I was a Christian for nearly half of my life starting at my voluntary baptism at 7 years old in my Grandfather’s Southern Baptist Church where he took me every Sunday.
I was ordained as a minister and chose music as my ministerial venue. I was well known for expounding on scripture and explaining deep mysteries with a deep knowledge of verse. The bible was one of my areas of expertise.
But there was something wrong with the religion. Aside from the normal human frailty and weakness that comes from human religion. My young adult life was spent puzzling over it. The religion seemed to be unable to give me what I really wanted, which was true and total command over my sin. All it offered was forgiveness. It wasn’t enough. I wanted true freedom from sin, or at least a promise of it within my lifetime.
I found those promises in the Bible, but not in the Church doctrines.
Yes, there was something deeply wrong with the religion and I discovered it around 33 years old. (Ironically, the same age that Jesus is said to have reached at his crucifixion).
The Church was steeped in idolatry. What’s worse, they replaced God the Father completely with God the Son. They worshiped God the Son as God. They prayed to God the Son as God. They replaced God the Son as the true creator of the universe making God the Father merely semantics.
What’s worse, they changed God the Son’s message from a message of freedom from sin, to a message of a lifetime of slavery to the sins of the flesh. A slavery that could only be escaped by their death, burial, and resurrection from the dead in some far flung future.
There was no hope of true overcoming of the flesh. Only forgiveness and covering of those sins by “the blood” (a reference in the Churches) not just to the death of Messiah, but a reference to the sacrament of sharing in the body and blood of Jesus through a ritual called “communion” or “Eucharist” depending on the Church. By “overcoming” the Church did not necessarily mean overcoming the sin, but rather overcoming the punishment of that sin (while you continued to fall prey to it your entire life). Going from confession to confession and being sanctified by that confession and in some cases by sacrament and penance. (A mere show).
Thus, the ministry that Christ died to bring them, and the freedom he died to obtain for them, was reduced to mere ritual and symbolism.
You couldn’t be like Jesus, in the Churches, for to do so is utter blasphemy, for you are trying to be like God.
No WONDER I felt something was wrong.
I departed that religion from the day I learned the truth, but I did not depart the true Messiah of scripture, nor did I walk away from the hope I have in him. That if I but believe, I can be like HIM and walk in the love that he commanded, which was a perfect love that casts aside all sin. For, there is no sin in love and he who walks in that love cannot sin. It’s impossible to sin when walking in the love of the Messiah of scripture.
While the Church goes on preaching the impossibility of truly overcoming the sins of the flesh (because of temptation) I pursued the path of the High Priest Melchisedec, which was and always is that of “tempted in all ways… yet without sin.”
For the Church made the temptation the sin, so that they could throw up their hands and declare it impossible to be free from sin in this temptable flesh! This was to the destruction of their own souls.
I did not depart from the Church out of anger, or hatred, but rather out of a true desire to be free of lies, hypocrisy and ultimately the sin that so easily will beset us frail human creatures if we don’t believe in the power that Messiah brought us.
So ends my tale for now.