The following is just a sampling of some actual cases involving people in situations where
"authority gone wild" in the church has been manifested.
Unless otherwise requested, only your first name will be posted.
I lost my wife and grown children because they were taught that the leadership superseded the authority of the husband and father. Leadership of the “larger church family” took precedence over the leadership of the nuclear family, completely contrary to God’s Word! Interesting thing is how women so easily fall in line with this type of thinking. And, of course, the children tend to follow their mothers, especially if their mothers receive the complete support and encouragement of the church leadership.
It was a very difficult thing for me to experience the complete alienation of my wife’s and children’s affection. It was even harder when she was spirited away and hid from me and no amount of pleading for her return produced sympathetic results among those who took her from our marriage. They simply did not consider themselves as home-wreckers and marriage-destroyers. Somehow they managed to convince themselves they were doing the will of God by destroying what He had brought together. No matter how hard one tries, you cannot convince them otherwise.
More than my son was lost to this group. By the time the group leadership got through with me, I had lost my wife, six children, and eight grandchildren. I have not seen them one time in the past five years. I cannot get anywhere near them, so convinced are they by group leadership that to love me is to shun me like a dead man until I come to the leadership and take the knee, submitting entirely to them.
This, of course, will never happen. My hope is that one day my family will come to their senses and leave the group.
Our congregation separated from the mainstream church. When we separated, we were free to obey God's Word and "all that the Lord has commanded, we will do." Other churches came out and joined us along with families and groups wanting us to provide a ministry to them. We came across the role of elders in the church and the need to have discipline in the church and so it was preached to "obey them that have the rule over you and submit to them." The main emphasis being "obey" - "Rule over," - "submit to them." When the first discipline case came up followed by an excommunication, there were a few outcries from the people. It was then preached by the Pastor that we all agreed to follow and obey God's Word and so when it came to discipline of members, we should recognize that this is a necessary part of obedience in following the teaching of Scripture. We should not be complaining if God wants to correct us and lead us and have the "unruly" brother disciplined and put out of the church.
Excommunications came and we all wondered who was next? My heart went out to these excommunicates and I couldn't understand why they wouldn't repent of their sin and come back to us. I would have welcomed them with open arms. I was 32, single and looked around the congregation to see if I could find a wife. I took one girl out a couple of times and felt that she wasn't the one. The next thing I knew was that I was brought before the minister and 2 elders and told how I had terribly upset this girl and created a scandal. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! What did this have to do with them? I was told by the minister that for me to take her hand meant an utter commitment to her. Several meetings were held with me and false statements were made against me. I was so bewildered as to why these men were doing this to me. They finally broke me emotionally and I was then told to go to the girl, throw myself at her feet, tell her that I had come to look for a wife and that I had her in mind. I know this might all sound incredible and unbelievable, but this did happen. I went home from this meeting a broken man thinking this was God's will. After all, weren't these men spiritually minded men led by God's Holy Spirit and they were all of one accord.
I didn't go to work for a few days still in a state of bewilderment and lay on my bed praying and calling out to God. It was suddenly brought to my mind about the false statements made about me and for the first time in weeks, I saw that these men were not led by the Holy Spirit at all. If they were led by the Holy Spirit, they would have recognized truth when I protested against their false statements. They would not have made false statements in the first place. My mind and heart was then bombarded with tokens of God's love for me. "I will never leave thee or forsake thee." "None shall pluck thee out of my hand." I cannot recall a time when I have felt so close to God.
I wrote out a letter of resignation, handed it personally to the minister at his home and 3 weeks later, a letter of excommunication came. I found myself having to begin my life and find new friends in other churches. I contacted other excommunicates and found that they also had been dealt falsely by this church. Eleven years went by and I received word from one of the excommunicates that the church was claiming repentance for its wrong dealings with folk. I was sent printed statements of how they were wanting to seek folk out and put matters right with them. I was contacted, and it seemed as if they were genuine. I genuinely sought reconciliation and expressed my willingness to forgive. I asked for the statements about myself that were read out to the congregation at the time of my excommunication. I was horrified to read further false statements that I was not aware of such as "seeking to cause divisions amongst the brethren and elders." Totally false! When I challenged them on these statements, they remained unrepentant and I also reminded them of their printed statements of wanting to put matters right.
I can only conclude that there overtures toward me were false and I couldn't understand why they had bothered. The answer came from another excommunicate who stated that so many folk had left the church and that they were in financial difficulties and saw this as some sort of judgment from God. So, they reviewed their past case histories of excommunications and tried to get the folk back again…..under their control, of course!
I have kept all the letters of correspondence with this church to prove my case and defend any false statements that are still existing.
I still hold out hope that he and the elders might approach me with a true sorrow, repentance, and truly seek my forgiveness and have it made known to all the folk. I think that would give me closure. On the other hand, this may never happen and I will have to accept this situation. I don't know why this happened to me. God has His reasons. All I know is that I must continually look towards God and trust in Him for His leading and guidance in my life. I don't find it easy putting the past behind me as my experience has left its emotional & spiritual scars. Your website has helped me all the more in my understanding of what is happening in churches today.
When the Lord was starting to open my eyes concerning spiritual abuse and unbiblical authoritarianism, I started to share some of these things to my wife. Also, I started to have some different doctrinal positions from what the church had and different views of church policy. Well, what do you know, that lo and behold, the name of our family was next on the list for our “pastoral visitation.” The time and date was settled. At the appointed time, the TBC “elder” comes over. We start to chat about different church issues. He wasn’t in the house for more than 10 minutes when he turns and says to my wife, “…WELL,...HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT SEPARATION?” I said, “WHAT! How dare you come into my house and plant that evil, diabolical seed into my wife’s head!” I should have thrown him out right then and there, but I didn’t.
Could you imagine that! Separation, and then, of necessity, possible divorce? For what? Because one spouse disagrees with the pastor’s sermon or an issue of church policy? Sadly yes. But thankfully, the Lord rescued me and not too soon afterward, I dragged my wife and family out of that wretched, wretched place. But not too many are “fortunate” as myself.
When the issue of authority and submission came up with my husband and I, the elders recommendation was also to separate, as my husband was the one questioning the elders authority. At that point we both knew that advice was terribly wrong and anti-biblical so, in due time, by God’s mercy, we jumped ship. That was a long time ago. By God's grace we have experienced biblical love in many other Christian churches and fellowship groups and quickly learned that Reformed Baptists aren't the only Christians with a handle on the Truth. Now at times we question whether Reformed Baptists have a truncated view of God's love, grace and mercy to sinners.
Since leaving "Our Church", we’ve come to see several areas of this mans teaching that are not biblical but have caused destruction and grief along with broken family members and husband and wife brutality and separations. My husband and I are thankful we opted out as soon as we did.
I was raised in a church where this was taught to me from birth. I left that church about a year and a half ago…..
Sadly, the events you describe in the article are the exact same things that are happening in my family now. Shortly after I left the church, my father did as well. He is attending another church now and is very happy with the message being taught there. Unfortunately, the old church has convinced my mother that my father left the church in sin. This, of course, is not the case. He tried to leave the church respectfully, but the pastors told him that if he left the church, he would forfeit his authority over my mother. He knew this was wrong and could not remain in a place that upheld this principle. Sadly, the church leaders immediately went to my mother and told her that my father was in sin (they lied, or used the "you don't need to know" statement, about why he left the church), telling her that she would be in sin if she left with him!
My mom is still at that "church". They have convinced her and my little brother to move out from my father's house, telling them that his statements about what the Lord showed him in the new church's sermons was really vexing them. It's all such a horrible mess!
I remember a few years back that there was an issue that I had with a “Pastor” named Greg Nichols. I disagreed with him on a judgment matter that he arrived at in regards to myself and one other person. I wrote him a letter, indicating that he was wrong in his assessment and judgment. A few days later, I receive a phone call from Greg Nichols ordering me to come to the “elders meeting” the following Saturday. I asked him for what purpose. All he said was, “the letter!” Here I am now, all nervous, arriving the following Saturday evening at the “elders meeting”. Present were Greg Nichols, and two other "elders," Frank Barker, and Don Dickson. The main "pastor" was out of town. Frank Barker did most of the talking. He started off lambasting me for writing this letter to Greg Nichols and telling me, “Don’t you know that this is the Lord’s anointed!”
On and on he went about “touching not the Lord’s anointed”. Absolutely nothing of the letter was addressed, only how I “sinned” and needed to repent of my sin of touching the Lord’s anointed was the topic of the meeting. Needless to say, in my immaturity and nervousness, I acknowledged my “sin” and asked for Greg Nichol’s forgiveness and after that, I was dismissed.
When I look back now on that incident, I sometimes scratch my head and say, “how could I have been so foolish and immature to let this happen.”
But I was doing exactly as I was taught: submit to and obey your elders, no matter what. Since that time, I've learned that many of their tactics go against scripture!
In the context where the phrase “touch not the Lord’s anointed” is found, it has absolutely nothing to do with what they said it did. In fact, if you search it through in both the OT and NT, it’s THE PREACHER THAT TROUBLES OR CONFUSES GOD’S SHEEP, WHO IS “TOUCHING THE LORD’S ANOINTED,” not the other way around.
I wonder how many elders/pastors have used David’s words to maintain their own authority even at the expense of the real truth.
It is absurd the lengths to which supposed “learned” men are willing to go to make God's Word fit into their false, blasphemous doctrines.
Thank God that he has opened my eyes to see and gave me the feet to flee from that place and to flee from all of their pompous and demented ideas of what they think Christ’s church is.
At a business meeting in our church, when we were voting for an elder, and at another time for some other “church policy” issue, I remember very vividly how I specifically and deliberately voted “NO” on these issues, just to keep the vote from being “unanimous.” No other reason. At the end of the tally, the main pastor who led the meeting comes up to the podium and announces, “it is unanimous.” I must admit though that at this point, I wasn’t surprised at all. To make the announcement, “it is unanimous,” when there is even one vote to the contrary, is to say the least, downright dishonest. And I subsequently learned that the elders always “try to figure out” who the negative vote was, which again, I was not surprised to hear.
At one business meeting, when we were voting for the confirmation of an elder, before the vote was taken, this same pastor rises up to the podium and starts to browbeat the congregation; frightening them and bullying them into voting a certain way.
Waving his pointed finger to the congregation, he raises his voice and bellows out saying, “IF ANYONE VOTES NO…….IF YOU VOTE NO ON THE ISSUE OF CONFIRMING THIS MAN, YOU ARE VOTING AGAINST THE JUDGMENT OF YOUR ELDERS!!!!!……”
So after that lecture, the vote is taken, and as expected, everyone voted yes, for the tally was unanimous. How could it not be otherwise. Everyone has just been terrified and browbeaten into voting yes. And no one sees a problem with this. And even if they did, they know all too well the consequences that would fall upon them if they would voice a concern. So they keep quiet.
The sad part is this. Once the business meeting concluded, and now comes the time for the closing prayer, the pastor prays this: “God, we thank you for letting us know Your mind and Your will at this meeting tonight…..and in the final analysis Your voice has been heard and Your will has been done. Not unto us, but unto Thy name be the glory.”
Are the words fake, phony, and fraud OK to apply here? Excuse me...........does a cat have a tail?
Let me tell you about my experience at a meeting and how the Lord healed from the pain and damage which that meeting inflicted upon me.
Now, one goes to a meeting with their pastors with the expectation that issues will be discussed in a gracious and Biblically-scrupulous manner; that no one would jump to conclusions, but carefully listen to all facets of a matter before deciding how to best deal with a matter. This was not the case with my meeting (at my particular "church") with pastors named Al Martin, Frank Barker and some other elders. Without going into details, one of the elders had received some hearsay from a lady at church about me that was simply not true. The pastor, ANM said, (and I quote) "the Bible says that we are supposed to take some one along and talk to you privately but we'll dismiss with that, and just take the matter to the church." I suggested that they talk to my boss at work, since it was a work-related matter. The pastor refused to go "to the world." Then things which I had privately requested counsel for over the years were brought up by various elders and they threatened to tell the entire church! I was told that I was "not a Christian" and was given the "option" of resigning from the church...which I subsequently, in my naiveté, did. This was, in a nutshell, how the “elders” had decided in advance to handle my increasingly-embarrassing marital situation, rather than expend whatever efforts were necessary to save our marriage.
Fifteen years of respect, loyalty and service to "My Church" had suddenly flown out the study window. I was devastated...and, without going into detail, that meeting effectively ended our marriage.
My husband and I got converted in 1996 in Berlin, Germany, in a church of about 2000 members. We had many questions and even flew half way around the world attending different conferences but were always left alone with our questions. It did not take long that we finally realized that we were not welcome asking those questions. So we went to another church; and another; and another. I could not understand why the people in the church were no different from the ones outside. With the issues of total submission to the authority of the pastor, tithing, the jealousy between the churches and so on, I simply could not find all that in the bible. There was something very wrong but we seemed to be the only ones thinking that. In the end we were isolated; told that we would never get any blessings outside the church and no protection from God.
But by that time however, we had already decided to leave and be our own church; and so my husband and I and some more family members left because of the very issues that you mention on your site! We lost all of our "Christian" friends, but found Jesus on a very personal scale.
We feel connected in the unseen with real body of Christ all over the
world. We pray for the brethren who we don't know and where ever they may be. The church system was established as a means of mind-
controlling the people. The body of Christ is an organism, not a system.
May more and more brothers and sisters in Christ all over the
world come to that truth that will really set them free.
With kind regards from Germany
MY name is Terry and I am a survivor of a Pastor named Al Martin. I'm not even going to say of "T" because a church takes on the flavor and character of its leader. A church is the body of Christ not an inanimate building, and a group of people (the body) will often adopt the attitudes and character of the leader that leads them. If he is leading in a godly way, they will aspire to godliness. If he leads by tyranny, fear, hatefulness...they will either cower into immobility or they will become hateful as well.......
I had lived and revolved in "T" for my entire life. It was my church home. I loved it and frankly, knew nothing else, nor wanted to. I always assumed that PM would be the pastor to marry me and I would raise my family there. I had many, many friends, having been there for so long.....I began to notice that friends would shy away from me and simply not talk to me. This puzzled me but I figured they were just having "off days". One of the men at the church had asked me out on a date. It was our second one and he came to my workplace to pick me up. Enroute to our date he told me that PM had called him in to talk to him. "HUH, that was weird," I thought. What did he say, I wondered. "He told me that you were a slut....oh wait, no, he called me a 'strumpet'; that's an antiquated word for slut!" I was shocked. Why would he call me that? I was a Christian young woman in his church; I had never slept with anyone; I didn't go around throwing my body at the young men.....I was truly surprised........
After questioning my date more, he told me that Martin said that HE HAD BEEN TELLING A LOT OF THE MEN THIS! This was the first time I had ever heard any such thing or that he even thought it.......
I told him that I would go to PM and talk to him about it to see if I could get to the bottom of it. So I called PM and set up an appointment (I still remember their phone number). I showed up the next week for my meeting and he was sitting behind his desk, leaning back in his chair with a casual attitude.
We dispensed with the casual chit chat.... and I proceeded to tell him that I had heard something very distressing. "I've heard that you have been going around telling some of the guys in the church that I am a strumpet, which is a slut??! You have known me for my entire life, why would you say that about me? There is no cause or proof to call me that. It says in the Bible that if you have a charge against someone you should go to them and talk to them, if necessary take witnesses....but, you never came to me, you just went around telling people this thing. I had wondered why friends were suddenly ignoring me. And, if you had such reservations about my character you could have talked to me or even talked to my father who has been a member of this church for over 20 years.....?"
.....To which, he slammed his chair down on all 4 legs, leaned as close to me as his desk would allow and in a threatening posture and with spittle flying from his mouth...he thundered, "WHO ARE YOU TO QUESTION ME?" Silly me, I still thought we could have a reasonable discussion.....
...."Well, I am a Christian young woman in your congregation who has never done anything like that. Why would you not come to me?"
"STOP",……. He was still thundering,...."STOP and repeat after me" (Yes, he forced me to repeat after him)….
"I…Terry…xxxxxx…am…a…slut.” It was the most appalling, terrifyingly abusive conversation I had ever had up to that point. Just re-telling it leaves me a little stunned and breathless. Remember, I was a young woman 30 years younger and He was a big man too. But, the most heartbreaking thing about it was that I couldn't even wrap my mind around how this man, that up until that moment, I had trusted, loved, respected and considered like my dad, would so betray me with vicious, evil, slandering lies that HE HAD BEEN SPREADING AROUND ABOUT ME FOR MONTHS!!!
Later that day, I found out that he had figured out that “my date” had "spilled the beans" and told me what he'd said because I was told that PM “had a meeting” with him where he ripped him apart for telling me. I guess he fully intended to keep spreading these vicious lies about me for as long as he could get away with it. And poor, clueless me, I had no idea at all and would have just continued wondering why friends were refusing to talk to me.
...As an epilogue to the story….. I had numerous meetings after that with PM, the elders, even my dad and combinations thereof....trying to work things out. Frank Barker, one of PM's henchmen, cornered me after church one morning and told me that I had really “hurt Pastor Martin's feelings” and that I should go to him and apologize. Now, I was young, but I was not a fallow fool. I had done absolutely nothing wrong to that man. He had systematically denigrated my reputation, spread lies about me and had intended to continue. He wasn't sorry; he was just sorry that he had been caught in his lies.
I stayed for a while longer and more and more of my friends refused to talk to me....not just the guys, but their but their girlfriends. I was a pariah and eventually I just left. With no fanfare, or letters to the church. I just left…….
Because several things you learned quickly at "T":
1: always agree with PM
2. if and while you were giving him praise he could behave graciously toward you but watch out if he (for whatever reason) changed his opinion of you. It didn't have to be founded in truth, he just had to think it.
3. he and his men would dig up scripture and twist it to their hearts content to keep the people under their control and fear.
4. don't waste your time trying to have logical, Biblical discussions. You would be ostracized and vilified and ultimately thrown out of the church in ignominy. followed by lies and rumors, having lost all of your friends.
5. just leave, just leave
valuable lessons for survival.
I have friends who attended "T" their entire lives that I will forever hold Martin personally responsible for. He taught the Bible but he didn't live it and these kids came to hate church, Martin, religion and God. Because of his evil example and hatefulness, he has made my friends twice the children of Hell. They want nothing to do with God or Christianity and no amount of my coaxing has been able to sway them from their fear and mistrust of God. I can't convince them that God is nothing like Martin! That is a tragedy that reduces me to tears.
One day in his "office" I was being 'called on the carpet' during the time people were "murmuring" against what was going on in T. The pastor wanted me to give names and I first refused to do so. I don't remember how but he managed to get me to give a name. After I did he remarked... "I'm glad you told me the name because if you hadn't I was ready to -Lower the Boom- on you"... ??!!.
What in the name of sanity was that supposed to mean? Was he leveling some sort of a threat against me?... [which I believe he was]. I can still hear those words ringing in my ears to this day and it was a most rude wakeup call to me, for which I am thankful to my God. It was from that moment on I took my place, "on the other side of the line" so to speak. From then on I began to watch what was going down more carefully, and of course as I did, I saw plainly and clearly what was going down. In terms of Abuse, a major item impelled me to leave T; and that was the day "xxxxxxx" stood up and read a letter he wrote, [prompted by the pastor/elders...] -Against- his own wife!
I saw then quite clearly that what was going down was Rebellion against the Son of God who said... what God has joined let NO man put asunder. I saw that these men had no clue, or else they just didn't care... what the Bible said. After that incident I grabbed my wife's hand and hit the eject button. The doctrinal issue had already convinced me that this pastor and his so-called ministry was all wet. He is a Legalistic law-monger who uses the law to place men under undue burdens which neither he nor the patriarchs could bear.
A decision was made that I be brought before the church as a dissenter to publicly shame me and cause the people to fear. The “Elders,” in preparation for this public shaming, spent months doing house visits to sow discord in the church but they justified their sin by claiming that my refusal to bow and submit to them was a sign of that I was a trouble making rebel. Accusations were made that I had been slandering “the ministry” and demonizing the church.
Anyone who dared to stand up for me was torn down, put down and accused. The head pastor began suggesting that the people were stupid if they did not believe everything that they were being told by “their elders” and such was his intent to deceive. He told the members that they were foolish if they believed anything other than what “their elders” told them.
I was made a sport as I was baited and publicly disgraced but I held my mouth, as my name was tainted. If the members didn’t accept what was put to them or dared to question or challenge any of the accusations, the pastor was prepared to bully the membership by whatever means until the people bowed under the pressure. False accusation was the brush that was used to paint the picture to discredit my name and the “Lead Pastor” allowed such corruption to have free course, as the real truth was deliberately concealed and hidden. These evil workers bore their fruit, as I was kicked out of the church on the grounds of rebellion and sedition, all because I dared to question “the pastor.”
I know from experience how some “church elders” do actually counsel their church members to divorce for the most unscriptural reasons imaginable! One of my family members was counseled by two pastors from a church in Michigan to divorce his believing wife (who had resigned her membership), and to get re-married ASAP! Your ‘testimonies’ show that this is not at all an isolated incident, especially among so-called “reformed” church circles, where after one spouse leaves the church. Some of these elders do actually intrude in the domestic sphere, and think themselves to be above the husband. The elder then assumes the place of the Holy Spirit in the conscience, and actually tells them what has to be done. When I called Pastor XXXX to ask about the above mentioned situation, I was told: "stay out of this, otherwise there will be enough issues in your own home." This absolutely blew my mind. They have now branded me because of my objections to these unbiblical practices as a ‘meddler’, and many more not so flattering titles. My friends, this is plain ‘Wild West’, a blotch to the Church of Jesus Christ!
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When the religiously abused finally come to see me, they are riddled with shame, guilt and fear! They are afraid to tell me their story in fear that I also will condemn them with the heavy hand of conviction (i.e., condemnation) they are used to by so many...all in the name of love of course! They have been condemned into submission such that they doubt their very own God-given instincts. They have been emotionally manipulated by the use of invalidation from the "pastor," who claims that he knows best for their soul.
They have been gas-lighted such that what is truth becomes heresy, and what is heresy becomes truth. They are enslaved to a life of trying to measure up to some fictional standard of life and godliness, always falling short, feeling like a failure, wanting to give up, feeling ashamed and guilty of wanting to give up, repenting of their "sins" of guilt, shame and supposed abandonment of the faith, and finally getting back in the ring to try harder the next time. The religiously abused are slaves to a religious system that destroys their soul. However, so many of these people have been so indoctrinated into this religious system that they willingly march straight back into the slaughtering of their souls, all the while calling it "carrying their cross for Jesus."
Many of these people, after a long battle, become set free from this abusive system and enter into the all-consuming, radical sufficiency of God's grace. They experience more Spirit of the Law living, than Letter of the Law living. They experience freedom and a new found creativity to life. However, sadly, some return to this religious bondage convinced that their very soul is at stake unless they re-submit themselves to the local church leader. I usually never see those people again.
Lastly, thank you for a website that helps to shine a light on this pharisaical nightmare we call "church." I pray for a return of God's chosen people to the pure love of Christ, untainted by traditions and man-made doctrines.
I found your site while I was still attending and Independent Fundamental Baptist church in XXXXX. The whole time I was there I could feel God trying to show me His Truth. I am confident that He led me there so I could see the truth behind the lie of the local church.
I held the position of financial administrator, although I was never allowed at any time to perform the total function of the job, due to the tight constraints placed on me by the dictator in charge. It was there that I finally submitted and asked God to reveal His truth to me, and my eyes were opened, and my whole world turned upside down. Everything that I had crammed down my throat for over 35 years was all a lie.
I always knew deep down inside that something was wrong, but was always afraid that I would be going against God in some way if I questioned anything going on in the church. I am considered a very intelligent man, but I can tell you I felt like the biggest fool in the world when I found out just how powerful God really is and how much He truly loved me. Some people could never survive some of the trials that I have experienced throughout my life, both personal and professional, but God given me the ability to withstand Satan, and to truly live a life of freedom in Christ.
I have learned many things through reading your website and then researching further. While I know that most people have been for lack of a better term brainwashed by the local institutional church, there are those still trapped and seeking a truth and I hope that through your site many more will see the errors of man and seek the one true God.
I thought I was all alone in the opinion of Eldership. It just didn't seem right to me! For ten years I have been in a church in my area.
It was the policy to have the present eldership choose new elders and they would be "Affirmed" by the body at the congregation meeting. Any questioning of this was immediately put down. Originally we had several older men on the eldership who I had much respect. But in the past four years the eldership has gotten younger and some of them are now paid a salary. 2 of the elders have successful businesses, meaning they don't need the money! We are a very small church.
One year ago I allowed myself and my wife to be counseled by this one young pastor after our marriage how deteriorated yet again. Guess what we fought about the most that would bring her to question my salvation? Me questioning the elders or the pastors or saying anything against them! Fast forward one year. My wife and I are no longer being counseled together. I was this pastor's pet project.
I was ignored by my wife at home physically and emotionally. When I questioned this why she was not being called on the carpet on this behavior, I was told by the pastor that I need to get my issues under control and then she would follow.
Finally I had enough. I told the pastor that I will handle this situation and that I no longer needed his guidance. Guess what scripture he threw at me? Hebrews 13:7! He then told me he would need to go to the "elders" about what I just said. He said HE would need to answer before God for his failure to keep me in the church. He went behind my back and questioned my wife about things I said about the church. Finally I have had enough after he gave an ultimatum via email that I needed to meet with him and another elder.
Now, my wife is asking for a separation because I questioned the church. She will say that it is about my anger and depression, but in reality she feels she is holier than my myself. I don't know what the future holds but I do know I am free from the bondage of the "church."
Thank you so much for making your website. I have been strengthened and encouraged by reading some of the articles tonight and I feel as though God is speaking directly to my heart and my situation through your words. For about a year, God has been pulling me out of deception and teaching me His Truth.
I was brought up in religion by narcissistic parents/pastors. I have seen the worst and have come to know that God my Father is nothing like the twisted examples I have had. I have been in the wilderness, lonely, misunderstood and persecuted my whole life.
I have been hurt and betrayed, disappointed and shocked by various churches. I understand God's righteous anger towards greedy modern day Pharisees and Wicked Shepherds…..By His grace, I am learning to not depend on church corporations for ANYTHING (doing so only incurs further abuse) but to depend upon and trust God fully for everything.
Thanks again and keep up the great work.
After being committed to a local church, I finally saw the Light and slowly started to withdraw my loyalty from age-old wrong places, people, and systems to the Only One Mediator, Christ Jesus. The sermons and services began to lose their initial luster while the Word became my choice morsel, precious than gold and sweeter than honey. My honor went to God rather than to men. I started sharing the ideas with friends on social media and even one-on-one. But it all looked crazy. My fiancée warned me about reading things which I didn't know who the authors were, but I said...they were okay as long as they agreed with the Scriptures.
It was however, not easy to take some actions immediately due to what I feel is an ungodly fear. For instance our parents calling regularly and asking whether we're still attending church. Personally I had resolved in my heart earlier that church-going wasn't necessary but my newly wedded wife was yet to come to terms. We therefore attended a local church in our area after our honeymoon with my wife, feeling we could cause some change on the system. It wasn't long before we started feeling out of place. And when we started to confront the bishop for preaching contrary to Scriptures, he openly denied the Scriptures. On one issue we were even prohibited from teaching others about it and from there onward we got regular mistreatment.
There are surely very few believers who are willing to pay the cost of authentic discipleship. We hardly know any other such person like us in our area, but we are encouraged to know such persons even exist somewhere in the world as we link up like this thru the internet. But the Kingdom of God though small, grows and we are hopeful to see others freed from the institutional church enslavement. As a couple we have broken free and others can too. Wickedshepherds.com is of great value and has been an encouragement along my journey with Christ.
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"Not in word only,
but in power"
1 Cor. 4:20
"EAR'S TO HEAR!"
..How much more absurd can it get..
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THIS WEEK'S PICTURE VERSE
for an alphabetical listing of articles
WORD OF ADMONITION:
“Church leaders” will always demand that you must listen to their Sunday sermons,
yet very few people ever ask, "Where does Scripture reveal the necessity
for a weekly monologue?"
THIS WEEK’S CHURCH
“Sheep need shepherds”
Interpretation: 1) “Pastors” NEED “church members”; 2) “Christian” – Definition: A Member of a Local Institutional Church.
“All sheep need shepherds to take care of them!”
We must be on constant guard,
always remembering to take “our creed” FROM SCRIPTURE and refuse the words of human wisdom which many people
have substituted for it.
THIS WEEK'S BIBLE VERSE
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
See the truth come to life!
"The Pastoral Office"
What did Jesus have to say about local institutional churches?
“Don’t you know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
(I Corinthians 3:16).
Our true identity as the temple of God, the house of God, has been stolen from us – years before we were ever born.
Human organizations and institutions, along with their brick and mortar structures, have taken for themselves our identity in Christ. These religious agencies for too long have been pawned off as the Body of Christ.
The “Reformation” never did free the members of Christ’s Body from this type of religious bondage and tyranny. Centuries later, in spite of all of the truth to which the Body of Christ has been exposed, it is still the common practice to surrender our true identity to the religious system.
When will we wake up and realize that our identity has been taken from us? When will we reclaim our true identity and live in the fullness of who and what we are “in Christ?”
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
LIE OF THE WEEK
“The existence of trouble in your life indicates that there is some undealt with sin that you are unwilling to address.”