Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Comment to Share

Yes. Exactly. I do have to bring this up since so many church-goers, insist on my being in a modern church environment, for the sake of my spiritual growth. In other words, I simply cannot "walk" without interaction from "like-minded" believers, whether single or married.

As I mentioned it's been a long journey prior to the arrival of my "peace with God, by the justification of my Faith" Romans 5:1, what I have discovered during this journey was that my faith was tentatively placed with God, and wholly placed in "gatherings of ourselves". I simply had to have "church". As someone who grew up in a unloving family environment, I desired the physical/spiritual support of a "real" family. I was extremely disappointed and let down by many attitudes I encountered in various churches. I wasn't being fed as I needed to be. So, I took my questions, that ministers found such discomfort with, upon the Lord.

Boy, did I discover something precious! My point in sharing this with you is that my food comes from the Spirit, not through physcial fellowship. I had to ask myself some hard questions:

When IS God enough? Why should He not be??

The Word is full of repetitious scripture of the principle that God is our Source for ALL things. Yet in this church society we build our belief around the physical aspects as opposed to the grounding spiritual principle of "walking" with God. A vast majority of church organizations who insist one cannot "walk" without some sort of gathering of like-minded persons, "strain at a gnat and swallow a camel". Matthew 23:24

I'm here to tell all, that I CAN, because, God IS able to make me stand.

Being orphaned by the age of 17 and a very young parent, it is truly an eye-opening experience when those who claim to have the love of Christ, judge you and/or place parameters around the conditions of their "love/giving". While hurtful, I truly had to look upon my own heart and desires and ask myself some tough questions. Where DOES my faith lie?

I have replaced my sole source of Spiritual feeding with the Right Source, I AM able to walk this earth without "physical interaction" in a structured or nonstructural setting AND still be grounded in His Word.

When it slowly, but surely dawned upon me that this Christian society no longer reflects the days of Paul through. I began to ask "Where is that "Paul" spirit?" Where is the spirit of the Thessalonians Church?

"For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews "--1 Thessalonians 2:13-14

How is it that we have morphed from a Faith boldly preaching Christ and suffering for it, to sitting quietly in pews ministering to "personal issues" relating to the very base things of faith? Is it any wonder apostasy is so widespread? For the very HEART of the Gospel rests upon the understanding that with Christ we are not alone.

With this understanding, I was left with a choice. To recognize the knowledge I was given of Him, or to continue in pursuit of my own desires of seeking out "family". If we choose to recognize that in this day and age of Christianity IS indeed different from the Scriptures, we claim to believe are inerrant, then we MUST reevaluate everything we know to be Christian, in comparison to the Word, under the guidance of the Spirit.

Personally speaking now, I've come to a recognition that many who insist that I am in error because I am not in physical fellowship, judge my walk based on their faith. If I am right in any capacity it then becomes a question of loyalty to their church. Only they and God can know where their heart/Faith lies. But Christ makes this very clear:

"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.

And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."

-- Luke 14:26-27

In full recognition of where we are in modern society, my commitment is to Christ alone. My commitment is to truth. The truth is we (church/Christian society) are NOT effective in the Spirit in which He has freely given to us for HIS glory, as we SHOULD be since we ALL claim the to be the same. There is no getting around that, no matter how many "If's And's Or's and But's" we spit out. I remove myself from the variety of physical fellowship offered by today's Christian society for this base reason:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" -- 2 Corinthians 6:14

Sound harsh? Yes, maybe...but if there is no unity of Spirit, then there can be no likeness of mind. You'd be very surprised how many "unbelievers" have been faithfully in church attendance over years.

Author's Note:

I wanted to share this comment I made to another commenter on this blog under the post Purposefully Unchurched Part II

12 comments:

  1. Dear Hannah,
    As I find myself agreeing with what you say, I get a sad, sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. If I make myself disagree (because I did disagree until I started reading your blog), then I can stay in my pretty little fantasy of thinking that there is a church out there, somewhere, for everyone. Your wise, insightful words make me realise that there really are times when God must be enough for us. Jesus went regularly out into the wilderness, alone, to meet with His Father. Alone time with God is very important. My only prayer is that, if you do wish fellowship with other believers, that God will send them (or her) to you.

    9Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

    10For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

    11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

    12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
    Eccles. 4:9-12

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know what I find very interesting... many Christians "agree" with what "I" (The Word, for I do TRY not to "speak" of my own desires) generally say. Yet, They insist that I cannot walk, without falling away from God without physical fellowship. What seems to escape their notice is that I have been, according to them, "outside" of physical fellowship, and yet I THRIVE spiritually...

    To further prove their erroneous concept, I did not thrive spiritually, UNTIL I realigned my Faith to be, not in the wisdom of man, (to be spiritual fed by the company I kept), but in the Wisdom of God, His Spirit. In other words, my growth in the spirit took place AFTER I removed myself, spiritually and physically from fellowship.

    And to further compound the irony of it all, I have found that those who wholeheartedly believe that concept cannot dialogue in the Word outside of their fellowship. Typically they will quote scripture that they have heard their pastors teach, but they cannot dialogue about scripture in its context.

    That is why I personally believe that many who believe this concept judge my walk based on their faith. I ask those to judge me based my fruit, If what I say lines up with the Word, then WHY do I need physically fellowship to keep me from "falling"? For it is my obedience to Him that has kept me from falling.

    Soulandsubstance, I truly understand that your intentions are well-meaning, but please don't pray for fellowship for me. For I am doing not as I "wish", but as He has led me to. Pray for those who are deceived and led astray from INTIMATE fellowship with HIM, because they believe that they can only be "spiritual-fed" via physical fellowship. Such belief destroys the very reason Christ laid bare His body to be bruised so that we CAN have intimate fellowship with the Father by our Faith in Christ.

    Now there are babes in Christ who DO need the SUPPORT of physical fellowship. It should be under the understanding that by their Faith, their source of "milk" should come only from HIM.

    Eventually, over time, the training wheels should come off....but if one believes that their "spiritual food" comes only from physical fellowship, then there can be no growth, for their nourishment comes from an artificial source, as opposed to the genuine article... as you mentioned in one of your comments "you are what you eat".

    John 15:1-8
    "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

    Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

    Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

    Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

    If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

    If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

    Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."

    I am not a babe and truly my fellowship is with the Father. I have ALL I need spiritually.

    So please, pray for an awakening, for the Christian society has been long at sleep, not recognizing where we are in the history of time. Apostasy, and false teachers wear sheep-lined clothing unrecognized by many. Pray for them...pray for yourself... because anyone who is not holding on to the Spirit of God for dear life, can easily be deceived...and fall away from the "profession of their faith".

    Matthew 24:4-5
    "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

    For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."

    P.S. While my comments may seem forthright, my intentions, (which may not seem obvious) are to encourage critical thinking, that will turn the Believer unto God for answers, as opposed to man. To promote the Spiritual aspects of Faith as opposed to the physical. I hope my intentions will be taken in that light.

    May your pursuit in the knowledge of Him, be all the "food" you need. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Soulandsubstance,

    Upon studying today for my next post, I ran across this scripture I thought I should share....

    Luke 6:32-35

    Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

    33For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

    34Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

    35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm sorry, Hannah--I guess I did not explain myself very well. I meant only that IF you wish additional fellowship with other believers, I would pray that you would get it. I would also never pray that anything would happen that is not within God's will. Also, perhaps my choice of the word "agree" was not the best. Perhaps I should have used "understand" and "respect" what you are doing and that it sounds very much as if it IS God's will for you. I am standing with you in your decision, not against you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Soulandsubtance,

    I DO understand that you are not "against" me. The first few paragraphs was not directed towards you, (I could see how you would think that they may be) it was a continuation of my personal testimony/experience.

    I also understand your offer of prayer, SHOULD I choose to "desire" it was not ill meaning, and I do appreciate your thoughtfullness, my point in expressing is that there are so many in need of prayer other than myself, fellowshipping is a technicality compared to making God primary in all you do and need.

    Sometimes my need for clarity in communication can get in the way of communicating itself. :) (If that makes any sense) For that I truly apologize.

    Yours in Christ,
    Hannah

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree whole heartedly with your
    post. We don't need to go to a church building. We are the church.
    When ever two or more gather to
    fellowship, that is the church.

    He Started in us what He said He
    will finish. I sure don't doubt
    him.. He is feeding us with His
    Word and the Holy Spirit is doing
    a miraculous job teaching us.

    I fellowship daily with the body of Christ all over the world. Most that go to a church, may not even speak to another while there.

    I for one have certainly enjoyed
    knowing you as a fellow part of the
    Body of Christ. I'm there 24-7.
    Just drop a comment anytime.

    God Bless,
    BrotherMark
    3/04/08

    ReplyDelete
  7. BrotherMark,

    Amen! Thank you for your sweet sentiments! I don't think I've received kinder or accepting sentiments than yours & I truly appreciate the fact it comes from someone who understands that it is our fellowship with the Spirit of God that makes Church and not the other way around. Truly I have been blessed with peace knowing that my salvation is secure in Him in this fashion, and joy. I sense your peace and joy in Him as well. May you continue therein! It has been a true pleasure as well, to have fellowship with you!

    God bless you and yours....

    ReplyDelete
  8. Let me try again. I agree with you whole-heartedly. Much of what you have said I had not thought of before. Even though you are not a "babe" in Christ, I am. I have been a believer for only 7 years and there are many ways in which I need to grow. Your comments and your blog are helping me in that process. For that, I am grateful.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Hannah, As you and I both know, I was once one of those that tried to say you needed to be in a church, for fellowship with like minded believers. After getting to know you, however, I have realized that what you say is truth, because it is what the Word says. Not only that, but I know that you do have fellowship with your husband as well. Though it is possible for one to use the Holy Spirit alone for fulfillment, and we should all be able to do so, unfortunately, there are not many that can, or are even willing to try. My only concern, (which you have laid to rest in the past) is that because you do not fellowship often with others in the "typical" sense, there may be more that you could help in their faith walk. Does that make sense? That is not a criticism in any way, just an observation. There are many "babes" that could benefit from your insights, and it is my opinion that those that are strong in their faith should always endeavor to share "the reason for their hope in Him." I wonder, if in general, those that are outside the traditional church setting do just that. I do know that you have bible studies in your own home from time to time, so I know that you do this. This is just a general statement. Blessings to you, my PPF!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Shalene,

    For some reason I wasn't alerted to your comment. I changed the comment moderation, anyway, it's good to hear from you.

    Yes, we have had that discussion in the very beginning of my blogging days. :) I DO understand what you mean by your comment, I haven't been led as of late to a particular church. We did attend a church... I think about five years ago for purposes of ministering, but unfortunately the congregation (a very small one, left over from the WCG division) was not receptive to it.

    It's not up to me where I go, but up to God. I've found blogging to be a wonderful medium in which I can glorify and explify Him.

    Those who read my blog have the option of "take it or leave it".

    I still conduct small bible studies out of my home. My husband has his personal ministry as well, family members, in whom he spends time with as well as people he meets who expresses an interest in Christ Jesus. It's truly a blessing to be used by God in this fashion, it's very liberating indeed, and I love the way we live our lives for Him!

    Thanks Shalene! Keep up the good work in Him! My love to yours xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  11. I want to add one more sentiment to my comment to Shalene. (Yes, it's always "one more thing" with me:)

    It is becoming clear to me, the reason I haven't been led to a specific church is because my time and effort would be confined to that church only, whereas I can "minister" to the whole world in one sitting :) God uses ALL things for His glory! Praise Him!

    Hannah

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Blogging" can be a wonderful ministry in many ways. I think there are a lot of people who would not dream of setting foot in a church who would be quite receptive to evangelism in the context of the internet.
    -SS

    ReplyDelete

Comments are moderated.

Please note the changes to this blog. ONLY respectful comments and questions are accepted. Special note to other Christians: This blog no longer caters to debate and or arguments about the Bible. If you have a comment in SUPPORT of clear and concise understanding of the saving power of Christ Jesus, you are welcome to leave comments on this blog.