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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2005 21:25:50 -0600
-by Arlean Kelley.

I found April Staples essay interesting and wonder how many
believers are in the same situation as she describes.

But I don´t think this is the story of most non-organized-church
believers. Certainly not those that I know. Although most have
seen inequities in church, as far as I know that is not their reasons
for being out. Certainly they are not wounded people.

  I too am "out of church" for about 6 years now, not because of
injuries. I have a wonderful sense of freedom. Until I relocated, I
met with a group on Saturdays that started at 1:00 in the afternoon
and continued to perhaps 9:00 P.M. We had our meeting, then
supper together and fellowship as long as people wanted to stay.
It has made for dear friendships--almost family. I also am in close
fellowship with other believers - wherever I find them, in fact.

  The change in my "church" life has changed me. At one time I
was so taken with the "doctrine" of my church. Had to straighten
anyone out who was not equally enlightened. Today all I want to
do is encourage and inspire people to seek God and His word and
will for them. That is my focus and I am free to do it. I also find
that when I leave people completely free, they are more responsive
to what I have to share with them. There is no threat.

  It is difficult to do that in organized church. If you start to see
scripture in a different way, you may well be asked to leave. It has
happened to me in the past (I am 68 and have plenty of experience
in church from childhood) and more recently to a beloved deacon
in a church I had been a member of for years. All he did was take
some scriptures to the pastor (not the congregation or people) that
he was questioning and was told that there was not room in the
church for the pastor and my deacon friend. His scriptures he was
questioning had to do with eternal security. NOT allowed! Don´t
even question that.

  So my deacon friend left to keep from splitting the church.
Reminds me of the woman in the scripture that was willing to give
her baby to the other woman rather than see it destroyed.

  In an organized denomination, you have to adhere to the status
quo or you are perceived as a threat, especially if you are involved
in leadership. And it is understandable. The structure makes the
pastor´s entire life depend on no one rocking the boat. His income
through which he supports his family, his career, his standing in
the community, his family is also involved. It´s just too much
pressure, I think.

  I see this not-so-new way of being out of the organized church as
ceasing to try to be someone´s "god" and directing them to a
relationship with the true God. They no longer have to dot all my
"i´s," as they say.

  I am able to give to immediate needs rather than to support paid
workers and buildings and building programs that go on when a
church really should divide instead of building larger. But I am
afraid that would break up someone´s dynasty.

Just a few points to consider. Thanks for the information you send out.
~Arlean Kelley.