BY: BRENDA IMUS
SEPTEMBER 9, 2002
From: Reader of My Website
Sent: Monday, September 09, 2002 5:03 PM
To: Brenda Imus
Subject: Re: Organized church!
You are so very, very, on target. Normally, I am not impressed with such things as “credentials”, my own or anyone else’s. (or perhaps I was somewhat more impressed than I thought). Maybe the Lord is showing me that my heart is not as pure in this area as I would have believed.
I appreciate your input, and invite it anytime. Will be watching for more articles on your website. Please pray for me and my wife. Our families don’t know what’s going on with us, and would not approve. Her Dad is a retired Assemblies of God pastor (36 yrs). My parents have been the backbone of their local church for many years. We will certainly stand firm in what we believe God is leading us to do, but there may be some difficult times. Again, we appreciate your input, and believe you have the mind of the Lord.
—– Original Message
From: Brenda Imus
To: Reader of Website
Sent: Monday, September 09, 2002 2:53 PM
Subject: RE: Organized church!
I Am assuming you received the articles I sent.
Upon reading this, it strongly occurs to me to make an important point. You say that you ‘do have something to offer the church,’ and then list your credentials. I want you to consider that this is organized religion’s way of thinking, and is contrary to the mind of Christ.
The mind of Christ says, “only Christ has anything to offer the church… and every single person whom HE HAS CALLED into His body has something to offer the body, through Him.” We are a functioning organism, spread throughout the earth. Some of us do, indeed, have a more visible – and seemingly profound – spiritual gift/function than others. This only makes us more accountable to understand that we are equally dependent upon those with less evident abilities.
I actually think you already know this, but it is still worth meditating upon. One of my most valued sisters, who would never in the world think she had ‘anything to offer’ the church, is the one person the Lord has sent to enable me to do a HUNDRED times more work, to better effect, than I could ever do as a result of my own efforts and planning. She encourages, pushes, plans, organizes, drives me where I need to be, and generally helps provide whatever I may be lacking. In short, she does everything BUT the actual ‘up front’ teaching and work. And while this work isn’t spiritual in the traditional sense, it is allowing me to model the Lord Jesus Christ to an increasing number of people all the time. I’m beginning to understand that THIS is primarily the real work for all of us–and with her genuine servant’s heart, she has the job description down pat! (In fact, at a recent horse clinic, almost every single participant mentioned how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful friend.)
On another note, we are in agreement that the traditional teaching on the rapture is in error. I’ve had some insight into this – have you read the ‘Day of Great Power’ article? It seems many of us are going through a paradigm shift in our understanding of the true nature of Christ’s next appearance on earth…
God’s best to you!
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 12:50 PM
Subject: Organized church
I wrote to you briefly yesterday, promising a more thorough message later. Well, here I am!!
I wanted to get your input, insight, counsel, etc., about my situation. My wife, son, and I have attended three churches over the past six years. We have not been “content” at any of them. One had an incompetent pastor, who considered himself “teachable” but was anything but that. The second was large, with no intimacy at all. The third, and present one, has a lot going for it in some respects. It sounds similar to some you described from your past–anointed Bible teacher, but one-man show. At risk of sounding arrogant (which I’m not) I do have something to offer the church. I have a Bible college education, years of teaching experience, but my pastor has no interest in “using” me or hardly anyone else. On top of that, I have come to some different conclusions about certain doctrines in the past ten years. For instance, I no longer believe the church is going up in the rapture before the great tribulation–we will go through it. Also, I no longer believe in tithing. Giving? Absolutely. In fact, we give more than 10%.God is our provider, and anything above that provision is His. I can find no church in our county where I can even talk about the above. I am a lone ranger (probably not, but it feels that way). I have felt my pastor withdraw, somewhat, from me, as did my former pastor. As you can tell, I (and my wife) am really ripe for a home church. But how do you know when the time is right to leave? We wouldn’t even know who to invite to a home church.
My thinking is that we have to take the first step first, then trust God with the second step. The first step is to leave our present church, then trust God to send people our way for the purpose of fellowship, study, worship, and whatever else God has in mind.
This is not easy. I’m sure no one who knows us will understand or respect our decision.
Brenda, do you know what we could do with our stewardship offering if we didn’t have to support our pastor and the “building?” We could give directly to those on the front lines, or perhaps help some Jewish family return to Israel from Russia or wherever.
Am I making sense?
I don’t know what else to say. I don’t want to waste your time, but any advice, counsel, would be appreciated.
Again, thanks for your website. It has some really great (not status-quo) teaching.
God Bless you and your family
A Reader and His Family
ORGANIZED CHURCH [Brenda Imus] 1