I am not, repeat NOT trying to pick on or call out a certain denomination, etc. I have issues with ALL denominations, particularly within the one I was raised, which was more of the pentecostal/charismatic, or full gospel as they called it, church.
I see too many people who are going to stand before God and hear "depart from me ye workers of iniquity", and it grieves me. Or have their works burn up because it wasn't precious, it is just wood, stubble and hay. It scares me that I might be one for perpetrating false doctrines, because I was too lazy or scared to question and test what I was being taught.
That is where I am. I am standing at the crossroads of biblical doctrine. I have been unable to attend a church service for a year, not because of inability of body, or will, but because I'm a stranger in a strange land, surrounded by non-English speaking people. I think God put us here for several reasons, one of which is where I am now - so He can show me through reading His word on my own, without it being prompted by the latest "make me feel good, tickle my ear" sermon, His Truth. He has been showing me where the doctrines we are taught and hold onto aren't really the way we are told they are. They don't line up with scripture.
Make no mistake I've always read my bible, etc. but usually going over what I learned in a church service the day before, etc. Sometimes I would see the error, but figured, what do I know, I'm just a silly woman with a High School education, and three kids. These men and women, some of them have degrees in theology/divinity, etc, and have been walking with the Lord for EONS. They must know better than me!!
But God has been showing me, that's what holds a lot of people back from being able to see the Truth He is revealing to them. To walk in the gifts he has called them to. See, He has shown me that most of the disciples and apostles were low on the socioeconomic and educational food chain, yet look at them! They carried out the Great Commission with unwavering Faith! They wrote most of the new testament, a book by which we live our lives. God used little shepherd boy, David to bring down the terrifying Giant, and govern an entire nation!
So bear with me over the next few posts as I talk about the errors I've found or questions I have. Paul told us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, which is where I am, seeking God, His Word, His truth, instead of listening to ravenous wolves disguised as "good shepherds"
The whole being slain in the spirit thing is I believe demonic as it is not mentioned as being used by any of the apostles, disciples of even by Christ himself. The references in the bible about people encountering God's presnece doesn't reflect anything like what is seen in most revival meetings, like Benny Hinn, of whom I have no use.
I have also heard of the story of Annias in Acts ch.5 being used as reference for being slain in the spirit, but that was taken out of context. They were literally SLAIN by the Holy Spirit. The lied to God and were killed because of it.
I do believe that God's presence can manifest so heavily in a person that they cannot stand. They might fall to the ground, sit down, I don't know. I don't think anyone can really do anything in the manifest presence of the Lord.
What I don't believe in is what is done at church services now days. Herding and lining people up like sheep to the slaughter, literally. If it is really God, why do they have to be lined up, why do you have to touch, push, shake or blow on them. Why do you have to say anything?? If they need prayer, wouldn't it be enough to stand in agreement with them in prayer, and if God manifests His presence on them great. If they fall backwards, let them fall, God loves His children and if it is really Him, I don't believe He will allow a person to be physically hurt while in His presence.
Most of the references in the bible, particularly the OT, of people encountering God's presence, fell face forward, in an attitude of submission, worship, etc. Most of the time when this happened, it was God's judgment, or revelation going on. Obviously God can still judge and reveal to whom He pleases. My issue, is why is this "the norm" for Charismatic churches????
My sister in law, who was raised Orthodox [catholic] has been visiting me daily, and we’ve been having really good discussions regarding the bible. One thing that kept coming up was the kissing of the pictures of Christ that is “mandatory” within the Orthodox church.
Let me back track just a bit, her best friend recently gave her heart to the Lord in a “Pentecostal” church. The Pentecostals here are not, I repeat NOT like the Pentecostal churches in the U.S. They don’t make the women keep their hair & skirts long, and no make-up. They are more like the charismatic/non-denominational churches in the U.S.
Elena, that is my sister in law’s name, has been attending church with her friend, and really enjoys it because she said she actually learns something, unlike the Orthodox church, where they just read a bunch of scripture and don’t explain it or break it down. They just tell you do this, don’t do that, etc. On a side note: the Orthodox priests clothing reminds me of the drawings that have been done of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Every time I see a priest here, I immediately think of the Sandrehin.
Anyway, She knows that I believe like her friend, so we’ve been discussing the bible and religion, etc. The whole kissing the pictures, and praying to Mary thing has come up a bunch of times. When talking to someone who is basically a babe in Christ, you don’t want to confuse them, and freak them out. I explained that NO RELIGIOUS SYSTEM has it all right. That if you are kissing a picture of Christ because you believe that will help you get your sins forgiven, then it is wrong. I explained that I believe it is a form of idol worship because of what God said in the 10 Commandments. So we broke out the bibles, mine in English and one in Romanian for her. We read the commandments as laid out in Exodus 20: 2-17, specifically verses 3-5:
“3. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5. Thou shalt no bow down thyself to them, no serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, …”
When Elena read v.4, you could see the light bulb go off over her head, as she exclaimed…”IT IS A SIN!!” See the thing with a lot of the older religions like the Orthodox, Catholics, Lutherans, etc. church has become a ritual, and worse yet, a way to make money through church dues, prayer candles, etc, etc. They have take the clean and made it unclean, the Holy and made it filthy. They have turned the House of the Lord into a den of thieves. I’m not talking just about monetarily either, spiritually, a lot of churches, more of the charismatic, are twisting scriptures to fit their doctrines and beliefs. Take one verse completely out of context from the entire chapter. Because of things like this we find people who get confused, mistreated, trampled on and hurt beyond repair it seems, because man, in his infinite folly, thinks that he knows more.
All the blame cannot be laid entirely at the feet of religious leaders, priests, pastors, etc. The blame lies at the feet of the body of Christ. See, we are believers are called to be watchmen, but we aren’t watching, we’ve let the wolves in, even though the sheep’s clothing is halfway hanging off. We’ve become fat and lazy on the blessings of our fore-fathers, at least in America. So instead of standing up and rebuking the false teaching that is running rampant in our churches, we sit back and soak it all up. We don’t go home and fast and pray, and study the Word on our own. We rely on our pastors to tell us all about it, and trust that they are being truthful, while putting the proverb that tells us that “…the heart of man is deceitful..” out of our mind. Because, hey, we don’t want to feel convicted, we don’t want to live a life of holiness and righteousness, cause dang-it, that’s just too hard. We like riding the fence, being luke-warm. What was that God said he would do to the luke-warm??? Oh yeah, he’s gonna SPEW US OUT OF HIS MOUTH!!!!!
Like I told Elena, No One can take you into Heaven, that is up to each individual. You have to have faith, even if it’s just a tiny bit! And to safe-guard your heart and mind, you NEED to stay in the Word, i.e. the Bible, so that when these false teachers and prophets, with their false words come along, you will not be swayed, you will boldly stand-up and call the enemy out, and kick his butt to the curb where it belongs.
1. The most important wish I can offer anyone is a life of grace and mercy found through a relationship with Jesus Christ, savior of the world.
2. Secondly, not just a year, but a life full of love, joy, peace, and humility.
3. Financial Gain, but not in the traditional sense. I don't mean building up a massive 401 or savings account or anything, but making enough money to keep your bills paid, buy food, necessary clothing, etc., but to have extra to be able to bless others that are in need. The most important of all "financial gain" is building up treasures in heaven.
4. A happy, loving family, restored relationships.
These to me are the most important wishes/blessings I could ask for anyone. I pray that God takes cares and looks after all who read this. Please know that no matter where you are, or what you are going through, there is a God who is in Control and He loves you! He will never bring you to a problem and leave you there, He will bring you through it, if you have Faith!
Danielle pointed out that Christmas has become about self-ish desires, lust, greediness, etc., etc. And that it opened her eyes in a big way about what Christmas is really supposed to be about. She's completely right. She goes on to say that she knows families that keep it small at Christmas. I know people who don't celebrate it at all because to them it isn't biblical, these are mainly Jehovah's Witnesses, of which is course for another subject re: false religions and the occult. But anyway, Danielle is right. Christmas is NOT about how much $$ you can spend on everyone. Even if I had all the money in the world, my kids would still get the 1 crappy dollar store toy from me and their father.
My thing with Christmas is that is should be a daily celebration for Christian believers, cause without Christ being born, we would still be condemned to eternal separation from God. I know people who won't put up a Christmas tree because of a scripture in Jeremiah (?) about adorning trees with silver and gold being idolatry. I had to really pray about that one. For me a Christmas tree is a pretty decoration that reminds me every time I look at it that Christ came to this earth so free me from sin that I could never sacrifice my way out of!
There are those like the J.W.'s that Christ wasn't born Dec. 25th, that Constantin instituted that to get the pagans into the Catholic Church, and they are right. Constantin did do that, and No, Christ WAS NOT born Dec. 25th. More than likely he was born sometime in September or October. If I am wrong for for "Celebrating" his birth on Dec. 25th, or for celebrating it at all, God will judge me when I stand before Him.
Christmas is supposed to be about showing Christ's Love. Instead of giving gifts to each other, why not do something really christlike? Buy various, gender-friendly gifts, and instead of giving to friends, family, co-workers etc., take a gift to your neighbor, keep some in the car, when you feel impressed to give one to a random person, Give it to them! Invite a family that is down and out into your home for Christmas Dinner, or if you would rather not have stranger's in your home, take them out to dinner! When they ask you "WHY?
you can tell them, this is CHRISTmas, I'm doing what Christ did - he gave us the gift of eternal life, this gift or this gesture is a symbol of what he did for us.
Another thing, I don't care if store's don't say "Merry Christmas", I don't care if they take the word "christ" out of christmas. in the Greek one for the letters for Christ is the letter "X", so technically, even when they write x-mas - Christ is still there!
See Christ is either In you, or He's not!
Not a lot has been going on, other than decorating a poor Charlie Brown tree that we had to tie off to the "library" with fishing line so it would stop falling over! It was pretty funny actually. Oh also, try to keep the kids from pulling all the balls off the tree and using them as soccer balls - thank God they were all plastic!!!
Looking for work, cheaper apartment, more ways to save money, same ole, same ole!
Anyway just wanted to say hello to whoever is "listening"! So HELLO YOU!!! Nice to "see" you! Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and safe and happy New Year!