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#1 elizabethcog

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:41 PM

I am not sure where to even start,if God saves me for his glory and wants to use me then why do men want me to be in some image of who they think I am supposed to be.Didn't Jesus alone die on that cross to make a bridge to God the almighty?If he found me worth saving and I die to myself then where does man come in with all his rules of what to do and be ......i am so weary of all the add ons and long for the simple truth of the gospel message.I do not know much but I read my bible many times ina day and night ,I pray constantly and love God and do my best to love my neighbor as myself,I reach out to those society wishes would just go away....maybe I am one of the ones people wish would just be silent and go along and be agreeable.God reveals himself to me through his mighty word.Are there any people who just want to love God and others?God will lead me to them I know but prayers of strength and patience will be greatly appreciated.... God bless you all and me too i pray=)
Jesus and Jesus alone saves=D

#2 Charles Miles

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 04:36 PM

Elizabeth, I saw your message and read it several times before even considering a reply. It probably does not need any reply except to say that I will certainly be praying for you and your release from whatever is causing you the difficulty. I know nothing of your plight but I do sense a hurt in you that probably should not be there. I don`t even have any advice or reason to suggest any, except I sense you are having a hard time. Yes, people will try to "add on" things to the gospel, and this is nothing new. Paul ran into this in Galacia and had some pretty stern rebuke for those who listened to it. The gospel is simple, so simple that many of us(me included) missed it for far too long. Remember....religion is man`s creation and he always wants to "add on" things that seem perfectly plain and simple, but don`t we all know that Christ has already done it all? We have no works, creeds, chants, or deeds that add anything at all to the Holy Sacrifice He did for us. How to deal with people who want to "add on" or make you more like them? Love them. Honestly and ernestly love them. "This one commandment I leave you, that you love one another even as I have loved you". He never said that this would be really, really easy...but He did say that we are to do it.
There is only one standard to which we should all aspire and we all know we can`t ever be "good enough" on our own, don`t we? Anyone who wants you to pattern your life after theirs(unless it is Christ himself) certainly needs your love and understanding more than many. Many people do have admirable traits but only one has all the traits we need, and He showed us how to live and do it right.

Peace be with you and the Love of Christ be in you as you work through this,

Charlie
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#3 chipped china

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 02:31 AM

Amen Charlie. And I too like Elizabeth have gone through some struggles with wondering where the true sheep are. Galatians 3: 28 l There is neither Jew nor Greek, m there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all n one in Christ Jesus. And 2Timothy 3:7 Everlearning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. There will always be those who think they know and don't. We need to yield to the Spirit in meekness to help discern what is of Him and what is of the world in ourselves and others. I had a friend tell me a while ago that I needed to be more patient and wait for the "God things to happen" He gives us our work and many times we don't know it's happening until is already done. I try to keep in mind that the church is a living organism not an organization. We need to be of one mind, His mind. Just remember John 15:18 18 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. Most of all know that God loves us with our imperfections and so we must love others with theirs too. Sorry this was kind of fragmented, I hope you were able to see what I was saying. Blessings and prayers to you both, On earth as it is in Heaven, Betsy
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#4 Lori Smith

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:29 AM

Elizabeth,

I understand what you're saying; I have the same problem. What happens is that I hear leadership preaching rules that conflict with my relationship with Jesus. Thus, I feel this war against my spirit, as if I must choose between God or men. It causes a deep grieving within my heart. As a result, I've often withdrawn from church in order to stay near Christ, but then I'm called a lone wolf. This despite weekly participation in a ministry and fellowship with other Christians. However, since I am not doing things the orthodox way, I feel condemned. I'm happy to hear your courageous words; you aren't alone. I believe there are churches that allow intimacy with God, and I think that is the best solution. Inside a church there is a feeling of protection because (at least I do) there is a desire to walk in unity with the entire body of Christ.

I think chipped china said it well: find the true sheep and then we won't feel condemned by the loud voices coming from the false ones. Maybe we need to stop feeling condemned anyway; it might be that we are people-pleasers rather than God pleasers. It is hard though when the church scolds.

Blessings,
Lori
In The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer writes, "Jesus taught that He wrought His works by always keeping His inward eyes upon His Father. His power lay in His continuous look at God (John 5:19-21)."

#5 elizabethcog

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:52 PM

Oh how I thank God for each one of you.his sheep are very visible here even though my eyes cannot "see" any of you, my brothers and sisters in Christ=DI will heed your words because i believe them to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and I feel the love and kindness radiating from within.......ahhhhh Thank you all for the words and prayers.Until He returns.....God bless and watch over each of you in Jesus name I pray.
Jesus and Jesus alone saves=D

#6 Joel Stoddert

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:41 PM

Elizabeth, I saw your message and read it several times before even considering a reply. It probably does not need any reply except to say that I will certainly be praying for you and your release from whatever is causing you the difficulty. I know nothing of your plight but I do sense a hurt in you that probably should not be there. I don`t even have any advice or reason to suggest any, except I sense you are having a hard time. Yes, people will try to "add on" things to the gospel, and this is nothing new. Paul ran into this in Galacia and had some pretty stern rebuke for those who listened to it. The gospel is simple, so simple that many of us(me included) missed it for far too long. Remember....religion is man`s creation and he always wants to "add on" things that seem perfectly plain and simple, but don`t we all know that Christ has already done it all? We have no works, creeds, chants, or deeds that add anything at all to the Holy Sacrifice He did for us. How to deal with people who want to "add on" or make you more like them? Love them. Honestly and ernestly love them. "This one commandment I leave you, that you love one another even as I have loved you". He never said that this would be really, really easy...but He did say that we are to do it.
There is only one standard to which we should all aspire and we all know we can`t ever be "good enough" on our own, don`t we? Anyone who wants you to pattern your life after theirs(unless it is Christ himself) certainly needs your love and understanding more than many. Many people do have admirable traits but only one has all the traits we need, and He showed us how to live and do it right.

Peace be with you and the Love of Christ be in you as you work through this,

Charlie

Elizabeth, I saw your message and read it several times before even considering a reply. It probably does not need any reply except to say that I will certainly be praying for you and your release from whatever is causing you the difficulty. I know nothing of your plight but I do sense a hurt in you that probably should not be there. I don`t even have any advice or reason to suggest any, except I sense you are having a hard time. Yes, people will try to "add on" things to the gospel, and this is nothing new. Paul ran into this in Galacia and had some pretty stern rebuke for those who listened to it. The gospel is simple, so simple that many of us(me included) missed it for far too long. Remember....religion is man`s creation and he always wants to "add on" things that seem perfectly plain and simple, but don`t we all know that Christ has already done it all? We have no works, creeds, chants, or deeds that add anything at all to the Holy Sacrifice He did for us. How to deal with people who want to "add on" or make you more like them? Love them. Honestly and ernestly love them. "This one commandment I leave you, that you love one another even as I have loved you". He never said that this would be really, really easy...but He did say that we are to do it.
There is only one standard to which we should all aspire and we all know we can`t ever be "good enough" on our own, don`t we? Anyone who wants you to pattern your life after theirs(unless it is Christ himself) certainly needs your love and understanding more than many. Many people do have admirable traits but only one has all the traits we need, and He showed us how to live and do it right.

Peace be with you and the Love of Christ be in you as you work through this,

Charlie


Well said, Charlie. When I read Elizabeth's post and your reply, I thought of a comment by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who had a similar desire to follow Christ wholeheartedly, along with others who also shared that desire. In his little book Life Together, Bonhoeffer comments that the quickest way to ruin a local church is to insist that it meet your ideal image of the church instead of loving it as it is. Legalism insists that we need to do church the legalist's way to be truly Christian. Elizabeth seems to have been wounded by legalism. Elizabeth, if you read this post, like Charlie, I sympathize. But I would also counsel you to be careful not to do the same thing, unintentionally, as those legalists. No local church, no matter how Christ-honoring, is unmarred by sin & its effects, If your church is healthy, I would hope the leadership would be willing to help you deal with this conflict in a biblical fashion. If it isn't a healthy church, the Lord may want you somewhere else. But the ideal church, where everyone is 100% sold out to Jesus will have to wait til the Church in heaven. Here, finding a healthy church where you are accepted as family, can use your gifts, and serve the Lord alongside people who love you is the goal.
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#7 chipped china

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:23 PM

Ya know it's funny but when I am corrected by someone who loves me in Christ I can quite easily take it, look at it and give it to the Lord. I can agree and confess my sin without feeling like I'm nothing. That kind of correction makes me want to be more like Christ, to let go of fears that make me selfish and interfere with the Spirit working through me. And I want others to know I can look into them without fear or self consciousness. To be fishers of men we have to look deeper than what they say but also what they don't say. And when I study how Jesus treated people it was always without mans condemnation but just "see" and walk with me. The only ones He was hard on were the hypocrite self righteous lost.

Maybe reading a book called Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola will help you understand what has happened to the church over the centuries. It use to be small groups of believers met in homes, spent a great deal of time together and didn't have the structure we have today. Everyone had their own God given gifts and the people uplifted, taught and shared, and even rebuked one another in love. They had elders but many times they traveled around periodically checking on several different churches to make sure they were on the right path. There wasn't this standardized church service where you sang praises, heard the benediction, announcements,listened with baited ear to a sermon and said hello, how are you? to the person sitting next to you and then rushed home. These disciples knew they had the Holy Spirit and could read scripture without someone teaching them what it meant. People somehow started putting down their Bibles and asked to be spoon feed. Don't get me wrong I get a whole lot out of anointed prophets, and teachers of God's word but Jesus talks to each of us, we are all part of the Body and when some are thought of more highly then perhaps it is man's works not God's works that are confusing our walk. For me I would much rather be part of a small group that met in our different houses, forgetting all the money a structured building costs just sharing the of Love of Christ. It seems to me that financial gifts would really help the people that need it because we would know them intimately. And we could be come more self sufficient as a community.
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#8 Travis Richey

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:52 AM

I've been reading this thread, enjoying it and agonizing over it. It speaks volumes to me, and continues to show me the deep hurt I have caused in others. You see, I was a legalist...or rather, I am a recovering legalist. I was exposed to a teaching, a way of looking at Christianity that caused me to pause and consider where I had been, and how I had been taught, and did in fact change my life in many ways for the better. I still believe that this particular ministry can and does speak truth. The problem was that it was taught and/or received by more than a few of us as "the only way". And that sent us into a spiral of legalistic thought. I and we felt truly and deeply that we had come to understand God and God's ways in the only way that He could be understood....and everyone else...well they were just plain wrong and doomed to hell. It might read to you as an exageration on my part, but as I look back on those years, I can see just how true what I am now writing really is. During this time, the church saw a few exoduses of folks who we ran off, or left because they got tired of putting up with our holier than thou attitudes, and each time it happened, we circled our wagons of exclusion a little tighter, and thought to ourselves, "They just don't get it, and we're better off without them."

Well, it went from a fellowship of 80 to 90 people, down to a gathering of just 20 or so of the hard-core "holy ones". Then this legalist way of life began to disintegrate families. That was the breaking point, and the final "split" and then the early retirement of the pastor. It is sad to see a vibrant church destroyed. It is even sadder to see it be destroyed from within. And I can't describe how it feels to figure out that I was part of the means of that destruction.

I say all of that, in order to say Amen! and Thank You! to Pastor Joel for his wonderful response to this thread.

Finally I cannot read through this thread without Paul's words to the Corinthians echoing in my head:
1 Corinthians 12:12-26
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

It requires all of us to make up the Body of Chist. It requires all of us, and our God-given talents and Spiritual gifts to do the work of the Body. And, I believe that it requires all of us in unity with the Holy Spirit to keep each other in check. I heard and ignored the warnings of many, much to my own dismay...but I am thankful that they did attempt to turn me away from the path I was on. I repent now of what I did and what I became, and God has forgiven my sins. May those I have hurt also forgive me.

So, to Elizabeth, Betsy and Lori....May God's Rich Blessings continue in you. I thank God for people like all of you who are on fire for Jesus. I would ask you though to please remain in the Body, in fellowship, and to be patient and long-suffering with those of us who don't understand you and think your ways in error. Never be afraid to speak in the power of the Spirit to those who you are called to admonish for our legalism. Pastor Joel, again, thank you for your words here.

In Christ,
Travis
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#9 Lori Smith

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:03 AM

Blessings Elizabeth for your courage and high-fives to all for your glorious words of grace. I believe each has added drops of wisdom, one to another, just as the body should!

Shalom
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In The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer writes, "Jesus taught that He wrought His works by always keeping His inward eyes upon His Father. His power lay in His continuous look at God (John 5:19-21)."

#10 elizabethcog

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:43 PM

:) I have been so encouraged by each and everyone of you and I do not even have words to express my gratitude,our Lord God has designed this I know for all of our encouragement.All I can do when I am lost really is cry out to him even if sometimes I am screaming at the top of my lungs inside ,Jesus finds a way with his love and mercy to reach me and help me.I once was lost it is true and now we all walk a narrow path as pilgrims in a hurting and suffering world,but our sorrows and hardships are not in vain,he will use these very things to help us and grow us into who he wants us to be.I pray for those I love of course but I find myself more and more praying (and meaning it)for those that hurt me and others. I too have hurt people and offended many in my life, but if God deems me worthy then the choice is already made for me that I too have to deem others just as worthy as he found me.We are all after all in the same boat so to speak with Jesus as our captain,and I want to love like he did as muchas my human self can,with the Holy Spirit as my guide! have a glorious day and find joy in all you do".I can do all things through Christ who gives me strenth"May you also.Love and blessings and prayers
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Jesus and Jesus alone saves=D

#11 chipped china

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 01:38 AM

Wow, thank you Jesus and my brothers and sisters! I feel His Holiness and mercy here.
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#12 landonmark

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:31 AM

Praying for you, Elizabeth...

Remember, even Jesus told us to beware of "wolves" from within the church- those who would corrupt the pure gospel by adding their own "stuff, making rules and creating a culture within the church that is not in the least supportive of or enriching to those who are seeking the deeper life.

I share some of the same struggles as you, and am thankful for the encouraging posts from other members in response.

In Christ,
mark landon
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#13 Brian Elmer

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 06:30 AM

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: (Romans 3:20-22 ESV) Here's the gospel.

Any time a pastor/church tries to add certain 'things/rules', it's legalism - just like the Pharisees. Funny, Jesus simply said love God, love one another. The Pharisees came up with 613 rules... As you can see by the above verses, no one will be justified by works. Even after becoming a child of God (read Galatians) there is NOTHING we can do to earn our salvation. Man seems to have added things, in order to compare his 'righteousness' to others, thus making him feel as though he is spiritual. Funny, even in the Old Testament it says "But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 ESV). In other words, God looks for heart transformation, not external deeds or appearances.Obviously, if our heart is being transformed it will be reflected in our behavior to the body of Christ and others. But that is the Holy Spirit's working in conjunction with the reading of His Word.

It's sad that many pastors and church miss the gospel.
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#14 Isaac Chinthala

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  • Interests:Founder and Director ·Faith Evangelical Ministries Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India Faith Evangelical Ministries is a Non profit Organization registered under the Government of India, Andhra pradesh public societies.... Reg-Act35 of 1995/society no 1265/2007(faith based and Inter-denominational Ministry) Dear Beloved Brothers & Sisters in Christ Greetings to you in the mighty name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Faith Evangelical Ministries came into existence as a response to the vision given by God to Pastor Ch.Issac Chinthala The ministry was set up with faith as the only capital, FEM( FAITH EVANGELICAL MINISTRIES )was formally founded on year of 1995 our vision: preaching the gospel in different ways and Reached the unreached people So we are requesting you to please pray for us, guide us and strengthen us to do the Lord’s work through your ministry. Thanking you Isaac chinthala Pastor/Evangelist Sector-3,arilova,visakhapatnam-530040,ANDHRA PRADESH, SOUTH INDIA Cell: +91-9848172885 E-mail: Isaac.chinthala@gmail.com
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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:30 AM

Hello Beloved friends this is pastor isaac from india thanks for adding me in this site.. please uphold us and our ministry in your Pryers thanks Regards from india
isaac

#15 elizabethcog

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:48 PM

Welcome !I pray The Lord gives you all you need as only He can as you reach out to others to share the good news of Christ!=D
Jesus and Jesus alone saves=D