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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Part of my testimony

I am not even going to add my comments here (but as you can see how long this is...I did) because where many words are present sin is not absent. Here is an article from fox news about an Episcopal Bishop Ousted for Leading Breakaway Faction over gay clergy.

I will say that the Bride of Christ must be making herself ready and that we are to be purifying ourselves. I am a sinner and sin daily. I am so thankful for the blood of Christ that washes me. But it really bothers me that you could have an ordained priest or priestess that is a homosexual. That is in complete contradiction to the word of God. We are to be set apart and holy to the Lord. It is the pure in heart who will see God. So how can the blind lead the blind? I do say this with some resentment. Why? Because I grew up in an episcopal church with this same thing going on. Not only that, I never knew that Jesus died for me and that it was not by my works that I was going to heaven. Being raised in the church I grew up in I was on the fast track to the broad path of destruction...hell. BUT GOD. I was never discipled, my church was unhealthy, and I was never told the gospel. NEVER. I went almost every Sunday. I was taught works and a whole host of superstitions. Even with Catholicism because that is part of the Episcopal church, you are taught that you can pray to Mary. While Mary is the mother of Jesus, she can not hear and answer our prayers. Praying the rosary is rote. I am really going off from where I started but have you ever seen the channel where all of the nuns are praying? They look so bored to death. I feel sorry for them because our relationship with Christ is not about saying the same Hail Mary full of grace prayers. We can't pray to Saints and in fact if we are in Christ we are all saints. There is no favoritism in God's site. They look so bored and stoic and it makes me sad seriously because God is not boring and He does not want us to confine ourselves to rooms and chant prayers made up of the same words over and over and over. We are called to be the salt and light of this world for goodness sake. What good is it to sell all of our possessions to the Vatican and hide behind walls thinking we are free when we are really enslaved.
I can remember growing up and using the Book of Common Prayer. There was no such thing as bringing your bible to church. That has lit a fire in me that I pray will never die. There is NO FREEDOM or UNDERSTANDING or true CHANGE apart from the Word of God and the Holy Spirit within us. As we apply ourselves to the truth of God's Word it changes us and sets us free. If you go to a church that you don't crack your bible in...count it as Ichabod 1 Samuel 4:21. The Glory of the Lord will not rest on a church where His word is not even present. Now I am not talking about places that don't have translations or whatever before anyone brings that up.
We can not just depend on a church for our growth, we must be in the word for ourselves to test and approve what is true. That is where the whole prosperity gospel has come in. People want to hear what their itching ears want to hear...so they surround themselves with teachers who will tickle their ears. I was in the Auburn store the other day at the mall and this lady mentioned to me this very popular preacher that we all know that makes (and I quote) "you feel so good." I cringed and knew that if I said anything about the guy it wasn't going to be in love so I kept my mouth shut. I am to quick to pull a Peter and put my foot in my mouth.

I go to a baptist church and I am not saying baptist is the way the truth and the life. I just want to be in a church that proclaims God's word in purity and power and exalts Christ. I want a church that is sound in doctrine. For example, I never knew that according to the word of God that when you meet for the Lord's supper that you are to examine yourself or you are drinking judgment upon your own life when you take it in a manner unworthy. Would I be accountable for what I did not know? I am not sure but I can't tell you how many Sundays I took "communion" in ritual, or said a confessional prayer that was coming from my lips but my heart was far from God. The religion I was involved in was just that...pure RELIGION and LEGALISM. I resent it, but I am thankful for the bad taste it has left in my mouth about legalism. Hear me...I am not bashing any denomination. I am just saying that we must Let God Be True and every man a liar. No priest or bishop or POPE is the final word. Jesus Christ is our foundation and the Church was built on the foundation of Christ not Peter. Jesus is the ROCK. No Pope is to be worshiped. No person is to be worshiped, nor are they worthy of our worship. No one is worthy of worship but Christ and Christ Alone.
I am sure no one is reading this anymore but I do have a quick story of people leading people astray. We have a cousin that was pregnant the same time that I was with Shelby. When Shelby died, she had also had a partial birth abortion of her child. She was a member of the Methodist church and her pastor told her that it was ok according to the book of discipline to partially abort that child. CLICK HERE to read where the doctrine of that book says that if the quality of life is not okay for life that it may be terminated. EXCUSE ME? God creates life and if you have had an abortion and you had no knowledge of God's word, I am not condemning you. But when you say you are a Christ follower and someone tells you it is O.K. to abort your child...you need to run like crazy from that place. She called me to tell me that she knew what I was going through when I lost Shelby. I found out that there was a chance her child may have spina bifida so she aborted a life. Why? Because it was inconvenient for her. So, she justified her own conscience by letting her pastor tell her it was O.K. I am sorry. I explained to her that she had no idea what I was going through. That I held my child and had to watch her die and there was nothing that I could do about it...NOTHING. She made a choice to terminate her child's life. At that time, I did not have much grace to sit there when she professed to be a believer and just act like that was all cool and we were going through the same thing. When the word is not present, people are led astray, and false gods are exalted. It is a VERY dangerous place to be. So is the blood for that child's life on both of their hands? The apostle Paul says so strongly is Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

In other words stick to the gospel and what is in God's word. Let no one deceive you. No pastor is holier than a lay person and etc. We all fall short of the glory of God. We all need a Savior.

My family and I usually can't even talk about these things because we believe so differently. I will never forget the time Rod broke his back and I was in a panic trying to get to the hospital. At that time I did not wear contacts and I could not find my glasses. I was so frenzied trying to find my glasses and get to the hospital. The family member that I was on the phone with broke out into prayer to Saint Luke that he would help me find my glasses. That was another time where I had to explain in a crisis moment of not knowing if my man was going to be paralyzed, that I did not have time for prayers to Saint Luke...he was not going to help me find my glasses!!!

Well, I said I was going to say nothing and I am sure no one will even comment on this post...but I did anyway. No church is perfect that is for sure but I think we would all do well individually and corporately to take heed to the letters in Revelation to the churches. There is blessing in it. We do not want the Lord to remove His lamp stand from our churches. You do not have to agree with me or any of my examples but agree with God and be a student of His word so that you are not led astray.

Salvation is in Christ Alone and He is the Alpha and Omega...not the pope...not a priest...or any saint...or nun.

Sometimes we too will be ousted for breaking away from what is false to follow the truth.

20 comments:

GratefulinGA said...

Whoa Jenny! Thank you for such a fierce post. I love your courage and conviction...I pray the Lord give me even a portion of the same and that you never lose a bit of yours.

love you dear girl,
tammy

littlestepsoffaith said...

I'll be a brave girl and get out of the boat, and meet ya on the water with Jesus:)
First of all, I never realized how much you and related, and I gotta tell you its encouraging to me.
You know the deal with someone yesterday-who also complained about my blogging...but we've vented from that..so.
I don't know about that website; because the views there are so different from my church, my Pastor and his wife both have a license plate with " Choose Life". And they definitely, DEFINITELY do not encourage Homosexual clergy.
I might have to see if I can get more information for you from my Pastor.
Anyway, yea, I grew up Catholic like your family, and I clearly understand how much vital importance was placed on praying to Mary, and other Saints. I crowned the Blessed Mother at 13yrs old, for some deal they do in May, but I don't know why I did it, and I don't know why people touched my hands when I walked by...it was weird. I also watched a nun slap my mom because I didn't make my communion until I was in 7th grade.
Catholicism is their own seperate religion, my mom asks me how come I know so much of the bible, and I told her because I read it, I don't have someone telling me what it says, without backing up with scripture.
Anyway, I agree with you 100% and I could say much here, but its supposed to be a comment and not a post. We'll stick to FB girl:)

Love ya, and THANKS for sharing:)

ang

connorcolesmom said...

YOu glorify God when you are not ashamed to Tell the Truth
I can not believe the pastor told your cousin such lies It breaks my heart - so sad :(
Stand firm in the truth sweet friend and blessings will be abundant (Psalm 26:3)
Much love
Kim

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny,
I completely respect you and your opinions. I also agree with you on many levels. However, I must make one comment from the flip side. I was also a part of the Episcopal church and we NEVER prayed to Mary. We were taught to respect her as the mother of Jesus, but we did not pray to her or any saints - only to God himself. Just wanted to point out how MY experience was different on that level. Thanks so much for always speaking from your heart.

jennyhope said...

in regards to the praying to mary thing...I am sorry because I must have been confusing...wer were not taught in the Episcopal church to pray to Mary either. The Episcopal church is a branch off from the Roman Catholic church to Anglican in so many ways.

Also, I am speaking of my experience not the church as a whole...even though I feel the Episcopal church as a whole is very liberal...that is just me.

sorry for the confusion

jennyhope said...

Also here is a wikipedia link if anyone is interested in the history of the anglican church:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_Church_in_the_United_States_of_America

twinkle said...

Jenny!
Everything else I have read today has just been blah blah blah blah blah. But this post? Good grief it is so good. You sound like Moses coming down from the Mount...
Thank you for encouraging me through your words to keep posting Jeremiah. God's Word is just pure, unadulterated TRUTH. And I love His Word more than anything. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
:)

HisTreasuredPossession said...

Amen! I was raised in the Catholic church so I know what you are saying! I gotta tell you, I feel this way about that book "the Shack" Haven't read, don't plan too. But what I've heard and researched bother me a lot. let us be diligent...the WORD can teach us everything we need to know about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and how they all work together! Thanks for your passion - we all need to have it in this day and age.

bookworman~elaine said...

Amen Sister! Like my Granny would say, "The truth will stand when the world is on fire."
Thank you for a fine post!

~Elaine~

BethAnne said...

Preach it, GIRL!!!
I was reading this and amen-ing th whole way through (is amen-ing a word? probly not, but then neither is probly). You have great conviction for the Truth and God has given you an outlet to speak truth into the lives of countless women/men through your blog. You never know who is reading this post that needs to hear that the doctrine of the Episcopal church (or the Catholic church for that matter) is not completely Biblically sound.
I am praying that God will use this post to witness to people who are in the same sinking boat you used to be in. WOOHOO! You have got me fired up!!!! I love it!
(oh and you rock)

ocean mommy said...

Amen.

LOVE your heart for our God and His Word to US!!!

steph.

Teri~Facedown said...

Wow Jen...great word!

Teri~Facedown said...

Oh and...to the person who wrote about The Shack...The Shack is a novel. It is not meant to be gospel. Many, MANY stories have pointed people to Jesus. Hinds Feet on High Places, The Pilgrims Progress are a couple that come to mind. Yes and amen to the WORD teaching us what we need to know about how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit work together...but it doesn't mean God isn't using other works to bring people closer to Him. The Shack was a beautiful description of the Fathers love. It was a story of a person who had an experience. Through the experience God was glorified. Sometimes it is nice to read a work of fiction where God wins. Sometimes it is nice to read a story where you relate to a character and see God be honored in the midst of humanity.

Greg P. said...

Jenny, I don't mean to intrude here, but, Bethanne had mentioned this particular post to me and I wanted to comment on it.

I could not agree with you more! I grew up in the Roman Catholic indoctrination system and I had to unlearn an awful lot when I became a Christian in 1981 at age 30. When I realized the wrong things we were taught and how they lead people down the road to destruction, I was very angry. Many of my family members are still RC. I strike out against the RC system whenever I have the opportunity. I've angered more than a few catholic priests in my time.

Your post was very good and held my interest to the end. Thank you for posting it.

Hope you don't mind my commenting.

Fran said...

Whoa! You go girl. I heartily "amen" all you said.

Love you and your heart!
Fran

Emmy said...

Gosh I have so much I could say... actually this whole situation brings me to tears... I too grew up in the Episcopal Church... in fact my Dad is an Episcopal Bishop (retired now)... my parents are brokenhearted over this whole situation... I don't even bring it up anymore to them...

I can't wait till Jesus comes and there are no more Denominations! I have so much church baggage... It just breaks my heart... the funny thing is that it isn't all from the Episcopal church... but from Evangelical churches as well...

Come Lord Jesus Come! We are all so broken! We need you!

Emmy

Profbaugh said...

Hey Jenny,

I hate to be the lone dissenter with this comment, but I would caution us to be careful on judging anyone else's faith. We don't know the heart. Only God can judge that.

I did not grow up Catholic. In fact until relatively recently, I've had very little understanding of it. What I have learned after teaching at a Catholic University is that there is a WIDE range of beliefs in the Catholic church--much the same way there is in the Protestant church (Episcopalian to Baptist).

I try to stay away from any generalizations. It's too easy to be divisive as Christians. Why not look for areas we can agree upon and go from there? Please don't get me wrong. I'm not Catholic, nor do I agree with some of the doctrine, however I'm just saying dialogue is better than judgment.

Concerning your cousin, I don't read the article from the book of discipline as the way her Pastor interpreted it. I simply think his interpretation of the document you linked us to was wrong. I know that doesn't do much to help with the grief you experienced. I'm just trying to shed some light on the issue. I'd like to hear what Angie's Pastor has to say on the subject.

As Christians we are bound to disagree on the interpretation of scripture. The key, I think is to first read it (hide it in your heart) and let the Holy Spirit be our guide.

I understand your passion, Jenny and appreciate it. So please don't get me wrong with this comment section. It's just that I equally have a passion for unity among Christians. As you state "Salvation is in Christ alone" So if we believe that--that's the core of our faith, well the rest is open for discussion as we read,interpret (with help from the Holy Spirit) and apply the WORD.

Much love,
~Cheryl

jennyhope said...

Cheryl,

Sorry you can't hear my tone as I type because I am certainly not judging denominations as a whole. I do think that each person should go to a church where the doctrine is sound and Christ is exalted and people are loved. No church is perfect at all. I am not trying to say anything about not being unified or anything like that. Also, my brother in law is a methodist minister and he interprets the book of discipline in the same way as what I stated about the quality of life. I may be wrong and etc. Thanks for your comment though. I don't expect everyone to agree with me at all. I am also glad that the bishop was ousted for taking a stand for the truth.

darla said...

jenny, i love your heart and your honesty. I can not agree more with you. there is no perfect church, but there is a perfect God, and HE gives us HIS perfect word to minister and teach us. I also had no discipling..well If Mama Beth counts via video...that is my mentor, and I thank God for her regularly and pray for her ministry, that has taught me to use the Word, know it, study it, believe God, and have a passion for HIM. So many are misled, its very sad. I pray for more to be delivered by HIM. Do you remember one of the videos (not sure which study) where there was a skit where God walked through the many churches denominations, and stood up women who had aheart to believe in HIM..I never forgot it..just because they have a name on the door, and doctrine and statement of faith...it does not keep God out from rescuing the ones who have a heart to know HIM. You are precious, and I am praying for you...wish I could have been there in TX with you too! Did my prin Steph give you my hug??

Anonymous said...

What an inspiring testimony! I agree with many of your views; I was touched by your comment that "you just want to be in a church that proclaims God's word in purity and power and exalts Christ. I want a church that is sound in doctrine." I feel that I have found that exact thing in my religion. Please check out lds.org--we believe that through the atonment of Christ all mankind may be saved....