GO TO THE CHURCHES! 11/92
WE'RE NOT ANTI-CHURCH!
1. ALTHOUGH WE HAVE BLASTED THE CHURCH SYSTEM for its sins, failures & hypocrisy, the fact of the matter is that we do not categorically hate the churches & the church people! While we are critical of their failures, I think some churches are necessary & do a lot of good.--And where would the Christians be without'm? I don't think it's wise to attack the churches to the point that we show a total opposition to them. To show a very anti-church spirit is going to offend good law-abiding people, a lot of them good church-goers, like judges & lawyers.
2. Besides, I don't think it's right! I don't think our people should be quite so antagonistic towards churches & church people. They should have a little more sympathy & understanding. They may have to depend on their help one of these days, including right now! We're already getting positive acknowledgement from several church men, & how are they going to feel when they hear us say, "We don't like the churches." I know I'm the guy that more or less taught the Family that way, but then they always go to the extreme!
3. (Maria: There are so many people today who are bitter against the churches, that you can hardly win them unless you show them you understand their feelings & you sympathise & that you're not a part of the church system either. For example, we're some of the few Christians who can reach those who are fed up with the churches & those who feel the churches failed them, because we can show them that Jesus is not synonymous with going to church, & that they don't have to go to church to have Jesus or be saved.)
4. There are all kinds of ways to show people that they don't have to join the church system to be a Christian, & to agree with them that, "Yes, there are a lot of hypocrites in the churches, & yes, the church is not doing the job that it should do." (Mama: Or we could say something like, "We agree that the church system has failed, but there are still a lot of good people within it." Or, "Even though we're not connected with the churches, there are lots of people there who love Jesus & are doing their best.") Amen! But I don't think we should be openly antagonistic & hateful towards the churches. Most church people will interpret that as meaning that you hate Christians, since that is what the church system is composed of. There are many wonderful people within the church system who are very sincere & doing the best they know how to serve the Lord.
5. We may not be enthusiastic about the church system, but of all the people in the World, the Christians at least are trying to follow God & the Bible, however far afield they may be. And as things get darker & times get tougher, they are going to be tribulated & purged, so those who are true Christians will come closer to doing things the way they should. As the End gets nearer, we're going to be forced more & more to fight the Enemy together alongside the churches. True Christians are going to be driven closer & closer together, church or no church.
6. People in non-Christian countries may be appealed to by churches & Christianity, which they consider one & the same. If you start blasting the churches & appear to be very anti-church & anti-Christian, they will figure, "Then what are you, anyway?" If you say, "Well, we're missionaries, we just travel around & tell people about Jesus, but we hate the churches, we blast churches, we don't like churches," I don't think it sounds very compatible!
7. I know I've blasted the churches pretty severely myself because I'm angry about some of their failures, & I'm still very strongly critical of some churches. But not all churches are so bad, there are lots of good Christians & good Christian churches, & you've got to differentiate. It's not going to do the Lord's Work any good for us to turn the church people against us, many who otherwise might be friends or friendly, like some have been. Many have been sympathetic & understanding when you've been persecuted for your faith. But if you're persecuting them, they're not going to appreciate it!
8. I don't hate the churches! I love the church people who are sincere Christians. When you have to come out of something, you usually go to the opposite extreme & take a strong stand against it, both the System & the churches, but they do have their place & their good points. I'm thankful for the work the churches do--much good work, even missionary work. And a lot of them do witness. So thank God for the churches! Where would we be without any Christians, & without churches?--And the Christians have to have their churches, because that's their religion!
9. We're also to thank God for the System & obey the officers of the law!--Rom.13:1-7. We're to be thankful for the System that helps to preserve order & protect us, & builds the infrastructure that is necessary for our very existence--roads & water & electric systems, & supplies food, law & order & police protection. The System has its good points, although it goes a little too far with a lot of things. (1993: Like Waco!)
10. God's Word says, "Speak evil of no man."--Tit.3:2. I think we need to learn to be a little more sympathetic with Christians who are trapped in the church system--not blasting the whole works, including those in it.--Just like we have a little sympathy, at least, for Systemites who are trapped in the System & know nothing else. We're trying to save them out of it, not destroy them with it. The same is true of the churches. We're not trying to destroy their churches, & along with it their faith & fellowship & united action. We're simply trying to enlighten them, to give them more knowledge of God's Word & liberty, to know the whole Truth--the whole Truth & nothing but the Truth--& not criticise them for what little faith they have. We should be thankful they have some faith & they do love the Lord & are saved & are trying to serve the Lord.
11. We've got to get out of this spirit of bad, bitter, total condemnation of Christians & churches. It's better to work with them than against them, even though many of them work against us. Let's not show the same attitude toward them. It's time to show a little more understanding & sympathy & thankfulness that they are Christians, even good, saved, born again, Spirit-filled Christians--millions of them! Just because they're deceived by the lies of our enemies & led astray to believe falsehoods against us, it's not necessarily their fault. We need to enlighten them, show them the Truth & the real sample, & try to work together with them as much as we can, & show them what they ought to be doing.--Not just completely, totally condemn them indiscriminately & say "church people are no good & we don't like them, & we don't care for churches either" & all that sort of thing. I don't think that's a very good attitude or way of witnessing.
12. If you're witnessing in a prison or detention centre, you might make it a little more specific & say, "We're not connected with the churches." That's fine, but let's not blast'm! And in our witnessing, let's not say "we're against the churches, we don't care for churches, we don't like churches." (Maria: Even with someone who expresses bitterness against the churches?) You need to be led by the Spirit according to the situation. You can sympathise with them & agree that nothing's perfect. You can point out their faults, but you don't have to totally condemn the churches. (Maria: Maybe say something like, "We're not preaching `go to church on Sunday' at you, or telling you to join this church or that church, we're just offering you Jesus!") Amen! You don't have to tear down all the churches & every Christian in them in order to explain that to be a Christian you don't have to be part of the church system--churchianity.
13. Give us wisdom, Lord, & give our people lots of love, Thy children around the World. We can't do it, we're not there, so You'll have to do it, Lord. They must have faith for themselves. We pray for them, that they will have faith & be shining witnesses for Thee, in Jesus' name, amen. Praise the Lord! Thank You, Jesus!--Amen.
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(Two days later:)
Ministering to the Modernists!
14. Our greatest enemies are the ones who should be our friends!--Like the Pharisees in Jesus' day & the Early Church days, who supposedly believed in the Bible & the afterlife, but were virtually the worst enemies of the Early Christians. Whereas the Sadducees, the rich religious leaders, the modernists of their day, sort of held neutral for awhile. Many of them didn't even understand the Early Christians or what they were up to, because they themselves knew so little about the Bible. They were sort of in a state of limbo, wondering what in the World was going on, & even wondering if maybe there was something to this new religion of Christianity.
15. The Sadducees did not believe in the Bible very much, or the afterlife etc. They were definitely the modernists of their day, but they were not as bitterly against the Early Christians as were the Pharisees, who were the fundamental evangelicals of their day, so to speak, who supposedly believed every jot & tittle of the Word, but of course didn't practice it.
16. So it wouldn't be that strange if it would turn out that the liberal, leftist, broad-minded modernists should accept us! This is what happened, believe it or not, in that first World Council of Churches meeting that Faithy & her team went to, & that bunch are as modernist & unbelieving as possible! They accepted Faithy & the folks with her with open arms, & even gave them a booth or a table to represent us, & they were willing to listen. (See ML #183, "The World Council of Churches!", & BOR II, Pg. 147-148.)
17. The Pharisees are generally much more of a closed mind & closed heart. "Our minds are made up, don't confuse us with the facts," & that's it! One of these days God is going to break them down on that when things begin to fall, but right now, that's the way these modern-day fundamentalist Pharisees are--very strong, very powerful, like the Pharisees were in the days of the Early Church. The Sadducees were richer & more powerful economically etc., but they were not as powerful & as respected leaders of the common people as were the Pharisees. It's such a similar picture of what happened in Jesus' day & the days of the Early Church.
18. This is also very similar to our early days of the Family in Huntington Beach. Guess who fought us the most then?--The Pentecostals & the evangelical, died-in-the-wool, closed-minded fundamentalists! But guess who received us the most?--The old mainline denominations--Episcopalians, Presbyterians, & even Baptists! The more modernistic Baptists even invited us to their churches & received us with open arms & with gladness & had no criticisms to make, but applauded us & congratulated us, commended us & were actually our friends. We even had one Episcopalian priest who was attending our meetings in the Club & was thrilled! He talked about how he sensed that here was a new religious movement which already had its own "liturgy," as he called it, because we followed certain patterns of prayer & Scripture & worship.
19. There are probably a lot of pastors & preachers in the old mainline denominations, particularly the largest & most powerful ones, the most modernist, the most unbelieving, the most sceptical, who would love us & appreciate us! Those poor people have been so disillusioned with Christianity & religion & some of the self-righteous hypocrisy of the evangelical fundamentalists, that they're just about fed up, & their members are actually quitting their own churches in droves! They've had to close hundreds of Anglican & Catholic churches for lack of priests & members, because the people have just been deserting the churches, & they're desperate & are looking frantically for a solution.
20. It's like the time a pastor of a Christian church invited my Mother & Dad to come hold some meetings, & asked Mother to give her testimony. After a few meetings he drew them aside & said, "Now wait a minute, you're becoming a little too fanatical & radical with this healing doctrine & your Pentecostalism. I wish you'd kind of tone it down a little." It was a very formal, Spiritless church of more or less unbelievers, & it had been declining. So Mother said, "Well, if you don't like what we preach, then why did you ask us to come here?" He said, "I really figured you might be able to help us somehow, & because this church is so dead, I figured you couldn't possibly hurt it!"
21. We'd be a boon to those dead modernistic churches! They haven't got much. Their pastors would probably feel that we couldn't hurt them--they're already so dead--& that we might even help them! In Australia I suggested that at least they could visit some of the churches en masse, in a group, & put on a programme, because there's nothing these pastors & churches love like crowds!--And with the publicity & notoriety our people have right now in Australia, any place they would go & put on a programme would draw a crowd! (Maria: Especially if they'd advertise beforehand.) There'd be a full house!
22. Now is the time to do it, if they ever did go to the churches, & this is the time they would want to have us! Who? Not the evangelical fundamentalist Pentecostals, no. Their minds are made up, don't confuse them with the facts. But these churches that have nothing left but their formal denomination & their huge, almost empty buildings would receive us with open arms.--And with our programmes & our kids & their testimonies in those churches, we would be a hit!
23. When my first family was young & we were going around to the churches, this is what Mother Eve used to capitalise on. We were getting well-known, & our programmes in the churches were well-attended, sometimes packed out, & recommendations go from one pastor in the same denomination to another: "Invite these people to your church, they'll fill up your church for at least one night. How much harm can they do in one night?--And they'll get a crowd!" (Maria: Especially with all the good publicity we're getting now that we've been cleared in Sydney.)
24. Now is the time! If we ever were going to gain entrance to the churches there, I believe now is the time, in the aftermath of this Sydney court case. (Maria: Well, they could try it in Australia. They could experiment there!) Absolutely!
25. Do you know who it would really crush, who it would hurt the worst & be a serious blow to?--Our church enemies who have said we're anti-church etc. Now they'll have to accuse us of being modernists & compromising, etc., & I'm sure they will. The common people came & heard Jesus gladly.--Mark 12:37. And why do you think those religious leaders tolerated Him so long? (Maria: Because of the people.) Because for one thing, He was bringing them a crowd! (Maria: Yes, because the people liked Him & wanted Him.) Why do you think the religious leaders kept following Him around for so long? They were trying to figure out, "What has He got that draws the crowds?"
26. If we ever did it, now would be the time to do it! I think it's an inspiration, I believe it! They can approach the big mainline, formal, modernistic denominations. And they are so dead, they haven't got a spark of inspiration! So they couldn't hurt us, & we might even be able to help them. I believe it's the time, I really believe it. I believe this is the door!
27. Think what a blow this would be to our church enemies! Nearly all of them are scribes & Pharisees, the fundamentalist evangelicals & Pentecostals. They will never receive us. Their minds are already made up, they don't want to be confused with the facts or our personal presence. But here is an open door to the churches, the last kind of churches we ever would have expected to be able to get into! We could witness in song & testimonies, along with talking about the persecution we've been receiving. Even the little children could talk about their experiences in captivity, & how it's affected them.
28. Here's our chance to influence the general public & the people who are supposed to be Christians & particularly interested in the social gospel & little children, religious freedom & helping the poor. We wouldn't have to join any particular church, we could just be travelling inspirationalists. We could probably be booked in church after church as a popular attraction! I bet we'd be in demand!--Especially after this mediation settlement & with the press reviling the DOCS (Department of Community Services), who came & grabbed our children from their beds at dawn & stole them away, kidnapped them! They've been totally defeated & we have been vindicated!--And we have been vindicated by the media!
29. Some people would love to have us in their churches! We're just another oddball religion to them, but one that there's tremendous publicity about right now. We're really popular right now & they know that anywhere they advertise us as putting on a show or a meeting or programme or whatever they want to call it, they are going to get a crowd! People are going to want to come & see us personally. Where else can they see us? (Maria: Because they still see us very little on the media.) Yes! Where else can they meet us in a big group like they did Jesus, except in those churches, like they did Jesus in the synagogues & the Temple!
30. That's the first place that the Apostle Paul went after he got converted. The first place he went to in every town was the local church, the synagogue! Of course, this might not set very well with some of the churches, but we'd have to be careful & try to be cautious & "wise as serpents, harmless as doves."--Mat.10:16.
31. I've thought of this for years! For our own self-protection, what group could we join? I've discussed it with you, & I've said, "Maybe we could join some group that would appreciate us. Who could we join in these Last Days when things are going to get so tough for Christians that you need all of the friends you can get, & the Christians are going to have to get together, to fight this battle together against the Antichrist!" You & I have discussed this before. (Maria: Yes, & we concluded that for the very narrow-minded, conservative groups, we would have to compromise too much. Because they have such strong doctrines & convictions, we would have to water down ours.) Yes, you would have to agree with their doctrines, convictions & everything.
32. But these modernist churches have got little except the social gospel, & what gospel could we fit better into than that? We go out & socialise with everybody, even the bums, & preach to them, & even feed them! We're more what their idea of social gospel people ought to be like. They might say, "You go out & help the poor & save souls, whatever that means"--they wouldn't necessarily understand that, of course--"but at least you're saving them, so it must mean helping them, if it makes them feel better & behave better. There must be something good about it, however you do it." The church people may say, "So you read the Bible to them. Well, we don't read the Bible much, but if you can get them to believe it & it does them good, that's great! Maybe we don't believe that Jesus saves like that any more, but if you can get them to believe it & it does them good, fine! More power to you!" So there you are!
33. This just clicks! (Tongues & prophecy:) "Listen thou to the Words of thy father that I have given him for this hour! And they shall listen to the Words of thy father David & they shall hear his children, because they speak of Me!" Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus!
34. This is it! This is the time! This is our last chance! And those are the last kind of churches the anti-religious forces will get around to. It'll be the first kind of churches that our church enemies will criticise, & have been for years, & it's rolled off like water on a duck's back.
35. At first the Early Christians ministered in the synagogues & Temple continually, & the religious leaders let them get away with it for a long time, until they saw they were so popular & amassing such huge crowds, they didn't know what to do about it. They finally decided, "Well, they're getting too popular & they're gaining too much influence & too many disciples. It's just overwhelming us! They're taking over the synagogues! They're taking over the Temple! We've gotta stop them now! We let them go too far!" Well, it might come to that with us too in some cases. But in the meantime, look at all the good the Apostles did! They won souls by the thousands! Right after Pentecost, Peter preached in the Temple & he won 5,000 souls!--Right in the Temple, right under their noses! (See Acts 34:4.)
36. Look what an opportunity that would give us to reach the people who haven't already been totally bigoted & who pride themselves on being non-discriminatory. The rulers of these big modernistic denominational mainstream churches pride themselves on their broadmindedness & their acceptance of everybody. We couldn't go to the Pentecostals, we've been thrown out of Pentecostal churches. (Maria: Anyway, they don't need us. "The full hath He sent empty away."--Luk.1:53. They don't need it, they're already full.) Right!
37. But look at the examples! The Early Church did it, & we did it in Huntington Beach! We got popular with the formal churches, everyone from Episcopalians to Presbyterians, who begged us to come & reserved a whole section for us, & we were welcomed from the pulpit! We sat there & said, "Amen! Thank You Jesus!" to everything the preacher said that we liked, & they loved it! The people began to clap & get excited! This was the first sign of life, the first spark of fire they'd seen in their church in years!
38. That's what really got the officials & some of the other church leaders concerned about us, when we started going to the churches. I got the vision that those people didn't know us, they hadn't met us. They were just believing all the lies about us from our enemies. So I said, "Let's go directly to them, let's go & attend their churches to show that we don't have anything against the churches, that we love them & we believe in churches."--At least to that extent. And they loved us & it began to turn the tide of public opinion that had been strongly against us. These influential churches had big, important, influential members, leaders of the community, & we began to win their hearts & win the favour of these big churches that received us & invited us & begged us to come, & applauded us! That's when our bitter enemies really got concerned & wanted to do something to us to drive us out of the town, because we were winning the hearts of the church people!
39. It was those church invasions that finally precipitated our expulsion by our enemies, because they were doing us so much good & winning so many people & gaining us favour with the public. We were going to the churches to prove to them that we weren't against them, & they received us with open arms!--Particularly the cold, non-fundamentalist, non-evangelical & open-minded modernists & formal big denominations! They're the ones who received us gladly, believe it or not, just like the early synagogues & the Temple received the Apostles at first! (See Acts 2:46-47; 3:1-11; 4:4; 5:12-14; 13:5, 42-44, etc.)
40. (Maria: Over ten years ago when we had that one attempt at church invasion [EDITED: "MLs #834 & 848"], I think the reason that in the long run it didn't bear such lasting fruit was because we went to the wrong kind of church, & therefore we had to compromise our convictions too much. We couldn't say what we really felt & still be accepted.) Right! But the modernistic churches will receive almost anything, they'll listen to anything. They pride themselves on being open-minded about anything & everything! They're even receiving the Sodomites & making them ministers of their churches! How far afield can you get! And we would hope that they would certainly know that we aren't as bad as Sodomites! (Maria: I think it's great, because we don't have to worry too much about those churches hurting the faith & conviction of our Family, that's the good thing about it.)
41. One church leader said that he believes that the Family could fill that gap, the absence of witnessing in the churches, if we'd go & fellowship with the churches. He also said if a group of our kids were to join a Sunday School, we'd take it over! We could even volunteer as teachers! But you probably won't get the dyed-in-the-wool, ironclad, Pentecostal, fanatical, fundamentalist evangelicals to accept us, as they're usually some of our main enemies! But if any churches have ever accepted us both in the past & now in the present, it's been the modernists, the churches we have criticised a lot. Well, I've criticised them for their lack of belief & faith, but I've criticised the fanatical Pentecostal evangelical fundamentalists even more, because they're the most hardened, like the scribes & Pharisees. And they know the most but are doing the least with it.
42. Here's our chance to fellowship with churches who can't drag us down, but whom we could lift up. It would be a terrific blow to our church enemies! Of course, they'd right away say, "See what churches accept them? See the kind of churches they go to?" But that's all right, the general public doesn't really know the difference. We could say, "Hey, you say we don't like churches, we're against churches, we hate churches?--Look, we're going to church, how could we hate churches?" (Maria: We aren't joining them, though. We aren't going to join those churches, we're just going to visit them.) Right! We're just going there to fellowship with other Christians & to show them that we love the Lord & we can even help them to love Him more too if they'll let us.
43. Those big, modernistic, formal church sepulchres, big, empty, fabulously costly buildings with little or no people in them know they're losing their crowds. They're losing their priesthood, they're losing the people, they're losing everything & they're closing churches--so how could we hurt them? We're the answer to their prayers--if they had any prayers or if they know how to pray--at least their prayers for themselves. They're thinking, "We've got to do something about it!"--And we can help them do something about it! We are the answer to their prayers! We have got what it takes to pack those places right now with all the publicity we're getting in Australia! Any pastor who would announce he's going to have us to present the programme this coming Sunday night or any night of the week in his church is going to get a crowd, what do you want to bet! (Maria: Yes! And it's needed.)
44. This present publicity is serving to strengthen us in terms of forcing us above-board & out in the open where people can see us & know about us, which in many ways is a very positive thing & something which in itself is a powerful defence against our enemies. And where could they see us better & more personally than in their own churches! What's more accepted than that?
45. When they get to know us, they might even invite us to teach some classes in their churches. If they can let some U.S. presidents, who are the least likely to know anything about the Bible, teach in that kind of church, they'd probably welcome us, who have an understanding of the Bible!--Especially with the good publicity we've gotten in some quarters, which has brought out the truth about us, now people are having a chance to hear more than just all the lies of our enemies, they're able to hear the truth through the mouth of fair-minded, open-minded outsiders who have come into our Homes to see for themselves, such as our lawyers & the people of Australia who are getting to know us, & can get to know us even better in their own churches.
46. This is what the Apostle Paul did at first. He was perfectly prepared to be a missionary to the Jews. With all his religious education & knowledge of the Word & love of the Jews, with his legal philosophy & expertise, he was perfectly equipped to be a lawyer to convince the Jews. But when they wouldn't hear him, he went to the people who would, & that was the Gentiles. (Acts 13:46.) So to me, these churches that we would go to represent the Gentiles. The synagogues of the Jews are like the Pentecostal evangelical fundamentalists, which have long ago hardened their hearts against us & refused to receive us. (Maria: And don't need us anyway.) So I will say with Paul, since they have refused us, I will turn to the Gentiles of these huge mainline, modernistic, formal denominations, & I believe they'll receive us, at least a lot of them will. Amen?
Follow-Up Solution!--Folds for Our Converts!
47. This same church leader wrote & asked, "What are you going to do with new people you win? You can't follow them all up! You're not doing a good job of follow-up & getting these people into the folds! What fold are you sending them to? What are the people going to do when they get saved? You can't take care of them all!"--And he's right!
48. It reminds me of what Billy Graham decided to do--he got the cooperation of the churches! During his first big campaign in Los Angeles, 800 churches cooperated with him! He won thousands of souls in that campaign, but what could he do with them? He couldn't follow up on them himself. Even with all the altar workers he had trained to come forward & lead them to the Lord & take down their names & addresses etc., he didn't have enough people. He had no big denomination of his own to take care of them, so what do you think he did with them? You know what they did? It was even agreed beforehand that the workers would collect all these cards, sort out the names & addresses & denominational preference, if any, & these would all be turned over to the cooperating churches!
49. A lot of people criticised him for that--especially the fundamentalists, evangelicals & Pentecostals! They said, "You mean you're going to turn these people over to the Presbyterians, the Episcopalians & Methodists, to those modernistic, unbelieving, formal, cold, dead churches? Why, that's almost as bad as burying them! You should be turning them over to us." I'm sure Billy Graham's reason was probably that in order to get the mainline churches' participation in his campaign, he had to give them something in return--more members for their congregations! And he probably figured that at the same time as all these Episcopalians, Lutherans & Methodists were attending his campaign, they would hear the Gospel, even if they didn't hear it in their churches, & some of them would follow through & become committed, dedicated Christians who would be a good influence on all the previously unchurched people who would be joining their church as a result of his crusade!
50. I think this church leader is right & I think this is the time, & I believe the Lord just confirmed it! Right? (Maria: Amen! Yes! It's great!) Did you get that message? The Lord said, "This is the time & they will hear you!" I believe it! (Maria: Amen! I do too!) Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus!
51. We cannot take care of all our converts ourselves! We are a special cadre of officers designed to lead the army, & that only of chosen soldiers. So what are all these souls we're saving going to do? Wouldn't it be better if we recommended that some of them go to church? We've got no place to invite them! We can't have them all coming into our Homes, we don't have the room, & it's not the kind of atmosphere that they're prepared for. Of course, the most potential ones we can follow up on & eventually have them come over, but with the over 75,000 souls we win around the World each month we could never personally follow up on each one, & we certainly can't have them all visiting our Homes!
52. We can't handle the crowds that result from our witnessing & the fruit that we're getting. What are we going to do with them? Well, we can follow up on some of them, & after years we've finally initiated a good, strict follow-up system that will be a requirement for every Home. (See FSM 228.) But of course we win thousands each month & there are many who would not be prepared to come in that close to us or be that committed or dedicated & who, instead, would be good candidates to send to the churches! This is the ready-made solution to our follow-up: All the folds of the old mainline religion, of which there are plenty, are almost empty with lots of room! So there you are!
53. This pastor commented that in his opinion, it is damaging to lead someone to the Lord & not offer them a proper programme & church to go to afterwards. I wrote back & said, "You can tell him he sold me & persuaded me!" This is something I've thought about & been concerned about for years, & that is, where to put our sheep, where to put new converts who are saved but can't join the Family, can't move into a Home. And here are all these huge folds standing empty, where they'll at least be better off than nothing! Like Billy Graham's church referrals after his crusades, it is better than nothing!
54. And through that, Billy Graham could persuade the churches to join in his crusades, because they figured they were all going to reap a harvest of members from the crusade, & a lot of them did, & they were glad! They were thankful that he'd done their church some good. (Maria: In other words, it was a "You help us & we'll help you" kind of thing. "You help support us [EDITED: "Billy Graham"] to go out there & get the souls, & we'll help you by suggesting they go to your church.") Right, exactly! I know some of our people are going to be howling & screaming when they hear this from me, but I still think it's better to have those converts join some Christian church than have nothing & have nowhere to go, no fellowship.--Nothing!
55. Now that has been a burden on my heart for a long time. Even Fred got convicted about it, & do you know what he thought was the solution?--"Church in the Home!"--TV. He invited people to join his telecast, join his "Church in the Home." In other words, if he couldn't provide a church for them, he provided it in their homes through his telecast. But that didn't really give them fellowship with other Christians. So then he got a little past the "Church in the Home" concept, & he said, "They also need fellowship, so what can we do? We'll have churches in the actual homes! We'll get them to start a church in their own home & invite their neighbours. We'll make every home a church!"
56. Well, that's what we've done. We've got hundreds of Homes throughout the World. But has this solved the problem? (Maria: For some people it has, because we have "Churches of Love" which they come to.) A few. But how many?--Probably very few. (Maria: We should have more.) If we can have them, that's the preferred thing, & I think we should have more of that, but the people have got to be sifted & sieved & funneled, the select few, the chosen few who can come to a "Church of Love." They have to be trustworthy, loyal & committed, & they're usually people who have been well followed up on, & that's very few compared to how many salvations we get!
57. What if we could say, "Now go join some good Christian church, we recommend this one or that one." "Go to the Council of Churches & find out," or "Go to the Christian church nearest you," whatever, & that would be better than nothing! (Maria: The only thing is, if we're going to continue to follow up on them at all, we wouldn't want them going to a church that was going to be our enemy.) If we're going to the big formal modernistic mainline denominations, the people we get there are going to stay there, right? (Maria: Unless some sold-out ones decide to come with us. If we want to follow up on those people, we could still follow up on them. But if they don't want to or can't come to our Home or our "Church of Love" for some reason, then they would just attend that church.) Right! We should bring those that are hungriest & most potential in as close as we can, but the others still need some Christian fellowship, & if we're not giving it to them, then at least the churches could.
58. I think that every convert, every person we lead to the Lord should fill out a card, or we should fill it out for them, with their name & address & some other pertinent information, so that we have a record of them & know how to get in touch with them. In addition, we should have a question on it asking what their church preference is, if any. If we find that they are someone the Family can minister to, someone who is serious about following the Lord & studying the Word with us, we can continue to follow up on them & feed them. However, if these people are not interested in the Word, or witnessing or helping the Family, then we could give their card to one of the churches for that church to follow up on. This would at least give this convert some Christian fellowship & influence.
59. I think this dear church leader sees that we haven't got any place to invite the multitudes to, so we're no threat to the churches. But they've got what we need! They've got the empty folds who need us, & we need somewhere to put our converts. Like Billy Graham's church referrals after his crusades, it's better than nothing, because we just can't handle them all. And it would be a terrific blow to our church enemies! Of course, in the long run they would say, "Aha! Look at the kind of churches they join!"
60. This should work even in places where we haven't had lots of publicity, where people don't know who we are & where they haven't heard all the lies about us. We could visit some of these mainline denominations & talk to the pastor & tell him who we are, & that "we spend a lot of time witnessing & winning souls but we don't have a place or the means to offer them regular fellowship, so we'd like to send them to your church." Let me tell you, these preachers would be thrilled! New church members are their bread & butter! There's nothing more inspiring for them than larger crowds & more church members!--And they'd be very grateful to you for it. When persecution comes to your area, these preachers would probably stand up for us, knowing that we preach Jesus, since they have benefitted from our witness. It would really take the wind out of our enemies' sails!
61. In fact, it would probably be good to visit all the churches in your area even if you don't intend to send your new converts to all of them. You could just attend one of their services, letting them know that you're there & that you wanted to fellowship with them & get to know them & to let them know that you are Christians. Of course, you must remember that you're guests & therefore you should avoid discussing any controversial issues, you shouldn't interrupt the service, & you & your children who attend must be very good samples while in church. Such visitations would at least give these church people a little contact with you, so the next time they hear the lies about us in the media they will remember you & your sweet children & their smiling faces, which will cause them to doubt what the media is saying about us. Who knows, maybe some of them would even speak out on our behalf!--Especially those who have received new members through our witnessing.
62. That's it, & God confirmed it, & I believe it! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus for the answer! This has been a concern with me for years, & I believe this is the solution! It may not be the best solution in the world, but it is definitely a possible solution, & it's better than nothing! We need to get these converts into some kind of Christian fellowship, in churches, but they'll always remember us & know that we're the epitome, the ideal, & whatever we do, we're going to bring that church up to our level if we can.
63. It'll work out. We can't see everything, the whole future. The Lord knows, He'll lead us. But we have to at least take one step at a time, & we have to at least take this first step!--Visit the churches! I believe it! I'm convicted & convinced, & the Lord confirmed it, & that's enough for me right there! Thank You Lord! (Maria: Amen!)
64. Help us, Lord, in Jesus' name! Hallelujah! Praise You Lord! Thank You Jesus! (Tongues) "Listen now to the Words of thy father!" Thank You Jesus! That's it! I'm convinced.
65. The Lord seems to be using Australia as kind of a spearhead, as though He knows that they will receive us! Lord, You're able to do it! "Not I, but Christ!"--Gal.2:20.--In Jesus' name, amen! GBY!--WLY!
66. Like the War Plant Poster during WW II: "Come on, Okies & Arkies, let's take Japan!--We took California without the loss of a man!" C'mon, Family!--Let's love the churches!--We've rounded the World but left them in the lurches! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus! Let's do it!--Let's go!--In Jesus' name, amen!--WLY!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family