“Where do I go? What do I believe now? My religion has failed . . ."April 2, 2009 ~ by the Generic Christian Mystic
It has been quite a while since I last wrote anything about the trials of my faith, the decisions looming on the horizon, and what the Lord is speaking to my spirit these past weeks. Frankly, there has been an intense “dry and silent time” and more of a heavy burden in my soul compared to prior weeks in my walk. So, in order to “push through” this “block” I am actually sitting here, typing as I sense what the Spirit wants me to say.
(minutes pass . . . I type . . .)
In my discussions with other believers, some that have seen the truth of overcoming and the Bride making herself ready and also with others that have no idea what overcoming means, I repeatedly come across some similar “ways” in both the aforementioned camps of my brothers and sisters. There are some of us in the Body of Christ that believe they need certain “baggage” to follow the Lord and then there are those that are ready to lay aside their bags completely and simply follow. I am by no means claiming I have no baggage and have arrived! What I am seeing more often than not, is that it is human nature to cling to things, favor ideas, idolize tradition, and even make doctrine more important than the Living Word of Christ. You think smugly, “Yeah, those other folks are in such bondage.” Friend, it is ALL of us in this thing together. Humble yourself and hear the Lord.
Let’s get personal here.
The “baggage” I alluded to above is anything that is in the way of or impedes our pursuing the Living God. These bags we hold onto are exactly like that favorite soft blanket, stuffed animal or childish fetish we each needed as a child. Those of us who have raised or are now raising our children know exactly what I am referring to, in that we see this happen constantly. What is amazing now to me, is even as adults, following in faith after faith, seeking truth and the will of God – we still have fetishes, idols, and security blankets that we refuse to lay aside as the Spirit points them out to us. It may be during bible study, in prayer, after a teaching or during discussion with another believer – that the Spirit of God will quietly ask you, “Lay this thing aside. It is not Me. It is not My will that you cherish and keep this. It may seem so precious and so very right but its time has passed. Lay this aside. It is now but an idol.”
I want to focus on what I see as two major issues facing every believer in these last days. More on those later . . .
I digress . . .
Not to come off as a heretic or nut-job, I have to re-affirm right now that I love the Lord Jesus. He saved me in March of 1974. He allowed me to see and discover the awesome truth of overcoming in the early ‘80’s and has kept me through many decades of trials.
Besides Jesus, I have nothing in this world.
Yes, I love my wife and children, and family -- but none of even these dear ones can save me like He has. None of the people I love can be my God. They have supported me, loved me, cared for me, prayed for me, forgiven me, fellowshipped with me and worshipped at my side in dark night and brightest day.
But only Jesus, only He alone can give me resurrection Life, resurrection Truth, and resurrection Hope. It must come from Him, through Him, and in Him.
Loved ones, friends, and the house of faith can only point the way. They can lift the arms that are weak, pray for healing, and nurse our wounds. Yes, they can minister as the hands of Jesus.
But only via Him alone, via His Spirit, as we COME TO HIM in faith, can we obtain grace and mercy in time of need.
In these last days we must learn how to COME TO HIM in faith.
What happens when your religion fails?
What happens when your loved ones fail you?
What happens when all you “thought” or trusted falls away as dust, as just one more crumbling idol?
As the head and hands of Dagon, the pagan idol, were broken off in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant(1), the Lord of Hosts does not tolerate our cherished idols in His presence. Because of His love for us, He makes a simple and cleared way for us to come to Him. Sometimes that which we errantly substitute for Him can no longer speak to us, counsel us, help us and console us with its former impact and presence. Why? Its head and its hands have been broken off. The Lord is asserting His love for you. Will you come to Him or will you do your best to fix or find a new Dagon or some other fetish?
Okay, that said, I hope you see I am not a heretic.
Here are the two issues I see plaguing Christianity today and hampering the faith journey of individual believers:
Traditional mainline Christian religion has failed. It is not just broken, needing a tweaking here and there. It is a failure because it has no validity in the eternal purpose of God. The way we Christians do “church” has no support from the scriptures. It is a thousands-of-years-old juggernaut with enough momentum to typically plow over and drown out most anything the prophetic Spirit of God tries to speak forth in simplicity and love among His people in these last days. The simple way the believers of the 1st-century “ekklesia” or the called-out ones aka “the church” -- was the intended way Christ would build His Church. Of course time and cultures would have altered it some, as the Spirit always brings His people into freedom and not religious bondage. But this simple way of faith was greatly distorted and polluted in the 3rd century. The roots of this problem sadly started even in the days of the Apostle John when he referred to the sin of the Nicolaitians in the book of Revelation. History clearly shows us what went so very wrong and remains tragically wrong to this day. I will not go into detail here and now as to what Christians should do to remedy this. I will leave those so moved to action by the Spirit to seek the answer in their own locale.
The second problem the Church, (not the traditional organized one), and individual believers face, has grown out the fact that “traditional mainline Christian religion has failed.”
What do I mean here?
When we moved away from the simplicity of brothers and sisters meeting together; studying, sharing and worshipping as one, without any clergy to run the show – we were less subject to one man’s ideas or later on with one seminary’s slant being taught as truth. In the early days, there was more sharing of the supernatural revelation by the Spirit among the “ekklesia” and the church grew in knowledge and truth related to the Lord’s will. The Body of Christ was alive and functioning as ordained of God’s design. The early church stayed on the cusp of revelations from the throne of God concerning His Kingdom.
Today’s churchianity is happy to be spoon-fed any religiosity-born drivel that trickles down from the pulpit, stage or circus tent. We as believers have become lazy in our seeking the mind of Christ. We are too busy, too in a hurry to experience that “Be still and know that I am God” epiphany.
Our clerical leaders, priests, pastors, leaders, elders, and whatever have become our “Voice of the Lord” and we largely accept and swallow their version of Christian reality. They may very accurately preach or teach: faith, purity, holiness, salvation, sanctification, Christian charity, brotherly love and all that. And what is so special about any believer doing this? ALL believers, are already called to be priests, (yeah, the bible teaches this), meaning each person has this same right to read the word, hear the Lord and proclaim this gospel to the world all by themselves. We need no paid person to be over us in authority doing this! Baptist-types may agree in concept to the “priesthood of the believer” but let me try and speak this word from any Baptist pulpit and see how far my priesthood will get me. “Here’s the door brother.”
Our religion has failed us in that we rely too much on what seminary courses crank out each semester, trusting that these fresh crops of degreed clergy to have the inside track to giving us God’s truth for the Church. We therefore rely on others to lead us and not on Christ as our Head with Jesus being our individual-specific and up-close-and-personal Leader/Teacher/Savior/Friend.
We have unfortunately become passive spectators, hearers only of the word, regardless of being urged otherwise, because our entire religious system is built upon someone leading us. We ask for leaders in our bible classes and even in how to worship and praise our magnificent God! What about the Spirit of truth leading us into worship? Jesus Himself told us that His Spirit would lead us and that we then would have need of no man to teach us. That is what scripture teaches but organized religion ignores this.
Ultimately, by relying on a failed system of worship, we become spiritually hamstrung. We lose the ability and even the desire to COME TO HIM on our own. We read the verses where the Lord says He “never KNEW us” and wonder about the meaning. We need to COME TO HIM and get the KNOW Him one on one and NOT vicariously/impersonally through another person, teaching or doctrine.
This leads me to addressing the final aspect in this second problem that believers each face. Because we have been taught to rely on the so-called spiritual wisdom of other men of history and today; these learned ones that seem so beyond us -- we’ll eventually swallow almost anything these self-assured teachers tell us. We seem to blindly trust them when they stand in pulpits of authority, in places of rank and clerical power. Some even say that submitting to a preacher or pope is submitting to Christ Himself. When we bow on command, sing on command and pray on command, we do not submit to Christ or worship God. We are fooled if we think so. We are merely going through the motions of following the god of religion. This god has failed us! This 20th-century Dagon has no head and no hands!
Most believers know very little of the deeper truths, eating not of meat of the scriptures nor do they hunger for them. They prefer fast food, regurgitated manna for fast and easy digestion. But this scripted sermonette of pulpit-delivered “food” is not empowering anyone the way REAL worship, REAL spiritual food can. I know this truth from experience and not from mere concept.
Christians I speak with and meet with are too dependent on others. They adore their preachers, teachers, writers and speakers in a way that is not healthy. What has widely been accepted, as normal Christian life, has become a dead thing full of empty echoes.
Religion has failed us.
When I try and reason in the scriptures with some more adept bible students about overcoming faith, true worship or some other aspect of the bible, sometimes I do not get to speak with Christ in them. Instead of the Spirit of the Lord speaking in them, in fellowship, I receive quotes from some recent popular book, some gifted teacher they follow or some convenient interpretational model is interposed that was worked up by some guy back in the 1840s! They can’t just reason from the word alone, on their own, as the Spirit has shown them. They have been taught to rely on someone outside themselves for “truth” and typically the “truth” they rest in is bogus.
One person will say, “Oh that passage could never refer to a Christian because so-and-so said in that particular dispensation this verse was for the nation of Israel and not for us today.” Another will say, Augustine wrote or Calvin showed.
I really don’t care what those guys thought. Neither should you!
Some will argue that the historical organized church fathers felt that – HEY, stop already! What is the Spirit saying to His people RIGHT NOW, TODAY, IN THIS SITUATION? That is all I care about. This dispensation, that dispensation, replacement theology, so-called Christian Zionism, fundamentalism, pluralism – why do we accept these things, these fetishes? When will EACH believer stop feeding on some other person’s olde and rotten manna?
It’s time we each burn the brass serpent and bow again afresh before the Lord of Mercy and leave the temples of Dagon.
May God help us . . .
(1) 1 Samuel 5: 1-5 (New International Version)
1 After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from
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