Jump to content


Photo

The Simple Truth


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Meema

Meema

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 181 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • family home church

Posted 29 January 2019 - 07:52 AM

My husband and I attended the funeral of an old friend last week. I must admit it’s one thing when you must bury your elders but when you start losing contemporaries it’s a sobering moment so I’ve been processing this. Gives one pause, you know.

 

We had a 1-1/2 hour drive to a bucolic Georgia town, that was established in the 1800’s. Like any other small town USA, population 6000, there’s one funeral home; the venue for last rites for many decades.

 

The ceremony opened with a minister’s gentle sermon that began with a recollection of speaking with the deceased about his faith many years ago. Our friend, his wife and family, was raised a Methodist but was converted to Baptist, due to his wife’s urging, shortly after settling there 45 years ago. They both attended the one Baptist Church and served the small congregation in many capacities for decades.

 

The sermon that followed the introduction was so clean, so pure, so completely on point, I sat next to my husband soaking it in as though I was parched ground grateful for rain.

 

The topic was centered on faith, what it is and how to get it. The minister’s steady, non-judgmental voice offered up words of hope and quoted Scripture, not like a weapon to prove a point, but like water offered to a thirsty soul. 

 

I don’t go to church, as a rule. I’ve been in a wilderness for so long I simply can’t endure the agendas in hopes of receiving a morsel of truth. So, sitting there listening to the pure verity of what it is like to be in love with Christ, to be committed to His will, to accept His grace, in the simplest terms of what faith truly is, was somewhat overwhelming for me. It has stayed with me for nearly a week now. I guess I needed the reminder. 

 

In all the years we called this man our friend, I don’t recall one single conversation with him about his religion or denomination of Christian belief. He lived his religion, openly and honestly. He had no ill will toward anyone, not a judgmental bone in his body. And he never condemned anyone else for choosing to reject religiousity. 

 

I am quite sure he is in heaven with Jesus, not because he was religious, nor because he followed a set rules of doctrine, as defined by another human, but because, as the minister said, he believed that Christ is the Son of God who came to take our place, to save us from ourselves. Our friend's works were the natural result of his faith. 



#2 Tony Davison

Tony Davison

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Location:Clinton Ontario Canada
  • Interests:Retired Electrician by trade full time christian by Gods choice.
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • Heartland Community Church (EMC)

Posted 30 January 2019 - 04:18 AM

I have often said that church is great as long as people are not there. Oh wait a minute I am there, but then I don't have any problems.



#3 Meema

Meema

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 181 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • family home church

Posted 30 January 2019 - 05:36 AM

I’ve never been much of a follower. Even when I have been grouped in, I still have held onto my own peculiar way to look at things. One important contributing factor is that, by nature, I am somewhat of an introvert. I love certain people, I can have compassion for others in general, whom I do not know well, but, overall, I’m fairly self-contained. I have people in my life so I can’t say with certitude that I can do without others because I’ve never been put in that position.

 

However, that said, I have no agenda, no cause, that declares I must convince others to follow my example and campaign that modern organized religion is often misleading. I am sure there are plenty of good churches, especially the smaller congregations, that worship Christ and live well with the parameters of true Christian faith. I’m also sure many do much good in their communities. 

 

At this point, I’m too old to keep searching for that though because, first, I don’t need the congregation or the mission statement in order to worship Christ. Second, as I have matured in the spirit, I find I know too much. He told us all we had to do is ask, and so I did. The problem is that when you learn that the truth is way less complex than religion presents it to be, there is no one to share that knowledge with. Some things are only available to understand when you have asked, with an open spirit to receive. It’s a personal experience that you can’t teach because religiosity is sealed against it.

 

Example: When I tell someone that Jesus Christ is our Sabbath rest. There is no day on the human calendar that must be set aside to worship Him. We can worship him 24/7. Cue crickets.

 

I’m quite weary, (some of it has to do with advanced age), of myopic religious dyslexia. Seeing things only as they have been taught for eons. You see, I don’t believe that Christ came to start yet another religion. He came to set us free from the old law and the convoluted man-made system that Judaism had become. Christ came to save us from that.  He came to establish a way of life. In fact, the first decades after Christ was ascended, His followers were referred to as The Way. The label Christian came later.

 

Interestingly, given that I figured out my personality type has much to do with how I navigate life, I did a deep dive into how we are wonderfully made. We are not the same. It seems that there are those who are determined to be held up as authoritative, the ultimate definers of how others should be and live. It’s actually a personality type. Dictators and cult leaders often have this kind of bent and work over time to rise to a level of leadership because they are driven to do so.

 

Once you know how to discern these types, who believe so strongly that only they are RIGHT!, you can also learn how to avoid them.


  • Charles Miles and robo328 like this

#4 Charles Miles

Charles Miles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 503 posts
  • Location:West Point, MS
  • Interests:Medicine
    Fruits of the spirit
    Learning more about the Kingdom of God and how to live in it here on earth
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • First Presbyterian Church EPC

Posted 30 January 2019 - 11:01 AM

Thank you Meema. Although I am a member and elder of the Presbyterian EPC  church here in West Point, I do consider myself not to be religious. If by that word we mean the rules and regulations established by man to get closer to God. That just has never worked. Jesus came here to free sinners from bondage and allow them to have a personal relationship with God. I belong to this particular church because of the love shown there and the fact that the gospel is preached from the Bible every day. Not everyone who is a member believes exactly the way I do, but the differences are very minor and do not cause and discord whatsoever. I was brought up in the Southern Baptist denomination and have been a member at both large and small churches and usually there were no major doctrinal difficulties....although I can recall a few. After visiting most of the churches in our town, Fran and I decided that this small church just "fit" us. Everyone knows everyone, the spirit of love and fellowship just oozes out of the doors and windows, and I have not yet found any non-Biblical teaching from either the pulpit or SS. Anyone who gets sick or has a family problem, immediately gets home made food brought to their door and the start of a prayer chain for them. We have an active diaconate as well as elder session, and everyone just gets along.

 I know a church such as ours may not be the rule nation wide, but there must be many out there. The trick is to find them and recognize them. I so much want you and your husband to find one, because the support and love given by such a church is so, so important to the life of a Christian. Of course, belonging to a good, sound Christian church is not required, but it does help so much in today`s world. 

 Just a word I heard today. A man was complaining that his life was tough at this particular time and maybe the mountain was too rough to climb for him.  A wise woman told him..."if the mountain was completely smooth, you would not be able to climb it at all".  What a wise woman!

 

Praying for you,

 

Charlie


  • Meema likes this

#5 robo328

robo328

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Location:SW Ohio
  • Interests:Music, Reading
  • Gender:Male
  • I am a Church Worker

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • Church of God

Posted 01 February 2019 - 09:15 PM

Tozer touched upon this frustration: "The man (or woman) who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk.

 
For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided, and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for the friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none, he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.
 

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else." 

 

I told my wife a couple days ago, that ( I'm not boasting, but) I feel the institutional church needs us, more than we need it. That's fine, but if your service to it, doesn't fit into their program, curriculum, or agenda, they have no use for you.  Sadly, it seems they are more interested in keeping milk-drinking derriere's  in the seats, than making disciples, who may ('gasp') take off, following their own calling. 

 

I found that the nursing home ministry, is one of my favorite Sundays. One of the most popular songs there, is the hymn: 'How Beautiful Heaven Must Be'. People longing for His appearing (2 Tim 2:8). As I get older, it sounds better and better. 


  • Candice and Meema like this
"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength" -Isaiah 30:15

#6 Meema

Meema

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 181 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church
  • family home church

Posted 03 February 2019 - 07:59 AM

It was this essay (sermon?) by Tozer that I read in another forum that introduced me to Tozer in 2012 and ultimately to this forum. I still read Tozer's good words, as well as Vance Havner and T.Austin-Sparks. Seems as though the old-timers had a better grasp on the simplicity of Christ and the peculiar walk of the Christian. 

 

I often quote Tozer in my blog.

 

http://bagsallpacked.../soul-care.html



#7 Candice

Candice

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 925 posts
  • Location:Big Horn, Wyoming
  • Interests:Bible study and deeper life in Christ, reading old and wise teachers of the bible.
  • Gender:Female
  • I am a Layperson

  • I attend a non-Alliance church

Posted 04 February 2019 - 03:30 PM

I like this story Meema and say "amen" to the responses here. 


  • Meema likes this