Monday, June 8, 2015
ACONS and Church: "Don't Protect the Guilty Please"
"Don't Protect the Guilty Please"
Church can sometimes be a hard place for an ACON. I've had good times and bad ones in churches. One church became a real church family to me where I attended for many years. They would visit me when I was ill and offered real help to each other. I could have deep theological discussions with them and still have 10 of them on my social website, almost 10 years since moving away. Leaving that church due to having to move was not easy. Later the church would close which was even sadder to me. However I have spent some time outside of churches too. I am on the fence even with the church I have been attending for about a year. Many of the people seem "nice" but have stayed strangers outside of one elderly widow who has been kind to me and even she lives a whole hour away. There are the services but really no chance to get to know anyone outside of them. I just am not feeling "connected" to anyone and still don't know anyone's name. I feel like I'd horrify them opening my mouth about anything and like I don't really "fit".
While my former church was a poor, rural church, this one is far more middle class, and "proper". I made my rounds of the churches here and well, the prosperity gospel ruled in many places. Among the "good" church people I feel lost among them. Perhaps others have felt the same way. While judgment of sound doctrine and other matters in life can be a good thing, surely some ACONs have had this feeling of being seen as a "lesser" among the "good" people set or being judged wrongly.
In the present church, I made the mistake once of asking for prayers during a prayer service, for feeling sad and hopeless about my declining health, and could tell there were some "clucked tongues" and sideways glances. One church member gave me a book called "God is in control". Theologically I thought, "God is not the author of evil". Maybe they saw me as a "complainer" like the false friend too. I zipped my lip after that. Can you imagine telling any one of these people my real background? They probably would think I have crawled out of hell itself. Their lives are rich with good jobs, loving families and nice homes. While some have had troubles, they have faced them bravely and all overcame them and "moved on".
So I could be churchless soon. I think God will understand. Some out there believe we are to come out of Babylon and Babylon has taken over a lot of places!
One thing if you are an ACON and Joan touches on this, there can be many false spiritual messages that hurt ACONs in the church world. The false preacher saying that if you are not blessed, you are not in God's will, is wrong. He also was wrong to say that one's life is under their total control. The prosperity gospel really has infiltrated the churches even if your church may even officially renounce it. I have seen that preaching too, that if you obey God you will be blessed by him. Too many see God as an ATM machine. This is having a "You scratch my back", I'll scratch yours approach" to the Almighty Himself. This is a narcissistic approach to God.
One can see an attitude among the "good" church people, that anyone who has suffered must have done something to deserve it. People really believe out there more and more if you have a severe illness or other troubles, that there is something inherently "bad" about you and you bought your own trouble. New Age lies like the "Secret" have infiltrated the churches. This is not in scripture but with false prosperity gospel and more it has grown more intense. Also the false right wing politics and Republican party has helped with this too, with Fox news telling especially among the evangelical contingent that poor people have failed characters and do not work hard and that is why they are poor. Here the poor are scapegoated on a societal wide scope and many churches have become enablers of this. No one is calling out the greedy or demanding that employers pay just wages.
John 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Some will tell you due to your never-ending troubles, it must be something wicked you did or are doing. They will offer deliverance. Now deliverance isn't always a bad thing but for an ACON it can be place of abuse, as you are told, that your life troubles are your own doing and based in your "inherent wickedness". Here legalists and others can open the door to spiritual abuse especially for an ACON and sadly they join the chorus of our narcissist parents and others who say, "It's all your fault!" or "You did this and that wrong!". If you are an ACON, be very, very careful in seeking support or counseling anywhere in the church system or even the secular world for that matter. Realize if you are a Christian, your relationship with God is your own. Spiritual abuse is growing out there.
Sadly I have seen too often churches where the poor and otherwise down and out aren't too welcome. There is no way I can afford a tithe and they wrest an Old Testament book of Malachi to demand their 10 percent cut and yes the pastors know who is paying and who is not. There is pressure upon the poor in most churches. Here they guilt you too in some churches telling you if you don't give God "his seed money" and decide to pay for some rent and groceries instead that you are wicked person and "won't be blessed".
Some Christians have left the church system all together, and well, one can see why. More and more the churches have become voices of the establishment and in a wicked world where the establishment is narcissistic, you see narcissistic attitudes. Job himself, would be loath to approach the churches who would tell him just like his friends, that he did wicked things to deserve his misfortunes. [Job 4]
Just imagine Jesus Christ coming back among many of the places today, they'd get ready to crucify Him again. How many people sit in churches today being told like I was two weeks ago being told that veterans are "fighting for our freedom" in the Middle East? How did so many miss the news memo of years past that Bush lied? I still remember the other church I visited on Memorial Day, where they showed a video of marching armies, and bombers streaming across the sky up on the Jumbo screen above the pulpit and thought "What does this have to do with the gospel?" Spiritually I wanted to throw up. I am not a pacifist but I felt like the "god" being worshipped was Mars the god of war more then the God of the Bible.
The entire society has Stockholm Syndrome and too many of the churches are enablers to the system and defend the endless wars, and oppression of the poor. The wicked become defended. Smakintosh did the one video where one preacher told people to "hug their vampires". We are taught false forgiveness as many including him and other ACONs have warned against. We are told time and time again we are the wicked ones while the truly wicked get nothing but excuses. Victim blaming rules while worship of the powerful and narcissistic seems to reign supreme. While scripture warns us in Psalms that the wicked will prosper, these people teach the exact opposite.
Psalm 73: 3For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.
5They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
A pastor doing prison ministry who doesn't understand the nature of evil, is ineffective beyond measure. Sure some were oppressed or falsely accused, or rail-roaded into jail under laws that grow more oppressive, but among the maximum security set, where murder, rape and drug dealing are the crimes of choice, a pastor who doesn't understand evil is wasting his time. Sure some can be born again and hear the gospel but in his defense of a sick and growing more wicked society, in many cases he will only add oppression to the prisoners and not a message of freedom in Jesus Christ.
People who defend the system, in my book are missing something. If someone can not discern even from a Christian mindset that our world is in big time spiritual trouble or the wicked are ruling this place, that worries me. If they start defending politicians and banks watch out the brainwashing has taken hold. There is way too much protection of the bad guys.