4 Questions to ask before joining a Church

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8

This post is a response to this article by the “The Gospel Coalition”:

Link:  4 Questions to Ask Before Joining a Church

1. Is this a Church where my family will be safe from sexual predators? Is this a Church where my family will be safe from deceptive pastors who will do anything to cover up evil in order to protect and preserve what they have worked so hard all their lives to build?

2. Is this a Church where I am convinced I will not be lied to by the endless false doctrines and traditions of American Churchianity?

3. Is this a Church where my family will experience truth and freedom and love, and not shame, bondage, lies, oppression, condemnation and shunning? (And disenfranchisement if we question anything or speak truth?) Is this a Church where the PASTORS have accountability and do not circle the wagons in “good old boy” fashion to protect their kingdoms (Churches/ministries) and reputations, fame and income, at all costs?

4. Is this a Church where I am allowed to use my gifts and serve Christ and the saints by the leading and power of the Holy Spirit, as led and directed by God, without having my work and service nullified, shamed and disallowed by the Church Clergy hierarchy? Is this a Church where I am allowed to obey Christ above the Church leadership and not submit my service to Christ, my conscience and very soul to the “Clergy”?

Important final note: You and your family must understand that it is Christ who is your Lord, not the Institutional Church, not the “Clergy” (self-appointed pastors) and not the religion and hierarchy of Roman Catholic based Hierarchical Christendom. You must understand that you are accountable to Christ Jesus who leads you by His Spirit. You must understand that you are not under the authority of “local shepherds” you are under the authority of Christ. And understand that YOU, saint, also have authority in Christ not just the “Clergy” which is a man-made construct of the Roman Catholic Church, based in ancient paganism and religious Old Testament Judaism. You have authority; you are a priest of God, yes you. This wonderful truth is brought to you by the Kingdom of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord. The Kingdom of God is within you.

You must understand this hierarchy, with men lording it over you, is not of Christ, that you are all brothers, equals in Christ and free in Him to love God and neighbor and serve according to the leading and power of the Holy Spirit. You must all submit to one another, it is not about the lowly “laity” submitting to the higher ranking “Clergy”. You must understand that men requiring you to be under them in an authoritarian hierarchy of lordship over you, is sinful and not of Christ. Watch out for men who want you to submit to their “shepherding” (control and dominance and suppression) of you.

You must understand that it is being IN Christ that makes you part of the flock, not attendance at an institutional, man created, 501c3 Church business franchise. You must understand that Jesus Christ Himself is the real Shepherd and you all are the church (ekklesia, the called out assembly) and wherever you are, with other saints, there is the church, there is the people and flock of Jesus Christ. You may meet in a dirt floor shack, a coffee shop, an empty lot, at a kitchen table, on the street corner or in a prison cell. Christ is with you and in you (Christ in you hope of glory) and there you have the church, wherever YOU are, dear saint of God. Do not let the hireling “shepherds” lord it over you, shame you or stop you from being who you are in Christ.

Do not let them lie to you and deceive you. Do not let them shame you. Do not let them turn your joy of your first love (Jesus Christ) into a lifetime of oppressive bondage to serve them and maintain the existence of their man created, business marketing managed, flesh powered organizations. Do not let them turn your first love joy and Christ Life into a lifetime of serving, slaving for and financing a “Thing” to keep it going. (The man created Church System is a “Thing”, an “it”.)

Therefore friends, do not join a “Church”, join Jesus Christ and stay joined to Him. Listen not to Churchmen who are NOT focused on Jesus Christ, they are completely focused on The Institutional Church, especially THEIR CHURCH and making it “successful”. Jesus Christ is your Shepherd and you are in His flock. He will lead, guide and teach you. HE will care for you. Listen to Jesus Christ and continue in His word. You will know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free. Peace in Christ, my beloved brothers and sisters.

Seeing the abomination

He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these.”  Ez.8

You can’t flee it
if you don’t see it.

Called out.

Jesus said, “When you see the abomination……… flee to the mountains”.

So you are not going to flee it, until you see it.

For me, seeing the abomination (wickedness in the Harlot Church) was an incremental thing. I saw a lot of it while I was still in it, but I did not have understanding or revelation of what exactly i was seeing. I was seeing bad stuff but I did not “see” or get what it really was! I did not yet have prophetic revelation or understanding, of what I was seeing. All I knew was that there was something very wrong that went against the Spirit inside me. This caused great spiritual distress and emotional confusion.

It would take too long to describe all the things I saw while still in the apostate System. One was seeing the corporate business marketing that was the
foundation of the Church. Another was hearing the pastor in the pulpit make fun of things like obedience, separation from the world, holiness, open air type evangelism, and certain gifts of the Spirit. Another thing was seeing the promotion of worldly authors, celebrities and events in all the “stories” they told during sermons. Another was seeing that the Church Leadership had no discernment at all when they hired a lady who was functioning as a witch and practicing witchcraft as pastor of the Children’s ministry department. Another thing was seeing that the Hegelian Dialectic method of group think consensus (conformity to the group) was the primary goal of the small groups. Along with that was the studying of the small group teacher training material and realizing that the entire goal of the small groups was not to disciple new believers to be devoted followers of Jesus Christ, but to be devoted to the group and actually do the opposite of what scripture says! Another was the implementation of the whole Rick Warren/ Bill Hybels type Church growth marketing scheme, complete with Willowcreek money-purchased false gospel skits & sermons.  Another was having my pastor, to my face,  defend the proud Freemason (who mocked me), over me. He also called me unloving for trying to defend the truth and discern error. In that same meeting, he also suggested to me that, “this Church is not for everybody” (hint hint).  I was completely blacklisted from being involved in any leadership role or ministry outside 1st grade Sunday School. Another when we saw a guest false teacher (a change agent) from Fuller, preach an anti-biblical seminar.  Another was when we heard the lead pastor preach the Rick Warren/ UN approved “global world peace” false gospel at the Christmas show.

At the next Church, it was seeing the patriotism, nationalism, focus on “the troops” (nothing against the troops I love and pray for them, the point is, the Church was in full unquestioning support of the war), praying for the president’s success (it was Republican administration at the time)…and the focus on the “Tim LaHaye/ Left Behind” version of Christianity……. the denial of spiritual meanings of scripture, the denial of the blood of Christ (per JMac’s doctrine), the denial of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the denial of the working of the Spirit today (cessationism), and the lack of real love for the sheep who were in need or hurting. And a lot of other disturbing things too numerous to mention happened there.

My personal “seeing” of the abomination happened one Sunday morning in this Church. I was sitting there, dressed in my Church clothes, trying very hard
to please a certain person at the Church by my Church attendance, Church clothes , dressy shoes & nylons, hair done pretty, happy disposition, trying to act and look “holy” (self-righteousness) and cooperating with their Church traditions……… all to try to please this one person so I would be accepted. All of a sudden the Lord spoke to me: “This is what you are choosing in place of Me?”

I was in shock.

I sat there in the pew. Stunned.

I was horrified.

I realized He would give me what I wanted the most. One or the other.

“No, Lord! I want you! ” I cried out silently to Him.

He was basically telling me that I must choose:  this Thing I was living for……. or Him.

He revealed to me that I had substituted all this stuff—all this Church stuff—-for Him, in my heart. I saw the abomination, and it was in my heart. I was also sitting in an abomination (a substitute for Christ, corrupted with that which was evil)  and accepting it as a substitute for Jesus Himself, the One whom I loved. Jesus, my first love! …… and here i was, accepting a substitute, in place of Him.

That moment terrified me.  I began repenting in earnest.

A few weeks later, during a time or sorrowful realizing of the spiritually discouraging situation at that Church, my husband decided that we were “done with —-” (this Church.) At that VERY MOMENT after my husband said “we are done”, the Lord spoke to me again, saying “You are free, released,  to follow Me.”  He called me out. I came out of Babylon. Why? To be with Him, to follow Him. Where? Wherever He goes! It has been an *amazing* almost 3 years so far. It’s been the most exciting time of growth, understanding, relationship and LIVING THE LIFE in Him, since I first met Him as a teenager.

The Church-State.

The rest of this note focuses on one aspect of the abomination. The Church-State. This is one level of the “Harlot sitting on the Beast”.
One of the scariest things to me, is seeing a Federalized American flag, on a Church stage. With a Christian flag. And a pulpit. And a Christmas tree. (lol)

I saw “Church-State” in all the Churches I was ever in. This is an abomination. I’m not going to explain why here. The Holy Spirit will teach and reveal this to you. Ask HIM. He will show you.

This is why believers who refused to participate in the Roman Catholic Church AND the Protestant Church of the Reformation were killed by BOTH GROUPS. They refused to participate in Church practices/rituals that were Roman Catholic and significantly, the other reason is they refused to participate in and submit to The Church-State, knowing this conflicted with their allegiance to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. This issue, choosing of one’s allegiance between opposing kingdoms (Christ or…. Caesar and “the gods”), was the one issue that many early followers of Jesus in the Roman Empire (first two centuries) went to their deaths over. This issue of allegiance was the reason for the mass persecution of Christian believers in the Roman Empire.

I’m just going to share one more story.

Back before I was called out, a few years ago, I decided to have some “fun” and participate in a “fun” event with the greater Christian community in my area.  Just for fun, I decided i would participate in our local “living nativity” at Christmas time. Now, this is not just some little bitty thing in a booth with 5 people. No, this is the biggest living nativity event in America. It covers a whole block. It has tons of live animals (very cute). It has a huge “set”. It has a hundred or more volunteers playing kids, merchants, Roman soldiers, Jewish priests, harlots, wise men, bible school students, dancing maidens, and of course Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus in the manger. There are also traffic and security volunteers. Also, the city police and fire departments are all there making sure things are safe and orderly.  It is a big production. It is drama. It is spectacular. It is fun!

I volunteered as a “Roman centurion’s wife”– lol. I’m sure back then there were no upper class Roman women roaming around in Bethlehem so I pretended that I was some Roman centurion’s wife who went with her centurion husband to his post in Judea. I went all out with a homemade Roman dress, with big hair, big jewelry, makeup, and quite an act. I was cute, funny and all the rage at Bethlehem AD. The crowd went wild at my dramatic act. There were some issues though. During the “show” (10,000 people come though each night for 3 nights before Christmas), the Roman soldiers and Jewish high priests were flirting with me, even though I am clearly married in real life, and everyone participating was supposedly a Christian? Right? Well, what did I expect, walking around Bethlehem in a flaunty outfit with big hair and acting all flamboyant? What was I thinking? I wanted to have some fun with the Christian community. Strangely, this event is “supposed” to be a ministry, is rather an act of worship for those participating (or maybe just “fun” for many), and an “outreach” of the gospel for the public. Except. There is NO gospel proclamation. It is a play. A silent play, acting, part theatre, part dance (the dancing girls, the arm waving female angels with lit up crowns)………… there is no preaching, no real gospel being proclaimed. No Christ crucified. No call for repentance. No good news of salvation through Christ. There is the acting out of Romans collecting taxes and taking census, Judean village life and foreigners traveling through from the East. And lots of cute animals. And a live sweet “baby Jesus” in the manger with his natural parents looking upon him.

Well I did that for a few years. The year I came out of the System, i realized I did not want to do that anymore. Actually i grieved and repented of my participation in it. : (

I was asked back to play the part of the famous “Roman lady”….. and i apologetically denied, and said i was sorry I just can’t do it anymore. To me (now) , it was sin. They were very sorry that I would not participate any more. I felt like I was letting the Director down. I told her I was sorry.

But I understand that to many many other Christians, this is worship. It is loving Jesus. It is outreach. To them it is not sin, they see it as something not bad but good, something Christian. They are dear, sweet brothers and sisters. I understand. It took me 42 years to see the abomination.

One thing I found out is, that the participants that act in the show, come from ALL over the community, all kinds of different denominations and Christian religions. And non Christians too. Community and civic groups also participate. This tells me something. It is an ecumenical, civic event “for the common good” more than anything.

I discovered something that helped me see the big picture of this Church-State abomination. The city council was thinking of denying the Church the permission to do this, some years back. They also offered to buy the block sized lot from the Church, to develop it. The Church would not sell, and they wanted to keep doing the living nativity show. They also wanted funding from the city to cover some of the thousands of dollars it costs annually to put this production on.  So they struck some kind of a deal. The city would give permission and give money, and the Church would put on the show, and the mayor, fire chief, police chief and city council members would get to be the Wise Men and the Roman governor(s) and important Roman officials, and ride around in chariots receiving accolades and cheers from the masses.

Yes really.

The event brings at least 30, 000 people to the city from all over the Bay Area and California each year. That is nice for the local economy and the glowing reputation of the city. And the Church gets to do “outreach” (with no gospel WORDS about the truth of Jesus) to the 30,000 people who come to the event. Both the Church and the city government benefit from this arrangement. It is a favorable relationship they are both satisfied with. This joint Church-State effort is an abomination.

(The Church receives money for this event from private donors, the city council /the city government , and also corporations, businesses and civic groups.)

Last year I gave someone a ride to the event and dropped them off. As i was approaching in my car one night last December,  I was horrified. I sucked in my breath and my jaw dropped. I now saw it all differently. This is how it looked to me. There were the lights and the dozens of white dressed female angels doing their worship “dance” on top of the Church roof, with floodlights everywhere, swinging around in the night sky. I heard music…. i heard the noise……. I saw the cast members…… the Church people……..I saw the civic leaders, (the mayor! and all the others)all dressed up in the chariots partying and reveling and laughing and waving and swearing and  joking around and being quite irreverent…….. i saw the Roman soldiers doing their act with comedy routines and laughing…..I saw the flames of fire (campfire) and the dancers dancing around it……. it seriously looked to me like I was coming down the mountain and approaching the camp of Israel as she was having her orgy of riotous idolatry and wicked harlotry around the golden calf. This was a whole city block now, in full Hollywood mode. To me i saw a horrific abomination. I was frightened and prayed to God for mercy for everyone involved.

There are 2 Kingdoms on this planet. The kingdom of this world, and the Kingdom of God. They are both operating now. Everyone is in either one or the other. The saints are the “holy ones”….. the called out assembly.  We are not to “mix” with the kingdom(s) of this world. We are not to make legal and economic alliances with them. We are not to make deals with them. We are not to receive their money for favors granted. We are not to “revel and play” with them.

The “Church-State entity” is another kingdom. It is an unholy mixture. It is a blend. It is a “tapestry”: a fabric of blended, interwoven mixed components. The Church-State entity is a kingdom of the world. The “Church-State” has not the true interests of Christ, nor does it rightly represent Him.  It has worldly interests and represents the world. It does not preach Christ, it actually preaches the things of the world. It does not preach allegiance to Christ, it preaches allegiance to the world system. We either join “with” the kingdoms of this world, mixing our loyalties and allegiance, or we are loyal to the Kingdom of God alone, with Jesus Christ our sole allegiance.

It’s either one or the other.

If we all have not yet chosen which will be our sole allegiance, we all soon will.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev.18:4