WHY WE FORSOOK THE CHURCH SYSTEM!--By Maria
Maria #157 DO 2772 1/92
(Some months ago, the Folks' staff received a number of Christian movies & documentaries to preview & approve for the Family video circuit, but they discovered that the majority of them--especially the contemporary Christian movies--were so churchy & frivolous, they would be a waste of time for the Family to view them. But thank the Lord, the few that were deemed "watchable" have now been put on the Family video circuit.
(During the time that these videos were being previewed, Amy & Gabe felt that some of them might be good for David & Techi, so they viewed & pow-wowed several of these videos with them. Afterwards, Mama still felt concerned about any lingering questions that the kids might have about some of the things they'd seen, so she gave the following talk. [EDITED: "The particular video being discussed in this talk was not put on the Family video circuit."])
1. (To Amy:) I would be interested in having you ask the kids some specific questions & get them to react to these Christian videos that they've been watching. At least seeing that kind of churchy video may have the good effect of showing them that everything that Dad has said about the church system as a whole is absolutely true, & make them sickened of people who say they're serving God, but they're just sitting there in church saying that that's their "service," when the World's going to Hell!
2. Even though that video showed that one little youth group who seemed to be pretty on fire & at least trying to do something for the Lord, it still showed that the vast majority of the congregation, of the church members, were as dead as a doornail! So that should help make the kids disgusted & fed up with churchianity, & should serve as a good confirmation to them that what Dad has always said about the churches is absolutely true!
3. We need to try to help them to apply what they have seen about the church system, to help them to really get the point. We should emphasise to them, "Look, do you see what a confirmation this video is of what Grandpa's been saying all along? Those lukewarm Systemite Christians are representative of most church people all over the World, & a good illustration of what Grandpa has always taught us about the church system! That's why the World's going to Hell despite all of its churches! There are so many churches & so many churchy Christians, but the World's just getting worse & worse!"
4. Because after seeing that apparently on-fire Christian youth group, they could possibly think, "Well, look, those people are really reaching others! Some of those kids are doing great, they seem to be a lot like us!" Of course, these videos don't emphasise the fact that the majority of the churchy kids aren't doing anything! But to our kids a video like that could sort of make them think, "Wow, some of those kids are so much like us, so what's the difference?--Why do we have to have the whole Family & why do we have to go through all this living communally, living to ourselves & being so separate from the church system? If we would join the churches, look at all the things we could do! We could infuse life into them! We could help them to do what they should be doing!
5. "So why don't we just join the churches? Maybe we could do a lot more than we're doing in the isolation of our own Homes, not being able to have the backing of a big church.--And we could go & do some of the things that those kids are doing. Look how many people they're reaching! Whereas in most of our Homes we have to be careful, we can't just invite anybody over & we don't reach many people that way." They could definitely look at it that way.
ONCE A WEEK FEEDING IS NOT ENOUGH!
(David & Techi come in:)
6. It's sad when you realise that a lot of those very precious System teens who are so on fire for the Lord & heading up some of those Church Youth Groups will eventually just be totally discouraged & sort of fizzle out & give up! Because what are they going to do with the kids that they reach, who get saved? They lead them to the Lord & maybe they have a Youth Club for them to come to once a week, & they try to give them a little inspiration & encouragement to go on for the rest of the week, but what real progress are they going to make with them?
7. How are those kids they win going to grow? How are they able to be fed? They just end up becoming like the church again, just another church. Their club becomes their once-a-week feeding ground, just like the churches. They come once a week for their food & nourishment, & that's not enough!
8. What can a Youth Group like that do with the kids they've won to the Lord? They can't bring them to the church, because the kids are going to look around & say, "Sorry, this is dead! I'm not getting anything here!" They can keep bringing them to their club, but again, it's only once a week. Those on-fire young people either have to be fulltime students or have jobs, they have to have something to support themselves, so they're definitely not able to spend much time with their new converts.
9. Sure, they're getting some of these poor doped-up street kids saved, but I'm wondering what's happening to them after that? Probably, if the truth were known about all those wonderful testimonies you heard on the video of street kids being delivered from drugs & alcohol, most of those poor kids are probably going right back into it again!
10. Where do they get the strength to pull out of it all & really make the break with their old lives?--Certainly not from one night a week at a club where they have some singing & maybe some Bible reading & a pep talk, but then they have to go out again to live in that old environment all week long! They go back to their old haunts, their old friends, to be with the same crowd, the same temptations. So how are they going to keep those people? It must be terribly discouraging!
11. They're on fire & they go out & get those kids saved, bring'm back, get'm off drugs & get'm off alcohol or whatever, but then what do they do? Do they bring them to their church? I'll bet if they brought them into the church, most of those kids would say, "No thanks, these people are a bunch of deadheads! We have more excitement out there on the street!" So they bring them to their Youth Club that they have once a week, & that's sort of a substitute for church. But the thing is, one way or the other, the church or the club, it's still only once a week. They might have some peppy songs, they might get really inspired, & maybe they even have a little bit of feeding from the Word, but only once a week just isn't enough!
12. How would you do on a once-a-week feeding? How would you guys do if you only had a little Word once a week & the rest of the time you were out there in that environment of drug addicts, having to go to school with all those kids, most of whom couldn't care less about the Lord! All they want to do is get into all kinds of shenanigans & drugs & Satanism & alcohol & dirty language & all the stuff that unsaved kids want to do! The pull is so strong! Without daily feeding, without Christian friends & brothers & sisters, what can they really do?
13. The only solution is to do what the Lord had Grandpa do when the Family first began back in Huntington Beach! We can say to all our new converts, "Okay, come on & join us! Let's all live together!--Then we can study the Word together every day, we can go out witnessing every day, we can have the fellowship of each other! We can bear each other's burdens!" But it just doesn't work when they're off on their own in the middle of the World. When the Word says to "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together" (Heb.10:25), it doesn't mean just once a week, because that's not enough!
14. The churches can't really care for their new babes unless they would do like we do & say, "Come on, join us & let's all live together & let's all work for the Lord together! Drop out of the System & then we can spend all of our days in feeding & witnessing!" That's the only way to do it! How are they going to get what they need by just going to church once a week?
15. Of course, you may say, "But aren't our Catacombers in a similar situation? Many of them cannot drop out, & even if they could, we often insist that they wait for a year until they have been tried & proven. So aren't our new converts in pretty much the same situation?"
16. Well, I'm not sure exactly how all of our Homes handle their new converts & Catacombers, but I think (& I hope) that we give them more than just a weekly feeding.--And I think we offer them an opportunity of service as well, teaching them how to witness, or taking them out witnessing & Postering with us, etc. Because ministering to others should be one of our main jobs in our Homes, we probably have a lot more time to spend at it than those poor church kids do. And we probably see & realise the need for it much more than they do as well.
17. So I suppose that we not only try to see them as often as we can, or have them come over to the Home, often every night, but we also call them throughout the week & we pray for them. And even more importantly, we give them the Word that they can take back with them, & we strongly encourage them to be faithful to take their reading & prayer time, making it clear to them that those are the only things that are going to keep them. We also encourage them to go on the attack against the Devil & his crowd by winning souls themselves & starting their own Catacomber group, so they can have a support group right there on their own turf!
18. Another very important thing that we do with our new Catacombers is that we instill in them a vision!--The goal of dropping out, joining us & living for Jesus fulltime, as soon as they are able to. Thus we give them something that they're always able to look forward to & always have in their mind, & something that keeps them going, doing what they can where they are until such time as they can join our wonderful Family & live with us all the time!
19. Of course, you could argue that some of the church people may also give support to their new converts by praying for them & feeding them the Word. They probably don't do it very much, but some of them might. But, "without a vision the people perish" (Pro.29:18), & without being able to look forward to "a way of escape" eventually, the churches' idea of being a Christian probably seems just too difficult for many of those kids who they manage to get saved. The churches don't offer those poor kids any hope of really getting away from their situation & being strengthened sufficiently to stand up to their peers.
20. Whereas the support that a Family Home will usually give a Catacomber is so much greater & more heartfelt & sincere than anything that you can imagine even a supposedly "on-fire" churchy youth group could possibly give them! (And we certainly hope you're giving your Catacombers lots of support!) The churchy people are so caught up in the "thorns" & polluted by the "affairs of this life" & the material concerns that choke out what should be their primary spiritual concern of holding on to other souls & helping them to make it in their life for the Lord!
21. They have so many pulls of the World that it's impossible for them to be single-minded in their work for the Lord & their love for others & their desire to not only win souls to the Lord, but also to then keep them for His Kingdom. Of course, when I say "keep them," I don't mean those souls they win are going to be lost, I'm talking about making them into Christians who will do some good & be useful to the Lord & the work He wants done.
22. I'm sure some of those poor kids in those churchy Youth Ministries are really trying their best, as evidenced by the ones we saw in the video. Thank God there are some sincere ones! Thank the Lord for them, they're precious to the Lord! You just wish they could be in the Family where they could not only be accomplishing something, but accomplishing something lasting!--Where you could say, "Come, let's live together, so you can get strengthened, so you can really accomplish something for the Lord!"
23. Street kids who get saved have to buck the tide constantly! I bet if the truth were known, most of the people that have been won to the Lord by churchy youth groups backslide & are back doing the same old things. It's really sad! They don't really want to, but just having a one-time feeding of a couple of hours once a week doesn't give them the strength to buck the tide & to stand up for their convictions. It's hard to stand up for your convictions, even with the support of other Christians!--In fact, it's almost impossible without the support & encouragement of others.
ON-FIRE YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH SYSTEM EVENTUALLY GET DISCOURAGED & GIVE UP!
24. That's why Grandpa has preached against the church system all these years, because instead of obeying the Lord's commands to preach the Gospel & to feed & really take care of the sheep, they've created their once-a-week churchianity system which has so little to do with what Jesus said to do! Instead of really serving the Lord, most church people consider their little trip to church once a week their service for God. In fact, that's even what they call their church attendance, a "service"! They say, "We went to the service this morning." They actually think that going to a church building to hear the preacher's sermon is their "service" for God!
25. The very few people in the church system who do really want to do something & are on fire--like some of those young people you've seen on video--after a while, after trying & trying & trying to get the rest of the church people stirred up & get them to join & get on fire & inspired about witnessing, they finally just get discouraged & give up! You can hardly blame them.
26. Before I joined the Family I had a girlfriend who really wanted to serve the Lord. She was a newly-saved Christian, she hadn't been a church person all her life. She got saved at college through a group called Campus Crusade, & was a real precious girl, my best friend for a while. She really got turned on to the Lord & sincerely wanted to serve Him. It was just about the time I was deciding to join the Family, & she decided that she would go off to Bible College, because that's what the church system says you've got to do in order to go into fulltime service for the Lord afterwards. Most Christian young people, if they're really serious about doing anything for the Lord, decide to go to Bible College.
27. So she went to Bible College, & the last I heard was that she'd gotten so disillusioned with the frivolousness & shallowness of the students & their lack of dedication to the Lord--many of them are there just to find a husband or to get away from their parents or whatever--that she actually backslid! She started off being so dedicated, she was so on fire for the Lord, but when she found out the hypocrisy of those typical Christian young people in Bible College, she just gave up!
28. I heard she even had a nervous breakdown, it affected her so badly! She hadn't grown up in the church & she didn't know what church people were really like. So it was a complete shock to her to see the hypocrisy of those kids who were supposedly going to this college because they wanted to become trained & equipped to serve the Lord!
29. Of course, there are some young people who go to Bible College with a sincere desire to get into fulltime Christian work. They're not all there just to waste time, have fun or to try to find a mate. I think their main problem is their standard of dedication. If you were to ask them, they usually consider themselves to be very dedicated & very sold out. "After all, I'm going to Bible College to become a preacher, aren't I?"
30. But the problem is that most of the preachers & other Christian workers--maybe with the exception of some missionaries--are not so different from the rest of the worldly population. They look on their preaching or pastoring as a job, as their particular career, & they prepare for it & enter it just about the same way that most other Systemites go into their occupations, & they don't really feel the need to be that much more dedicated or sacrificial than anyone else in any other job. After all, they figure that they could just as easily learn to be a Christian psychologist, or a Christian doctor, or a Christian lawyer, or a Christian something-or-other, & it would pretty much be on a par with being a Christian minister or pastor nowadays.
31. So even though most of them feel that they are pretty sold out & dedicated to serving the Lord fulltime, for those who are genuinely sold out to the Lord & really have a burning desire to serve Him, that System level of dedication is not enough, it's not enough commitment & it seems very superficial & hypocritical. But if you were to tell that to the average Bible College students, they wouldn't even understand what you were talking about at all! They figure, "Well, of course I'm sold out to the Lord, I'm here, aren't I? I've given my life to the Lord. I'm here in Bible College! I'll have you know I'm preparing to be a preacher, to have a nice church of my own!" Or, they might say they're preparing to be a preacher's wife or a song leader, or something else in the church. "How much more could we possibly do?"
32. But they're so much a part of the System, the materialistic, shallow & superficial System of this World, & so little of their time is actually going into studying the Word for the sake of really feeding on the Word & getting close to Jesus, or praying or witnessing & winning souls.--So little of their time is devoted to these things that it certainly appears to a new convert whose main motivation in life is to be like Jesus & to tell others the wonderful news, that these people are extremely shallow & extremely hypocritical! They say they love Jesus, but they're not doing anything to really show it!
33. Of course, we know that you don't have to go to Bible College in order to serve the Lord, but the System young people are told that that's what they have to do in order to become missionaries or preachers of the Gospel. My girlfriend had been told that's what she was supposed to do, so she went, & then she wound up just backsliding completely. She was so disillusioned that she lost her fervour & her enthusiasm & didn't want to serve the Lord at all any more.
34. I don't know all the details of what happened to her, but that was what I heard after I joined the Family, & it was very very sad! But that's what frequently happens to sincere & on-fire church youth. She started out so precious, she thought she'd reached Heaven when she got saved, & she thought other Christians were going to be the same, but they weren't.
35. So young people in the church system can get on fire! And the ones who are on fire are usually the ones who haven't grown up in the church & haven't lost their enthusiasm & their fire by looking at their parents just sitting there for years & years, like dead bumps on a log, doing nothing! As that video showed, the on-fire kids in the church are mostly the ones who are just newly saved. And that's really sad, because where are all the other kids that should be on fire? Well, that's what happens when you've been in the church system for a while, you just become lukewarm & dead like everybody else! So you really feel for those poor kids who are on fire for the Lord, & you wish they could find the Family!
36. God bless'm for trying, but that's the problem with the church system. That's why Grandpa's preached against it & railed against it for years now!--Not that there aren't some very wonderful people in it, people who really try, but by & by, they all sort of do the same thing. They don't have any help or any support & they just sort of get tired of bucking the tide & fighting to try to get people stirred up, so they just sort of shrivel up & die!
37. So Lord, please help those poor kids, those sincere ones who are really trying to serve You. Please help them to somehow keep going for You in spite of the church system!
38. What are the poor kids that they win to the Lord going to do? They don't get the feeding & the strength & the support that they need, so they go back into the System. Well, they're already in the System, but I mean back into the World. That's why the only way for Christians to successfully not only reach & win others, but train & teach them to be disciples is to live together & to support each other & to be together day in & day out, counselling together & learning the Word together & witnessing together & working together!
39. That's the principle of the Book of Acts, that's what the Lord laid down for the Church in the New Testament. That's what they did in the Early Church, & that's what the Lord intended to keep happening, but it doesn't happen in today's church system at all.--Which is why they've gone so far astray. There are a lot of nice people in the churches, but they're certainly not serving the Lord much & they're not doing what the Lord has told them to do. They're pretty dead!
SNARED IN THE SYSTEM!
40. Think of all the church people there are, thousands sometimes in one church, & think how many churches there are! And look how the World is going to pot! People are going to Hell, & all those church people just sit there on their pews doing nothing! That's the saddest thing, isn't it? No wonder the Lord stirred Grandpa up to rage against them!
41. Sometimes if you don't want to do something & you allow someone else to do it, then you can sort of salve your conscience. That's what these churches do with their Youth Groups. They say, "Oh, look at our young people & all that they're doing! We're so proud of them, they're really reaching people!"--And they can sort of excuse themselves that way, which is what they often do, & is why they lend token support to their youth outreach ministries.
42. I'm sure there are some church members who get behind their youth groups & really do try to help them, but how can they do much to help them? They have to support their families & they have to work 9-to-5 jobs or longer. The economy is so bad in most parts of the World that a lot of people have to have two jobs nowadays! They have one main job in the day, & then they have to work another part-time job at night. And usually the husband & wife both work! So how can they serve the Lord? They're imprisoned in the System! They give a little money or a little tithe & they figure, "Well, that's all we can do."
43. They haven't been willing to forsake all & break out of the System! In fact, they don't even know that there is such a thing as forsaking all. They don't have any idea that you're supposed to do that. And if they ever do hear the message about forsaking all, they're horrified & don't even understand or agree with it.
44. So that's just the terrible horror of the System, how it's entrapped them so they can't even serve the Lord! But the Lord's faithful, & if people really want to serve Him desperately, He'll show them a way.--Which is why there are independent people all over the World who have heard the Lord's call & found that they couldn't do anything in the church, so they've left!--Independent people who go out on their own to try to serve the Lord the best they can without the church system.
45. I was in the Nazarene Church just before joining the Family, & there was one man in our church who was sort of like that, he impressed me a lot! His name was Ed, & he was a lowly gardener. He was middle-aged, probably about 45 or 50. The whole church was pretty dead & nobody really did much of anything.--About the most anyone ever did was just to occasionally invite a couple of people to come to church with them, which wasn't really witnessing, & certainly wasn't exceptionally fruitful. But this one little fellow would always stand up when it was testimony time & say, "I went to so-&-so's house & I really talked to him about the Lord & prayed with him & he received Jesus!" He was the only man in the whole church that ever had any testimonies like that of how he'd witnessed! And he was looked on as sort of an oddball by all the others, as sort of crude, a little bit lower than the others, just because he witnessed to people!--Because he was on fire & enthusiastic about really talking to people about the Lord, God bless him!
46. I always remember that man out of the whole congregation! And he was a little bit unusual because everybody else was so dead & not doing anything. But this one little fellow just kept going! Thank the Lord he did! He still had his System job, but he did witness to whoever he would meet. I'm sure the Lord will really reward him for his faithfulness & obedience to witness.
47. There certainly aren't very many like him, & it certainly doesn't encourage you to witness when nobody else is doing it. And it certainly doesn't encourage the young people to witness if all the older people are just sitting around doing nothing & acting like there's something wrong with you if you witness! So Lord help us all to do what we should & do what we can!
THANK GOD FOR THE FAMILY! (MAMA'S PRAYER)
48. Thank You Lord for the Family! TYJ! Thank You for Grandpa & his conviction to pull us out of that horrible System & keep us pure & keep us on fire! Even with all our mistakes, Lord, & our cooling down sometimes, the deadness & the lack of conviction of the church system is so much worse! Forgive us when we've cooled off & we've become weary & not done as much as we should, but Lord, we're thankful You've stirred us up! Time after time we've had revolutions to really get us back on track & keep us going!
49. But even our slowing down sometimes is really moving in the fast lane compared with what the church is like! Like some of our people who have backslidden & then returned to the Family have said, even the worst of the Family is so much better than the best of the System! We've had backsliders say that time & time again, who have realised that after they've been out there a while & experienced it.
50. So thank You Lord! Help us to appreciate what we have, & to be so thankful for all of our blessings, & never to be tempted by any of the allurements or enticements of the churchy system! Thank You that the kids were able to see these videos & for the few precious System kids who are at least trying to do something for You & are really on fire!--To see that You, Lord, are the same, & if people will listen to You & hear Your Voice, then You will speak to them wherever they are! It doesn't matter where they are, in the Family or in the System or wherever. The thing is, Lord, it's pretty hard to do what You say within the System, because they're all against the Plan You've given us in Thy Word, & the whole System is built to resist & oppose & fight against Your Will. Your Word even says that "friendship with the World is enmity with God!"--James 4:4.
51. So thank You for making it easier for us to do Your work by helping us to live together & work together for You, Lord, & do what You want! Thank You for Grandpa & his willingness to take the persecution of the System & the attacks of the Devil & his people who don't want us to live this way & don't want us to show that there is another way! Thank You Lord for Grandpa's sacrifices & his obedience to You. You said, "Through the obedience of one, many were made righteous."--Rom.5:19. Thank You Jesus for the wonderful privilege we have! Help us to do our best, Lord, to do what we can in our small way, whatever You show us, to win the World for You, in Jesus' name. Amen!
(--AMEN!--GBY! TYJ!--Love, D.)
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family