CHURCH…and WHY I DON’T ATTEND
BY: BRAD CULLEN
Why don’t I attend?
In the past ten years I have seen many men in traditional church pastoral roles come into the truth we have been exposing in this little book – only to get such heavy resistance from wives (less true when husband and wife are “co-pastors”), other family members and members of the congregation that they sadly turn away from the truth.
They give themselves over to rationalization and self-justification that only serves the ends of the enemy. I believe if some of these would face the truth squarely and simply announce to God that they need His own Holy Spirit’s guidance as to what to do,
He would show them how to rest in His own presence and power to “move on from the elementary principles of Christ to perfection” – instead of making excuses and trite little doctrines to hide behind as to why they continue to do what he expressly said not to do… and for why they cannot do what he said true believers could and would do.
Does “moving on” necessarily mean leaving the traditional church? I don’t know the answer to that question in general terms. I know specifically that I have heard the call to “come out of her.” I have also heard the call not to judge or criticize the traditional church. I also know that I have left situations (in church settings) from which I could and should have learned lessons that I have had to learn in the new situation. I have also stayed in situations when I should have left. The key to operating correctly is really quite simple: Follow the promptings of Holy Spirit!
If I am angry and bitter about how people have treated me and leave because of it …I have not learned the lesson Holy Spirit has for me. I need to learn how to be “delivered” from this so that I am free to hear Holy Spirit’s guidance to be in His presence and power whether I leave or stay …leaving ahead of this means delaying the lesson and having to learn it in a harder way. We will deal with this in a later chapter.
Make no mistake about this. Jesus called us to love our enemies …I have had difficulty loving my own family and friends because of my expectations of them instead of trusting God. Leaving before loving has created personal disasters for me. Staying when God was prompting me to leave has created much complacency and lack of faith.
I have often seen “house churches” which are infected by the same religious spirit that oppressed the church from which they split away. Meeting in homes is not the antidote for the poisons that have crept into the traditional church unless Holy Spirit himself governs such meetings.
For those who are seeking truth for their own lives and have restless feelings about their own church involvement and would like some scriptural reference and perhaps some historical perspective …here goes:
Where Do You Attend?
Some suggested reading is the 17th chapter of John’s Revelation, the last book in the New Testament. Digest the entire chapter carefully and prayerfully – ask Holy Spirit to remove any preconceived notions. Most certainly do not take a message that was given to me unless Holy Spirit confirms that it is also for you.
Reformation scholars believed and wrote that the Mother of Harlots in this passage refers specifically to the Roman Catholic Church. Whether this is merely intellectual justification to shore up “Protestantism” is for each individual to find out for her/himself. There are convincing arguments, particularly based on some of the symbolism found in the passage that are rather astounding, but it should be noted that my own take on the symbolism is that it applies even more so to Protestantism.
What I saw when I first began to look at this chapter prayerfully… was that the word “mother” of harlots seemed to jump off the page at me. Immediately I saw that if the Roman Catholic Church was the harlot, as so many protestant scholars hold, then the daughters …her protestant offspring “daughters” – were much craftier and much more seductive than the mother.
I am neither asserting the above to be true or untrue. I offer it only as a steppingstone for awareness.
CHURCH…and WHY I DON’T ATTEND [Brad Cullen] 1