"But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou will be blessed: for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the ressurection of Jesus" Luke 14:13,14
In my journey through the church world, i see so many standarized practises that move away from the idea that we are to be one body fit jointly together in love. There always appears to be an 'elite membership' comprised of elders and other leaders who work for free for the ministry. Fear motivates them to be at every meeting. When i say for the ministry i mean for the ministry and their vision as opposed to the vision of God. I am amazed at the yearly celebrations of the men and women of God, the celebrations of the ministries conception, the grand fund raisers, the high end fund raising dinners to proclaim the prosperous future that 'all are standing in faith for'. The 'ministry bussiness never misses a beat when it comes to those areas yet still the people in need, the broken hearted, the poor, the fatherless the demonized......always seem to get cast to the side or escorted quietly out of the back door. I have seen and experienced it in different types of ministries. The 'man of God' is to be surrounded by those that have unwavering faith in that he hears directly from God for them. Should anyone question this premise then one's faith is severely questioned and openly attacked, which paralyzes others who have the same questions.
I ask myself what in the world could possibley be the glue that holds this game together. I have seen folks walking down the street after just joining a church because they had no transportation and those same leaders pass them by???
Are we not our brothers keeper? Why has it turned into this Elite Club, those that have vs those that do not? Why is it that only those who can afford the ticket can go to the church event? I have talked to many who stay away from church because they are tired of being ignored, tired of people looking right through them if they have no obvious 'gift' to support the ministry. This spirit of narcissism is what it seems to be. The need to be recognized as 'gifted", the need to be celebrated and noticed", the need to please man so one can feel secure". I quess there are all kinds of reasons why people participate. Any ministry i joined...i was there with such excitement that this time we will reach those people that Jesus appointed to us!!! Only to find that the control over the ministries was quietly in place, so as to keep everyone focused on the real agenda.....The prosperity preachers gather yearly and appear to have forgotten their calling and their cross. The arrogance and level of narcissim is astounding! It keeps going on every year, many catch on and leave disappointed and give up on God...that is something many will answer for......Many are shamed and bullied into staying told that they will commit "spiritual suicide" if they leave the ministry!! Wow so now one can lose one's salvation simply by leaving a dysfuctional group of hirelings!!! BLAPHEMY!
Pastors seem to play the main role in any church no matter what denomination. When everything centers around one individuals plans for the ministry to me that is just bussiness, for profit bussiness and should not be considered church. Raising money for trips to the Holy Land for the man and woman of God, raising big money for bigger buildings supposedly for the glory of God. All the while...those lost and broken people stand without a chance to know the truth. What they see are people they will never be in a position to be around. The elite show up at each other's churches in their long stretch limosines, walking briskly to and from and flanked by body guards......where is the fellowship in that. There are no rock stars in the kingdom of God and i am so over the foolishness. We live in a world that is dying and the supposed church of God is playing the stock market and reaching their own personal agendas using Gods principles. I pray for true repentance and God inspired revival!!!
The correction for all of this is to repent and focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, humble yourself and realize that God is God!!!
From Surviving to Thriving!!
It is my hearts desire to create a safe place for people who are seeking a real and meaningful relationship with Christ Jesus. Many of us have grown up in 'religious systems' that dictated how we were to relate to our Savior. Many of us were left with more questions then answers! Many of us were left with more fear then faith! Many of us were ignored and cast out when we did not measure up! Many of us have been so disillusioned by the 'church system' or 'ministry machine' that we lost sight of who we are in Christ. This blog is a meeting place for those who are trying to return to their first love, Jesus Christ!! Welcome to a fellowship that will speak to the issues through the lens of the Word of God. My journey has been long but I see the absolute relevance of every experience that I encountered!! The battle is for our minds and we need each other to navigate this journey home!! Welcome!
Thursday, June 30, 2011
My observations regarding those who realize that they have been feeding on false doctrine have left me sad at times. I recently had an experience with an ex-word of faith preacher who realized that he had been chewed up and spit out by the typical prosperity pimps who were playing him and teaching him how to con others. He presents himself with much anger and doubt as to Who Jesus Christ is! It is a serious crisis of faith that we encounter when we realize that we have been decieved, lied to, and manipultated into believing something that is untrue! One feels like a fool and can really go into a tailspin and as a result reject Christ and anything or anyone who represents Him. That is the fruit of these spiritually deceptive church systems that function only to elevate their agenda using Christ's name as a smokescreen! They leave behind broken lives, broken hearts, and broken families. I can only imagine the pain God feels when He observes that the watchman left their post to pursue their own interest, while still playing the role of a watchman. I have been speaking to many who have been caught in the web of deception and many of us are beginning to talk to each other. We have all heard many of the same admonitions, who are we to judge the man of God, and God alone will correct them. There is so much misplaced loyalty going on that I am amazed that God doesn't strike us down right there, with all of the pastor worship and groupie activity going on. I believe that people lose themselves in these toxic and abusive church family systems. What is worse is many broken people are finding themselves in ministries to heal....a last ditch effort to be free only to find themselves being used up and pushed out when the important questions are asked!! So what happens to those people? Where do they go? The world systems failed to meet their needs and now the church system is adding insult to injury. You listen to some of these angry and narcissistic preachers wailing their threats from the pulpit regarding the tithe. You watch them flanked by bodyguards who are ready to put you in a choke hold if you try to talk to the pastor! I do not remember any account of where Jesus had body guards. It seems to me that He walked closely with those that He ministered to. I am hopeful that that we can recover and we can allow the mind of Christ to truly be formed in us. I believe that the knots can be untied and I believe it is time for a real revival. A revival of the heart...where we are honest about the problem and extend a hand one to another to heal the wounds that bind us. Just some thoughts for today. Much love anne
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Toxic shame is different from healthy shame. Toxic shame tells us that we are a mistake and that no amount of problem solving can deliver us from our condition. In abusive ministries we now understand that a single 'charasmatic' leader holds all of the power over the direction of that ministry. That individual is the 'mouth piece' of God and is to be obeyed no matter how wrong their behavior or doctrine may be!! Abusive ministries are closed systems that have a single leader surrounded by hand picked yes men/women who do his dirty work and ensure that others are towing the line and following all of the rigid rules that the system (not God) expects. However they do it in the name of God and are experts at using scripture to make the people of God feel guilty if they do not obey them!!! This is nothing new and has been going on for as long as there has been religion. It is this dynamic that is permeating the church and creating new and even more abusive leaders. They require the people of God who have been purchased by the blood of Jesus to bend their knee to their insatiable need for power and money. These leaders become so used to being treated like rock stars that they begin to believe that they stand between you and God . They threaten that you are committing 'spiritual suicide' if you choose to leave their ministries. They use every toxic shame inducing method to obtain complete obedience and control over you and your understanding of who you are in Christ.