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Jesus' teachings seemed to teach against all that the church taught. They preached so much on “no works” for salvation, that their people did just that, no works!   It seemed that everyone in the world claimed to be "saved," yet the more I read the scriptures, the more confused I became.  So many scripture verses were unanswered.  Questions flooded my mind and caused my heart to pound, yet no one could show me scripturally why I felt so much conviction.  It seemed that being "saved" by "accepting Jesus" was the broad road as every sinner I knew had "accepted Jesus."
Why did I love doing wrong?  Why did the church leadership boast of doing wrong and condemn those who strove to live for the Lord?  Why were so many people gossiping about one another?  Wives flirting with other men?  Women encouraged to dress immodestly?  Disobedient to their husbands?  Children loving and idolizing sports heroes, movie stars, and wicked musicians?  Men not loving their wives, not raising their children?  Why all the contention, competition, and jealousy?    Why did I find myself fighting everything and everyone as if I expected them to care?  Why did the apostles sacrifice so much, yet we sacrificed nothing? In other words, if these people around me were truly following the Lord, why did they live like, act like, talk like, sing like, and love the world?  Did God not see their sin; or was it somehow okay to disobey God, love the world, love the pleasures of the world, slander the "brethren," the leadership, the parents, etc.??  It seemed they "blamed" the death of Jesus as the reason for their sin.

The more I read the Bible, the worse it got!  I even started to feel pressure from Dad, who became irritated that I could not believe him that I was assured a home in heaven because of my prayer!  What was wrong with me?  Why did I feel so filthy doing the same things everyone else around me did? After attending a "teen church" function, I realized that the "church" and the world were the same.  It did not matter what I did, for everything was "okay in God's eyes" now that I had prayed that prayer - according to the "church"!  At the function, I saw "Christian" teenagers living filthy lives and doing anything they pleased.  I knew that our "standards and convictions" did not agree with these actions, yet they supposedly had the same.  As long as Dad, the preacher, or the church did not find out, it was okay - I guess. 
Yet the ministers that I knew (I knew a lot) all had one thing in common - hypocrisy! They preached one thing but loved the world.  They said that the world was wicked, but their life was much better for they were conservative “sinners.” 

 

 

 

Yet when I read the scriptures, I read of giving all and being worthy of Christ, for the scriptures challenged me to love and follow the Lord - just as He called His disciples.  I learned of taking up His cross, self-denial, becoming a new creature, old things passing away, and ALL things becoming new; and a God that hated sin and loved righteousness!!  I saw that the disciples had left all (their families, their businesses, and even their lives) to follow Him!  Why would not the Christians I knew even give up their television, lying, immorality, and nudity?  My "Christian" relatives did not strive to be holy or live like Jesus. They consumed their lives with the television, movies, and all the cares and pleasures of this world!  How could they think that "Star Wars" glorified God? How could the Holy Ghost that supposedly filled them, not convict them when they practiced such sins?
      God had written a huge 66-volume book of chapters and verses warning against sin, its consequences, Judgment Day, God's wrath, etc.; but it was only for reference, and verses about obedience and holiness were contradicted!   Most important was acceptance by the world, popularity, and outward appearance!  The blood of Christ made us free to sin!  Our church was better than the other churches, because we were more right; yet we lived the same as everyone else!  It soon became a mad dash to be a leader in the church and be “cool” about sin!  Satan lied, "You cannot obey God - so don't even try!" Obedience to God was called working your way to heaven! God only hated sin in the Old Testament, but now God had changed; and He now allowed and condoned it, because of the blood of Christ. Satan and his followers were okay "to play with," as long as you went to church on Sunday and did not go overboard! Perhaps satan had more to offer.  The scriptures were useless to read, for every verse about God's Judgment on sin only applied to those who had not prayed a 5-second prayer!
Dad got busy in the church he pastored and as he took me with him, I began to listen to the rock music around me and really started paying attention to the open sin of the Christian's lives around me.  It was okay for them to live this way, so it must be okay for me. Jesus died on the cross to save us from sin so that we could get away with our wicked lives!   Division, gossip, hatred, competition, immorality, fornication, lust, and filthy talk was a normal way of life now; for God did not punish sin. I realized that God's grace allowed such a lifestyle.