt the Lord challenging me to do the very thing which is completely out of my character, and that is walking completely on my own through the wooded area where at that time in the morning you will not find a soul, other than the occasional man/woman walking their dog.  I just knew as I got to that point that today was going to be a different day; that a fresh, new message would come from God. 

And so it was, as I headed toward the gate which leads to the nature trail, I could immediately feel my spirit lifting up towards the heavens.  The openness of the countryside, and the amount of light and colour right in front of me, the much-needed heat of the SUN right on my back, inspired my mind to a higher place where the noise of my daily life was immediately quieten down, where the worries of each day disappeared into oblivion, because the presence of God in his harmonious creation was such that suddenly none of it mattered, nothing but taking it all in before I missed it, as I do most days.

It suddenly dawned on me.  I suddenly saw it so clearly, heard it so clearly:  “Will you choose to trust me completely, will you choose to live leaning on my Spirit or will you curl up in the security of your sheltered choices, busy busyness, monotonous and unexciting existence? Can you see what you are missing when you live in fear?” And the still small voice continued:  “I will not be the one to push you out of the aeroplane so that you can experience the wonders of flying aided by my parachute.  I promise you the world, but you have to be the one who chooses to have the faith to step out of that plane and jump into the unknown, into the void, into that tunnel of transition between the secure that you leave behind, and the thrill of what is to come, the promised land where milk and honey abound, where I will be your Lord and you will be completely mine, but at the same time where you will experience a freedom and a blessing which is unequalled to what you perceive as freedom and blessing today.”

The thing is that deep inside I know the Lord is not only asking me to trust Him with regards to my life in general, to cast out all fear into His very able hand, but also to hand over the worry about my spiritual life, to step away from the security of the familiar, the unchallenging, the security of  the church environment of which I have been a part of for years, and to actually begin to really trust the Lord for where He is leading me to next.  If I am totally honest, I love the majority of the people who are part of the church I attend.  I realise some of those people may be reading this right now, but I want to be real to them and to myself.  My family members often describe me as a woman of few words.  I believe that is a fair description of who I am, although as you can see from this blog I may be a person of few words when it comes to relationships, but there is a lot lying deep behind the surface.  Few words I may have, but I like to get them right, and so honesty is paramount in what I say.  I don’t hate anybody in the church I am a part of, but I don’t see eye to eye with some of the other members, even those whom I love dearly.  I love their heart and their eagerness to be good people and to care for each other (at least during the Sunday service), but right now, in my pursuit of getting to the bottom of what lies in God’s heart for His people, I do not feel led at all to remain in the safety of those four walls, with those familiar faces and familiar rituals of spirituality and religion, very organised religion I must add in many instances.  For me, there is no real freedom in that.  Just a set of implicit rules that we must all respect and abide by, and a lack of spontaneity and at the same time a lack of reverence for the things of God, a casual approach to the whole thing which just does not meet God’s standards of excellence and His passion and fire for the lost in this world.

Spiritually, continuing within the boundaries of the church I attend, abiding by their vision and expectations of me, plodding along week after week without questioning what it is that I am really contributing to the kingdom as a member of such an entity, is like taking the safe path everyday on my way back home from taking my son to school.  It is like saying:  “Lord, I have had a taste of what lies ahead for me if I choose to trust you completely, if I choose to make of that wonderful picture you gave me today, a daily invigorating experience, but I will choose to remain in my shelter nonetheless, I will choose the world’s standards, man’s’ limited and flawed definition of who you are and who you have made me to be.

The thing is that I strongly feel this is not just God’s message for me today, but His heartcry to ALL His people, to all those who sing His praises but deny His power and reject His will, by being timid, self-seeking and lukewarm in their approach to who God really is and what He really wants to do in this world through us, in us and in others. 

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15 thoughts on “CONVERTED TO CHRIST, NOT CHRISTIANITY!

  1. Well said – thanks for your insightful thoughts! Usually taking “the road less traveled” leads to truth. I’m so thankful that Jesus took the road of suffering, the via dolorosa, so that He might be the “narrow way” that leads to heaven and my ‘way, truth and life”. In the end, it truly is all about Him. Sola Christus!

  2. Dear Linden,

    It has been a long time since I heard from you last. So glad to hear from you again and to have your insights and wisdom.

    Thank you.

    I hope all is well with you and yours.

    God bless you.

  3. Hi Mercedes, I understand some of what you are saying but maybe not entirely. I don’t base my existence or total spirituality on the church I attend. I have been let down by several church pastors and was hurt by it. Now I am in a church that feeds me with the word of God. They pray for me and my family and are ready to help me should I need assistance. And they offer opportunities for me to grow if I choose to join different ministries in that church. It is my choice. I am not confined by any means to the walls of the church. In fact, they preach highly on operating outside the walls of a church congregation. But I just remember in Scripture that it was the body of believers who gathered together to pray which helped Peter get freed from prison. That togetherness means something.

    Should you suffer an unexpected, undue hardship, do you have a body of people ready to step in and help? Like I said, the church that I joined is not my life. It is an addition to the life I have in Christ and it is there to help me when I need assistance. I cannot help everyone, but through my church, I can help them help others. That is what I do.

    I guess everyone has to follow where they feel God is leading. I just don’t understand why people feel that the church body hinders them? I have read other blogs which state what you do, Mercedes, and I am not critical. I guess I just don’t see it that way.

  4. Dear Marianne,

    Thank you for your honesty and for expressing your views and your difference of opinion. It is quite refreshing.

    I am so glad that you are now part of a church that meets your needs and which you feel you can serve in and forward the Kingdom of God through. You are blessed indeed to have found such a church.

    You talk about the body of believers coming together in prayer, about their togetherness which is, like you say, totally biblical. I am not denying any of that. I am not doubting that Christians need to have that fellowship and unity in order to push forward, in order to play a part in the harvest. However, that could easily take part beyond the walls of a church, beyond the mechanisms of institutional church. In fact, it is happening already. I believe that the church you are a part of is today the exception to the norm. And whilst I thank God that there are pockets within His Body which still do His will in the context of a local church, that is not the reality many Christians are experiencing today. You, yourself, admit to having read what I share on other pepople’s blogs. So there is no denying that something is failing majorly within churches. There is no denying there is an exodus taking place. There is no denying people seek a real intimacy with Christ which they can’t find in their local church; people seek to quieten all the noise within churches and outside them in order to clearly hear what the Lord is saying to them. We are told in the Word that in the last days there will be wolves amongst the sheep, false prophets and false teachers, and that only those who know the voice of the True Shepherd will find the way. It is a warning that we must pay attention to in these days we live in. It is easy to miss the will of God when other people in our church take the place of Christ in our heart and spirit.

    And so we need to face the reality that this is indeed happening. Yes, we need each other. But whether that means it has to be within the constraints of the church and its “rules” and “vision”, I no longer believe is the case.

    The other point you raise about needing the church family to help us out in dire and painful circumstances, is one I have meditated upon for a long, long time. The way I see this particular point is that Christians must not only strive daily to cast aside their idols and have Christ at the center of ther lives and of who they are, but ensure that in doing so they do not replace Christ with other voices.

    I know people in my church for whom the church family is as necessary to them as the food and drink they have each day. I do not want to be part of a church so that I have a safety blanket to fall upon when things are hard. Christ must be my security blanket, my Counsellor, my Redeemer, my All. And if each time life takes a bad turn, we are relying on our church family instead of on the only ONE that can bring us true peace, hope, love and joy, where then does this leave Christ and His supremacy in our lives?

    Another thought that comes into my mind as I ponder on this point of the Church family and the importance of fellowship is why is it that one needs to be part of a church in order to be nurtured in this way by Christians? Are we not asked to go out and make disciples? Why are we so discriminating when it comes to being the light and the salt? Are we not asked to love our enemies as well as our Christian brothers and sisters? The Church I see today, is lop-sided in that all efforts and Christian traits are displayed within it owsn boundaries primarily and then whatever is left over goes to the lost. There is a pecking order which does not resemble in any way the heart of Christ, in my opinion. It is that I am running away from. It is that which scares me about the Church today, amongst other issues.

    You yourself shared some interesting points about all this when you commented on my post “I quit churchianity – Part 1”.

    Thousands of Christians are faced with the clear revelation that The Church is failing to represent Christ in this world today. The question is: Do we just accept that we are imperfect and we fail, and then go on as we are or Do we fight this lukewarmness and complacency and stand up for what we believe in, even when that means being alone as we walk the path less travelled?

    Wherever I see Christ in my midst, I will follow. Right now, the spirit of Christ is often drowned in my local church by the dozens of things taking place which have little to do with His will, in my opinion. We have a new pastor, and things are beginning to take on a new shape and a new direction. It is my prayer that God will break in, and shake things up significantly within our church, but that may not happen because God has something else planned. I can only find out what that is if I seek Him with all my heart, all my soul and all my spirit. And that can only happen in the secret place.

    God bless you Marianne for your friendship, honesty and fellowship with me.

    With my love and prayers,

    Mercedes

  5. Greetings my friend, Mercedes,

    I understand your points and do see where you are coming from, but I still fear that many who quit the “church system” are going to be caught up by the wolves in sheep clothing that masquerade in this world. You are far more vulnerable to these wolves in the world than in the church. There are wolves everywhere, but hopefully, there are more of God’s people in Church. I am not certain of what you mean when you refer to the “rules and visions” of a church. The only “rules” I follow are the ones given in God’s word. I attend a church, and there are many like mine, that just give me the word of God through Scripture. I am not constrained to anything else so I am unclear what you mean by that. If a church is not giving you the uncompromised gospel of Christ, join another! That is what I did. While I know that a lot of churches have become lukewarm, I don’t believe that Christ wanted us to leave the body of believers as he said in his word. You can gather with friends, but is that the same? It is the common ground of coming together with purpose to hear the truth and be sharpened by one another in discipleship. My two hours on Sunday are not making me compromise the truth that I live by. It is giving me insight. It was Christ who instituted those to be Pastors or Shepherds so I am assuming he wanted us to gather under them!! I guess I just believe that people are throwing the baby out with the bathwater when they leave the church system all together. No church, or for that matter, no one is perfect. But that does not mean we stop meeting with each other just because of our imperfections. In like manner, we don’t give up the church system because of imperfections.

    One other point, I don’t understand why if you go to church with believers that you can’t also have your quiet times listening to God’s instruction for your life? You said:

    “Do we fight this lukewarmness and complacency and stand up for what we believe in, even when that means being alone as we walk the path less travelled?”

    Mercedes, I can’t find that in Scripture. Walking alone is not ever an option.

    Like I said before in other articles, I am indeed disappointed with the church as a whole in failing to do all that we are commanded to do. The church is us as believers. That is what I speak of. We have all fallen down in some way. But, I do not see giving up the whole church system and walking alone because you are setting yourself up to be attacked. Satan loves when people try to do it alone.

    I love you, my sister, and I understand to a degree with what you say. I just fear that it is being taken too far. I do not mean to be critical, I am just voicing my thoughts as I believe. I hope you know me enough to see my heart.

  6. Mercedes,
    That’s awesome — each of our paths looks soo different. You are only responsible for what He told YOU — not what He is speaking to others, you hear me?? I think it’s wonderful that He spoke and you listened!!! 🙂 Now what will you do with this gift He has given you?

    Check out Luke 13:24 and reflect on what ‘the masses’ are doing. Are the masses making a difference in this life? Is Christ being proclaimed? Are widows & orphans being taken care of? Are we encouraging and loving each other? I don’t see that in the masses – in our ‘church’ bodies — and I believe God is desiring to ‘call people out’ of the shell — relying on HIS protection alone. There is no doubt that the church institution provides protection — but ultimately when it starts to confine and limit the movement of the ALIVE & growing Spirit of God, and His Body – then it’s time to move out of that shell!

    I will be the first to attest to the fact that this can feel “lonely” — but make no mistake He will never leave you alone! Trust the shepherd’s voice. Do not be afraid to leave the sheep pen — He will bring other sheep in your life!

    Let me tell you something GOd spoke to me last week that I will blog about soon.

    “I am the vine, you are the branches” — John 15:5 what does that imply? It reinforces what GOd spoke to me 3 years ago very clearly — and that is “we are not connected to God through the church (through anybody, any priests, the way we do church, a weekly ritual, nothing!!) we are connected to the Church through GOD! The vines are not connected to each other — we are connected to each other only becuase we are all connected to the branch!!!

    Trust His Spirit in you girl!!! He won’t let you wander too far. Stay close to Him and marinate yourself in His Word!!!

    email me soon 🙂

  7. Marianne,

    I feel that I do know your heart and where you are coming from, and I will always be grateful for your comments. But isn’t what we are doing here church too or is this not the iron that sharpens iron that you talk about? I have not doubted for an instant that God placed you in my path, in my life. Does this mean that because our relationshp has not taken place in the context of the local church, I am to consider it a threat to my spiritual formation? I think we both know that is far from the truth.

    When I speak of being alone, I mean being in a minority, fighting the mainstream tendencies and practices, being the “fish” that travels up-stream, because though it is much harder than following the current, that is where it feels drawn to go, that is its purpose.

    I no longer want to be part of the machinery of the institutional church. I have fellowship with other Christians, yes, but I will no longer abide by what others dictate I should do or believe.

    “As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into A SPIRITUAL HOUSE, to be a HOLY PRIESTHOOD, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2, 4-5

    We are all a chosen people, a royal priesthood, the veil has been torn and all who accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour have access to Him directly, and so I do not believe I need the church or a pastor, but CHRIST alone has granted my salvation and Him alone can protect me, because He alone is the lamb without blemish. To put my faith in men would be foolish. Trust me, I have learnt that lesson the hard way.

    Wolves in sheep’s clothing mainly outside the church? I doubt it! Remember the Pharisees against whom Jesus had so much to say, so righteous, so able to quote scripture, and yet so legalistic and judgemental, so eager to leave those who did not think like themselves (gentiles) cast for eternity outside the kingdom of God just because in their presumed Godly authority they knew best? Please do not be fooled that just because some are part of a church, their hearts break for the things of God more than those who worship outside of that frame. Matthew 23 is very clear on this.

    Are the letters Paul wrote to the churches whilst in prison not born out of an intimacy with Christ because he was away from the church during all that time? Was he at more risk of spiritual attack because he was away from his fellow brothers and sisters, or was he in fact even closer to the Lord in his solitude and time of trial? I fear the concept of being alone with God rings as much truth throughout the Bible as that f being part of a fellowship of believers for our spiritual growth. Note I say a fellowship of believers. Why do we assume this means a physical church? “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11, 28

    Or as my friend Randi (another wonderful Christian sister whom I have never met but with whom I have fellowship, who also lives on the other side of the Atlantic and whom also God has placed in my path for His wonderful and perfect plan) just suggested to me: How about those persecuted in China or in other parts of the world who are unable to meet as a church, or the sick who cannot attend church? Does that mean they will be forsaken by God, or their Christian faith any less genuine or powerful than those who are part of a local church? I feel we would be very naive to think that those who worship outside of the church frame are more prone to wandering off than those that do. Ministers and people in ministry are known to fall into sin just as much as those who are not in ministry or who do indeed serve but without the label or identity tag “awarded” by “leaders” of the institutional church.

    Perhaps this is a time when we both need to really pray hard for each other. This is the time when only seeking Christ with all our heart, mind and spirit will bring us the answers that HE wishes us to get, and not those we would have each other accept.

    Please pray for me as I pray for you.

    Go in peace my sister in Christ.

    With love,

    Mercedes

  8. I am often saddened by some church congregations and their apparently lukewarm faith. I think it is the case in far too many churches today and I think it does a great disservice to our saviour. But I have been very lucky to be part of two churches (one in Edinburgh and one in Vancouver) that are alive and bursting out of their buildings and preaching the gospel and reaching out in real ways! Sometimes we’re called to stay, and sometimes we’re called to move on and it’s up to each of us to discern that with God. And so best wishes to you transitioning forward!

    • Dear Lisa,

      Thank you very much indeed for stopping by and for your non-judgemental encouragement and the freedom that you provide me to grow as I see the Lord leading me.

      Interesting that you mention the word transition. I know that that is exactly where I find myself right not. I have had dreams that emphasize this. I see myself going through a tunnel. It is twisted and it goes up as if you were pushing yourself up through a staircase, it is so narrow and extremely difficult to go through. I am constantly tempted to turn back to the place where I started. Now I am beginning to see what it all means.

      God bless you

      Mercedes

  9. Mercedes, let me add just one thing more than I will say nothing else. You must do what you feel you must. God is the one who put Pastors (shepherds, elders) in place in his church. He did that for a reason. He must want us to meet together as believers with a shepherd over us or he would not have instituted that line of authority.

    As far as Jesus rebuking the Pharisees, they were not Christian. They were unbelievers so that would not pertain to them. The Church of those who follow Christ is not what the Pharisees were about.

    Paul wrote letters to the church ( gathered body of believers) when he could not be there! He wanted to be with them but for most of his letters he was in prison!

    And Randi’s comment that you quoted about the persecuted church in China exactly speaks of what I am saying. Those people are in danger of being killed for meeting together and YET they still do as a church! So what stops us in free countries from meeting?? If you are locked in a prison, then by all means, you cannot get to meet with believers in Church. But then hopefully, those members will take care of your needs while you are in prison.

    Mercedes, show me scripturally where you get this message? I do pray for you each night because we are friends. God is not going to tell you something apart from his word. Your friend randi said this:

    “and I believe God is desiring to ‘call people out’ of the shell — relying on HIS protection alone”

    Where is she getting this?? It is not in Scripture. Where is God calling people “out of their shell”? Of course we rely on God’s protection, no one else can protect us. I have no idea what point she was making.

    No one is going to be forsaken for not going to church. That will always be your choice. But I am just saying it is not Scriptural. And I guess I still don’t understand why you would not want to worship with a body of believers. The church who prayed for Peter were believers who gathered together for a single purpose. I don’t know what church you went to, but I know there must be a good one somewhere. By all means, don’t attend church if you are not being fed. There are good churches.

    I will say no more. The choice is yours if that is what you believe God told you.

  10. Well since I’m in the conversation now 🙂

    I’ll just give my 2 cents – fully believing that Marianne & I (we) are on *different paths* with *different perspectives* so I don’t believe we will fully understand the viewpoint from each…. but I can at least add my 2 cents.

    I can not speak for Mercedes — I can only speak for my journey.

    I actually have stepped away from the attractional church model because I can not reconcile what I see in scripture and what God has done in me…. and what is asked of me in the attractional church model (sit in a pew one day a week, be entertained by a very showy worship, follow one man based on personality and ordination by man and not necessarily ordination by God).

    I actually step away from the rituals and inauthentic gatherings because of my love of His Church.

    I guess I could go on and on about what God has done in our lives — but basically we helped plant a church here in our small town – and through that journey I was extremely *shocked* as I believe most ‘laypeople’ (who sit in the pews) would be at how decisions were made. How leaders were chosen. How money was spent. What happened in meetings. No doubt we are all imperfect — but I truly believe “the system” perpetuates everything I saw. I have a deep love for everybody in the fellowship I left and we have great relationships —- but GOd made it clear I was not to support what I was seeing even though I support them individually.

    So we have stepped away from the “shell” in the analogy of the snail — shell being the rituals — the rigid weekly schedule — the rules & expectations & traditions that are not biblical, etc….. so that we could fully experience the snail — His Body, alive, moving, unrestrained!

    If you want to know more of why I believe this and what God spoke to me – I guess the entire book of isaiah would be a great place to start. But I guess I’ll just start with chapter 1…. verses 1 to 17 I believe are a great description of where we are today as a majority as far as the western ‘church’…. which is not the Body — but is instead a thing to do. a checklist of rituals that can be done from a heart of emptiness. We continue to try to work our way to God — empowering only key popular personalities — and not empowering each who have God’s Spirit in them. I am very much a believer in gatherings that are participatory and truly Acts 2 church fellowships.

    I am not one who is bitter and wants to rail against “the system”….. because I actually truly believe that God used every different church fellowship we’ve been apart of for His purposes in our life – at each specific season in our life.

    I *AM* just one who is passionate about encouraging people to courageously listen to the Spirit no matter what people say or how little sense it might make – like Noah buildin the ark. There are many times were people are “alone” —- the lone leader, etc. in the Bible — yet are never lonely because HE is with us.

    When I talk about the shell — I am not talking about the PEOPLE – I am talking about the SHELL – the dead, corrupt shell that is no longer protecting but is constraining. Protection has its place…. and I believe that in my own specific journey I probably needed that shell when I was a spiritual infant (not saying that it’s only for infants at all — I’m saying for ME it was).

    I have to admit that I think it’s *extremely* difficult to have intimate, authentic, loving, God-glorifying relationships as God shows is possible in the Bible – in a room full of strangers. We can sing together corporately – we can listen to a man preach together corporately – we can collectively pool our money – but that’s about where it stops. and I think there’s so much more God wants from His Body. I don’t believe He can truly use each other in each other’s lives without us truly living together — not just seeing each other on Sundays.

    Just as Jesus showed us with His intimate relationship of 13 – I believe He calls us to get away from the “crowds” and what we discern to be meaningless worship.

    Another thought – the Chinese and other churches in Africa are some of the most passionate, wildly growing, Spirit filled bodies (ekklesia – churches) in the world because they *are NOT* going through the western way of doing things – the traditions – which is the point. They aren’t pouring all their time & resources into a building and a Sunday event – they are actually living life together and what they do is more similiar to what we would call “house churches” in our country.

    The point I wanted to make to Mercedes — was that the number of sheep God has around you doesn’t matter. How you meet doesn’t matter. Where you meet doesn’t matter. let HIM bring other sheep into your life — and trust in HIS voice!!! 🙂 The sheep know the shepherd’s voice and they should listen no matter how scary it looks!

    I understand that you don’t get what I was saying Marianne — and I probably have done a horrible job explaining because it’s been a journey of years — not something easily explained in paragraphs — but really just as I can’t see from the lens of ‘sunday church’ anymore… you probably can’t and weren’t meant to see outside of it right now. so you are right – you don’t get what I’m saying – but I’m pretty sure Mercedes got what I meant with the shell.

    Continue on my friends. Continue to seek Him and keep those eyes open for others who God wants to put in your life to be your ekklesia – your local church body!! 🙂

    Alanknox.net has incredible blog posts on the assembling of the church — and I agree with a lot of what he writes! check it out 🙂

    gotta run check on the kiddos! 🙂 love to u my sisters.

    btw — I want to make clear again it’s not the people in the Sunday churches I am ‘against’ — I know many of them have genuine hearts for God — it is however the WAY of doing things I am against…. and just because it doesn’t ruin EVERYBODY isn’t good enough reason for me to support it.

    • Hi Randi,

      Thank you for all your comments too. You have explained what I was trying to say a lot more clearly, or perhaps that is how it seems to me, because though in the eyes of those who are willing to perpetuate the workings of the institutional church, we are unscriptural in our heartcry, we know in our spirit what we have seen, and what we have heard during our moments of intimacy with the spirit of God.

      I say it again; “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is FREEDOM”.

  11. Hi Marianne,

    I am dumb-founded as to why you have been following my blog all this time, if you clearly feel that I have wondered off the “right” path. If you are so concerned for my spiritual health, why have you not spoken sooner? Why this sudden and unexpected 360 degree turn towards the core of what I share here, which has been expressed in different ways for months and months now?

    It is clear from your comments that you believe what I share on this blog no longer has a biblical foundation. You doubt the personal testimony I share here of some of the things that I have heard the Lord say to ME in the secret place. And so I give you the word of God instead which never goes back to Him empty, which cuts through bone and marrow like a double-edged sword.

    Ephesians 4, 11-13

    “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.”

    Pastors/Teachers is just one of the various callings God places on some of His people. I don’t read in His word that one office should be elevated above the rest and neither do I read that the role of the shepherd is to have authority over the sheep, but to FEED THEM AND LOVE THEM, TO BE A SERVANT TO ALL.

    Matthew 20, 25-28

    “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. NOT SO WITH YOU. Instead whoever wants to become great among you, must become your servant, and whoever wants to be first, must be your SLAVE – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a RANSOM FOR MANY.”

    2 Corinthians 3, 14-18

    “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very BOLD. We are NOT like Moses, who would put A VEIL over HIS face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made DULL, for TO THIS DAY THE SAME VEIL REMAINS WHEN THE OLD COVENANT IS READ. IT HAS NOT BEEN REMOVED, BECAUSE ONLY IN CHRIST IS IT TAKEN AWAY. Even to this day when Moses is read, A VEIL COVERS THEIR HEARTS. BUT WHENEVER ANYONE TURNS TO THE LORD, THE VEIL IS TAKEN AWAY. NOW the Lord is the Spirit, AND WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS, THERE IS FREEDOM. And we, who with UNVEILED FACES ALL reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, WHICH COMES FROM THE LORD, WHO IS SPIRIT.”

  12. Mercedes,
    God does desire for us to have ‘leaders’ – we see that throughout the new testament… but the way we use that word now in english isn’t the way He designed it to be. Scripture says:
    And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves Luke 22:25-26 ESV)
    Also check out (Mark 10:42-45 ESV) and
    (Matthew 20:25-28 ESV)

    These scriptures make it clear that godly “authority” would never look like authority we see today. It would be authority… but not really. exercising authority without exercising authority! God does not desire *anybody* to be between us and Him except Jesus Christ. plain & simple. YES He will give us leaders to help teach, guide us in our walk, encourage.. lead *BY EXAMPLE* but not lead by title. not lead because they are “higher” up… God made it clear- The leaders HE Chose will NOT look like they are higher!

    In the old testament, old covenant – YES there was a structure & hierachy… but in the new covenant through our Savior Jesus Christ and the Spirit He left us.. there is a new priesthood for all believers! YES SOME are called to be an *example* and as we mature I believe God will bring others into our life to lead, guide, teach, continue to spur us on to His love…. but there’s no longer a hierachy necessary -unless WE create it. our humanness is what demands/asks for a ‘king’. We want the rulers to make decisions for us….. we need leaders, more of them! More that are willing to TRULY TRULY shepherd — meaning walking alongside and guiding, protecting, loving those less mature…. NOT just one man that preaches to 100 ++ people (how can you intimately guide and shepherd 100? it’s impossible) who operates more like a CEO running a business.

    we don’t have leaders we don’t have true shepherds…. so therefore we have about 1 leader for every 400 people — because “the people” are not empowered to lead – they are empowered to follow. so it’s a cycle that continues on….

    press in girl, press in to Him. keep on!! Love u

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