Please Don’t Hate Me!

Please don’t hate me because I think differently from you on some things, or because I don’t celebrate Jesus Christ in all the same ways in which you do, or because my understanding of what scripture teaches may be a little bit different from yours. For, we both claim to believe in Jesus Christ, and in God the Father and the Holy Spirit. We both believe that Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins; to free us from sin, and to give us eternal life with God. And, we both desire to see others come to faith in Christ, too.

So, why do you get so angry when what I believe is different from what you believe? Why do you “slam the door in my face,” defriend or deride me on Facebook, perhaps unfollow me on Twitter, ignore me and avoid me out in public places, or treat me like I just committed some horrible crime? Why do you mock me, gossip about me behind my back, and make false judgments about me just because I believe differently from you? Have I now become your enemy by proclaiming the truth as I believe it to be, and as I believe scripture teaches it? Aren’t you are my brother or sister in Christ?

The Lord Jesus led me to read Galatians 4 (vv. 8-11 ESV).

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

There are multiple lessons the Lord has taught me, in particular over the past 13 years, regarding “weak and worthless” principles of the world which were ingrained in my life from childhood and which he wanted out of my life. So, with each revelation he gave me regarding these ingrained principles, I listened to what he taught me, and I obeyed him, but sometimes to the strong disapproval of other Christians who still hold strong to some of the things which God has removed from my life.

Flag-Waving

For one, I was a flag-waving, flag-pledging patriot who sang the national anthem with hand over heart, with great enthusiasm. I believed the USA was a Christian nation, and I believed what I saw and read in the news, that it was true. I believed what the Republican political platform said I should believe, and I voted according to that platform, that is, until…

The Lord opened my eyes, and he showed me the real truth about the US government, and what they are doing across the globe in conquering other nations, killing innocents, and confiscating and destroying property not their own. He showed me that I could not trust our leaders to tell the truth, or the mainstream news media, either. He taught me that our government works for “the beast” and that they are instrumental in bringing “the beast” to the world throne. And, he taught me that to pledge allegiance to the US flag is to vow fidelity to this evil government, which I should not ever do.

So, I no longer pledge to the flag of the USA, and I don’t vote in our elections, because our votes don’t count anyway, because our government is not the real government of the USA. Rather, a shadow government of the Elite of the world run these United States of America, and they choose which puppets to put in office, anyway. And, I no longer believe what is in the news, but I ask the Lord to show me what is true and what is false.

Institutional Church

I also was a member of more than one institutional church over the years of my life, and my husband and I were even church planters twice, and we did the 501c3 not-for-profit tax exempt incorporation of our fellowships, because that is what we were told we needed to do to become a “church.” We also followed our leaders’ advice in using marketing schemes in order to gain people to our church fellowships, but all the work we did in marketing our “church” never led anyone to faith in Jesus Christ, and it only convinced one person to join our fellowship, in this last church-plant effort.

Then, the Lord Jesus opened my eyes to see the institutional incorporated church from his vantage point. He sees it like he saw the money-changers in his temple, who were turning the house of God, which was to be a house of prayer, into a place of business. And, that is exactly what has happened to so much of the church here in America. By incorporating under the federal government of the US, the body of Christ has been turned into a business and is marketed just like any other business, using human techniques, and often ignoring the Holy Spirit and his guidance.

Not only this, but by incorporating, the church has partnered with this evil government which is working for “the beast,” and in doing what we read about in Revelation 13. But, even if they weren’t working for the beast, they are still the ungodly, and we are not to partner with the unrighteous, but we are to come out from among them and to be separate so that we don’t share in their sins or in their punishment, and because there is no fellowship between light and darkness (See: 2 Co. 6:14-18; Rev. 18:4-5).

So, I did what God said for me to do, and I came out from the institutional church which is married to the US government, and I fellowship with other believers outside the walls of institutional Christianity. And, I share what the Word teaches on these subjects of not being unequally yoked together with unbelievers and of not turning the body of Christ, the people of God, God’s house, into a business of human-making.

Holidays

I used to celebrate all the American holidays or traditional celebrations, but we never did the Santa thing. But, we did celebrate Halloween, 4th of July, Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. We eventually phased out Halloween, because of the evil in it, but we still held on to all the other celebrations.

Then, as I became aware of the true roots of our nation and of the true nature of our government and what all they are doing throughout the world, I could no longer celebrate the 4th of July, nor could I pledge allegiance to the flag nor sing patriotic songs.

Then, the Lord began to make me uncomfortable about celebrating Christmas and Easter. I began to see how Jesus Christ was being upstaged by Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny on these holidays or celebrations. And, Jesus began to open my eyes to see how he sees these celebrations, which are a mixture of pagan celebrations and religious celebrations, which God forbade his people from participating in all throughout biblical history.

I began to see how these celebrations were not really about Jesus Christ but they were about buying gifts we couldn’t afford to give to people who didn’t really need or want them, in many cases. And, there was so much greed and commercialism involved in this celebration of Christmas, in particular. And, Easter was more about getting new (or used) clothes and Easter baskets and eggs than it was about giving honor to our Lord who died on a cross for us.

So, my husband and I evaluated all of this together, and together we made the decision to stop celebrating these holidays, too. We have not yet made a decision about Thanksgiving, although, in my experience, that one seems to be more about people stuffing their faces full of food, oftentimes until they are sick to the stomach, and it often seems to have little to do with truly being thankful to the Lord, yet I realize that not everyone has the same experiences.

Conclusion

As I have become aware of these various institutions of men which were ingrained in me from childhood, and of what my Lord wanted my response to be concerning them, and I have obeyed him, I have also been faced with rejection, anger, rage, and even hate from other believers in Jesus for whom these institutions are sacred.

Not everyone has responded this way, mind you, but there have been quite a few who did. And, this is what prompted my opening statements. I have just seen so many Christians (or professing Christians) react so angrily to anyone not following these traditions, and I don’t believe that we, as Christians, should treat one another that way.

Not worshiping the government is not to be equated with not worshiping God, although many Christians do equate these. Not celebrating Christmas or Easter is also not to be equated with not celebrating my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I celebrate him every day! And, not attending an institutional church is also not to be equated with forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, for we can and should assemble together outside the walls of institutional religion.

So, you can choose to judge me, reject me, hate me, unfriend or unfollow me or whatever, but I must obey my Lord and do what he says. I hope you will stick around, though, and that we can still enjoy fellowship together. For, our goal together should be the salvation of souls for Jesus Christ and to see the church walking in the ways of the Lord, following him in all his ways.

For Our Nation / An Original Work
September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Friday, December 1, 2017, 3:34 p.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for what you have taught me over the years regarding obedience to you.

37 thoughts on “Please Don’t Hate Me!

  1. Wow Sue, that took a lot of courage. A lot of courage. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the stances that you have taken but I do certainly understand your logic. The one that really bothered me was your separation from a church. Surely there must be some church that you can feel at home in. I am mindful of Paul’s admonishment to us who are mature (and I’m taking a liberty calling myself mature), to accommodate the weak. You and I have talked about this before, about none of us being perfect etc. You know what really bothers me about your being honest here, I already knew it, honestly. I will give you my email address, if you ever want to talk about this in a less public forum, just shot me a line. I certainly do not judge you, I think I understand why you are doing what you are doing, just not sure that I agree with it, to the extent you are taking it. Do you recall how the Apostle Paul spoke about eating meat that had been offered to idols? Do you recall what his recommendation was? Eat and don’t ask. If you ask and you know then you can’t eat it. The logic Paul used is applicable in other areas too. Here is my email address: bruce.planbsolutions@gmail.com I hope to hear from you. And I can’t help but sense how difficult this must be for both you and your husband. If I could I would give you a hug. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce, Thank you for your kindness and your concern. I greatly appreciate both. I can tell that you care, and that means a lot!

      With regard to the church, I have not separated from the church. I just don’t attend an institutional church that is in bed with the government, because I believe God’s Word says to not do that. The Lord started showing me how he felt about that back in 2006, at least, and he has probably given me over 1000 messages on that subject. And, I believe he is calling all his saints to come out from Babylon (the institutional church) so that they do not share in her sins or in her punishment, for her sins are piled high.

      The church is not an institution of men. It is not a business to be marketed like any other business. And, it is not to be married to anyone but Christ, and especially is not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

      The church is the body of Christ, the people of God, the saints of God, i.e. it is us, and I have not separated from any of you, my fellow believers in Christ, so I have not separated from the church.

      On the “eat and don’t ask” the idea there is that if you don’t know whether or not meat has been sacrificed to an idol, then it is ok to eat, but if someone tells you it has, then you don’t eat. Well, most of the church has been sacrificed to an idol, the government and the world of business, and so the Lord is saying not to partake of that idolatrous church, but to come out from her and be separate.

      Yes, it is hard to not have a fellowship of believers with whom we can meet in person, but God has blessed us with many wonderful Christians right here with whom we can fellowship and with whom we can grow together in Christ and learn from one another and use our gifts to encourage and build one another up in the faith. So, this has been a wonderful blessing! We have not had this kind of fellowship in probably 30 years, and it has only been about 2 years since together we stopped going to institutional churches.

      Well, again, thank you for what you shared, and thank you for caring. And, I am ok with you disagreeing with me.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Sue, there is a saddest associated with your testimony and chosen course of disassociation that limits your ability to be used by the Lord for His purposes. I’m not going to argue with you using scripture because I am sure you are able to scripturally validate your decisions. Disassociating yourself from unbelievers is one thing, disassociating yourself from all forms of institutionalized believers is another. When we isolate ourselves from the church, the body of true believers, who as I am sure you know, are still among those who participate within many of the institutionalized churches, we cut ourselves off from the rest of the body of Christ. There are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people. That is a reality. There are still Pastors and congregations which strive to follow the Lord imperfectly. And as you have indicated, even with the options of the various types of media at our disposal, it is not and never will be the same as fellowshipping with other believers face to face. And the long and the short of it is that we all need to work together in order for the church, the body of Christ, to have the capability to function as it ought. Is it easy, not even close, but Jesus never said it would be. I am sure you remember the 7000 who have not bowed to Baal. But your isolationism has also spread to other areas so that holidays and voting and participation in and with others has been terminated. I understand the rationale you use but you do disservice to others within the body of Christ around you by inferring that decisions that they hold as important, be they holidays such as Christmas or Easter or pride of country, even if it is pride that is mis-placed, are not acceptable in your mind. The Apostle Paul speaks at length about this. We do not maintain our association with others in the body of Christ because they have reached our level of understanding and maturity, we maintain our association because the association of the various parts are needed to be collectively utilized by God, imperfect as they are, in love, as He has directed.

        I do not wish to misjudge you, I’m sure you have already experienced more than your fair share of that already. But sometimes we set ourselves up for that by the attitude that we display, and the manner in which we convey the understanding we think we have reached. There is a balance that God’s Word illustrates throughout both the Old and New Testaments where our feet are with others (believers and non-believers) on the ground, where our feet get dirty. That’s why we wash ourselves, daily, through streams of living water via God’s Holy Spirit, because our feet do get dirty. Because we do identify with others, both believers and non-believers. It’s what Jesus did and He asks us to do likewise.

        You indicate that the Lord has given you over 1000 messages. Elaborate if you would.

        I sincerely do not wish to offend you, I have no doubt that your walk with our Lord is sincere and genuine but the sadness that is weaved within the words that you use speaks volumes about what has transpired in the past and continues to this very day. Please remember that there are two great commandments, not one, loving God and loving our neighbours. You can’t really do one without doing the other and it matters not which one you choose to focus on.

        I don’t have all the answers Sue, I don’t even know all of the questions. Please accept my apology if I have hurt you in any way. Please know that is not my intention. May our Lord bless you and your husband richly.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Bruce, Thank you for your concern. I do appreciate it very much. When I have the time, I will try to address some of your concerns, but know that this was not an easy decision or one I made lightly. I struggled with it for many years before I finally said “Yes” to my Lord and did not go back thinking that maybe this time will be different. He convinced me that I must leave Babylon, and so I did, in obedience to him and to his Word.

        Know this also, that most every institutional church I ever attended rejected me and cast me aside and did not use my gifts, other than my singing voice, which is fading in my old age. But, the Lord allowed that to place me here, on the internet, and here he is using my gifts, and I am able to function in the role within the body of Christ which he assigned to me. The institutional churches had no need or want of me or my body part, and many of them made that abundantly clear to me. Several preachers told me to go someplace else where I would be a better fit, and they would even help me find another place. But, I didn’t fit anywhere, although I certainly tried. But, this was God’s plan for my life so that he would use me here for his purposes and for his glory, and I am at peace with where I am.

        More later, when I have the time. Sue

        Like

  2. May I suggest that you don’t need the approval of other people in this world whether they are in your church or otherwise in this world. If you believe Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God and He is the Truth, the Way and the Life, you are worshipping the right One. We are in this world but not of it. God is in control though it may not look like it by concentrating on the so called governments of the world. There are other wonderful people in this world doing wonderful things for mankind in the name of Jesus. I tend to not worry one little bit what another thinks about my belief. I do not often preach to anyone. I only share my relationship with my Savior and his Love for me and try to live that example and show by my state of being what a wonderful life it is when I’m walking with Him. Jesus told the disciples to dust themselves off when leaving a city where they did not accept His message. I love my ducks because they remind me every day to just let the water run off my back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Phyllis, Thank you for your kind and thoughtful response. I appreciate your words and for you sharing with me your own way you handle rejection.

      With regard to needing approval, I don’t. That is not what this is about. This is in relation to what Paul said in Galatians 4 to the Galatians. The Christians were being persuaded that they needed to follow certain customs, traditions and celebrations, so Paul was telling them that those things are worthless, and they should not turn back to them.

      So, although they formerly had accepted Paul, and had received him “as an angel of God,” now they were treating him more like an enemy, which is why he said, “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” And, he wasn’t saying that because he wanted their approval, but because he was concerned about them, that they were being led astray, for one, but also that the fellowship he had once experienced with them was now broken, so he was making an appeal to them to not turn against him and to not return to those worthless things.

      My experience has been similar in that some people will fellowship with me until I say something which goes against something they hold on to tightly, and, although some will merely disagree with me, there have been those who treat me like I am the enemy. So, this is an appeal to not respond to other believers in Christ with hatred just because we disagree with them. We can disagree and still love one another.

      But, this is also an appeal to consider some of the things which I have shared here with regard to the government, if you are American, with regard to the institutional church, and with regard to the celebration of these holidays.

      But, yes, I do have to let the water run off my back. If I didn’t, I could not do what I do and write what God gives me to write.

      Again, thanks so much for your response. I appreciate your heart!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello, Sue 🙂

    I found this post to be full of wisdom, and I can relate to a lot of what you were saying, which is essentially about following God and what you believe to be true religion, regardless of what society celebrates. Even though I’m not American, I understand a bit about American culture and the US Political System, because so much of our media here in the UK is focused on the US. And of course our culture is heavily influenced by US culture – seemingly increasingly so.

    I think you’re very brave to stand up for true religion (as you perceive it to be), and I have a lot of respect for the way you have endeavoured to follow God throughout your life, even when your attitudes have been counter-cultural.

    I think your blog is wonderful. Even though I have some theological issues with the Christian faith (perhaps you have read about some of these on my blog) I really appreciate your sincerity and your heart to follow God. I believe your blog deserves a wide readership, and I can envisage your posts being helpful for Christians long into the future.

    God bless you, and I will endeavour to feature your blog in one of my ‘Blog Spotlight’ posts.

    Steven

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue, thanks for sharing your thoughts about holidays. Very thought-provoking. I do agree that while much of Scripture is black and white, much is left to us as individuals to contemplate as we are led by the Holy Spirit into various convictions and preferences. I wish, as you said, that we could learn to respect each other’s differences as Christians and love each other despite them–or perhaps because of them. As others have mentioned, Paul taught so much about this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • MWHL – I am not certain I clicked “reply” in the right place, so if you didn’t receive notification of a response, other than this one, then please check back here and see what I wrote you. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. MWHL – Thank you! And, you are welcome, too! All Glory to God!

    Yes, wouldn’t that be wonderful if we could all learn to respect and love one another, even if we disagree? I just see so much hate speech between those who say they are Christians, just because one has a difference of belief or conviction from the other. The holidays are a particularly sensitive issue for some people, and often if someone, like me, feels convicted of the Holy Spirit not to celebrate, we end up facing the wrath of other believers in Christ. Sometimes we are treated as though we are heathens or backslidden Christians just because we don’t celebrate Christmas or just because we don’t pledge allegiance to the flag, etc. And, this should not be!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So much to take in here, Sue… I’m not sure what you mean by not attending a church tied into the government. I know we don’t have a state church in the U.S. so I’m a bit confused. But I do pray that God gives you wisdom and peace in all that you do, and that other believers will love and respect you for the wonderful person that you are! I truly admire your honesty and your obvious love for God. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lynn, Thank you so much for your kind and loving response. I appreciate you very much!

      As far as the institutional church is concerned, back in the 1950’s, I believe it was, I think it was Lyndon Johnson who introduced the idea of the 501c3 not-for-profit incorporation status for the church, and most churches bought into it, and turned their churches into corporations under the headship of the US government, thus making them state churches, of a sort, and human businesses, to where the US government can regulate what a church can and cannot do, and to where churches must now report their membership roles and finances, I think it is, to the government, though don’t quote me on that last one.

      So, in essence, the church partnered with the US government in an unholy union and they placed the government over them as head, willingly, and they did not have to do this, because they were already tax exempt under the law.

      Here are a couple of links which will give you a better understanding of what I am talking about. I am not, however, endorsing these sources or all their content, but I do believe they will help make this more clear.

      http://hushmoney.org/501c3-facts.htm

      http://www.creationliberty.com/articles/501c3.php

      Yet, from God’s vantage point, the main situation is that the church has partnered with the government which the Bible forbids (don’t be unequally yoked together with unbelievers), and they have turned the church into a business, which Jesus spoke harshly against when he drove the money-changers out of the temple, and they have made the government head over the church to where they could be called upon to obey the government rather than God.

      Because the church has turned into a business, many of them run the church just like a human-based business, utilizing human marketing schemes and following humanistic and worldly methods for drawing in large crowds of people from the world and thus many are diluting the gospel message to make it more appealing to their customer base, which is the world. And, God is not pleased. And, he is calling his church, his people, to come out from this Babylon so that she does not share in her sins and in her punishment.

      I hope this helps. Love you! Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think God leads us each individually when it comes to Him pricking our spirit, and telling us to give up certain things/people/activities. I think people struggle to understand you being separated from a church BUILDING because they may not be understanding, as you stated, this was NOT something you decided overnight. This was because the body of Christ, the believers, outcasted you. He has provided fellowship for you through other means and that is because He is God Almighty, and He will always provide for us.

    I’ve been rebuked because I celebrate Christmas by Christians on WordPress, which I never experienced before. However, this past year alone, God has started to direct my eyes to Him for the season, to critically see Him in all things I partake of in relation to Christmas. And however He opens our eyes, you’re right, we need to listen to Him first and foremost.

    I also appreciate the fact of how you cover what God has led you through versus immediately trying to persuade everyone to make the same choices. You are not doing that. You do speak the truth of scripture, and you share where He has led you. We all should share our personal journeys He has led us on.

    We all are at different paths, different journeys, and we are different branches. There has to be mutual understanding between us before we become “law based” in scriptures, and tear us other apart. Before anyone starts to argue, debate, and try to determine what Christ meant, and what others meant, I know Jesus did not want this out of us. We must put on love first. Amidst all of what Paul preached on, this he too pressed for believers to do first.

    I think, above all, you are ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • T.R. – Thank you so much! I appreciate you!! A lot!! 🙂 You have a lot of wisdom.

      What I share with my readers I share out of obedience to my Lord, for he is the one directing my path, and I share out of love for my brothers and sisters in Christ. This will always be my goal in writing on here what my Lord teaches me.

      I will always share what I believe scripture teaches and what I believe the Lord is saying to the church, based on scripture, as well as to me personally, but I trust each individual reading what the Lord gives me to write will take what I have shared before the Lord in prayer and ask him if it is true or not, for we are all to test what we hear in prayer and against God’s Word to see whether or not it is true, like the Bereans did with Paul’s words.

      I believe, nonetheless, that we can disagree nicely and kindly with one another and still love each other and fellowship together in the Lord, as long as we believe the foundational truths of scripture. I hate arguing.

      But, I also believe that scripture teaches that we should not despise prophecies, i.e. what people share with us they are learning from scripture, for we could be quenching the Spirit, putting out his fire, but we should prayerfully consider what our brothers and sisters are saying to us that they are receiving from the Lord, through the Word, before we just write them off because their doctrine or practices do not agree with ours or with our traditions.

      I, for one, learn a lot from what all of you write on here, and it has blessed my heart!

      Love you! Sue

      Liked by 1 person

      • Completely agree with you Sue!!! Whenever I’ve met a believer that rebuked me or when I’ve read something that questions something I’m doing as a believer, I go to His Word and talk to Him. I fully believe He will help us understand if the way of one believer is meant for that person in particularly, or if it is something that applies to the whole multitude.

        I know some believers stop doing things because God has pricked them, and they realize, whatever the action is, it makes them stumble up. Versus something we all should consider and do. I love the variety of perspectives this community alone has shared with me, and though some disagree with them, that doesn’t mean I don’t hear what they have to say. 🙂 God has really helped me work on listening, regardless of if I agree or not.

        I strive to seek His truth in everything. I’m so glad you speak of the importance of seeking Him first!!! ❤ ❤

        He is everything! Amen! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, Sue! I do have a serious concern with having only informal fellowship, but also understand your concerns. Do you commemorate the Lord’s death in the breaking of bread and baptize in your fellowship?

    About your genuine and right concerns: Recently we had a church service – Veteran’s weekend – during which the two church flags (U.S. and Christian) were moved forward to be prominent and the focus. Our young and zealous preacher proclaimed his allegiance to both. Such confusion! Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world.

    My husband and I no longer celebrate Christmas and are majorly concerned with the making and use of images of the Lord. As you may know, I was baptized, raised, and educated in the Roman Catholic religion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maria, I appreciate what you have shared with me here, and your concerns, as well.

      I can’t make something right, though, by doing something wrong, which God forbids in his Word. Just because a bunch of Christians are gathering together in a building called “a church” does not mean that what takes place inside that building is “church” in God’s eyes, or that God is pleased with what they are doing.

      He threw the money-changers out of God’s temple because they had turned the house of God, a house of prayer, into a place of business, which is exactly what the church has done by incorporating Christ’s body underneath the headship and authority of the government. And they are marketing HIS BODY like any other business of human-making, which God forbids, and they have joined themselves in an unholy union with the ungodly, which God also forbids.

      Two places in his Word he very emphatically tells his people to come out of such situations, and to be separate, but yet so many, many remain. And, then they think I am wrong by obeying God by leaving.

      So, I obeyed God, and I left institutional religion, which Jesus did, too. He departed from institutional religion, and he didn’t follow their practices, and that is why they hated him, because he wasn’t like them, and he didn’t do the things they did. And, so they put him to death.

      But, finding a group of believers in Jesus Christ who are not part of the Babylonian institutional church is very hard to find, and finding any believers in Christ, in person, who want to even talk about Jesus Christ, is nearly impossible. So many, many have gone the way of the world, and getting together with them is no different than getting together with non-believers. And, I have absolutely no control over this whatsoever!

      So, I find my fellowship with other believers here, online, which is not the same as in person, but which meets that need for community, fellowship, the teaching of the Word, and for prayer. And, it gives me a place where I can exercise the spiritual gifts given to me by God and where I can serve the Body of Christ in the role (part) which God has assigned me.

      I do believe, though, that God is going to revive his church, and that when this happens, the true church will gather outside of the walls of institutionalized religion and human-based businesses, and we will be like the early church. But, until that day takes place, or until the Lord opens up another avenue for me to meet with the church outside of the “state church” in the USA, then I will just have to get my fellowship where I can find it, which right now is here.

      But, even if I believed I could, in good conscience, be a part of a “state church”, underneath the headship of the government, I am not accepted there anyway, anywhere I have ever gone.

      I have been asked to leave several, because I questioned privately and respectfully something the preacher said in a sermon, banned from the premises of one, for privately and quietly confronting sinful practices within the church, and put on church discipline in another, because I would not tell a lie. I was commanded to meet with the elders, but as a prerequisite for the meeting they asked me to say something which was a lie, and since I couldn’t lie, and they would not remove that prerequisite, then I was put on church discipline for failure to show up at their meeting, which was a lose-lose situation either way.

      They don’t want me, in other words, and are all too glad to send me where I will be a “better fit.” But, I don’t fit. And, truth be told, if Jesus were in any of those churches, and they didn’t know it was him, he wouldn’t fit, either, and they would be helping him to find a better place where he would be a “better fit,” too.

      So, this is where I am. I just can’t go back to those “weak and miserable” principles so people will think I am doing the right thing. I know I am doing what is right in God’s eyes, and it is HIM I must answer to.

      Thanks for giving me this opportunity to share my heart with you. Sue

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Sue, I need to start a new comment thread to answer. It’s a concern that you were disciplined alone. This happened to me too. In my own instance, I didn’t stay under my husband’s authority and spoke up during a church service. The elders met with both of us and suggested we would be happier in another church that was more “charismatic”. They were wrong not to instruct me of my failure, for I had in a sense dishonored my head, my husband. These churches were wrong to deal with you without your husband but you seem to have been wrong in speaking to them instead of allowing your husband to speak. This does not mean you were wrong in what you said but in how you went about it. The little church we attended closed years later. I was right in what the Lord showed me according to His Word but wrong in my behavior. I pray you will see the difference.

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    • Maria,

      I was only disciplined in one church, and it wasn’t because I did anything wrong. My husband and I had a ministry to college students out of our home. We were looking to connect it with a local church, and the agreement with us and the pastor was that we would be more in a partnership with them rather than bring the ministry fully under the authority of the church, i.e. we could use their facilities, and they could send their college students there, so it served them and us. But, my husband and I also joined the church.

      Everything went well until the pastor spoke with me privately one day, without my husband present, and he asked what I thought about him replacing our entire praise team with one of his own who would draw in large crowds of people. Now, he knew our ministry was to the downtrodden, the rejected, the neglected, and many of these young people, who before had no ministry, were now able to serve God in ministry because we opened that door for them. So, he knew what he was asking was going against what we had stated as our purpose in ministry from the very onset of the partnership.

      Yet, I submitted to his request, and I said I would take his question back to our ministry team. As a team we decided to meet with the pastor to talk with him about what he wanted. At the meeting he said, “I would never do that.” So, I asked him why he said what he said to me, but he would only answer with “I would never do that.” It was a non-denial denial. He never said he didn’t say that, but he said he would never do that.

      Anyway, the elders, to whom he had lied about our partnership, then said I had to meet with them and I had to say that I lied about what the pastor said, but I didn’t lie, and he never said that he didn’t say that to me. They said I had to say that I lied as a prerequisite to the meeting, but I couldn’t say I lied, because I didn’t, so they put me on church discipline, so we removed our ministry from them and took it back into our home.

      The other churches I mentioned we were only visiting. Two of them we had just started visiting, and I had questions/concerns about something the pastors said in their sermons, which I wanted to understand more fully their meaning, which would help make my decision as to whether or not this would be the church for me, so I emailed them and copied my husband in the communications. They had no problem with me emailing them. There was no precedent set in the church which said I, as woman, could not communicate with them, the pastors, so I was not out of line.

      But, they were predisposed, because of their humanistic training, to disregard me, because of my seriousness of walk with the Lord, because they were following modern business models for how they taught, rather than following the Lord. They had been trained to weed out those who did not fit and to market those who were their target audience, and I didn’t fit in with their target audience. It had nothing to do with me doing anything wrong, but it had to do with their training in marketing procedures.

      Regarding the other one I mentioned, that pastor was allowing for seductive displays in the church service, my husband and I confronted him together and privately about that one, but he said nothing would change. This seductiveness was a stumbling block to us, so we stopped attending the services, but continued attending the small group Bible studies.

      In the women’s Bible study I learned that this woman who was being seductive on stage was having an affair with the husband of one of the women in our Bible study group, and yet the pastor still had her on the stage. So, I privately talked with the women in the Bible study, since they all knew of this situation, concerning their continuance in supporting the ministry of a man who was allowing an adulterous woman on the stage, even singing a solo in a communion service. It was a private appeal, women to women, asking them to prayerfully consider what God would have them do about this.

      One of the women was on staff, so she told the pastor who then told me I was banned from the premises. I believe I did nothing wrong there, either, as my husband and I had already talked with the pastor, and he wasn’t changing, so I recommended to the women that they should prayerfully consider that they should not sit under his ministry. God has given me a peace that I did right in this situation.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Hello Sue,

    What joy filled my heart as I read this post of yours. Praise the Lord that I found this. I have been led by the Lord down the same path as you – you know, that straight and narrow path that our Lord Jesus told us about. The one where we are rejected, like He was.

    I have been praying a long time to “meet” someone who was at the same kind of place in their walk with the Lord, and this post is causing me to sing, “Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Lord, for loving me.”
    You are an answer to my prayers I think.

    I was just doing a WP search on the word “Easter,” as I have a partially written article on the subject, when I found this one of yours. I have just posted an article last weekend on Why I don’t go to an institutional church anymore (at https://grainofwheatblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/church-to-be-or-to-go-that-is-the-question/#more-1969) and over the last 2 years I have given up Christmas (& written about that too).

    You started with, “Please don’t hate me because I think differently from you on some things, or because I don’t celebrate Jesus Christ in all the same ways in which you do…” and I love you Mrs Love because I sense a true sister in the Lord, hearing the same Shepherd’s voice as myself. This is amazing and wonderful. I have been so alone, except for a few blogs that I’ve found, but you have given me peace about ministering to the body of Christ via this medium, as I too cannot fit into the institutional church world any longer.

    Anyway, you have blessed me greatly today & I will be reading more of your work from now on. I am sooo glad that the Lord has led me here to you.

    Much love and blessings from England,
    Helen xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen, Thank you so much for your many kind and thoughtful words you expressed to me. I know what you are expressing here, for I have been there, too. I know that feeling all too well, so I empathize with you. I do hope you will continue to read and to respond to the blog posts here, and I will check out your blog, as well. It is very nice meeting you, too. Sue

      Liked by 1 person

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