Wednesday, May 23, 2012

If Your Friends Jumped Off A Cliff Would YOU?

*Note: When the author renders the word 'Church' as shown here, he is referring to today's business entity, man made Institutional 'Church.' When he renders the word church in all lower case lettering he is referring to Christ's Authentic assembly known as "house church," which He created and continues to build. 

This is a question we've all heard sometime during our teen years. It's the classic parental response to the teens bristling, "Well, ALL of my friends are doing it!" Well, if they all jumped off of a cliff, would you follow them? Hopefully, at least a small amount of wisdom has crept in since we left our teen years behind and we'd say, "Of course NOT!" If that's our answer now, then we have a good jumping off point for this article.

As a teen, peer-pressure seems paramount. Teens want to fit in whenever and wherever they can. It doesn't matter if our teen is in a public school or a Christian Academy; they all want to fit-in so they won't become a social misfit. Most will do what ever everyone else is doing, especially the cool kids. We know that later in life the teen will wonder how he or she ever got sucked into a fad or a way of thinking just because they wanted to fit in and be cooooool.

If the teen ventures into college, guess what? They repeat the same cycle they did in Junior and High School. I'm talking about Christian kids here. This applies to all kids, but I am specifically focusing on the Born Again, Fundamental Christian teen. When this teen grows up and is an adult on their own, we'd think that the 'follow the leader off all cliffs available' mentality would cease. But, we'd be wrong. It continues, even as a seasoned pillar of the 'Church' and his community Christian. Not only do we continue to follow, but we do so with a blindfold over our eyes. We follow our pastor, our Sunday School Teacher, our Deacons, our Trustees, our Song Leader, our Treasurer and so on. If all these people in a position of leadership continue to say the same thing, are they necessarily correct? NO!

Allow me to echo our parent's retort for a moment; If all of our leaders jumped off the cliff of false doctrine, would you? I've got news for us. That's exactly what we've been doing ~ only with blindfolds on! Ask yourself these questions: Do I follow my pastor off the 'Cliff of financial ruin by engaging in the false doctrine of Tithing?' Do I follow my leaders off the 'Cliff of being a paying member of an Institutional Business Entity Corporation called a 'Church?' Do I follow my leaders off the 'Cliff of pet doctrines and traditions which are Scripturally inaccurate?' If we're not sure, perhaps we may want to educate ourselves in these matters instead of playing follow the lemming. Follow the lemming? What's a lemming?

Lemmings are small mouse-like rodents who live in the arctic regions of the north. They multiply very quickly and their furry little bodies change color with the environment. A misconception about lemmings is that they commit mass suicide by following lead lemmings off of cliffs down to the cold arctic waters below. Actually, their mass exodus is a migratory one. Most think they are jumping into a lake to swim to a near bye shore. But sometimes they jump off the wrong cliff into the arctic ocean where the shore is too far for their little bodies to make the journey. As a result, many drown. There are always survivors and those who choose not to jump. But, because of this migratory behavior, lemmings have found their way into our culture as a euphemism for those who blindly follow a leader to a demise. Such is the case with this message. As a euphemism, I submit that many 'Churched' folks are following their 'Church' leaders to a spiritual demise. If we take this euphemism to the extreme and label all Christians as lemmings, we'd find that there are those who jump and die, some who jump and survive and others who make no jump at all and are spared the misery of the experience altogether.

The first who jump by following their leader and fall to their demise are likened to the individual who is brought into this world as a 'Church' member. They are led by their parents, pastors and priests all of their lives to obey and follow leadership no matter how crazy it seems. Most, after they are trained and become self-sufficient, they in turn train their offspring to repeat the same behavior. There are good leaders and there are bad leaders. The bad are the ones who are involved in cults. Popes, and high Profile pastors alike fall into this category. Jim Jones comes to mind. Koo-Aid anyone? Every pope comes to mind as they are masquerading as the one and only "Christian Pedigree." There are many others as well. To save space and time let us just bundle all of the cults into one big heap and call their leaders, bad. If their followers do not die of spiritual poison, they'll surely die a slow, eternal death from believing and acting upon false doctrine.

The second group are those who are very fortunate. They survive the migration by swimming to a new shore and start their new journey in a new environment. Perhaps they heard and accepted the real Gospel of Jesus Christ and now are sealed until Christ comes back. They escaped the turbulent waters of the cults and enter into a safer, more tranquil pool of the saved believer. Yes, it is safer than the arctic waters of the cults but it may not be the best location for them to be. They're safe, but are they in their ideal environment? No. Why? Because they have followed their leaders over and into the false pool of pet-indoctrinations. These false indoctrinations include tithing, blind follow-ship of the clergy, and the Institutional 'Church.' They become slaves to the rules and regulations their Creator never intended. They may live a happy life in the ignorance is bliss clefts of the rocks, never knowing the true joy, which is awaiting them outside. But their souls are secure in their Creator's Hands despite the innovations of their Earthly leaders. These are those who are stationed within an Institute, never realizing the true freedoms, which abound in Christ's design for His assembly. No financial constraints. No being bossed around by a Senior Pastor, whom they support out of fear and manipulations.

The third group of lemmings are the ones who never jumped off a cliff and didn't feel the need to. They are the most fortunate. Why? Because they are secure in the nest of Christ's true design for church. There is no tithe, no Properties to maintain, no Senior Pastor to appease, no pet doctrines or traditions to follow. Doesn't that sound nice? Their numbers are more intimate and do not feel the need to expand beyond their natural environment. They do not recruit pastors from afar, as they know that being home grown is the natural design, which has worked for over two millennium. They have tuned out the callings of the other groups of lemmings who continue to heave themselves over cliffs over and over again. Instead the contented lemming squeaks their mild message and try to persuade others that there is a much better way of existing in the cold hard terrain that never satisfies. I for one am a contented lemming who once followed my leaders off of the cliff of the World's Religion into the pool of the saved, but pet-indoctrination Religion. What happened? How did I end up in the Creator's version of a safe haven? I simply heard and listened to the mild squeaking of those who are there.

I needed proof of course. I wasn't going to make another jump without the Creator's Handbook. So, I studied out for myself what He had to say about it. Low and behold, the man-made indoctrinations didn't line up with what my Saviour had written down in his Handbook. Not only that, I never had to leap off of a cliff. I just needed to step away from the pool of false, pet doctrines and traditions of the lemming-made design and settle comfortably into Jesus' Nest. My biggest adjustment was to adopt a newer vernacular. I had to stop thinking Institutionally. The adjustment was easier than I thought it would be. When I discovered what the true definitions and meanings behind what we believe are, the easier it was to be conformed into His image and settle down in His model for an assembly. So, if I may ask the question again: If all of your friends jumped off a cliff into the world of Organized Institutional Religion, would you? Apparently most of us already have. How about stepping over to the area we belong as Christ's elect? No jumping, no fear, no fees. Just His way.

May the reader find the comfort and liberty we in Jesus' Home-based church have. Squeak..."Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, sayeth the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."~ 2 Corinthians 6:17-18.

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