[anzac] New "OUT OF CHURCH" DISCUSSION

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2007 12:33:14 -0700
New "OUT OF CHURCH" DISCUSSION
-Andrew Strom.

Awhile ago I released an article called "LEAVING the 'OUT OF 
CHURCH'" - which was really the result of decades of disappointment 
and frustration with what Barna calls the 'Revolution'. Shortly after, 
we were forced to ban this "OOC" topic off our Forum because it 
was resulting in such intense wars and ill-feeling. It really was 
ruining the site. 

But a few days ago we re-opened the subject on our Forum in the
hope that perhaps we could discuss it now with a little more calm-
ness and mutual respect. And indeed this has proven to be the
case. Below are some extracts from the discussion so far. Please 
see our website for more - and join in! 

'LarryC' starts by quoting my "LEAVING the OOC" article and 
responds point-by-point:

"LARRY C":
Everything after the '> ' are Andrew's original words. Anything else 
are my replies. 

> [ANDREW]: 
> For the last 20 years I have been involved with a network of 
> people who have left their churches - often to go into a kind of
> individualistic "just me and God" type of mode. I cannot be 
> party to such thinking any more. The problem I have seen is 
> that a "wilderness" mentality develops - and many people simply 
> live there forever. There is no true "Body Life" and no true
> "Leadership" - and I have noticed that because of this NOTHING 
> REALLY HAPPENS. For year after year - NOTHING. 
> 
> Why is this? 

Well, if you keep reading, you'll see why. Mental note: The 
Israelites were in the *wilderness* for 40, that's right, *FORTY* 
years. The prophets of old were alone for years. John the baptist 
was *alone* for the majority of his entire life. Is this not normal? 
No, it's not normal, but it can be right. 

>-Because 'Body' and 'Leadership' are utterly essential to basic 
> New Testament Christianity actually HAPPENING. Without 
> these two things we simply do not get anywhere. I mean - isn't 
> that the pattern that we see right through the Book of Acts? 
> 
> For some people the 'Out-of-church' Revolution is "new". But for 
> me it is very old, and after 20 years observation there is one 
> simple thing I can tell you: IT DOES NOT WORK. It does not 
> transition into real New Testament 'Body Life'. It does not lead to 
> Revival. It does not transform the church. It "scatters" instead of
> gathering, and leads to what I call "amorphous blob" Christianity. 
> -In other words, the Body of Christ becomes an unfocused mass 
> of individualists without form or direction - "each man doing what 
> is right in his own eyes." I don't know if we can find much more 
> of an opposite to true Body Life than that. 

True, it DOES NOT WORK if not lead of the Holy Spirit. If you are 
out-of-church because of rebellion, you are no better of than those 
who are part of organized religion. 

> A lot of these people say that if we are going to have leaders, 
> then they must be real "servants". Amen! - I fully agree. But the 
> New Testament also states that we need 'Fathers' in the faith 
> (-who bring correction, discipline and teaching) and also true 
> 'shepherds'. In my experience, those who want the 'servants' - 
> without the 'fathers' or 'shepherds' - are often people who have a 
> deep stronghold of 'REBELLION' in their hearts - which they are 
> trying to cover up with high-sounding talk. (-Just as I myself used to do). 

Yes there is a lack of *leadership* and *body* in the out of church 
movement. Yes there's a problem with rebellion. But do you realize 
that there's just as much a problem with rebellion in the *churched* 
group as there is out of it, and perhaps even more? The *churched* 
group claims to support leadership, and get upset with others that 
appear not to. But in all reality, they have a deep stronghold of 
rebellion in their hearts, and only submit to leadership for their own 
benefit, namely the acceptance of their peers. There's also a deep
stronghold of rebellion in the leadership, in that they cannot, and 
will not submit to the people under them, as the Word of God 
commands (submit one to another). 

> Vast claims are being made for those who will simply "come out"
> - and actually "BE the church without having to GO to church", 
> etc. One would think that "coming out" was the solution to all 
> that ails us. But as I have seen for 20 years now, nothing could 
>be further from the truth. 
> 
> The facts are plain and simple: If your thinking and behaviour are 
> basically "anti-Body" and "anti-Leader", then don't expect to get 
> anywhere. And don't expect the Body of Christ to get anywhere 
> either. We are not designed to be an "amorphous blob". We are 
> designed to be a unified army with leaders and direction and 
> teamwork - taking the kingdom of darkness using "combined 
> force". United together we are very powerful - for God designed 
> us to be a 'Body'. Split apart into "individualists", we are weak 
> and ineffective...

I agree. But to align ourselves with the Whore of Revelation is no 
better than being bumps on a log. I for one would rather be a bump 
on a log, and do the Lord's work only once in awhile, than to 
submit to a system that the Lord has not ordained. A system of 
*religion* that abhors HIM. Do we walk in the way in which we 
have for so many years, only to fall back into the system started 
by the Roman Catholic church? 

> Are you someone who has trouble with the concept of uniting 
> under leaders? -In that case, do not expect to take part in the 
> coming move of God. -Your attitude is totally anti-New Testament. 

Again, I agree. 

> But do I have sympathy for people who feel like 'outcasts' in the 
> church? Do I have sympathy for those who search and search, 
> yet cannot seem to find a church that is biblically sound? 
> Certainly. I get people writing to me all the time saying they 
> have been around every church in their area, and all there seems 
> to be are 'dead' traditional churches or hype-ridden, over-the-top
> 'Charismania' churches (and yes, I am Spirit-filled myself, but 
> have to admit that the Charismatic movement today is in an 
> awful mess). That is a huge problem - for where do these people go? 

You know, that's interesting Andrew. My dad asked the Lord if he 
could go to an organized religious church one time. Finally he got 
an answer, and the Lord said *yes*. So, he went, only to find out 
that it wasn't the church of God. They abhorred God, but made out 
like they loved Him. At the end, my dad watched in the spirit as 
the Lord walked out. He asked Him, "where are you going"? His 
reply was something to the affect of "I cannot stay, for they do not 
want me here". My dad then replied, "Well then Lord, I'm coming 
with you". The Lord said, "I never told you to come here in the first 
place"....  [-TRUNCATED to save space. Please see our website 
for Larry's full comments. -Link is below].

ANDREW REPLIES:

Larry, I think you are making a good start here. 

BTW, my "LEAVING the OUT OF CHURCH" announcement was 
not made suddenly at all - and I had published quite a few articles 
along similar lines over the years. The things that I questioned 
were often the same - the "anti-Body" and "anti-Leader" attitudes 
that I found so common in the OOC scene. If the early church 
had had those attitudes then there would have been no early church!! 

I came to the conclusion that those attitudes are actually 
"strongholds" in most OOC people. They need to RENOUNCE 
them from the depths of their soul in Jesus' name. -When I did 
this years ago - those strongholds LEFT. 

To me it is obvious - No "Body" and no Leaders = NO TRUE CHURCH!! 

So clearly those attitudes are very wrong. We need to RENOUNCE 
all hurt and wounding and anti-Leader or anti-Body attitudes in 
Jesus' name. That is not to say we become mindless "Follow-the-
Leader" drones!! 

And it is not to say we join "any old" church, either! I still believe 
in a "New Wineskin" and we are actively seeking that. 

I look forward to a healthy discussion of this important topic. 

'LARRYC' replies:

>Andrew wrote: 
> The things that I questioned were often the same - the "anti-
> Body" and "anti-Leader" attitudes that I found so common in the 
> OOC scene. If the early church had had those attitudes then 
> there would have been no early church!!

I 100% agree with that. I would also add that there *may* be cases 
where one would have to operate alone. But I think that would be 
extreme cases, as there always tends to be a local remnant. Of 
course the issue can be actually finding them. Just as back in 
Elijah's day, there were 7,000 prophets that still served God. Do 
you agree that there may be some circumstances where operating 
alone is healthy, and beneficial? 

> Andrew wrote: 
> I came to the conclusion that those attitudes are actually 
> "strongholds" in most OOC people. They need to RENOUNCE 
> them from the depths of their soul in Jesus' name. -When I did 
> this years ago - those strongholds LEFT. 

Yes, I too have had to ask forgiveness, of not being submissive. 
Submission is not something where you do as a leader says. It is 
where, if you are in right standing with God, and the leader is in 
right standing with God, you can't help but be submissive, and vice 
versa. This comes easily because the leader's love and 
commitment to the things of God is very apparent, and is not hidden. 

> Andrew wrote: 
> We need to RENOUNCE all hurt and wounding and anti-Leader 
> or anti-Body attitudes in Jesus' name. That is not to say we 
> become mindless "Follow-the-Leader" drones!!

I agree. Sometimes we can be hurt by bad leaders. That is not an 
excuse to not submit to God fearing and righteous leaders. Even if 
you were to continually meet up with bad leaders, you should 
always go into new situations with an open heart and mind, in 
assumption that this one will not be that way. As it is written, think 
evil of no man. I think that scripture is specifically referring to not 
pre-judging. Because obviously if a man is evil, you're going to 
think he's evil. 

Sorry I didn't post this back when you originally sent that letter out. 
I kind of felt that you were *hot* against OOC at that time, and I 
did not want to heat things up, so to speak...

Now that I think about it, I do recall you at some point saying that 
you do not disagree with OOC in the sense of home gatherings. 

So, I'm not sure there's much for discussion on this one, unless 
you have some issues with things that I had said. If not, I do agree 
with your reply. 


ANDREW AGAIN: 
Larry - yes I think we have things to discuss. -Because I think 
there is an important role to play for many OOC people if only 
they can get free of the strongholds. (-I am not being "mean" here - 
just speaking from what happened in my own journey). 

I actually found in my own life that (strangely enough) I had a 
"religious" stronghold concerning the "Out of church" scene - 
when I was truly part of it years ago. God showed me I was 
"religious" about it! -ie. I was 'judgmental' of all those who were 
not an OOC person like me. I was 'elitist' - thinking we were the 
"special" ones who 'had the answers'. I was proud, self-righteous 
and quite harsh. I was also "argumentative". -All of these are 
"Pharisee-like" traits. 

Amazingly, I found that when I deeply (very deeply) RENOUNCED 
this OOC "religious" stronghold out of my life (-along with all the 
other religious strongholds that I had picked up over the years) 
then suddenly I was free! I was absolutely transformed doing that! 

This is another reason why I used to have such a hard time putting 
up with harsh OOC people coming on here and "blasting" us with 
their opinions. I found so many of them to be just like me when 
I had that OOC "religious" stronghold. 

Isn't it an amazing thing that you can be "religious" about being 
anti-religious?? You can be just as harsh and judgmental and 
un-loving about being part of OOC as you can about being part of 
the strictest sect! That just blows me away. 

I wonder what would happen if OOC people RENOUNCED these 
strongholds. I believe they would find themselves transformed and 
TRULY free of "religion" - of every kind. What do you think? 

'GIRLFREDDY' REPLIES:

>Andrew wrote:  
> Isn't it an amazing thing that you can be "religious" about being 
> anti-religious?? You can be just as harsh and judgmental and 
> un-loving about being part of OOC as you can about being part 
> of the strictest sect! -That just blows me away." 

You know what? Something that you wrote woke me up to that 
very same thing in myself. I was so angry at what was going on in 
the church and just as angry and judgmental at those who would 
stay and listen. Man, it was awful. I was angry at everyone and 
everything. Now, God is teaching me His patience (as people 
around me here were so patient with me during this time). God 
will speak through whatever means He chooses to teach His 
truths. And me running around being judgmental and pointing 
fingers doesn't help anyone one iota. 

'LARRYC' REPLIES:

>Andrew wrote: 
> You can be just as harsh and judgmental and 
> un-loving about being part of OOC as you can about being part 
> of the strictest sect! That just blows me away. 

Yes, I absolutely agree. The Lord came to my father one time, 
and asked him if he could love the unlovable. His response was, 
yes Lord, of course I can. You know that I love the drunks, the 
harlots, the druggies, etc, etc. He said, that's not what I'm talking 
about David. I'm talking about the self-righteous and religious 
people of the church. Boy, did that ever cut to his heart. He 
jumped at that one. He hadn't even realized that he was being very 
condemning, and self-righteous, and religious, about those who he 
thought were those things.

I personally have thought about this many times myself even. I 
have thought about whether I have adopted the same thing as my 
father. We certainly must be careful about taking on the traits of 
our parents that are less than holy. Actually, I was raised to do 
that very thing. To always challenge what I believe, why I believe 
it, and how do I find the truth, and to challenge myself in whether 
I have wrong attitudes. I'm certain there are some things that I 
am unaware of, but I'm certain the Lord will bring those up as well. 
He always does.  

>Andrew wrote: 
> I wonder what would happen if OOC people RENOUNCED these 
> strongholds. I believe they would find themselves transformed 
> and TRULY free of "religion" - of every kind. What do you think?  

Yes, I agree with that, if you mean *repent*. Because we can 
renounce things, and not do them again outwardly, but still have 
them in the back of our heart, so to speak. we must also repent of them. 
       
ANDREW REPLIES:

Yes - I mean "RENOUNCING" in the sense of deep repentance, 
cutting off and expelling forever... 

Whenever I use the word "RENOUNCING" it never means simply 
'checking' yourself. To me it always means "Deeply uprooting 
and expelling" from the depths of our very being, in Jesus' name. 

I count it as a very deep form of Repentance or uprooting. -Which 
is extremely important when dealing with ingrained strongholds 
like this. ie. "Commanding" things out of your life by the authority 
of Jesus' name". -These are very good things to do with any 
suspected "strongholds"... 
-------------------------------------

 ~This "OOC" DISCUSSION CONTINUES! - Please see the Topic
on our Forum, "LEAVING the "OUT-OF-CHURCH" at the following site: 
http://www.revivalschool.com