Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Woman at the Well 
Was NO Ho’

I consider this my most important blog post of all of my entire writing career.  I want to right a century's old wrong, a very much wrong done to a HOLY woman.  We've always heard her be called an immoral woman who was shacking up after having FIVE husbands.  Who told us that?  Think back, who taught us that she was a whore. Nine times out of ten, our answer will be, my pastor, or a Bible commentator, in other words, in most cases, it was a MAN who took this HOLY woman and turned her into a whore for centuries.  Let me tell you, if this were my daughter, and she is GOD’s, I would be FLIPPIN’ mad about this. 

First, let’s define HOLY: Most people attribute holy as pure, perfect, and good, but the true definition is “set apart.”  That’s it!  Now, GOD is true and pure and good, and set apart as LORD of lords, Majestic above all, thus He is Holy .  Likewise is Jesus.  But, did you know that as a Christian, you are holy regardless of the sins you keep falling into.  You are set apart.  Now, that we have that established, let’s look at that poor woman at the well that men seemed to enjoy calling a ho'.  She was alone there, wasn’t she in the middle of the day, when most outcasts would be subject to in order to keep them set apart from the highly respectable woman who gathered their water in the early morning.  So, either she couldn’t make it early that morning, or, she needed more than she got earlier and went back for a refill. Maybe she spilled her early morning jar of water.  Regardless of why she was there, it was planned by GOD to have her there, set apart.
She would be the very first woman to hear Jesus proclaim to be The Messiah.  He  did NOT tell a man, he told a woman.  Likewise, a woman was the first to see Jesus risen, another woman who was unfairly labeled a woman of ill-repute, just because she was the victim of several demons and shunned by all men.  I am an outcast, tossed away by several people, unwanted, then a  woman scorned, so, I’m going to try and keep my bias against men out of this.  Okay, well, maybe I will throw in a few well-deserved shots!  The first Bible commentators were MEN.  Most pastors are MEN.  Most of all clergy through out Christendom were MEN.  Therefore, it was a man who put that label on both of them.  I’m going to have you to go back and read John 4, and I will ask you a few questions.  I’ll wait until you finish. 
Okay, it’s quiz time. 

Not a single one of those answers will you find in that section of John 4 or anywhere else in the Bible, and yet, all those men have labeled her a whore.  That ticks me off to the point that I get in trouble with my children, because I run to her defense, loudly.  She could have been 75.  She could have been barren, thus shunned by her community, labeled as cursed; thus, the reason for the five husbands. If she was unable to bear children, she would have been tossed out onto the street, because back then, men counted a woman’s worth by the usage of her womb and other parts that they enjoyed, along with the culinary skills which ranked last to them. . 
Divorce was not so common, but definitely an option, according to Jesus, because GOD knew how hard were men’s hearts.  She wasn’t really a Jew, she was a mix, because the Samaritans were half Jew, and half anything else that roamed that part of Northern Israel, from when the Assyrian empire conquered the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC.  Most of the Israelites from the ten tribes were hauled off as slaves, while some were left to procreate with some Assyrian peasants brought there to keep the land alive.  Therefore, the lower class Assyrians had their way with the lower class Israelite women, henceforth, you have a sect of half pagan half Jews hated by the thoroughbred Jews, as if they were any better.
We have NO idea what she was wearing, so assuming she was scantily clad, as I’ve seen in some productions, all decked out in bling, is again, a MAN’s interpretation and poetic license.  I think their license needs to be revoked who drew her that way. 
Tell me, how many women and men do you think “shacked-up” in Jesus’s day?  Not too many, I would think.  So, to put her in 20th century shoes and clothing, calling her a whore is taking the Bible out of historical context on a whole new level.  Here is a question you may want to ask yourself. How many women were adept in theological studies back then?  How did she know what the Jews believed about Abraham’s well and worship, as opposed to her own people? How did she know that a Messiah would come, what he would look like, and what to expect of him? How did she know the Messiah would  even accept the hated Samaritans?  How many women in the oldest female profession do you know that know Scripture?

Now, let’s look at the obvious.  If GOD is Sovereign over all the earth, and He does whatever He pleases, then He arranged for HER and her only to be there to hear what no man had ever heard to date.  Jesus chose this woman to be the very first one to hear those glorious words, “I am he.”  (as in the Messiah)  She was likely a servant to some man, or his concubine by force, against her own will. Instead of passing “it” around voluntarily, she was likely passed around and raped, forced to live a life all women hate. Women did not have a great deal of opportunities in the industrial workplace then. If they didn’t own property, she couldn’t sell her wares.  She would have had to  “rent” herself out if she wanted food and shelter.
Maybe she was widowed five times?  What was the life span of a man back then? What about men in battle? Maybe both, she was widowed and toss out on her fanny unfairly.  Maybe she was living with a brother-in-law who took her in, or a son-in-law, or even her own son.  Therefore, she would have been living under a roof owned by a MAN who was not her husband, and subject to his conditions, and we all know what conditions a man likes to enslave a woman, in their fantasies, even if they never admit it.
So, this darling lady, who knew her place with Jews, particularly men, and who  generously drew out water for a stranger, was chosen not only to be the first missionary, but the first one to know for sure that the Messiah had come.  One last question I want to ask you.  How many “whores” would have the audacity to go into a town square market-place and announce the arrival of the Messiah, insisting that they follow her? None, I dare say, and none would believe and follow her. “Professional” women back then had no credibility, and were often forced to be silent in public and hiding in alley-ways, until there were "picked" bye a man to please him, sometimes for free.  They surely would address a man or a marketplace full of them.  Hence, this woman had some credence, or she would have been ignored or scorned. 
I got into a Twitter fight about Noah with a few people this weekend, because some combative Christian who likes to point out just how sinful is the world. (as opposed to him or herself) They claimed like Noah, Christians were as mocked and made fun of as he was while building that ark in which they had no clue for its purpose.   I searched high and low, and I could not find one reference, one Scripture, or even an inference of Noah being mocked.  When I brought this up to the person, their excuse was, “Well, we Christians are mocked and made fun of and put down, so we can assumed that Noah was also, because that’s how sinful people treat us.  WOW! That blew me away.  This person took 21st Century culture and put it in the ancient Holy of Holies Word,  just like MEN take women who “shack up” now, and stuck them into the role of this poor woman at the well, whom Jesus favored, likewise Mary Magdalene, but more on that later. 
I see so many combative Christians take what Jesus said,  “They will hate you because they hated me first,”  and pat themselves on the back with it for being hated by tax collectors and sinners. They are almost glad the world hates them, that means they are so much better.  Guess what, people, Jesus wasn’t referring to tax collectors and sinners, he was referring to the Sanhedrin!  Who hated him with fierce opposition because of jealousy?  Who had him flogged, who accused him, who plotted against him, tell me, who hated Jesus the most, thereby hated his followers after him? Who killed the Apostles, yes, it wasn't the riff-raff from the red-district, it was the RELIGIOUS people, the church elders, or bullies.   
Listen people, we do a great disservice when we look at anything in the Bible with 21st Century glasses and then impose our views and opinions and own personal history into the Bible and refer to it as Scripture. The reason there are so many translation and interpretations is because MAN has decided that A really means B, and C really means D.  Maybe GOD wants us to read, A B C D, in chronological order as written and give the credit as the letter that they truly are, and not assumed that they are other letters in disguise. 
If people are mocking Christians, it’s probably because Christians have given them a reason to by being combative Christians and church yard bullies, instead of Compassionate Christians. I think if I see ONE more “church” person pointing their finger at the world in general, calling them all sinners and tax collectors, I might just have to leave Twitter all together. I keep getting in fights with church yard bullies. I don’t like  bullies, and I put them in their place when they misuse the Word of GOD to suit their own ego and pride and accuse a broken sinner. When I correct them with Scripture that I know and they don’t, nine times out of ten, they call me prideful and block me.
That’s like taking a stone, throwing it a window of a neighbor whose house is bigger, and then running away to hide behind a tree. It’s cowardly, and I have NO respect for people like that.  Those are the church yard bullies who have given the world a reason to mock them. I want to teach you something, yes, a woman teaching is not the sin of all sins according to teaching MEN in the church who think Paul is commanding women to pop out babies,  shut up and sit in the corner (1st Timothy).  Get this simple phrase and memorize it: 
Those who can’t stand the fact that someone might know more than they do about the Bible always project their pride on to the other person who is in the know, trying to teach that ill-informed person some concept or truth that they   didn’t consider before, especially if the church bully is a MAN, and the woman is the teacher. I seem to recall  similar instances in all of the confrontations of the Pharisees to Jesus and John-the-Baptist.  The pride of the Pharisees was their downfall, it is what condemned them.  I  have to give them credit though, there weren’t cowardly, throwing stones and accusations and then going to run behind the colonnade of the Temple.
I have a heart for broken people who have been bullied by the people I have a distaste for, which puts me in conflict with the Bible, because when a bully pushes me, I’m not supposed to push back, especially hard enough for them to fall off their own self-built pedestals. I have to work on that.  I really want to minister to shattered hearts to show them the TRUE Gospel, not the one that points its finger and accuses.  I guess the only way to stop pushing back on the church yard bully is to leave the church yard all together, thus answer the calling of GOD to be a part of #TheRemnant. 
The Remnant takes the Bible at its word, and we don’t’ inject our assumptions or flawed human philosophy into it. We learn it chronologically, and we aren’t trying to build a conglomerate corporation disguised under the title of “evangelism.”  We live like the Apostles did, walking the Gospel out to the world, not just talking it. We seek GOD and trust Him to bring to us the ones He wants us to minister to, to love on, to help find healing from the black eye the church yard bullies gave them.  If that makes me a heretic in the church playground, well then so be it.  I find that a compliment, because Jesus was crucified by the “church” people for being a heretic in their eyes, only. 
How grateful I am, that he and John-the-Baptist stood up for the sinners and the tax collectors as people who needed healing, not accusing, or finger pointing into a social class of :throw-a-ways.’  I’ve been a throw-away, by MEN, so I know that pain, and so much for keeping my personal bias against men out of this blog, you didn't expect that I would, did you?  
Here is why I know GOD has a GODLY man out there for my future, because GOD doesn’t want me to go to my grave hating the species that did me wrong for so many decades.  GOD finds some worth in men, a lot more worth than I do.  No, I’m not a rebellious feminist trying to fit into a man’s world,  I just have two black eyes!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Cancer,  Death , 
and Good Humble Pie 
~Among Others~

 Eight years ago, I remember GOD calling me to begin a writing career.  Of course, I thought that was the most ludicrous notion that I had ever heard.  After all, I don't think I received higher than a D in any of my college writing classes.  So, I said to GOD, "But GOD, I'm not a writer, I'm not a novelist, I haven't a clue how to do that."  I distinctly heard in my spirit, before those frightful words of rebuttal left my lips, "Kristina, you are who I make you to be."   Oh, yeah, that did it.  I had no argument with that.  

 You see, we can argue all we want with GOD, we will never win.  It's a fruitless endeavor.  Here's the beauty, He doesn't mind how much we do it, until we learn that we aren't going win, and we can trust Him with that which we KNOW we can’t handle.  Eventually, we realize that He has been trying to teach our slow brains that, we can’t.  He can, though.    That is the fullness of His patience.  Another day, I remember being on one of my five-mile spring walks, and saw in my head, in the future, a very successful author, who had my face.  The terror that ran over me on my walk nearly face planted me right there, right then, and oddly enough, right in front of the local library.   GOD has a funny sense of humor.  The fear gripped my heart, because I know just how much of a screw-up I have been and still am.  Again, I had a rebuttal for GOD, and before the words, ‘  "Oh, no, GOD, what will I do if I am successful. I'm sure to ruin it, LORD. Success like that ruins everyone, and you know just what kind of screw-up I am.  What if I get to full of myself?  What is to stop me from doing that? What if like normal humans, it becomes about me?
 Again, the answer was swift, and only took two nouns and a conjunction,  "Cancer and death."   “Oh, yeah, that'll do it.  You could “give” me cancer, putting my life on the line, yeah, that’s a great idea, again, another genius answer.”  Now don’t jump out of your socks, yelling, “LIE LIE LIE, GOD doesn’t give us cancer.”  The Bible is clear, storms come from GOD’s permissive and sometimes planned will.   The crook in your lot that totally messed you up came from GOD.  He may have used other people to put the bend in the road that caused you to crash and burn, but not too much. He did it because you were probably going the wrong way at warp speed and didn't see the train wreck coming right at you.    
Two years later, I was knee deep in radiation hell, having all pride I had built up in my first book, finished, with “rave” reviews.  I sometimes times wonder if there was more wrong with them, than me, in the intelligence department.  So, one book down, another started, like an amazing one, and I mean, unfathomably amazing, in my eyes, because it was a story GOD told.  I was sitting high on a hill, having been given the greatest love story of the century, (No, really, it is.). GOD decided that I needed that burning bush calling to literally burn the snot out of me, literally.  (My sense of smell is all but gone.)  It was the six months of radiation hell that I surely needed, and it burned my self-built pedestal.  Sadly, though, GOD had more sense-of-self I needed to be rid of, because having  bounced back beating cancer and surviving radiation hell,  I still had a garden needing to be weeded after a longest winter of my life.  So, he ruffled up the garden paradise of my home and family life.   With a stroke, dual cancers, a few days past the pain of radiation hell, I was basking in victory. With no real warning, although the signs were surely there, I found out that  my  thirty-year marriage was kaput. 

 A year after that, another major heart crushing rejection came along to seriously send me under the bed, hiding behind a cat, afraid to even come out of my room, lest something worse happen.  Rejection is one of GOD's greatest tools, not only to protect us from those who are not good for us, but to protect us from ourselves and that ugly human disease called, P-R-I-D-E.   It is so sneaky.  I mean, even in all that, it still snuck up on me. After all that you'd think I would have had my fill of humble pie with losing my first born, my family shattered, and dual cancers.  Nope, He had one more lesson.  Vindication!  
 You see, the Bible promises us that He will vindicate us from those who do us harm, even if sometimes He was the one who sent them to do just that.  Boy, I surely needed some vindication, or rather  thought that I deserved vindication.  Do you see it? Pride entered even through my brokenness.  I was so broken by those who GOD sent in my life to hurt me, ON PURPOSE, to keep me humble, but now, as the "victim,"  I felt I deserved some Heaven sent vindication, and some SERIOUS justice to feel satisfied.    There is a difference between seeking justice for a person’s well-being, and seeking vindication for our bruised egos.  When we plead for justice, it must be with an attitude of needing deliverance from something that is oppressing us, with the, Father-forgive-them-for-they-know-not-what-they-do attitude and heart behind it.    When we seek the  self-satisfying kind of justice and vindications, that is usually nothing but pure anger and bitterness coated in pride. 
 Of course, you can count on me throwing a couple of my BBF's (Best Bible Friends) in to prove my point. There is maybe a proud 17-year-old favorite son, coated with pride, who needed to be thrown in a cistern, then made a slave, then the newest cell-mate in the dungeon down the road, for doing the honorable thing, but later to become a prime minster of the most powerful empire in the world. How about a sweet  17 year-old runt of a shepherd boy, who just took out a  nine-foot giant, single handedly, with a single shot of a single stone from a single sling, who then spent a dozen or so years hiding from a mad king, bent of killing the next-in-line for his throne.  A king who would  become the greatest king Israel ever had and everyone’s favorite Bible hero? (Yeah, wait until you hear what dastardly deed David did do, that has gone unnoticed, so you can assume that I’m NOT talking about adultery followed by a murder of convenience)

Now, I am cancer survivor who is well aware that just like the winter, cancer always comes back, especially the rare kind I was gifted with, even if it takes decades. Yes, it was a gift, and anyone who drew closer to GOD during theirs understands that.  It is, however, a permanent, unwelcomed guest that never really leaves, but lies dormant in my cells, ready to leap at a moment’s notice, and all just to keep forcing that humble pie down my throat. Take heart, though, if as a cancer survivor, you get a little cocky about beating it, and if GOD has you in His Play-book in what I call the Football Season from Heaven, he will be sure to send a few full-backs and half-backs to sack you behind your line of scrimmage, lest you forget who gave you that first and ten, or Hail Mary passing talent, to then teach you how to feed yourself your own humble pie.
  Over the past eight years, GOD has allowed me to see the good, the bad, and the ugly in the Church of Jesus Christ.  He has allowed me to be a controversial person who has rubbed some the wrong way.  There were times when I did it out of pride, times when I did it out of ignorance, and there were times when I did nothing to warrant their response.  To GOD, I am very grateful for those opportunities, because from the former I learned valuable lessons and from the latter, I grew in the LORD.  I finally learned why I never fit in and was way too much outside of the box for those four walls and a ceiling, that was because I was a round peg and a square hole. 
 So, here I am eight years later, working on my eighth book, (eight meaning new beginning in Hebrew numerology) Google-able, yet, still a nobody.  As a mother of eight in a small town, my house isn't all glass, but still too much of it is.  I can't walk down main street without one of my children's friends letting them know that they saw me tripping over my own two left feet on that sidewalk, again. Failure in  obscurity is fine with me. After eleven years in the fiery furnace of affliction, with the heat turned up to broil, I've learned that failure is the flour in humble pie, and it is way easier to deal with, and much more preferred than success.  I know how to do failure very well, but I've never done success. Believe me when I say this,  I'm scared to death of it!  PUN intended.  I'd almost rather fail my entire life, and let my work succeed after I am gone. That way GOD gets all the credit, all the glory and I'm just a stone in the ground. After all, Allen means stone!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Tale of Two Saul's

I know this is going to sound crazy, and you are asking how a new hot water heater and a story of two Saul's fits together, but if you know my writing at all, you'll understand from whence this comes, and by the time you get to the end, I promise, it will all fit together, perfectly.  GOD always uses everyday kind of events to teach us more and more about Himself, and about the kinds of people He chooses to use.  I learned a very valuable lesson through the heartache that GOD caused in my life through the abuses of two men.  
I wrote much about these two men in a previous blog, "The Men Who Rejected Me," and you can go back and find that.  GOD taught me all about his love through those two men that I HATE loving.  The human side of me wants GOD to get back at them in a Biblical way, but the Jesus that dwells in me, also wants GOD to get them, but in the Jesus way.  In the Old Testament days, when  GOD says that He's going to put a hook in someone's nose, He's not kidding, He literally puts a hook in their nose.  You can find the stories in 2 Chronicles 33, and Isaiah 37.  GOD chooses his own unique ways to get our attention, and all of them HURT!  It's kind of like when we were children and we stepped WAY over the line of our  family rules, we felt the consequence, either by suffering through a month long grounding, like when I got suspended in high school for getting caught smoking in the bathroom at school, OR, when I was a small child, and caught the back end of that dreaded and hated wooden spoon. 
Well, let me tell you, GOD will put a hook in our noses, either by punishment, or by correction, depending on whether or not we have His favor.  One of those men GOD used as an example of His punishment for evil, and the other as his chastisement and correction from the evil done.  If you were wise, you read those two stories I sent you to.  Today, however, I'm going to tell you a different story about two men named Saul. If you are familiar at all with the Bible, you know that there was a King Saul circa 1,000 BC, and a Saul, the Pharisees in the book of Acts about 1,000 or so years later.  There were two VERY passionate zealous men about their beloved Israel.  One was passionate about the people, the other about their GOD.  One was humble and afraid, but yet became obstinate and obnoxiously disobedient, the other was obnoxiously disobedient who became humble and afraid. Both, however, were chosen for two very different roles for two very different lessons about the will of man versus the Sovereign will if GOD.  One was an example of not having GOD’s favor and the other of having a huge LOT of GOD’s favor. 
In an earlier blog, I mentioned that the counterfeit always comes before the real thing, and this is another example of one counterfeit and one real thing. It was the time of the Judges, GOD decided it was time to teach the disobedient Israelite's just how imitating the way the world does things really sucks and never turns out right. The people of Israel from the time Moses brought them out of Egypt about 1500 BC to about 1,000 BC, had no king, except GOD.  These people were a MESS, with all capital letters.  They went through periods of disobedience, then GOD would raise up a deliverer, then they would come back to GOD, then back to a horrendous people, the kind that rape, pillage, and chop humans up in pieces and send them to each other. Yes, very gross, and very real.  That story is in the last part of the book of Judges, again, this is a story you have to read for yourself.  It’s abhorrent to us, now, but it was normal to them then. 
It was right after that time that the people thought it best to seek a human king to rule over them just like all the nations around them had. They thought the grass was greener in other nations who worshiped pagan gods. They asked Samuel,  their spiritual leader,  to talk to God about a king of their very own, to lead them.  So, GOD gave them what they wanted, a human king.  He chose a scaredy-cat humble man, head and shoulders above most men. He was a handsome man, one that most people would see as the perfect fit for royalty.  He would end up being the counterfeit before the real man, the ruddy runt of a humble litter of eight sons of a nobody called Jesse, who would in turn, eventually be known for all time as a man after GOD’s own heart. This very tall handsome man wanted nothing to do with being a king, until he realized the perks of kingship, and I don’t have to tell you what perks a man likes best, it’s fairly obvious, but I won’t go there.  This man saw much success in all areas, as a leader, a warrior, and a Casanova.  All was going well, until all that success started going to his head, (both of them). Yikes, I just went there!  

Well, eventually, obeying GOD wasn’t part of his agenda, but doing things his own way became THE agenda in his own eyes.  He got in trouble with his spiritual advisor Samuel, but that wasn’t enough to stop the male ego from inflating to Biblical proportions, until it popped!  Eventually, the perks of kingship started slowly slipping away from King Saul, and he became a mad king, not just the angry kind.  GOD let his heart grow stone cold, because GOD’s hand of favor never really rested on this man.  In other words, King Saul is the perfect example of the man GOD chose to use as an object lesson of what happens to the natural man that GOD did not choose to do a mighty work for Him, a good mighty work.  King Saul died in the worst of circumstances, he was decapitated, and his body hung as a trophy in the palace of the king of the Philistines as a tribute to their pagan god that they believed delivered King Saul into their hands.  Little did they know, it was the GOD of gods who allowed it to happen.

Then, about 1,000 years later, GOD chose another Saul, one who was just as arrogant as the first, was never cowardly, but so full of himself from the start that he felt murdering innocent people all in the name of GOD was his true calling.  You know I’m talking about the Pharisee of pharisee’s in the book of Acts, Saul, who later became Paul, the greatest of Apostles and writer of most of the New Testament.  This man had GOD’s favor, even while he was out persecuting GOD’s people, the new followers of the Way, and approving of their murder.  How can GOD favor such a man?  It’s because GOD does not see the murderer, but the finished product, the one whose heart would be so broken, so humbled, so pliable and moldable in His Precious hands, that nothing but good would eventually come from this man, and a great and mighty work would be done by GOD through this new heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36). 
I have the story of two such men in my life.  I asked GOD, last night, while so confused about these two men, having watched both grow stone-cold hearts, “If you are so powerful, how is it that you can’t break the stubborn stony hearts of these two men, and turn them into Biblical heroes?”  The answer came back, “Because one has My favor, and one does not.” When one is chosen by GOD with whom GOD’s favor rests, He will move heaven and earth to break that man’s stubborn willful heart, to shine a light on it’s ugliness to the man and the rest of the world.  Once that heart is shattered into a million pieces, GOD will carefully, like an expert Craftsman, take that busted up heart mold it and shape it, and create the most beautiful, gorgeous masterpiece out of it, then use it for the good of His Kingdom and people. 
GOD did not favor King Saul, but He favored Saul the Pharisee.  Both men were decapitated, one in shame, the other in such glorious victory, that two thousand years later, the world is still astounded daily with new insight from the writings of this newly molded heart.  So, that was my answer.  One of the men has GOD’s favor, and He will shatter that man’s heart in glorious victory, and tragically, the other, GOD has let grow so hard, that’s it’s calcified now, and nothing good will ever come of it, but a legacy of shame and abandon.
So, you ask, what does all this have to do with a hot water heater?  Well, it’s dollars and sense, and I mean that as written.  One man is paying through the nose for his hard heart.  Everything in his house is breaking, and each repair is costing way more than he expects or wants, because money is his god, and the GOD of gods is ripping that money right out of his hands.  The other? I don’t know, but if I had to guess, I’d say that GOD is keeping that man from prospering in many ways until the day, that glorious day that GOD gets a hold of that man’s stony cold heart, and shatters it into a million pieces and replaces it with a wonderful warm heart of flesh. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Cutting the Apron Strings
From the Mother Church

Part 3

If this is your first visit to this topic, PLEASE go back to part 1, then part 2, before you read this. (Part 1  Part 2)

  I would like to say that we got it right, finally, but as the human condition falls even further from GOD's original design of creating man in His own image, it became warped, again.  This time, the movement fragmented into thousands of different units.  Grace nearly disappeared all together. It was preserved, but  warped into  different kinds of grace.  The grace of the modern church system has many different definitions and practices compared to the truth of GOD's original intent and designed. Grace is somewhat blurred, based upon each denominations'  definition of "saving grace," by that denomination's interpretation and understanding of Scripture, which is based upon what the church fathers taught them to believe as well as the old commentators and Biblical scholars.
Universities became learning centers to carry on, carry out, and train pastors to believe what their professors taught them to believe, and how to perform in and operate the business of a church as the “leader of the flock.”  It wasn’t long before those seminaries were invaded by flawed teachings, and some might say, Soros-style deep state plants, meant to do serious damage to the church, to kill it from the inside out. There's that old teaching from Balaam, rearing its ugly head, again, warping GOD's people from the inside out.  You'll have to research Balaam in the Old and New Testament to understand his teaching.  (A word search in something like www.Biblegateway.com will help you out there.   It was an infiltration rather than a invasion, as we have been taught by Q to see. 

 My friends, contrary to popular belief, the devil, a created being, by the way, and not a divine one, is not hanging around the red districts in downtowns, no, he likes being in the churches where he sends his minions to do his bidding to mess with people so they can mess up GOD good work.  The minions operate through the same deep state cabal trying to destroy our free nation, and is just as effective in the churches as they were in the halls of Congress.   At this point, that would not be too difficult of a job, because the lines of grace and Christianity have become so blurred, that no one seems to know which is right. This one says this, that one says that. As a matter of fact, if you know Scripture and the book of Judges, the last verse of the book says, "There was no "king" (central truth), and everyone did what was right in their own eyes."  Now if ever there was a truth in our churches today, that is it!  
 This new form of undefined grace stayed true to the cathedral system, but took it even further and built giant  business who remarried the state, called themselves churches, and  disguised themselves as evangelists, when in all actuality, they have become massive conglomerates run by CEO’s called senior pastors.  These corporations  have grown so elaborate and “sophisticated” that it’s not just one central building of worship, but huge multi-structural campuses, thus having to hire a staff of employees to keep the business running, bringing in more “customers," I mean converts, to keep the pews filled, the offering plate full, as well as the staff busy running the programs running the (customers) people in the pews, who sit quietly once a week, while spectating a carefully crafted and choreographed performance of what is accepted by man as a "worship service." A board of director is required with any incorporated business, because the corporation answers to the state in lieu of audits of their finances.  They claim non-profit status, but really, they are very profitable, (Revelation 3, the rich church)  it’s just doled out in huge salaries for men and women making a career out of climbing the corporate ladder of the corrupt incorporated church entity. Sadly, these conglomerates are non-profit to the government’s liking, but definitely non-prophet to GOD’s not liking. 

If a John-the-Baptist walked into today’s church, would he be recognized? How about a Jeremiah, or an Ezekiel, or even a Daniel.  I  venture to say, no, they wouldn’t. In fact, if one of those guys walked into a church, they'd be told to go seek professional counseling for their delusional "faith," and be ostracized.  Take it from one who knows.   
 These huge conglomerate incorporated “churches”  became so self-sufficient, and "marketed" by man, that the worship of GOD, by the congregations became just a past-time.  For nearly all, this movement became a way of life for "sleeping" participants, who are now   bottle-fed the same old select verses in a typical New Testament church,  in weekly segments, in many different styles, degrees of complexity, with grace and truth further being watered down and less defined  by the Scripturally-dumbing down of GOD's people.
 Currently, GOD's people fit basically fit into three different sects.  There are the performance-based pharisee type, the lawyers who define GOD's grace and truth by how a person acts and make judgments based on their own interpretation of Scripture.  The Epistles are LAW, and what Paul says, is what the Christian MUST do to prove his or her salvation.  It's as if the New Testament Epistles have become the New Testament Leviticus. The second type is the so blurred/worldly sect that one cannot tell the difference between GOD's people and secular worldly people, and the last most damaging and dangerous sect are the scoffers, damning everybody else who doesn't teach or believe as they interpret GOD's Holy written Word.    

Hence, now, after 400 years in a new land, (does that time frame sound familiar?) GOD is again pulling out a Remnant to return to the Gospel spreading people He originally designed in those first fifty to 200 years, the Gospel that is constantly on the move, not holed up in four walls and a ceiling, constricted by the "law and profits."  I must put in this disclaimer, before I am accused of saying that on the Remnant are the only true Christians.  I am in NO way making a statement as such.  What I am saying is that GOD is calling out His Remnant to do a new work, to return to the original design and intent of the Apostles, which began right after Pentecost. What does that look like?  How about you read the book of Acts, and between you and GOD, you can decide.  Many people like the incorporated church, and that's fine also, you see, what Sally, Jane, Larry, and Dewayne do for worship and service to the LORD is none of my business.  That's between them and GOD. 
It was nearly a whole lifetime in what I call the fiery furnace of affliction that broke me and brought me to my knees to seek and search for a higher and deeper for truth, to seek GOD for help just to stay alive.  For the past eight years of brokenness, rejection, hardship, and solitude, I have had to basically LIVE in the Bible, day and night, both the Old and the New Testaments.  I did not do it to act, look, or become more righteous, but to find some ray of hope that these days of despair and scorching burning flames of the fiery furnace of affliction may someday end.

  One thing I know  for sure is that despair and my days of sadness, disappointment, frustration, and hope deferred will not follow me to my Heavenly home, being prepared for me by my very own personal Savior, Jesus Christ, aka, Yeshua, Messiah, Mashiach.  One day, I will never be sad, broken, hurt, or cry, again

Cutting the Apron Strings
From the Mother Church

Part 2

As I promised, and I always deliver on a promise, or I don’t make a promise, here is part 2 of “Cutting the Apron Strings from the Mother Church.”  If you have not read part 1, this may sound quite confusing, and I highly suggest you go back one blog and start at the beginning.   The reason why there is two parts is because when I originally wrote this, about two years ago, it was on very long blog post.  In my previous blog, I was not short on words, and some tended to be longer than even my sometimes hyper-focused ADHD brain could process. So, I figure, if I can’t read it without floating off to follow some butterfly, then I need to cut, paste, edit, and bring the message home w/out all the detours. 
In part 1, we left in the dark ages.  If you have never watched any historical movies about that time, and I highly recommend you do, it was such and tragic and sad time to have been alive.  I watch a lot of historical documentaries, and some historical movies, such as ones about the early church fathers and pre-reformers.   My friends, please invest in about 90 minutes of your time, and find some about John Hess and some of the forerunners to the Reformation. The Reformation of Martin Luther as we know it, again began as GOD calling out a remnant from the warped, twisted and very corrupt tyrannical mother church.  I’m not going to pick on catholic people, here, but historical fact is historical fact.  Just because the clergy then was disgustingly corrupt and perverted doesn’t mean ALL are today, some, yes, but not all.  I do believe there are some lovely practicing Roman Catholic clergy who are just as brainwashed and conditioned to only practice and believe what they’ve been told to believe for generations.  That doesn’t make them bad people, or bad Christians.  What that makes them is ill-informed, or sheeple.  I can say that, because I was called out of that. My family were Roman Catholic for as far back as I could see in our ancestry.  So, to my “church” friends who insist that one MUST leave the Roman Catholic church to be save, I say, “GET OFF CHRIST’S JUDGMENT SEAT” He didn’t get up for a smoke (or vape) break. 
I’m about to be quite forthright here, so prepare yourself for some truth, Yankee style.  What Joe Catholic or Bob Methodist does down the street, across town, in the next state, or country is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. There, I said it.  GOD did not appoint us to correct, convict the world, or play the part of the Holy Spirit. Do you want a Scripture verse for that? You will find it in the end of chapter 21 of the book of John, now, open your Bible and go find it, and read the context surrounding it.  I once thought I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my spirit once when I asked early in my writing career how to approach a certain touchy subject if asked.  The answer I got, I believe was, “Kristina, you bring them to Us and you leave them with Us, because We know what We are going to do, and  We can do what We want with them Our own way. They aren’t your children, they are Ours.” 
For the legalist, y’all gonna hate that answer and claim that wasn’t GOD speaking, and quite frankly, I don’t give a snot what you think, you see, I’m GOD’s child, not yours, and I don’t’ answer to legalists, OR anyone in the church, anymore, because I’m not part of the corrupt incorporated church, I’m part of The Remnant, a new Vine off the Old Vine. This took a long time for me to accept, when I saw in Scripture the new work GOD was doing. You’ll find all kinds of references to the Remnant and the new thing in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Romans, and Revelation.  If you do not seek this information out for yourself, in Scripture, then, apparently, you have decided that being sheeple is good enough and less risky and confrontational. That’s fine, I have no beef with that. We all have to do what we believe GOD is calling us to do.   I say in my writings, that we don’t join the Remnant like we join and incorporated church and get put on the “frequent customer” membership role,, entitling us to certain perks benefits that non-members are not privileged to have, we the Remnant are called. We are called to step out of the church box. It's a scary place out here, but so wasn't it for the reformers who were burned at the stake. Ya, do what ya gotta do, according to GOD's plan, which He ordained since before the creation of the world.   
On that note, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to  the remnant that GOD called out of the mother church in the 15th and 16th centuries.  Like the early church Christians before them, the ones the Romans terrorized, before Constantine, many of those brave men and women gave their lives to speak and spread the Gospel of truth. They too were persecuted, tortured, hunted,  and killed not by some pagan empire, but instead by the mother church for doing what GOD called them to do.  Now, does that sound very Christian to you?  I’ll leave that thought with you, for a moment.

  So, back to the real Reformation which was about 1400 years after Pentecost, the birth of Christ’s church.  GOD again, pulled this  remnant to bring them back closer to the original intent, and open up the doctrine of Grace.  Paul says, it is from GRACE that we are saved through faith and NOT of works, lest anyone boast.  (Go find that in Ephesians 2, and read the verses before and after.)  In this new reformation, grace now became the  focal point of the movement.  The ritualistic sacraments and the forking over hard earned cash to buy a relative out of a non-existent place called purgatory had met their match in the Reformers. They were having none of that.  There was, however, some things from the mother church that they did retain, as in infant baptism, and being married to the state.  That became a huge problem, especially when the remnant called the anabaptist saw in Scripture how wrong both of those things were in the Christianity of Jesus, Paul, and the original Apostles. 

     Well, after about 200 years, GOD was unhappy with those incomplete reforms, and He stirred up another remnant who decided they did not want to be married to the state, they were called Separatists, and they decided to rent a boat called the Mayflower, and put a HUGE pond between them and the state controlled religion.  I imagine everyone must know with whom I am referring.  As it turns out, two years ago, my daughter did a search of our ancestry and traced it all the way back to George Soule, and good ole’ Georgie was on that ship.  He even signed the Mayflower Compact, which was the first primary and preliminary form of government run by the people for the people.  This nation of separatists would not be governed by the (religious) monarchy, but be a free nation ruled by the people. It's written Constitution, which was built on the foundational conceptual purposes of GOD's Judeo-Christian principles,  called for a freedom OF religious practice, not freedom from religion as some like to incorrectly quote.  That meant the government would have NO power to govern any religious practice or activity, assembling,  or infringe on a person’s right to believe what they believe GOD has taught them to believe.

      This wonderful little remnant was free from the adulterous relationship of the church married to the state and was free to be the true Bride of Christ, however, and with flawed humans, there is always a however.  This reformation, again, remained true to the central location structural style of worship, but it's cathedral system was somewhat limited in size and scope for a time.  By the 1700's, GOD would have His people on the move again, but this time, in a missionary fashion all over the world to bring grace and truth to peoples in unknown portions and undeveloped regions of the world. 
Well, it appears this blog has exceeded my idea of an ADHD readable blog, SO, on to part 3 in the next blog. I promise the big finish will be as good as a Barry Manilow's big finishes, and as controversial as some of today contemporary Christian artists.  
Sorry folks.  

Part 3 of Cutting the Apron Strings from the Mother Church      https://www.kristinalallen.com/2020/05/cutting-apron-strings-from-mother_37.html

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