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 Re:

This was posted on the thread "The terrible doctrine of the Remnant," which I am guessing is why Jimmy started this thread, of course I could be wrong.

WHY Are THEY LEAVING the CHURCHES??
-Andrew Strom.

Since we have been discussing the "Out-of-church" Christians,
I think it is very important for us all - including church leaders - to
look at the reasons why these people are leaving. Very often they
are NOT "church-hoppers" or backsliders. A lot of them are leaving
because they believe the CHURCH is backsliding!

So many people write to me from all over the world saying that
they have tried and tried - but they cannot find any fellowship in
their town that seems remotely biblical. They tell me they have
looked hard - but they are either cold, formal, or anti-charismatic
on one hand - or "hyper-charismaniac" or 'seeker-sensitive' on
the other. There hardly seems to be any balanced biblical approach
whichever way they turn.

It is easy to pass glib remarks like "There is no perfect church"
but my heart truly goes out to these ones because the church
scene has been bad for awhile - and seemingly growing worse
and worse. So what are people to do?

Below are some accounts that people have sent me about why
they have left the churches. We would love your comments on
this too at our website (link at the end)-

From: Peggy (-USA):
"My husband and I have been Christians for 30 years, home group
leaders for much of that time; my husband has also been a worship
leader for most of that time. However, now we are among the "out
of church" that your message describes, although we do continue
to meet and pray with other believers who feel the same longing
for something more real than we have experienced for longer than
we care to remember. The cry of our hearts is *not* to live on our
memories of incredible intimacy with God in years past, but to
discover Him anew and in deeper ways than ever before. We are
desperate for Him. In light of that hunger, the emptiness of our
church experience, a church we'd attended for 17 years, was
more than we could bear."

From: Randy (-USA):
"I read an explanation of why the phenomenon is growing - the out-
of-church Christians. They say that we are lone rangers, backsliders,
not team players, have bitter root judgements.... This can't be
further from the truth. When we have been attending church, we
find- No God - No Power- No Gospel- Bad Agendas- Poor Leader-
ship- Bad teaching- Bad programs- No Christ- No Healing- No
miracles. Just a struggle for personal power and control. I can't tell
you how many times I have been treated like I am not going to
Heaven because I am not attending church. So, the sad part is,
where do we take our gifts, our tithes, and our love - but out to the
streets. We know many who have left the church, who are
committed as prayer warriors, intercessors, missionaries, and
worshippers. Wanting to share their gifts from God..."

From: Dorie (Canada)-
"I wanted to write to you because I am so frustrated and don't know
what to do anymore... I grew up in a church denomination that was
wacky-charismatic with little-to-no-discernment and a lot of control/
spiritual abuse. About 10 years ago, the Lord gave me my first
wake-up call, grabbing my attention and then 5-6 years ago, another
big, final one...

Now I haven't really been "a part of a Sunday-morning-church" for
a long, long time. I have "fellowship" with some Evangelical
Christians here in Calgary, but just can't seem to be able to sit
through the dry services that seem filled with flowery messages,
as opaque as milk. (I want meat!!!) The worship feels like it is
being led by robots as do the people in the congregation. Or else,
the charismatic churches (Vineyard, Pentecostal, non-
denominational) where they're not considered to be "dry" (so-to-
speak), are just plain wacky! My problem is: I miss really good
worship music and intimate worship times with people who love
to worship and aren't being forced-to, but the only handful of
churches I know that have it, are wacky. People (worship leaders/
intercessors) are acting like Stacey Campbell and I get turned off
so much that I can't tolerate the rest of the service. I feel so torn.
I can't seem to find a church to "fit" in.

I've tried different denominations with no success. The last
evangelical "small group" I was in, ended breaking up because the
small-group pastor was purposely hiding the fact that a christian
couple who were co-leading with him, were living together and not
married. (Once saved, no need for any more personal repentance,
is what he preaches. Greasy-grace. Argh!)... The pastor also told
other young christians in that group that "sex before marriage was
fine"...

I have tried so many places and I'm not being fussy or picky, it
just seems really, really hard and weird here... I really want the
fellowship. I can't seem to fit anywhere, and I am so frustrated that
I could just cry. I long to be with like-minded people, sold-out,
crazy-on-fire for Jesus, totally unashamed. Christians here seem
so focused on their careers, and houses, and cars, and vacations
and I feel like a stinkin' hippie around them because I can't live for
those things!!

What do you do when you want so desperately to be in a fellowship
of believers that is growing strong in the Word, intimate and deep
in worship, and not wacky? I am so discouraged and have a hard
time believing that it exists..."

-Please comment on this topic at the website below-

http://www.johnthebaptisttv.com/




 2010/10/3 23:40









 Re:

Snuf, fair enough. I'll keep you and Jimmy apart. ;-)

Andrew Strom said that years ago and I believe he probably has a follow-up or more, on that original article he wrote. I think, since then that he has learned a lot more (positive things) about what he calls the Out-of-Churchers.

Ironice wording, isn't it?

He actually wrote a book on Out-of-Church Christians.

Read this article by Andrew. THE CHURCH OF TOMORROW
http://www.revivalschool.com/tomorrow.html

Revival is taking place in many hearts here and there. It's not happening under one big tent or in one big building but it is happening and it is a move of God in these end days. Thanks be to God that it IS happening.

Moves of God are frustrating to the religious system especially this one, because of the fact that it is happening all over the world and there is no central place in which to control or stop it.

 2010/10/3 23:46
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

#############
A FINAL WORD:
#############

Please feel free to continue to comment after this. I will make this my last post on this thread. Generally I have enjoyed it, though in part, I am grieved in some of the things I have read. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding going on, and I have attempted several times to try and bring some clarity to what I have said, and make a few additional points along the way.

But in doing so, a new can of worms only seems to open, and people seem to start imagining I've said things I've not said, or imagine that I hold positions that I simply do not hold to. The most interesting one that gave me a bit of a chuckle was the one brother who imagined I was a staff pastor somewhere. But such is an example of the run away imagination some of you have, which frankly, I find difficult to engage in conversation with when more thought is given to what I did not say than what I actually in fact, have said.

Because I work 55 hours a week in two "secular" jobs, and a new work week being upon me, along the the three to four times I will gather with the saints this next week in small groups and larger assemblies, I am really forced to withdraw from such a large conversation because of my personal constraints. Not to mention I'd like to spend some time with our Lord.

So in closing I just want to sum up my position, and leave you with these closing thoughts:

Christians are made to make other Christians, and to fellowship with other Christians, face to face, in the localized expression of the body of Christ. We are to be the Church and to do Church together. But in doing Church together, we will often find there are imperfections, and indeed, sometimes gross error.

These imperfections and errors which exist in genuine Christian Churches are undoubtedly grievous to us all. We wish they were not there, and I am all sure we actively pray for change. Many of us have suffered horrible wrongs at the hands of others because of these errors, and have the scars to prove it. I am among them.

But as troubling as these errors are, I believe some of you are in just as much error as those you grieve over. You believe with all of your heart because of these things, the Lord has called you out of the regular and frequent fellowship of the saints in your locality, so that you can be alone, experiencing only fellowship through the internet or through a special trip to a SermonIndex.net style revival conference. But I must say, standing upon the Scriptures while doing so, there simply is no basis for such a call as you have imagined yourself to have experienced. It is entirely without apostolic precedent, to which some of you because of the error that lies within your heart, engage in some reckless exegesis in an attempts to justify where you are.

Truth be told, and I say this not to be ugly, but because it is the truth, and I love every single one of you, but some of you are unable to find a local fellowship to frequently gather with because your heart is carnal, and within you lies the heart of a schismatic. You can't get along with other Christians simply because you don't really love them, and that's because your heart is not big enough to see Christ indwelling even the most immature and carnal of believers.

But I promise you, as having too been such a person, once you catch a glimpse of Christ even in the most immature and carnal believer, your attitude towards them will change once and forever. And you know what I rejoice in? Having been such a person myself, I am confident that He who began a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Christ Jesus, and as He has effectually worked in me, I am confident He will effectually work in you as well.

As Art Katz was fond of pointing out, the Church is to be a place of dying before it is a place of life. It is a cross that God has placed in our lives, and is a cross He calls us to embrace and die upon. Being the Church is hard enough, doing Church is even harder. It's a messy, bloody, and painful community, that is given to much trouble, not only while in the world, but even while in the presence of one another. A lot of bad stuff happens in it, things that are not supposed to be. But these things are a gift from the Lord to us, so that by embracing the cross in the Church, we can become iron sharpening iron, and be fashioned ultimately into the people He wants us to become.

And to do that, we might have to sit through a lot of dead and lifeless Church services where we look at the back of another persons head. And to do that, we might have to deal with members who are living in secret sexual sin. And to do that, we might have to deal with brethren who introduce the precepts of men, and mix them with the teachings of Christ. Timothy was not told he would have much need of being patient, long suffering, and in great need to be gentle for nothing.

But most of us do not have the stomach for this kind of thing. I know I hardly do. So instead of embracing the cross of Christian community, we run from it, and we run out into the wilderness where we imagine God has called us to be. But truth be told, my Jonah like brethren, God has called us to a different task altogether. By the word of the Lord might I say that God is calling you to come out of the wilderness, and back to the cross of Christian community, where you truly belong?

Again, I don't say this to be ugly, but sadly, some of you will continue to play as children in your sand boxes, imagining you are in a vast spiritual wilderness, and that you are some sort of special remnant or prophetic voice calling out to others. I'm sorry to say, but I believe you are severely mistaken.

Remember, Christians are called to make other Christians, and in making other Christians, to fellowship with them. You may not be a missionary or an evangelist. But if you are truly alone, and there are truly no other Christians in your proximity, you still cannot escape the universal call given to all Christians to make disciples. And truth be told, if you are truly full of the spiritual life you imagine yourself to be full of, given time, you will produce other Christians. But if you are not doing such where you are at, then I will tell you plainly, you are not where you need to be with the Lord. Indeed, you may not even be saved. A Christian, even if alone all by himself, cannot remain alone for a very long time. If he is truly seeking the Lord, he will make other Christians where he is at, and join them in rich, though sometimes difficult fellowship.

Many blessings,

Jimmy Humphrey


_________________
Jimmy H

 2010/10/3 23:50Profile









 Re:

Wow, thanks Frank for inserting that here. That is basically the heart of people that I know of. They want fellowship that builds up not agenda on how to gather more people in so that man can build up his will instead of doing Gods will.

There is no doubt in my mind that there are good Churches around that are standing for the truths of God's word. Alas, I think that those numbers are becoming few and far between. Even in my own city, I can think of perhaps one Church that God is working on, and the Pastor works for a living and not off the Church, other than that I have no idea about any of the others and I don't know of any home churches in my area. If I knew, I would probably go. I remember going to a few house churches back in the early nineties and I truly have not experienced fellowship like that in any Church that I have gone too. I can only say, tis so sweet!

 2010/10/3 23:53









 Re:

Snuf, fair enough. I'll keep you and Jimmy apart. ;-)

Andrew Strom said that years ago and I believe he probably has a follow-up or more, on that original article he wrote. I think, since then that he has learned a lot more (positive things) about what he calls the Out-of-Churchers.

Ironice wording, isn't it?

He actually wrote a book on Out-of-Church Christians.

Read this article by Andrew. THE CHURCH OF TOMORROW
http://www.revivalschool.com/tomorrow.html

Revival is taking place in many hearts here and there. It's not happening under one big tent or in one big building but it is happening and it is a move of God in these end days. Thanks be to God that it IS happening.

Moves of God are frustrating to the religious system especially this one, because of the fact that it is happening all over the world and there is no central place in which to control or stop it.

 2010/10/3 23:53









 Re:

Quote:
And to do that, we might have to sit through a lot of dead and lifeless Church services where we look at the back of one another persons head.



Wow. I can't find an example of that in scripture ANYWHERE. If that is what your fellowship is like then you do not have biblical fellowship and are free to leave the weekly looking at the back of someones head. Find a true fellowship where there is life....don't settle for a conterfit of the devil.

 2010/10/3 23:55
Christisking
Member



Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 672
Los Angeles, California

 Re:

What a wonderful and blessed opportunity Scott to see ex-gang members expressing in dance their joy and love for God having set them free from a life of drugs and violence!!!

I know a judgmental and critical spirit would not allow some people to see the beauty in that and even go so far as to condemn the way someone dances before God.

This is a clear case of Michal's error (2Sa 6:14-23) Can you imagine if we could put a video of David dancing on YouTube in the streets and watch all the judgmental and critical "Christians" tear him apart???

I think that kind of dancing is silly and is certainly not the way I would worship God, but how dare me judge people of a completely different culture then me for the way they chose to worship God. Even if you don't understand it - don't EVER judge the way someone expresses their worship to Christ for setting them free - remember what happened to Michal for ridiculing David for the way he danced.

2Sa 6:23 So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life.


_________________
Patrick Ersig

 2010/10/3 23:56Profile
StarofG0D
Member



Joined: 2007/10/28
Posts: 1232
United States

 Re:

Quote:
This is a clear case of Michal's error (2Sa 6:14-23) Can you imagine if we could put a video of David dancing on YouTube in the streets and watch all the judgmental and critical "Christians" tear him apart???



lol patrick. that's great.


Quote:
So, the sad part is, where do we take our gifts, our tithes, and our love - but out to the streets. We know many who have left the church, who are committed as prayer warriors, intercessors, missionaries, and worshippers. Wanting to share their gifts from God..."


amen to this. out to the streets. makes me think of mt 22:1-14

On another note,

Mt 22:6 And the remnant took his servants, and intreated them spitefully, and slew them.

I don't agree with all of what Jim says, but I hear some of what he's saying.



_________________
Michelle

 2010/10/4 0:01Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Can you imagine if we could put a video of David dancing on YouTube in the streets and watch all the judgmental and critical "Christians" tear him apart???



I have a hard time believing David was grabbing his groin for God like some of the inspired Krump dancers.

I just find it ironic that you can't take your own advise:

"I think the problem is that instead of being open to their error many are trying desperately but unsuccessfully to defend their un-biblical actions and attitudes."

 2010/10/4 0:06
Koheleth
Member



Joined: 2005/11/10
Posts: 530
NC

 Re:

Quote:
Remember, Christians are called to make other Christians, and in making other Christians, to fellowship with them. You may not be a missionary or an evangelist. But if you are truly alone, and there are truly no other Christians in your proximity, you still cannot escape the universal call given to all Christians to make disciples. And truth be told, if you are truly full of the spiritual life you imagine yourself to be full of, given time, you will produce other Christians. But if you are not doing such where you are at, then I will tell you plainly, you are not where you need to be with the Lord. Indeed, you may not even be saved. A Christian, even if alone all by himself, cannot remain alone for a very long time. If he is truly seeking the Lord, he will make other Christians where he is at, and join them in rich, though sometimes difficult fellowship.



He "will make" other Christians? Isn't this up to the Lord? How can you judge what others' efforts have amounted to? Jesus said the world hates Christians. I do not doubt that the fields are white unto harvest and there are many out there who need to see a real Christian witness and will follow the Lord, but how are you able to make such a blanket judgment without being wrong? Again, some of your post is most valid. It is the swooping denunciation of all Christians who do not find themselves in a fellowship as wrong. Yes, I agree it is wrong to not seek out godly fellowship. That is what is wrong. It is not wrong to be alone if that is where you are at in a right relationship with the Lord. There are so many saints on SI and not on SI who are alone and are vibrant witnesses in their community, including on the streets. Many of them have shared their works of public testimony and crying out for the Lord. Why do you condemn them?

 2010/10/4 0:11Profile





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