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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Coming Out of The Church: The Remnant Heresy

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KingJimmy
Member



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

 Coming Out of The Church: The Remnant Heresy

There is a movement afoot in Christianity today, and it is one that is gaining some popularity, especially here in North America. It is not by any means a new movement or feature of Christianity. Indeed, it is one that has existed for centuries upon centuries, and in fact, pre-dates Christianity and has origins stretching back sometime after the Jews returned (in part) from their Babylonian exile. The movement may even be older than this. But whatever the case, it’s popularity has ebbed and flowed over the years depending on a number of factors, and is something that can often be hard to trace because of the grass roots and largely (though not always) unorganized expression this movement takes.

Right now I believe we are seeing a rising tide of Christians who have, for various reasons, deliberately chosen to remove themselves from fellowshipping with any intentionally organized local body of believers. Generally speaking, the people in this historical movement have felt that the fundamentals and purity of the faith have been lost by the masses. They don’t believe God is with anything that is going on in the “establishment.” Thus, being unable to feel at home anywhere, in protest they officially withdraw themselves from a larger assembly of believers, and become wanderers in what they feel is a spiritual wilderness, a wilderness which they have chosen to embrace.

Such individuals picking up on various Biblical themes, consider those like themselves to be part of “a remnant” of believers in the last days, who must “come out” of a corrupt Babylonian church system, and wait upon God to revive a larger work to which they can join themselves. Until then, they will find themselves content to walk almost entirely alone, except for sporadic fellowship they experience through the internet and various conferences that they travel to. Many often see themselves as prophetic types of individuals, like an Elijah, who alone is left to take a stand against Ahab and the prophets of Baal.

I must say up front, that I’m very sympathetic to my brethren who are broken-hearted over the state of affairs we see within Christianity today. I too weep with them. Things are just not as they are supposed to be. The gospel that is preached today is often watered down, and has lost its power. Many act as if righteous and holy living is legalism, and immorality abounds, even amongst those in the ministry. Truth is fallen in the streets, and many abhorrent theologies are proclaimed. There are great excesses amongst folks who seek for signs and wonders, yet at the same time, there are people who make no room for the demonstration of the Holy Spirit whatsoever. In all of these things, it just feels as if Jesus Christ is almost entirely forgotten in the Church, and indeed, at times, it feels like He is never even there. Thus, I understand why many are leaving. Everything is just a giant mess.

But at the same time, while being very sympathetic to the legitimate concerns of those in this “remnant” movement, I believe these Christians have perpetuated some falsehoods of their own, and having so focused on the speck of dust in their brothers eye, they have failed to notice the log in their own. They say that they see, but in such a confession, they only make themselves doubly blind. And in their refusal to remain in fellowship with an intentionally organized local group of believers, and calling upon others to “come out” and join them in the wilderness, they ultimately embrace the carnal and fleshly attitude of a schismatic, and in doing so, truly meet the qualifications of the Biblical definition of a heretic.

I know, these are strong words. But I feel compelled to speak in such a way, because I believe the error perpetuated by these individuals, and the intentional division they bring to the body of Christ, to be very great. Their leaving of the local Church comes from a misreading of what the New Testament Church actually looked like in practice, and their dis-fellowshipping of entire local assemblies is altogether without apostolic precedent whatsoever.

Truth be told, if one truly reads the New Testament as it is actually written, although there are some very strong and vibrant Churches that are found in its pages, the fact of the matter is that the early New Testament Church was often a very messy place, and was far from being the romantic utopia many have falsely imagined it to be. Although we read of great preaching, great power, and a great manifest Presence, we also read about many great problems. In fact, almost every single epistle that is found in the New Testament was written to combat and correct many of the great problems that plagued the early Church. And if we look at things today in light of what we have written in the Scriptures, I believe we will discover the problems we face today are really no different than the problems they faced then.

If you read the New Testament for what it really says, you will find that there were Christians then who are just as caught up in error as Christians are now. On the pages of the New Testament you will find that the same errors that abounded then also abound now. Here is just a random sampling of the problems we find in the New Testament Church that we also find today:

* Sexual immorality and unrighteous living, all being done under the banner of grace.
* The prosperity gospel, teaching that godliness is a means of gain.
* Charismatic chaos, along with false apostles, prophets, and teachers.
* Cessationist tendencies that quenched the gifts of the Spirit in public assembly.
* Ascetic legalisms of the worst kind.
* Cold and lifeless Churches.
* Blatant denials of basic Christian teaching.
* Denominational factions and hero worship.

This list could go on and on, and many other ills could be multiplied. Yet for all of these problems that existed in the Church then, never once do we find anybody ever instructed to withdraw their fellowship from an intentionally gathered local assembly of the saints. Not once. What instead do we find? We find the Lord and His apostles instructing the saints to do the hard thing, and work out the difficulties that existed amongst them. Those in error are encouraged to change, and those who refuse to change, after undergoing Biblical Church discipline, we are encouraged to put out from the Church. But never once are we encouraged to abandon the deliberate and frequent intentional assembling of ourselves together with others who have been born again.

Indeed, it is my conviction that in light of these truths, that those who run around saying they are the remnant, and refuse to gather themselves together in a local assembly of believers, truth be told, are just as carnal as the Church they lament and weep over. They are spiritually immature children who refuse to grow up and prefer to have tantrums in their own sand box, which they confuse with a wilderness. Self-absorbed, and being left largely to themselves, the cancerous ideas that have infected their minds eat them alive, and almost entirely consume them. Thus, many of them begin to imagine that they are spiritually mature, and maybe even prophetic voices crying in the wilderness. But truth be told, they are everything except what they imagine themselves to be.

Indeed, far from being spiritually mature and prophetic voices, these individuals have refused to grow up in the Lord by embracing the cross of Jesus Christ in authentic Christian community. Instead of becoming men who embrace the hard realities of doing life together, they run away from the responsibilities the Lord has placed on them, and the calling Christ truly has on their lives. Instead of confronting the issues of their day and in their Christian community, they shy away from doing the real work of the Lord, and prefer to make-believe they are prophets. And because they refuse to embrace this cross of Christian community and undergo death, like many within the “established” Church today, they become just as cold, dead, and powerless in their ministry. And in the ways of God, death always precedes life, as Passover always precedes Pentecost.

So, running from the call of God on their lives to be intentionally involved in a local Christian community, they withdraw from the saints, and imagine they are one of the few people they know in their city that are actually saved and filled with the Spirit of God. They withdraw from local fellowship, and take their precious little light and hide it from others, except maybe those on Facebook, blogs, and forums, where they lament about the glory having departed from the Church, and how they long to see revival. Such are perhaps, some of you.

Truth be told though, if you truly longed to see the glory of God return to the Church, and longed to see revival, you would not forsake the assembling of yourself together with other born again saints in your town. Instead, you would be actively involved. And even if there were no genuine born again Christians for you to fellowship with wherever you may live, if you are truly following the Lord with all your heart, and are in right standing with Him, the weight of the New Testament suggests that if the life of God is truly in you, fruit will eventually follow. So, even if you are the only born again Christian living in a town in America (which seems very unlikely to me), the onus is upon you to establish an authentic Christian community wherever you are at. If you cannot find any Christians to fellowship with, you must make other Christians to fellowship with. Simply put, Christians make other Christians, and Christians form local Churches.

Again, I know the words in this essay are perhaps hard to hear. But, I really feel we live in a crucial time where the truth of these words must be spoken. Some of what I have said may seem a little over the top, and no doubt, I have employed some hyperbolic language in what I have said. But these words were spoken in nothing but absolute love, not only for the Lord, but also for my brethren, and those who believe themselves to belong to an out-of-Church remnant. It is my hope that you will have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart that can receive. For I believe this to be the word of the Lord.

From: http://christthinks.com/2010/10/02/coming-out-of-the-church-the-remnant-heresy/


_________________
Jimmy H

 2010/10/2 17:55Profile
sojourner7
Member



Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: Coming Out of The Church: The Remnant Heresy

Sorry; Jimmy. I believe GOD is
raising up a remnant of believers
who hear HIS Voice, who honor HIS
Name, who rejoice in HIS truth,
who love righteousness more than
life.
GOD has a peculiar people who set
themselves apart from the filth of
this world and the stain of sin!!


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Martin G. Smith

 2010/10/2 18:44Profile
MyVeryHeart
Member



Joined: 2010/8/30
Posts: 449
Paradise, California

 Re: Coming Out of The Church: The Remnant Heresy

The churches in my hometown have become my cross. For I desperately desire to have fellowship and instead find cursed synagogues of Satan with polluted pulpits intent on crushing the life of Jesus in me. Yet I love them and consider myself unworthy to assemble with them. And I praise God for this place without pasture. On to the next assembly in love.


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Travis

 2010/10/2 19:28Profile









 Re:

Jimmy just likes controvesry, sad :)......brother Frank

 2010/10/2 19:37
mguldner
Member



Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re: Coming Out of The Church: The Remnant Heresy

May I ask you brother Jimmy what does one do if even in a "local church assembly" still feels high and dry and abandoned by brethren?

May I ask also what if one has better fellowship and a deeper relationship by leaving the "local church"?

I don't mean these questions in a critical way but am curious on your input? Anytime I hear someone say "Don't forsake the Assembly!" in order to keep people in their church my heart is broken. Yes don't forsake the Assembly but I would also think Paul would agree with this "Don't starve yourself spiritually in an assembly.

We see many times in history where a small group of people forsook the larger local church and brought about a great movement of God amoung them and amoung the lost.


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Matthew Guldner

 2010/10/2 19:55Profile
Christisking
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Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 672
Los Angeles, California

 Re:

OUTSTANDING article KingJimmy! I was once, to my own shame, exactly the person you have described. I was in bondage to a judgmental spirit and lacking understanding of grace, love and mercy. I think the best thing to do is to pray for deliverance and understanding for those who have been caught in such a trap - from experience it is truly a terrible place to be.

Wonderful article - I pray that it helps open some eyes and ears of the readers.

Patrick


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Patrick Ersig

 2010/10/2 20:00Profile
KingJimmy
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:

For I desperately desire to have fellowship and instead find cursed synagogues of Satan with polluted pulpits intent on crushing the life of Jesus in me.



If this is true, then step out in faith and start a Church where you are. You are not called to wander in a place without pasture.


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Jimmy H

 2010/10/2 20:48Profile
MyVeryHeart
Member



Joined: 2010/8/30
Posts: 449
Paradise, California

 Re:

Quote:
If this is true, then step out in faith and start a Church where you are. You are not called to wander in a place without pasture.



But a place without pasture is where the starving sheep are. I do love the lost sheep of the Israel of God and I will go to Hell for them. I will go after them and pour forth the testimony of Jesus as living water for their parched souls. No man or demon from the pit will stand in my way for the God who is for me is greater than those against me. The gates of hell, shall fall under the mighty two edged sword. The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners. A light has risen in the darkness and I will not conceal it but will shine forth the love of Jesus. And the Spirit and the Bride say come! All who are thirsty come!


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Travis

 2010/10/2 21:19Profile
KingJimmy
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:

I don't mean these questions in a critical way but am curious on your input? Anytime I hear someone say "Don't forsake the Assembly!" in order to keep people in their church my heart is broken. Yes don't forsake the Assembly but I would also think Paul would agree with this "Don't starve yourself spiritually in an assembly.



I'll be glad to give it. Indeed, it is something I have greatly wrestled with over the years. My experience in the Church has been a mixed one. I have seen many evils and awful compromises made. I have seen men of God who I thought were my friends turn out to be my enemies. But at the same time, I have met some of the dearest saints of God, who loved the Lord with all their heart, and loved me just the same.

Too often though, I believe we become disillusioned idealists, who longing with the heart of Christ for a pure and holy bride without spot or wrinkle, simply find it impossible to accept what we have at the present moment. It's much like a man who marries a woman, and waking up one day, realizes the woman he married is not the princess he thought she was before they got married, and now he sees her for who she really is, warts and all.

That happens when you fellowship with Christians in community. God forces you, like in a marriage, to deal with reality. And there is nothing more real than a cross, upon which we are all called to come and lay our lives upon and die. He has given us no utopian Church. Even the Church of Jerusalem, which we greatly celebrate and cherish, had liars, infighting, and "certain men from James."

But God has called us to stick at it, and in patience, forgiving wrong doing, to build up one another in the most holy faith, once and for all delivered to the saints. We are to strengthen the hands of the weak, and help each other become the people God would have us to be. Speaking the truth in love, we are to be iron sharpening iron, as together we seek the glory of God out, and make His name great amongst the nations. That takes a radical love, a love I believe many lack. And because they lack it, they cannot stick it out and commit to one another in this process.

So what is a man to do in a dead and lethargic Church that is full of sin? Stay there. Don't leave. Your food is to do the will of Him who has sent you. In that Christ was nourished, and if we are to ever press on to maturity, that must be what we determine in our hearts as well. For we are ultimately looking unto the Lord to provide us with our daily bread, and what we need to grow.

Do you think our Lord was born into this world spiritually mature? A thousand times no! But He grew in wisdom and grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord, a growth that had nothing to do with what He learned from the teachers of Israel in that day. And so can we, regardless of where our brethren stand in their maturity levels. Indeed, we may even find that our youngest and most spiritually immature may still have a moment of revelation, where they are able to speak into our lives.

Was such not the case at Corinth? Corinth was as carnal and immature as a Christian Church could get. Divorce and remarriage seems to have been the norm. The congregation seemed to approve of a man sleeping with his step-mother. False apostles were welcomed and celebrated in the congregation. And some seemed to think partaking in idolatrous rights was ok. Yet even so, God would use one to prophesy, and another to teach, and another to give a word of wisdom.

I think of one Christian sister I work with. She had departed from her faith for a number of years, and through my witness, the Lord enabled me to bring her back to the faith. She is still sometimes dealing with hangups from the lifestyle she lived in for a while, and she is far from being spiritually mature. And even though 95% of the time, I am ministering to her about an issue, there are still times when, for all her lack of knowledge of even basic issues of the faith, the Lord used her to still minister to me, and expose a sinful attitude in my life that I was holding to without yet realizing it.

Yet this type of woman probably represents the typical Christian in most churches today. Some, which many on here would look down upon, and would want to have no fellowship with. But such persons are not looking upon her as I believe the Lord does, with eyes full of mercy and grace, rejoicing over the work which He has begun in her, and fully intends to complete.

I think what we all need, are eyes to see other Christians as the Lord sees them. And when we do, we will love them even as He loves them. And though we will grieve over the way things are, we will press forward in faith, looking unto the way things can be.


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Jimmy H

 2010/10/2 21:27Profile
KingJimmy
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:

I was once, to my own shame, exactly the person you have described.



I was such a person too brother. The person I was talking about in this essay was me. But the Lord opened my eyes to see the error of my ways. Indeed, I remember a day where I woke up one morning, and found out that I actually loved other Christians, and such deeply grieved my heart over the many awful things I had said and done in the name of Christ, and the schismatic spirit that was alive in me.

Can I be so bold as to say that some of you here on SermonIndex.net have yet to find that love? You only love those who are like you, which is why some of you refuse to be a part of a local fellowship. Such is a sad thing. But I will love you and pray for you just the same.


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Jimmy H

 2010/10/2 21:35Profile





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