Friday, January 17, 2014

Response to Bitter Belly's: Commandments of Men

Before reading my response please head over to my friend's blog and read her great post....

Bitter Belly - Commandments of Men

Reading through this post just brought me to tears. First off, I could have written this though maybe not with as much accurate articulation. But everything resonated with me and brought me back through many things in my life. Secondly, the conclusion left me in awe once again of my precious Savior. Praise God for His faithfulness. Praise God for His love. Praise God for His sweet voice that leads me on. Praise God for knowing He is there in the hard times. Praise God for His correction. Praise God for those faithful servants of Christ that aren't in it to stuff the money in their pocket. They aren't in it for the fame or glory or to make a name for themselves. I witnessed more than once a Message pastor putting the money from the "Tithes", "Offerings", and "Missions" boxes in the same pocket when he thought no one was watching. I have witnessed Message ministers complaining they are broke but know just from several tithing members, they are doing better than I am financially. I serve in Christian Ministry full time and I can tell you I'm not in it for the money. 

I also am privileged to be friends with people making huge impacts in this world for the glory of God. BUT I can also tell you the fame isn't something they seek and would probably prefer to go back to the place anonymity. But yet in it, they know it brings more people in to awareness of how they can get involved in what God is doing. All we seek is to be more in love with our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I do this because I have the hope found in Jesus Christ and God has called me to share this Good News with the lost and dying world. I did it for many years in my local denominational church but now God has called me out to reach others beyond the boundaries of my home community. But within it He is stretching and growing me. Those are all hard things to have happen when you are secluded within your small little Message church circle.

Growing up I thought missions was sending money to Voice of God Recordings so they could translate William Branham's sermons in to different languages (both tapes and books) so that they could be sent out in to the world. Why do missions? Because obviously more people needed to come out of their heathen denominations and learn about Brother Branham. To turn away from the Trinity and sprinkling babies. I thought missionaries were Africans, Indians, or Filipinos that came to visit our churches in the States asking for money. Knowing what I know now, there are so many things within the Message Mission Model that are unsustainable and cause more harm than good. In some ways I'm thankful for that because it won't overtake the world. But in other ways I'm profoundly grieved by it. What do the indigenous people think of all of this? Many things in the Message Mission Model creates dependency. All of that time, money, and effort spent in vain. Don't get me wrong, most of the people within the Message are awesome, dear and well meaning people. But they are stuck... and many times unknowingly. Stuck and unable to move forward because of fear and pride. Fear because doubting the absolute of the Message and William Branham is to give the Devil a foothold in your life to lead you down a path of destruction. And pride, because you have been trying to obtain holiness through how you live and how you act and how good you are for God. But if you move away from that, what will people think? What will the God you know think?

The thought of denominations. That freaked me out for a LONG time. I had heard how evil they were all of my life. Many times it was from people within the Message who had been in denominations and had a case of sour grapes from some bad experience. But in the past decade I have discovered that there are disgruntled people all over the place. So that is not a good indicator for the reality of "denominations". My experience is God is right there and moving in mighty ways. The people I have had a privilege of knowing love God with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). I attend a certain denomination in the US. But I have churches from at least 5 different denominations supporting me... as I serve along side yet another denomination here...with people from yet other denominations. But Jesus is our pillar and our foundation and we are united for the common goal of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are Godly men and women seeking the Truth of the Bible. God's Living Word, open for all. If you look at the definitions of the word denomination, the Message is also a denomination. The very thing they fear and despise.

The author's concluding thought is worth repeating here....

One body, one Spirit.  Many members.  All through the blood of Jesus.  All by grace.
Christ is the head of the church.  His church is not contained within the walls of a building. Its not a select group of people with a secret revelation for their day.  The body of Christ is whosoever will.  If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then you are apart of His body.  You are His hands and His feet.  Go, and minister unto the needs of His body. Build up and encourage.  Speak life. 

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