Saturday, February 21, 2009

Exposing the lies

I just started reading “Judgment in St. Peter’s” by Aaron Nathan Rotsstein.

The story revolves around the mysterious disappearance of a Jesuit priest. The major part of the story is set in Rome and centers around the actions of high ranking members of the Jesuit order.

I’m enjoying the book but I find myself growing angry at the religious system whose main motivation is the acquiring of wealth and power. Although the characters in the book are Roman Catholic, Protestants have also developed their own religious traditions. Theirs tend to be more subtle so, in my opinion, they are actually more dangerous since they are more difficult to notice.

The hierarchical system of religion is clearly portrayed in this book and, as I read it, I got angrier and angrier. I’m amazed at how gullible we’ve been to accept the lie that some believers are worthy of greater power and prestige than others. Humility has been re-defined to mean total, unquestioning obedience even to your own hurt. Yet, the scriptures are clear in saying that no believer is to lord it over another.

In one scene, the priest is asking advice from his superior. Although the situation is a personal matter that should only require a personal decision, as a priest, he’s not free to make his own decision. His superior gives his decision and he doesn’t agree. However, when he attempts to voice his opinion, he’s quickly silenced and forced to acquiesce. It amazed me that even though he obviously knew what he wanted to do, he couldn’t make the decision on his own but instead, had to ask his superior. Since it was purely a personal matter, in a non-religious environment, he would have been free to do what he thought best.

Religion has robbed us of the freedom to make decisions on many matters that are purely personal. For example, what to do with our money. We’re told the first 10 % goes to the system and some of the rest to various projects promoted by the group. We’ve been robbed of the freedom to decide where to give and how much.

Fear and distrust are controlling factors in the religious system. Members are afraid they might anger God so it seems safer to put a man in between us and God. The system promotes this fear to its advantage by encouraging its members to believe they’re dumb sheep who are easily led astray and need a human shepherd to lead them.

Reading this book has stirred up a lot of anger and passion in me. I’m tired of seeing people beaten down by a system that puts itself above the people. People essentially become pawns to be used to promote the system. While I understand some groups may not be as extreme as others, this is still true to some extent throughout the religious system.

We’re all equal before God so we need to rise above the man made hierarchical clergy/laity distinction. At the new birth, we were given a new heart which contains the life of God. In our heart has been placed all wisdom and understanding and we need to trust ourselves to make good decisions. Of course, there may be times when we misunderstand and make the wrong decision but we need to then trust that God loves us and will use it for our good.

Since it replaces a relationship with God with obedience to a man, I believe the clergy/laity distinction is a tradition that has held the church back perhaps more than any other tradition. As this tradition is exposed for the dangerous lie that it is, I believe we’ll see more and more believers experiencing more of God’s love and grace.

Darin Hufford has written a powerful blog that clearly exposes many deceptions that have held the church in bondage. To read about the freedom we have in Christ, follow this link. To read more about our new heart, you might want to check out Jim Robbins' excellent book, "Recover Your Good Heart."

As we become free, we won’t just stop there. We’ll have a growing desire to see others set free too and we’ll look for opportunities to rescue those who have been left wounded and dying by religion. I believe the following video provides a picture of our calling to rescue the wounded and dying.


lionwoman said...

Aida, I'm right there with you. It's a shame that we've been freed, yet not allowed to live free by the system.

I've just ordered "Pagan Christianity" and am looking forward to learning more about how the clergy/laity system came to be.

I agree - even in the best of IC's I've ever attended, where the leadership means well, your freedom is still squashed to a significant degree. I know that there are wonderful people who are total fans of IC's, and am sad that I feel so separated from them. Yet at this point I have doubts as to how or if I could ever go back to that.

Free Spirit said...

I'm smiling.
Your words here, and Darin's blog, that you linked to,
so align with my own recent (and past) posts, of discovering my freedom from "The Man", and what Papa's doing in me to break all dependence on every aspect of Him.

I don't always read his stuff... for reasons I've stated on my own blog... but, something inside me, today made me want to go and read. My... my... my... he must be reading my blog, or something.
(snicker) :)

Free Spirit said...

that's... " to break all dependence on every aspect of him, "THE MAN," referred to in Darin's post... not Him, God.

Sorry... didn't state that very clearly.

Aida said...

Amy, for an institution to survive, it’s got to destroy freedom and individuality to some extent because systems are based on law and law is necessary for its survival.

I think you’ll enjoy Pagan Christianity. It explains how a lot of our traditions got started.

Free Spirit, I always find it amazing that Father can be speaking the same thing to several of us at the same time. When we put our thoughts together, we see how beautiful aligned they are.

I’ve enjoyed reading your recent posts. You and I seem to be in a similar place on this journey.

Leonard said...

Aida, this post is JIT. thats Just in time.
Thank You.

Aida said...

Thanks, Leonard. I'm glad it was helpful.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more, having experienced enough "Christian" maipulation and control for a lifetime.

I can live in forgiveness and healing, but I am wise to it now, and won't let it happen again. Besides, outside the system, God is soooooo much bigger, He doesn't have the same constraints.

(Before anyone says you can't constrain God, even Jesus accused the Scribes and Pharisees of actually shutting up heaven.)

"The church is an institution that Satan has set up to prevent Christians doing the work of the Lord."
This is the rhema word which God spoke to me about ten years ago.

The sad thing is that many disappointed, hurting and abused Christians carry on in hope that if they can just find a better church with a better pastor, then all will be well. In fact it will only be well for the clones, but anyone wanting to move deeper in faith and to get closer to the Father will with absolute certainty become a target for the ruling spirit behind the IC, whether good pastor or bad pastor.

Even the best pastors are still signed up to the antichrist IC system, they cannot help but obey its diktats in some way or other.

I will never again let anyone other than Jesus cover my head!


Aida said...

Frank, I understand. After we’ve been exposed to it, we develop a sensitivity to control and manipulation and we recognize it even in its more subtle forms.

Although in a larger sense , we can’t constrain God but we can certainly constrain him from working in our lives. Unfortunately, often this constraint even affects those around us.

"The church is an institution that Satan has set up to prevent Christians doing the work of the Lord."

By the church, I assume you mean the institutional church in which case I agree that it is a hindrance since it doesn’t normally allow God to lead his church. I suppose there are better churches out there but, from my own experience, they all have a tendency to control and to put the needs of the organization above the people.

Jesus never meant for an infallible man or organization to be our covering. Only he should be in that position.

Thanks for sharing.