I am writing this post in reply to Randi Jo Rooks’ comment left on my previous post “They bow to the work of their own hands, to what their fingers have made”.
Randi, it is wonderful to have your comments on my blog once again and even better to see that you are writing on your own blog again (http://seedsinmyheart.blogspot.co.uk/).
Your words are a great encouragement to me.
I think on the last sentence you meant to say “It is NOT my job to sell His Church”.
I have struggled so very, very hard with making the decision to leave the system, because in doing so I have also had to leave behind cherished friendships, practices and a community that I had been an integral part of for almost 10 years. The problem when leaving the system is that one gets accused of throwing the baby with the bath water, and such is not the case. I still love the people I loved before I left the church system. Indeed, it is because I love them that I am not prepared to compromise and blindly, cowardly and irresponsibly accept the status quo.
I cannot comprehend how so many thousands of people, including many of those who were so close to me before still remain there, even though they know in their Spirit that Church is not a Business, it is not for sale and therefore those who lead it are not to market themselves and their work as harlots, neither are they to teach others that the high calling of a Christian Leader is in essence to know how to market an idea and how to cleverly sell it to millions.
I cannot comprehend how so many still think they can be part of something they deep down resent and in doing so perpetuate a situation instead of severing what is dead in order to allow for the new thing that God wants to do to flourish. By staying we simply become part of the problem instead of fighting it. You cannot compromise with this issue. It is too grave to leave to chance and it is too vital to cowardly resign oneself to “doing the same old, same old” in order to avoid confrontation, rejection, and even denial from those who used to call you brother or sister and now get in touch once a year in the hope of drawing you back into the system which pushed you out in the first place. It is a great shame and an insult to Crist’s sacrifice and holiness that those who operate within the system will use as the biggest cop-out known to man: “there is no such thing as a perfect church” (How can there when so many leaders are so willing to sell their soul to the highest bidder?) and “If you are not happy with how things are, do something to change them”. Tried, tried and tried again and failed!
That is what I find saddest of old, and the reality that proves to me more than anything else that Church has indeed been turned into a business, and that it is for sale, whether we admit it to others and ourselves or not.
Once you leave that system one of two things can happen: 1. Despite the fact that you are leaving a form of “doing church” and not Christ himself, you are discarded (out of sight, out of mind kind of thing) by the church members as if you had sold your soul to the devil itself. 2. Church Family members conveniently put you out of their minds until such a time when they realise that you are still potentially one more person they could bring into this system which, were they to succeed, would mean that now more than ever the lie they are a part of must definitely be worth whitewashing over if someone who so outwardly fought against it is now prepared to come back into the fold, knuckle down and contribute to push forward a system which clearly relies on the determination, persuasiveness and power of its members and not so much on TRUST in what the Holy Spirit can do ALL by itself.
For me it all comes down to integrity and being able to live with myself. If you see that something is wrong within a part of your life which is so vital to who you are as a person, your family and how you live, you can only do your best to put those concerns across and pray in the hope that you will be heard and understood by those who refuse to listen, and that hopefully the eyes and ears of your hearers will be open enough to have the revelation needed to spiritually discern what many see now even clearer from the outside.
The problem is that the system is so engrossed in itself, its roots so deeply rooted in history, its workings so loyal to man’s will instead of God’s that no matter how hard you try to lovingly expose things, you know you are fighting an utterly lost battle. You are fighting a monster, powers and principalities so strong and determined to silence voices like mine. You are fighting the powers of hell itself, and that is why this is such an arduous process to go through, why there is so much at stake, and why so few are prepared to take it and to see it through to the end.
However, I take courage and hope in the words of God himself, who through Isaiah, lets us know that when His people are intent on ignoring his warnings, He gives them into their sinful nature and allows callouses to form in their hearts until such a point when they can no longer see nor hear what the Spirit of God is speaking into His Church. This of course does not mean that all is doom and gloom. On the contrary, there is always a remnant who reacts to God’s warnings and who sees judgement coming but those who insist on putting themselves on the throne instead of God will have the worst punishment of all: they will lose the ability to hear and see and they will be lost forever in their own blindness and deafness, even if in their own wisdom and to the world they are right in front. Remember: “The last will be first and the first will be last”, not my words but the Saviour’s.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I, send me!” He said, “Go and tell this people:
Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Can you imagine what would happen in hell if notions and such widely used practices such as Church Marketing, Christian Leadership Schools and Seminars, Worship Industry, Publishing Mammoths and all the rest of it got wiped out in one simple stroke and FINALLY God’s people and their leaders were in a place where there was nothing else to do, push forward or prove, but simply to be in the BUSINESS of saving souls, of offering those lost Christ’s power, grace, mercy and redemption, His freedom? Can you imagine what the face of Christ’s Church would look like then? No power struggles, no wrestling matches between egos, no abuse of power, no corruption?
I march towards that day solely to the drum of My Master with great anticipation and hope.
When you have nothing to lose and to prove, there is ALL to gain and give away in JESUS CHRIST.