Jesus taught us that “the Kingdom of God is within YOU!” He taught us to look inside for our answers. He abolished the “law” so men and women would cease to look outward for God and begin to look inward- the place where we are most afraid to look.
I have personally experienced all in the following list. The sad part about these subtle and not-so-subtle contradictions, is they create a dishonest person. Most members see these things, but fear and insecurity cause them to turn a blind eye. They are told their heart is honest because they listen and obey their message, all the while, leveraging the fear of “disobedience and rejection of God,” they create inward conflict and dishonesty to their own conscience.
- An unhealthy religious body will applaud your personal reasoning as long as you are listening to, and agreeing with their message, but they will question your reasoning if you are looking elsewhere.
- When tragedy happens to a member of an unhealthy religious body, it is a gift from God to help them grow. When tragedy happens to someone outside their group, it is a punishment or consequence of sin.
- A “message” is judged good or bad according to whom delivers it rather than on it’s soundness.
- Breaking a church rule is like breaking the fellowship, unless you are a long-stander or high-tither.
- “Right” or “wrong” is nebulous, shifting from pastor to pastor, member to member, and congregation to congregation.
- Answered prayer is from God when among members, but from Satan when among outsiders.
- Their church has been in existence since the time of Christ, but “so-and-so” brought it back to light in more recent years.
- Jesus Christ is the head of the church body, but you need the pastors permission to before making any moves.
- The building is not the church, just a convenient place to gather- but don’t you dare gather together anywhere else- unless its with them of course.
- To destroy someones reputation is like murder- except for the reputations of those who have left.
Don’t be afraid to listen within to what your heart is trying to tell you- even if it is direct opposition to what is being taught to you from without.
My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body.
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech.