Monday, November 14, 2011

I Was a Religious Drunk

Revelation 17:1, 2 & 4, "And there came out it the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, Come hither, I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters. 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication."

*Note: When the author refers to Christ's authentic church model, he will render the word church in lower case letters. When he is referring to the Corporate -minded Institutional model, he will render 'Church' with a capital 'C.' 

I admit it...I was a drunk. More to the point, I was a Religious Drunk. I'm not Proud of it, but facts are facts. If I can't deny it in front of Jesus, why bother here? I usually don't confess my sins before men, but I will this one time for the sake of this lesson.

Not only was I a religious drunk, I was a religious junky. Anything religious that met my fancy, I craved. As soon as I filled my desire, I craved even more! I was even a religious pusher! I got others hooked on the wine of the great whore's fornication, for you see, I was an avid "Church'-goer!" If I didn't get my three day a week fix, my skin was crawling. I'd break out in cold sweats and get the R-T's (that's addict slang for, Religious Tremors). I needed men to see me at the altar in front of the 'Church' so that I might appear spiritual. I needed to be singing specials so I could attract a following. I needed to teach a Sunday School Class so that others would look up to me. I was a sick and debased man about 'Church.' I was no good to myself, my family or my God. I had to hit rock bottom before I could get religion out of my system.

The first attempt at the cleansing Process took about a year out of my life. I had the shimmy's. I had the shakes. I had the desire to go back and get sweet relief. Each time I did though, I hit the skids again. I thought there was no hope for a 'doper' like me. I was hopelessly hooked on the great whore! What started this downward spiral into religious depravity? It started when I was young; VERY young! I don't remember it myself, but I saw old photos of the occasion. Some man in a dress was pouring water over my forehead and putting salt in my mouth. That's when it all began. It was called infant baptism.

Seven years later, after my family taught me to count beads on a string, they sent me to something called Parochial School for my spiritual betterment. I earned a lot of calluses on my knuckles after being rapped on them with a ruler by a nasty old gal wearing a black and white hood. That ritual was called, penance. Three years later, after repeating prayer after prayer, I was given a nice treat. My folks bought me an all white tuxedo, and had me stand in line at the 'Church' to accept a cookie on my tongue. It had little flavor, and it stuck to the roof of my mouth. The man in the dress however had a nice looking golden cup with some liquid in it. He didn't even ask if I wanted any to wash down the poker chip he paced in my mouth. I became bitter.

A year goes by and I was asked to be something called an 'Acolyte.' That's someone who lights candles on the 'Churches' altar before the Mass. I learned about the importance of not burning the building down; but more important than that, I received my first dress! Mom and Dad was so proud. One more year passes and they promote me to Altar boy. I was now in the big-time! I got to put the liquid in the golden cup for the man in the dress to drink in front of everybody. He called it "the blood of Christ," but when I poured the liquid from it's bottle, into the beaker back in his dressing room, I had a lot of bottles to choose from. These bottles didn't have the word 'Blood' anywhere on the labels. They read, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and someone named, Johnnie Walker. The man in the dress never did tell me who those guys were. One of the older men who helped out a lot told me they were the three wise men from a 'Church' called 'Our Lady of the Two Drink Minimum.' I thought he was telling me some deep stuff.

Four and a half years passed before I realized the reason why so many at school picked fights with me. It was because I wore dresses on Sundays. From that point on, I only went to 'Church' when I absolutely HAD TO!

When I was seventeen I started drinking some of the Wise Men stuff and got to like it. When I entered the Air Force, I found some new friends who claimed they "knew Jesus" and wanted to know if I wanted to know Him too. I said, "Sure! Where is He?" Since they couldn't Produce Him, I had a back-up plan. I had a nice carved, painted, wooden statue of Him on a cross hanging over my dorm-room bed. They asked me if I wanted to ask Jesus to come into my heart and save me. I said, "Sure! Who doesn't want to be saved?" I had no idea what they were talking about, but I figure it couldn't hurt to cover all of my bases. I asked if I could pray to the wooded statue and they said, "Sure!" After muttering back what they were telling me to say, they got all excited and yelled with glee, "YOU'RE SAVED! YOU'RE SAVED!" I got so caught up in what was going on, I yelled, "I'm SAVED! I'M SAVED!" So when people asked me if I knew I was saved, I always said, "Yes!" They'd then ask, "How do you know you're saved?" I would reply, "Because ' I ' ASKED Jesus to save me! It was ALL ME!" I then started going to this place called a Southern Baptist 'Church' to learn more about Jesus. I learned, and drank. Learned, and drank. Drank and learned; until I did more drinking than learning. I did learn one thing well though. I learned how to 're-dedicate my life to Jesus' at least once a month (whatever that meant).

After two more years of "growing in the Lord," I was shipped off to Europe to a country called, Holland. When I got there I ran wild. I became a beer guzzling, skirt-chasing hound-dog. I was "SAVED" so why not live it up a little? Then my new room mate told me that there was an Independent Baptist 'Church' about ten miles from the Base, and would I come one Sunday? I said, "Sure!" And that began thirty more years of being 'Churched.' I learned so good things along the way however. I learned that my Catholic heritage was fraught with doctrinal error. I discovered that when looking at Catholic doctrine along side the Bible many things were askew. I now saw the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation was a form of Religions Cannibalism. There is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (1959), which states the Mary is equal to Jesus for salvation. They teach that the pope and priests are Jesus' representatives on Earth and speak for Him. I learned more about Catholicism than I ever did when I was inside that Institution.

What I learned is that even though the people who are members of the Catholic family are good, sincere people, they are unwittingly partakers in the largest cult in the Western world. See my post, 'Are You In A Cult?' for more on the physiological and doctrinal definition of a cult in today's society.  What my new Independent Baptist brothers didn't think to tell me was all forms of the Institutional 'Church' is cult based. Why? Because they didn't think that they themselves were in a cult simply because they taught the correct doctrine regarding salvation. They forgot to look closely at what they themselves were teaching that was false. Income Tithing for instance is a doctrine, which has been grossly misrepresented. Pastoral authority is another. I could go on and mention many more, but suffice it to say, at the time I was an innocent man just wanting to know the truth as most of us are. When I joined this Baptist 'Church,' I was eager to be schooled. I had Bible Class on Monday night. Another Bible class on Tuesday night. We went to Wednesday night Prayer Meeting. Thursday night was Soul Winning. Friday night was Deacon's Prayer Meeting. Saturday was more Soul Winning, and Sunday was Morning and then Evening Services. I was a busy young man! Like I said, I couldn't get enough 'Church.'

After years of being tutored, tested and tried all things Baptist, I was renouncing Catholicism. I hated everything it stood for, but still cared for it's people because my family was Catholic and I didn't want to see them go to hell. One Sunday in 'Church' I learned that I could be a 'Wheat' or something called a 'Tare.' I examined what had happened the night I knelt down in front of my bed with my new friends at my old Base and asked a piece of wood to save me. I realized that I wasn't saved at all! I was a 'TARE!' I got the sweats, but this time it was different. I was sweating because I was nervous! I knew that if I died in the next few moments, I would be a Burning Baptist in Hell! I drove home to my Holland apartment, landed on my knees and slid through the bedroom door where I Promptly opened my King James Bible to Romans 10, put my finger on verse 13, and acknowledged that I was a sinner headed for hell without Jesus. I claimed His Promise to take me to Heaven by His grace through my faith in Him alone, and He SAVED ME!

Now that my eternal destination was settled, I turned my focus on serving Him. I tried to win everyone I could. I witnessed, I taught, I preached, I visited, I sang, I gave, I tithed, I, I, I! I developed an eye Problem. What do I mean? My eyes started focusing on the wrong thing. They weren't on Jesus any longer, although I was His son. My eyes turned and fixed upon a seductive looking woman wearing purple and scarlet colors. She was decked out with gold and jewels. She carried a golden cup in her hands and said to me, "Take another sip, Sweetie! There's more where that came from!" And I drank; and I drank, until I was drunk with her wine. Thirty years I was drunk with the same sweet tasting wine. I didn't realized just how old that vintage was until I started to do some study. You see, although I was drunk, I still was able to discern that things weren't quite right around me. Certain things seemed, 'off.'

You see, it didn't come to me to sober up until I really studied out Revelation 17. 'Church' was the great whore all along. It didn't matter how she was dressed. It didn't matter how she sounded. It didn't matter if she wore a dark wig one day and a blond wig the next. She was the same trollop all along. All through the centuries, she has been singing her siren's song. "Come serve me! Show me your faith and I will give you peace. Give God your first fruits and He shall pour out His blessings upon you!"

After looking closer, I noticed that she was also drunk, but she hid it well. I read in Scripture what made her drunk. "And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration."-Rev. 17:6.

Although I wanted to take my eyes off of her, I admired her beauty, until I came to myself and thought, "She's drunk with the blood of all those who died for a false 'Church'!" and, "at the same time, she murdered billions who were children of the Lamb." This is the moment I sobered up for good. Fifty years of religion went by, until I realized most of my life was a sham. The only thing that made that fact of no effect was that I knew Jesus saved me by His grace.

It didn't matter if I was tempted any longer by her batting eye lashes or ruby red lips. She is a Murderess with a thousand different names attached to her flowing robe. She is the Mother of Harlots (vs 5). She has delivered many a child, each not knowing their father. Each one taking after their Mother, but acting as if alone with her own quarry to hunt down and make drunk. One child is called, Presbytery. Another, Lutheran. They are all given grandiose names, but they are derived from the same bloodline. The wine is from the same vintage as the Great Whore's. Sweet as honey, yet bitter as wormwood. Always seeking for new prey to distort and corrupt. To Promise riches, power and recognition, and then commit malfeasance. Their father? The Dragon. Their end goal? To fill the vastness of an ever swelling Hell. Their prey? Religious addicts and junkies as I once was. 

I once told a friend who was in the same boat as I, "It doesn't matter if we are Catholic or Baptist. We may as well be called, 'Cath-Tists.' If all we have is Religion, no matter what the brand, we are just another religious drunkard, doing the will of the Whore of Babylon." This is the story of one Religious Drunkard, who was fortunate enough to escape. Jesus Christ has a family of Believers who are not bound to the chains of Religion. Ask Him to set you free and sober you up so that you might enjoy His Heaven on Earth within His ekklesia before He comes back.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." -Romans 10:13.

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