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The Path Less Traveled

December 31, 2012

Greetings,

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”  Ephesians 5: 11

Someone recently commented here that we should not tell others when they are on the wrong path to the Lord.  Well, I disagree with that for the most part.  I think we should definitely warn folks when they are heading in bad directions.  This is much of what evangelism is…sharing the good news so that they can avoid where their bad news will eventually take them.

However, I also feel that everyone should be allowed their own personal journey to the truth.  Healthy Spirit led interactions along the way are also a part of that journey.  When we are led to interact and share the truth in love with others along the way it will bear much fruit.  This is not accomplished by setting up overbearing roadblocks, but rather by being rest areas that folks can visit and be refreshed by.  Some people call these divine appointments and I have no problem with using that terminology.

When we cross paths with one another we should always interact and share conversation as the Lord leads.  Most often we are called to encourage others in their walk with the Lord, but sometimes we must also be willing to give healthy correction and rebuke….motivated by nothing else but love.  We shouldn’t shout people down, but rather engage in life-giving conversations.  After all we are nothing more than fellow seekers and travelers on the same journey, but perhaps different pathways.

I don’t know about you, but when I am wrong I crave correction and I want to be pointed back in the right direction.  Then if I finally get to a God appointed rest stop along the way I want others to join me there.  Then to help them out will I not tell them about the pot holes and detours to avoid on their journey?   To me rebuke is like telling other seekers where not to go, because we already made the mistake of going there once and found out that it was a very bad scene with negative consequences.  If I am off the God given trail I want others to call out to me and tell me I am going off track.  Is this not love?  Is this not Christ?

Yes we are all on a Spiritual journey, but if you see me wandering off in a bad direction please tell me so?  I feel we are all called as peers in Christ to encourage and rebuke one another along the way.  We should warn one another about faulty paths, mudslides and road blocks.  Not in a demeaning, better than you style; but with love and forthrightness. 

This is why I warn people about the dangers of the Institutional/Traditional “church” system. Go down that road and you will be denied your full priesthood and be told to follow and honor men in false positions. It will take your money and your hope.  The system can suck the very life out of you and leave you on a spiritual dung heap.  That is why I am not shy about denouncing that beast and offering the simple way of Jesus as the alternative.

Love and ….

Kirk Out !

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9 Comments
  1. Mickey Merrie permalink

    http://bible.cc/proverbs/27-6.htm

    http://bible.cc/jude/1-3.htm

    In fact the whole short reading of Jude is quite fruitful to understanding our time as well…

    Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

    Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

    For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

    Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

    But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

    These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

    Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

    And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

    These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

    But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

    These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

    And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

    Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

    ——————————————————————————–

  2. Hi Kirk, I came across your blog tonight. I appreciate your heart for the lost and for the church. I’m a pastor in the trenches who’s worked hard for the last 12 years to pastor a small local congregation. We see the things in the New Testament happening in our church regularly, both the good and the bad. But I put my all into it, I am not addicted to porn or gambling, I love my wife and kids, pay my bills, have daily quiet times, and sincerely seek the Lord’s heart for my people week after week. When I read your thoughts, the feeling I leave with is that I am condemned by God for trying to serve the church and leading people right into Hell. I respectfully disagree with your blanket judgment of the church today. Sure there are issues, but if God looked at us the way you did there would be no hope for any of us. Yes we all suck….but I’m going to spend my life trying my best to help others, and meanwhile my eye is attentive to the very worst cesspool – my heart.

  3. Jeff, I hear you. I love Church the people, but hate Church the system. I do not condemn you or anyone else. I do not look down on you or any one else and we all have hope in Christ. I am certain that there are “churches” out there that are the exception and not ruled by men or worse. Thanks for sharing your portion here with us.

    • Thanks for your reply, I hear you, but as you said in another post that you valued correction, take it from a fly on the wall, your tone is consistently condemning and you come across as quite gnostic, it may not be your intent but it is certainly your fragrance. The people in the New Testament who took the 1 Cor. 5:12 approach were people in relationship, people who paid their dues, people who had the place to speak to the churches the way they did…not someone on an island throwing a blanket judgment on nearly everyone outside of it.

  4. Yes Jeff I do condemn the religious system, but not the people trapped or enslaved to it. Just what would your definition of gnostic be?. I am all about relationship and you have no idea what dues I have paid. I am not an island, but I do judge the false religious system of today. Some of my best friends are pastors too. Hang out and converse more with us Jeff?

  5. If, as you say, you do condemn the system but not the people trapped or enslaved in it, then logic follows that I am a pastor in that very system, and “the beast” as you say is in charge of what I am doing, and therefore my boss is a beast that traps and enslaves people…or perhaps I am that beast….I am quite deceived, and I have not heard God and am misled and misleading many, I am leading a false religious system, and all the amazing things that God has done in the church I pastor are counterfeit, and woe unto me. These are quotes from your own posts that apply to people such as I as you have written about, can you not see?

    Gnostic meaning that someone is privy to or has special knowledge which makes them more fit than others for this or that. I being in comfortable bondage, you being in uneasy freedom.

    This does not feel like a conversation, it feels like one person posting a blanket criticism while the other repeatedly says how the same make him feel. If you want relationship, consider having it on someone’s terms other than your own.

    As for the system that I pastor, a quick description: I have flushed a members’ pot down the men’s commode in our lobby after his confession, and I then smashed his bong on our floor. For 8 years we have worked with a local homeless mission, feeding and befriending hundreds of men there. We have given tens of thousands of dollars away to support foreign missions and orphanages. I have seen dozens led to Christ and baptized in our church, leading productive fruitful lives for years after. We re-stock our tissues regularly because so many people cry during our services. Among our members are former drug dealers, pornography distributers, several strip dancers, and many others, all who have come to Christ and completely turned their lives around. We also have good coffee and decent teaching. I am not ashamed to receive a salary for my work as a pastor. I love these people with all I am, I gave up a career in business to serve them, and am privileged to do so. Praise the Lord for He is so loving and gracious to poor sinners such as we are. Amen.

  6. Impressive resume Jeff, but the end still does not justify the means. God still blesses His children no matter how they meet because He is God and loves all. God shows up whenever 2 or 3 gather in His name in spite of any system they are involved in. I praise Jesus for allowing you to effect others lives in such a positive manner. I am not privy to any special knowledge Jeff, all I know is what He has been showing me since I was a child. Many others have had an awakening regarding the body of Christ and how she should be free from the influence of men and the dark system. Anyone can enjoy sin for a season, but that season will some be over and then God will lead His true church out of darkness and into The Light. Until that time comes be thankful for the fruit He has allowed you to bear where you are serving now.

  7. Mickey Merrie permalink

    Jeff, would you answer a few questions for me?
    Are you affiliated with any denomination or association?
    Are you a 501 (c)(3) incorporated?
    Do you teach the tithe in your fellowship?
    Have you read any good books lately?

    This is in no way an attack, but an opportunity for iron to sharpen iron, and all to be sharpened in the process. The reason it would feel like a blanket statement is, as you know, the majority of the religious system is “franchised today” with any easy believism message.
    I can tell you, from my perspective that your story is a refreshing change from most of what I come across here in Pennsylvania!
    You say you just happened across this site, could there be a bit of divine appointment in that occurance?

    My goal in asking this is to see if we all can’t grow in this exchange. Further that the growth would be glorious to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Mickey Merrie

  8. Reformed by the Spirit permalink

    I honestly don’t hear any hint of Gnosticism is anything Chris shares. As far as that goes, I don’t see any forcing of ideas upon anyone. Chris comes from a viewpoint of relationship with God and with other believers.

    Jeff, I will agree that you have seen some incredible things happen at your church. You also have a strong emphasis upon relationship. You named your own church plant according to your hopes of community.

    And, in the context of what Chris is saying (and you are saying), another perspective could be spun:

    One could say that anything that has happened in/at your church/services could have happened in the same way in any setting where believers are gathered in Christ’s name. In college, both Chris and I experienced incredible things in God…all while believers were gathered in my apartment living room. Many lives were changed to God’s glory….all this outside of the four walls of a church building or a pastor to lead what was happening. To this day, it is still one of the most demonstrative regional renewals I have ever seen or witnessed.

    As far as your definition of a Gnostic…..one could argue that many, of not most pastors, stand in front of believers, as someone is privy to or has special knowledge which makes them more fit than others (often based upon their studies in seminary or the amount of time they have to keep studying since they are in a position to make a living doing so).

    I am not saying that you (Jeff) have that kind of attitude….but I have often seen it in other “churches”. (I can use an example of someone both you and I know of, who was lifted up as someone with that kind of “special knowledge”….and used his knowledge to manipulate a situation where he would take the wife of one of his associates on staff while divorcing his own….) Jeff, you are one of the few pastors that seem to be set apart from others.

    At the same time, Chris’s perspective is birthed from a different life experience, and different church models he has seen the fruit from.

    Both you of bring some good things to the table.

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