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Stirring The Deep

Breaking the Mold

30 Comments

Breaking the Mold

 

Spiritual hunger, afflicted souls, unbound wounds, lack of wisdom, famished souls, and constant hardships; bondage seems to be increasing among God’s people.

There are several reasons for these troubles, but I want to address one many may have not considered. Plagues, pestilence, and famine are pronounced upon the House of God in the days of judgment, which I feel we are entering. Jeremiah 24:10 Therefore, it’s essential to examine in accordance to God’s truth our place in the church system (CS). Revelation 18:4 In the end, we are going to see a lot of turmoil in the house of God as the enemy, “Satan” (our deceiving self-will), takes over the sanctuary. Lam 2:7, Jeremiah 25:10 If we are in a place of the “father of lies”, our souls are in a perilous position. John 8:44

Why perilous? First, the CS is an anchor of trust for many people, which in these days is a dangerous place to put your confidence. Church should be like going to the in-laws for a Sunday brunch. We hang out, chit chat, disagree, and encourage. It no way should replace our marriage (our relationship with God). Yet for many, church and religious leaders have moved into people’s lives, where God should be reigning. They have to go or they feel guilt or unfulfilled. It is their spiritual nourishment, focus, and priority and for that they have fallen for the lies and their marriage has suffered.

Second, the Bible says a multitude of leaders will lead many astray by their unrighteous deception (lies posing as God’s truth). One of the most effective deceptive tactics is twisting God’s Word just enough. (A good reason to be leery of the recent Bible translations that are moving further and further from the original manuscripts.) If we are under a leader’s influence, who is knowingly or unknowingly given into lies, we aren’t giving our spirits much of a chance. If that is our trust and our place of truth, then we will fall prey to the deception. Jeremiah 23:16-17, 34, 40 A wolf in sheep’s clothing looks like a sweet, caring, innocent sheep, remember that.

God doesn’t want any to fall for this deception. He has given us what we need His truth – it is OUR LOVE for the TRUTH that will save us. But we need to take heed to it. 2 Thessalonians 2:10

Being in CS is one of those beliefs Christians rarely question, I never did. Because of the lack of questioning and the pressure to conform, people remain where they are despite what is happening in their spirit. They ignore or justify what they feel. However, there are a growing number of believers who are seeking greener pastures. Being prompted by the Holy Spirit and seeking the truth from God’s Word, they are leaving the CS. Not the true church, which they are actually are clinging more to and becoming. They are moving into the green pastures of God’s Word and into the true church. This move isn’t easy because of the pressure and other various reasons, but it’s the call on their hearts.

Inquire of God about your place in the CS and be willing to hear any answer. I recommend taking a break for 3-6 months from the CS and abide faithfully in God’s pure Word (like the KJV) every day to hear and discern His voice among the others. Seek to know and draw near to His heart, He’ll reveal it to you. If God is truly your trust and not the CS, you’ll be able to take a break. I suggest this because if you are seeking while under the influence of the father of lies you aren’t giving your soul much of a chance to really hear. Don’t think that you are stronger enough, deception is called deception for a reason. Seeking takes time as you read the books of the prophets who foretold these days (i.e. Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos, Revelation), and trust God to teach you. He is an incredible Teacher. There is nothing more important, because it affects your soul and those around you. I once assumed that to be a Christian was to be in the CS. It was an error that kept me in deep bondage. God has taught me something quite different and it changed my life.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions like:

Why am I in the CS, really?

Have I really sought God’s will about it for today, the time we are in?

Do I go because of that’s what I do? That’s what others do? That is what a Christian does? Why do I think that? Because others say so, my pastor says so? Because it is God’s will? Have I really sought His will?

Have I read God’s pure Word seeking His will – and not only listened to a person’s interpretation of it?

If I were to stop going, how would I feel? Why do I feel that way?

Who do I really trust? To nourish, protect, counsel, and provide for my spiritual needs? The CS on some level?

Where does God really want me?

Do I make abiding in God’s Word a priority in my own quiet time?

God desires none should fall prey to deception. He has told us what to do, how to fight and now to conquer any harm that might come our way – a LOVE for His TRUTH is our guard and defense. But we must own it and act on it. We are to abide in it with faith and a heart to follow God’s truth and no one else’s. You have nothing to fear, if you are truly seeking Him and His truth in His pure Word.

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Author: Rachel

My passion is cultivating a deep relationship with God and helping others to do the same. I LOVE sharing with others insights that God has taught me and hearing what God has taught them... thus my blog, Stirring the Deep. My focus is on a relationship, not a religion. Life is in the relationship. I believe in a balance and unity of body, mind and spirit. I feel it's important to nurture all three for they all affect each other. I try to live in the present, where the Holy Spirit is. And I try to do all with the motive of love. I've come to believe life is a journey and not a destination. It isn't about perfection, is it about growth.

30 thoughts on “Breaking the Mold

  1. So true, Rachel.

    We did take some time off from the CS and it was good. Well, for me anyhow. If you do this, you need to NOT take time off from Jesus. But not “going to church” every Sunday made it more apparent that yes, I did have to go to Jesus MYSELF or there wouldn’t be any spiritual nourishment for me.

    Just a quick note about bible versions–I agree that some of the more modern translations, particularly those trying to be simple, lack something, but the KJV isn’t the most accurate of the translations. It was a great achievement, but scholarship and resources have improved while language has changed.

    I have my favorites, but I don’t have a particular translation to recommend–it’s good to do some research before choosing one, though. There are some that are more like commentaries than accurate translations.

    Blessings, Cindy

    • Hi Cindy – thanks for your thoughts on this . . . YES it is NOT pulling away from God but rather going deeper into Him- for that is the whole point of the break – to seek Him, and His Truth in His Word.
      Just interestd . . . I read the NKJV and sometimes the KJV – what do you read?

  2. Spot on again, Rachel. Thanks for writing this Holy Spirit-anointed article. Love for truth is the key. It’s also the challenge. I pray God will use this post in mighty ways to blow away the spiritual smokescreens which surround so many in the CS.

    Roger

  3. Hey, Rachel

    I’ve been reading the Holman Christian Standard Bible recently. I think it’s helpful to change versions once in a while because I’m less likely to skim over bits I think I already know. But it’s also a good translation. I like the New Living Translation also, and of course the Amplified, though that’s more for study.

    All of my memorization is KJV because it’s such beautiful, poetic language. I read the NKJV for a long time, too, and I have one on CD that I like very much. I have e-sword (free on-line download) on my computer, and that’s great for study, seeing so many translations side by side–also the KJV has Strongs numbers you can mouse over and get the Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek words and definitions. Yes, my name is Cindy, and I am a bibleoholic . . . 😆

    But like I said, lately I’ve been reading the HCSB for just reading, but there are a lot of good (and some not so good) versions out there.

    • Hi Cindy – thanks for your thoughts on this . . . I’ve been reading the NKJV for awhile – and recently started reading more of the KJV – I noticed the same thing when I switched it up I read the verses more closely – when you get familiar with passages it is easy to “skim over” parts. I’ll check out the HCSB version. There are several versions that change up the original language so it loses the symbolism that connects passages and verses, which leads to deeper understanding. I’ve seen this with the NIV – so I don’t read it. The symbolism thus the word choice is key to a deeper understanding of the truths the Bible holds.

      • Hi, Rachel

        I agree with you about the words being symbolic. Ultimately for us, the retention of the symbolism is a factor of the skill of the translation team. We miss a LOT of the symbolism because we don’t read in the original languages, too. But yes, I love the deeper meanings imparted by more poetic translations. (Assuming the translator got it right, of course.)

        Ultimately, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to impart a lot of those deeper meanings to us, or on the help of more linguistically educated brothers and sisters. That’s why I do appreciate a good commentary. I realize it’s just that, but God gave us one another, right? It’s always interesting and sometimes enlightening to read about the literary devices popular at the time, and why this or that particular order of statements imparted a particular flavor, symbolism, etc.–or that the particular Hebrew word used is a pun on another Hebrew word which added a new shadow of meaning that non Hebrew readers would never pick up on.

        Yes, you’re right–there’s a lot there that we miss out on with a simplified version like the New Century Version, and though for myself I do not exaggerate to say that I’d hate to be stuck with nothing but that, for a less privileged person in the area of education, I’m grateful the NCV, Message, etc. are out there. Only I want to take said person under my wing and teach her how to read a little better. 😉

        Love you, Sis

        Cindy

      • Cindy – you brought up great point – we need to rely on the Holy Spirit. Ultimately it is He who we trust to teach us God’s truth. He is more than capable to teach anyone at any level at any time. God gave us a tremendous gift in His Holy Spirit residing within us. Brings to mind the verse 1 John 2:27 “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

  4. Right on, Rachel.

    Thanks for this Holy Spirit-anointed post.

    Love for truth is the key. It’s also the greatest challenge.

    Most people do not attend “church” as truth seekers. The biblical Jesus is not their Central reason.

    Thanks too for those challenging questions. May the Lord speak to many through them.

    Roger

  5. I find a puzzling look creep over people’s faces when I answer their question, “So where do you go to church?”

    The very question saddens me because it seems so impersonal. Those believers who truly know me ask far different questions.

  6. Thanks again for another good post. Encouraging us to be committed to Jesus Christ and not a religious system, what a radical concept. It does seem that more an more followers are moving on from CS, as you call it, very encouraging to me. I believe this is in fact a movement of the Spirit of God, across this nation, pretty exciting.
    On the version issue, I may differ with you ? Recently I ask my dear friends, who have been with Wycliffe Bible Translators for years, (translating languages, that have never been written down before, into written words, then into school books, then into the Bible ) which version they currently are using for daily reading. They said the NLT was a good easy reading version, I have found that to be true. I have also been using the Holman Christian Standard version, and found it good as well.
    Using websites like Biblegateway.com or Blueletterbible.com have been really helpful, the ease of going back and looking at the original language has been helpful. If you have not used these websites, check them out.
    Thanks again, and keep seeking Him. John Morris.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-Living-Translation-NLT-Bible/

    http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Holman-Christian-Standard-Bible-HCSB/

    • Hi John – thanks for your recommendations on versions . . . another blogger friend recommended the HCSB – I’ll check it out. I also use those sites! They are indeed very helpful. Thanks for putting them for others to see. 🙂

  7. Very good read!

    You could here a shout of “Amen’s” from me through reading this.

    When I really began 10 years ago to study God’s Word without the interpretation and direction of the church my life changed drastically.
    My heart wept and the eyes of my understanding were illuminated by His truth.. and the intimacy I found in really “knowing” my Savior has transformed me and renewed my mind, my actions and my thoughts.

    I understand that taking time off from the corporate system of church can be a good thing.. (I never feel guilty when I miss service).. but I am also concerned with those in the body, wandering aimlessly not knowing how to study or where to begin, they need a mentor, maybe not a teacher, but an advocate Parakletos, one who walks by their side.

    I remember a few years ago asking this woman to join our Precepts Bible Study class.. her husband jumped in and said, “why does she need to study the bible.. we have so many good teachers right here studying for us”.
    My heart sank.. and I literally felt ill. They are leaders in a ministry at the church we “were” attending.

    So.. we who are mature need to be affective when we are in the collective CS.

    I pray your voice is heard Rachel!!!

    The two study sites I like the most are;

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/index.cfm

    http://www.studylight.org

    • Hi Laurie – thanks for your comment . . . it dawned on me awhile ago how we the temple of Christ really haven’t cared for one another (me being number one) in that we’ve relied on the church system to lead and mentor new believers. Why not help the new believer we meet ourselves? I feel it is each of our roles to disciple one another – to help each other to learn to abide in God’s truth, draw near to Him in truth. It seems it would be more effective for all parties.

      Thanks for the sites. I use blueletterbible . . I’ll check out the other!

  8. Hi Rachel,

    Thank you for stopping by at Open My Ears, Lord. The project I am participating in 31 Days to Build a Better Blog or 31dbbb is still taking participants. I think Cindy who commented on your post is also one of the bloggers in the workshop.

    If you are interested here is the URL to find out more info and join:

    http://blog.ourchurch.com/2010/04/27/join-us-and-become-a-better-blogger-in-31-days/

    Looks like you have a good following and your posts are deep! Hope to talk with you again.

    Blessings,
    Janis

  9. A friend of mine is so worried that I am not in “church”, he always asks me if we have found a church? Its exhausting! And I continue with the same answer all the time…why should I go? OF course we know the typical response one will give…fellowship! What I don’t understand is he and his wife are still at the same church we left. He disagrees with what they do at times, but counters it with the good they do. I don’t get it, there should not be a compromise.

    On translations, I have been reading the NASB for a long time, good translation, but in some areas its almost to literal. I like the ESV, but have been drawn to read the KJV. I believe it would be a huge benefit for me to read the KJV because it really causes you to slow, digest each verse compared to most versions. Irritating factor for me in purchasing bibles, is how they are cheaply made, my NASB, fell apart after a couple of years. It should be mandatory to smyth sewn all bibles. But then that would interfere with there profits. Hopefully soon I will be able to look into purchasing a new bible I do think I will purchase a good KJV.

    • Hi Mike, it can be tough on the outside – the constant pressure to be in a local church. But we are the church. It isn’t about being in a building and in fact, the building and the structure of the organization often gets in the way of building a true relationship with God. Ultimately we all are accountable to God and no one else. It is His voice we should be seeking to hear and follow – wherever He made lead.

      Interesting point about quality . . . I have a good one, though I don’t believe they printing these particular ones anymore, but what I really love is that it has WIDE margins. In a lot of Bibles there is so much commentary or other stuff, the margins are VERY thin – there is no room to write your insights and what the Holy Spirit taught YOU. I prefer the wide margins to all that other stuff because you can seek commentary on-line if you want it. I think it is important and enlightening to “make it your own” by the Spirit’s personal instruction – it has been a real blessing to me. SO if you come across a quality one with good margins let me know 🙂

    • Cambridge Bibles and Oxford I know still do wide margins…I think the website is Evangelical bible.

      have a great day!

  10. Rachel,

    I have read a few books that have addressed the issue that you are talking about. The best one that I have read is “So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore” By Wayne Jacobson And Dave Coleman. It is a fictional novel which drew me more into the story and helped me relate to the characters.

    While I found this to be a very thought provoking book, I still struggle with many of the responses I have seen to the Institutional Church. I agree without hesitation that our faith should be rooted in Jesus Christ and not the religious system that has been put into place. I also believe that many church gatherings lack the presence of community that God’s people should have by virtue of being “The Church.” You are right, if we are Christians gathered together then we are having church no matter our location; the local coffee shop, grocery store, or my living room. And that is just as valuable as a Sunday morning attendance in most churches.

    I guess where I struggle is with the tendency for folks to discount the value of belonging to a community of people that meet on a regular basis. The early Christians met regularly and formed groups in their community setting. As they grew they had to develop systems to carry out the work in the community. An example is when the Apostles told the group to choose seven men from among themselves to oversee the distribution of food and care for the widows. As God’s Kingdom grows and more people are added we have no choice but to create systems so that we can leverage our collective resources and help disciple those inside and outside of the church.

    I admit that there are problems with the way that we do church today. It is measured by how many show up and how much they give. When instead it should be a group of people choosing to live life together. Learning to trust one another and submit to one another so that they can collectively seek the face of God.

    I guess that is enough rambling for now. Christians need this to be an ongoing conversation. Thanks for being a part of it.

    • Larry – I really appreciate you taking your time to share your thoughts. The church structure because it is orchestrated by humans has always had its problems – even in the days of Paul. But my belief is that there will come a time when God brings judgment for all the backsliding and corruption – and that judgment comes along with the rest of the world. When that judgment happens, I believe God will call His people who are truly His out of the system and to Himself in the “wilderness” where He will feed and take care of them. I believe these things because of what I’ve felt Him teach me through His Word. I know many dismiss most of the prophets of the Old Testament b/c they feel that is only for the Jews- but I feel those books are for His people. They are very enlightening. I’ve felt that this movement would happen for several years. And what I see happening is people are leaving to the greener pastures to be taught, sheltered, shepherd by God. God is connecting people out in the “wilderness” (out of the church system). It isn’t the masses but then again He told us it wouldn’t be.

      No doubt it is easy to accomplish things when you have numbers. But I think we have to be careful about putting our trust in man and the system to accomplish the things of God – that is what has always gotten God’s people into trouble – trusting man and His ways and strength. God knows the times we are in or approaching in the end because He foretold them. I believe He is capable to provide and accomplish all the He desires in these days.

      This is a tough topic and I agree with you the conversation needs to be ongoing – and even more so – we each need to be in His Word seeking the truth from Him, not man. We are easily skewed in our thinking.

      I hope this didn’t come off too abrupt – truly my desire is for God to be people’s first love. For His Word, not man’s to be their foundation. For people to follow Him not man. In my opinion, the church system as a whole fosters something else.

      I actually got that book – because I see it referenced so often. I’m curious to read it.

    • Hey, Larry!

      So cool to see you here. I can truthfully say that Rachel’s blog is top of my list and it’s great to see you’ve discovered it.

      So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore is a good read–I enjoyed it very much, but I think the idea of just meeting one another by divine appointment with no purposing at all is a bit naive. The early churches had meetings and it was possible to reach them with an epistle, so while spontaneous meetings do occur and are a vital part of church life, I think that ultimately, we may have to be a bit more intentional than is portrayed in this story. (I think you probably agree with that.)

      I wrote a post nearly a year ago that talks a lot about this same sort of thing and elaborates on it a little bit. It’s so cool the way Jesus talks with His people along the same lines and yet gives each of us a little different perspective. Since Rachel’s talking about this, I just republished it. You can find it here if you’re interested. A New Word from an Ancient Prophecy: Isaiah 32

      Blessings, Cindy

  11. I am thankful for the church my family attends together, it is a blessing. But I know a lot of ex Word of Faith people that will not go back to church, and some of them even doubt God now

    • John – it is sad to see when people reject God because they’ve been hurt by the church – I know several people who do.

  12. The truth comes from the word of God; and not from the millions of the so called churches. We must all take responsibilty to read and pray for ourselves. We must promote love and joy to all in the names of Jesus. The early church was formed in the homes of the belivers. The question is, what has changed from those days? God bless you and your excellent work.

  13. Pingback: If the Train is Going the Wrong Direction, Get off and Head the Other Way « Journey into the Son

  14. Pingback: If the Train is Going the Wrong Direction, Get off and Head the Other Way | Journey Into The Son

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