I was 17. Stumbling through the forest behind my home, somewhere between Lebanon and Sweet Home, Oregon, I couldn’t shake the sense of betrayal and humiliation.
Tears streamed from my eyes as I looked up and screamed at the top of my lungs, “Where were You?”
Let me tell you a little bit about how I got to this point.
I Was a Pastor’s Project
My mother did her best, taking my sister and me from church to church over the span of the 18 years she had each of us living at home. This church was a doozy. They had just adopted a “mentoring” program where everyone was held accountable to a superior, and you basically had to share with them all your private details.
Since all of the rest of the kids went to a Christian school in the same building as the church, they all belonged to the same clique. Most of them had gone to that one school since kindergarten and had grown up in that church, so they were all like brothers and sisters.
Don’t get me wrong, they were cordial to my sister and me, but you knew who was “in” and who was “out.” If the lines hadn’t been obvious from the start, they soon would be, after I had a talk with the pastor.
Did I not mention that they wanted me to be “accountable” to the pastor?
Look, I was not your model churchgoer. I rocked a bad mullet, wore torn jeans, listened to Metallica, smoked weed and had a porn problem. This was AFTER saying the sinner’s prayer at 5 and being baptized in the Holy Ghost at 12. I was a walking example of what could go wrong after getting “saved” the traditional way.
Please don’t misunderstand me; I honestly believed that Jesus was the Son of God and all the other basic doctrines… I just had a hard time living it out. My dad was unsaved, so there was no unified front in the home, plus there were plenty of ungodly influences at school, so I had an extremely difficult time maintaining a “godly stand” while living in a compromised atmosphere. In fact, I failed miserably.
Not to mention, I just loved to sin – it was “fun” to me… but the resulting guilt I felt never failed to take its toll. I would go out at night and get stoned out of my mind, only to come home, listen Keith Green and cry myself to sleep.
If Paul was “the worst of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15), I was the most pathetic.
So this pastor decided he wanted to take me on as his project. Certainly, if he could get me into a suit and tie on Sunday morning, I would definitely be a big notch in his belt.
Gossip and Accountability Do Not Mix
Our first meeting was on a day after I had had a night of indulging, partying and crying myself to sleep to “Grace by Which I Stand.” I could not have felt any lower than I did at that moment. I was absolutely certain that God hated me and wanted to kill me.
I completely spilled. I told him everything… and left nothing unsaid. Every sick and twisted secret a teenage boy with a drug and porn problem could have was out on the table and this guy had knowledge of it.
And not too long after that, so did his wife.
And hours after that, so did the gossip ring in the church.
The next Sunday, I felt the stares… and I didn’t need to be told what had happened. Once again, the harlot church had revealed her true colors to me. The only problem was, I didn’t realize at that time that it was the harlot church, I just thought it was “the church.”
So now I was out in the forest behind my house almost in a panic, crying out to God. “Why did this happen? Aren’t they supposed to represent You? It seems everywhere I turn, there is NO EXAMPLE of you, Father! I can’t trust anyone. I can’t believe what anyone says. They all have agendas! What am I supposed to do?”
This was one of the rare times that I heard His (almost audible) voice, “Your example died on the cross. Don’t look to man, they will fail you every time. Follow Him and no other!”
That was one of the defining moments of my life, where I decided to let my Savior be my example. It took me a few years to come up out of the muck of my carnality, but that one moment seared in me a desire to follow what the Word says, even if it meant carving my own trail.
If the crowd was following a man, I would not be in that crowd.
As I put that philosophy to work in my 20’s and 30’s (through many trials and failures), I noticed a strange dynamic slowly evolving. The more I decided to take His Word at face value (all of it), the more I found myself at odds with the church (whom I now know is the harlot church).
And the gap has been growing wider and more obvious each and every year.
Away from the Harlot Church – Towards New Jerusalem
Many of you who still love the present day church paradigm will probably look at this brief snippet of my life and think, “Well he’s just hurt and is holding a grudge.”
Not so, I’ve forgiven all parties involved… but I definitely do not and will not trust those who claim to be in leadership in what is known as “the mainstream church.”
I will not love and live that lie.
People love to ignore verses in the Bible that make them uncomfortable. One such verse is toward the back, in fact it’s one of the last verses you’ll read.
Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
Take the time to meditate on this verse. Before the very end of the Bible, the Messiah is listing out those who will not under any circumstances enter New Jerusalem when she appears. It’s almost like He’s giving us a last minute warning…
Who are those who will not “enter through the gates into the city?”
- sexually immoral
- whoever loves and practices a lie
Most will take a quick glance at this list and think “No sweat, I got this!”… But do you?
Living a Lie Will Bar You from New Jerusalem
I could write a sermon on each one of the points listed above, but right now I want to pay special attention to the last point… “whoever loves and practices a lie.”
If you look at the various translations of the Bible, this refers to more than just the sin of “lying.” This part of verse 15 refers to those who both lie, practice a lie… and love to have it that way. As we consider what it means to both lie, live a lie, and love a lie, we should be gripped by the fear of God. How do we live? Are we transparent, or do we need to fool everyone?
Even more important than living transparently, we need to ask ourselves:
- What do we accept as truth?
- Everything our pastor said?
- Everything we were taught growing up?
- Everything we were taught in church?
If you fall into that category, you will not “enter through the gates.”
Are You Willing to Forsake Inherited Lies?
I cannot overstate enough how important it is for us to take a closer look at what we believe, even the very core doctrines of our faith.
- What do we believe?
- Why do we believe it?
- Is it backed up by the Word?
- Do we see the disciples doing it in the Word?
Don’t be scared of questioning the Word of God. If it is the absolute truth, it will still ring true under the most intense scrutiny. If the doctrine you are questioning doesn’t line up… toss it! I don’t care how near and dear it is to your heart, toss it!
We’re in a place in time where the following passage is coming to pass.
O LORD, my strength and my fortress,
My refuge in the day of affliction,
The Gentiles shall come to You
From the ends of the earth and say,
“Surely our fathers have inherited lies,
Worthlessness and unprofitable things.”
Which are not gods?
In spite of some glaring anomalies, many of us were taught traces of the truth by good-hearted people who meant well; others were taught by those they trusted in because of their seminary degrees (don’t get me started). All of us, at one time or another, have incorporated somebody else’s slant on the Scripture into our theology… it’s human nature to do so, and anyone who says otherwise is either very young or has an agenda.
But friends, it is OUR responsibility to diligently search the Scripture to find truth for ourselves. We can no longer just accept what we have been taught by our parents, our churches and our leaders at face value. God will not accept “Well, my pastor said…” or “Well, my momma said…” when we stand before Him on that final day.
What “Spirit” Bore Witness?
Additionally, God will look at those of us who have hidden behind the trump card excuse of “Well, it bore witness with my spirit,” and ban us from the New Jerusalem if the witness that we embraced has ignored or contradicted His eternal Word (all of it).
All eternity will know if we have lived and loved a lie… but by then it will be too late.
I’m writing all this to you because, as of the last few years, I have studied some things out that have shaken my foundations. Not my fundamental belief in the Messiah and His Word, but my viewpoints as to how a believer’s life is to be lived out before God and the world. Trust me, because I live in the Last Days (just like you), the last thing I want to do is to be deceived into living a lie. What’s more, I feel a responsibility to bring you along on my journey.
HonorOfKings.org started out with a desire to live according to the pure Word of God, without all of the frivolities and blatant sin of the Prophetic and Charismatic circles. With the release of “Prophetic Masquerade: Learn to Use the Word of God to Unmask the Wolves Among the Sheep,” I hope to leave that focus of the blog and shift gears just a little. I can’t say if I will ever write on that topic again, but my learning and writing efforts are elsewhere right now.
The Digression of the Church Into Harlotry
Currently, I believe that God has instructed me to put a greater focus on teaching the Word within its proper context, as well as write about how the church has digressed over the past 2000 years. There is a reason I said “digressed” and not “progressed.”
You see, there is a reason WHY the Acts church looked one way 2000 years ago, but looks completely different today. The faith in (and of) the Messiah has “morphed” throughout the years in a very bad way. External and internal influences have gradually changed the faith now known as “Christianity” to the point where it is now at the opposite end of the spectrum of the original faith.
The reason the common churchgoer doesn’t know this is because they are treated like mushrooms (kept in the dark and fed a lot of bull… manure). They believe they think for themselves. Some even believe they listen to the Holy Spirit, but in truth, they are being groomed and brainwashed into conformity.
And, with the exception of a few “rebels,” they like it that way.
It All Culminates Into a Cursed Unification
The purpose for all the training and ritual is to breed a compliant attitude for when all the Christian denominations (and non-denominations) will join with the One World Church.
I realize that these are unbelievably broad and sweeping statements and you must be thinking, “Dude, you are totally off your rocker” but this weighs out scripturally AND historically. If you insist on only “living in the now,” you absolutely will not comprehend this. But if you check out this insidious plan from a historical perspective, you will realize that you’re on your way off the cliff with the rest of the lemmings.
I know people with an “education” who know many of the things that I’m going to discuss in future posts. They were taught it in seminaries! And yet they refuse to teach their flocks because it will cut into their profits and disrupt the conventional church paradigm.
Well… I’m gonna tell it and I don’t care if they like it or not.
Over the coming year, I hope to write more about church history. The events that transpired in the 400 (or so) “silent years” between the Testaments and the first few centuries after the death and resurrection of Christ changed and shaped what we know today as “Christianity.”
I’m also going to analyze current church practices and see if they really do line up with the Word, or if we’re just TOLD that they line up with the Word. I am probably going to end up going after some pet doctrines that have been part of the western church for years, view them in light of the Word, church history and other data (translations, etc.), and see if they all add up.
This may cast me in a bad light to some people. It may even irritate and/or challenge you, depending on where you stand. But if we’re all ready to put aside our personal biases and opinions and search out His truth, perhaps we can find the right path and move forward.
Isn’t it time for His church to get its act together and move forward?
Kicking It Up a Notch!
This responsibility weighs very heavily on me and I cherish your prayers for me and my family. Things are going to get kicked up a notch in the world, and the need for truth is greater than ever before, so I’m going to kick it up a notch with HonorOfKings.org. That said, I do not want to be guilty of adding to or taking away from His Word.
Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.
And if you know anyone who is tired of cookie-cutter christianity and may need to know that they are not alone, now is a great time to tell them about HonorOfKings.org!
When He returns, may we be watching and waiting while walking on His Path.