Posted on Saturday, August 06, 2005 - 4:12 am:
John 3:8 Jesus speaking to Nicodemus says that “…the wind blows where it desires… yet we cannot tell where it comes from nor where it goes. So too is everyone who is born of the spirit”. When the gospel is preached we are at the crossroads, we can rebel against GOD and live our lives for our own selfish desires or we can repent and turn to GOD from our sinful lives. GOD created us for this purpose: TO LIVE OUR LIVES IN SUCH A WAY THAT IN ALL THINGS WE BRING HONOR, PRAISE, AND GLORY TO GOD. This verse speaks to me in that we cannot see God, but we can see where he has been. The gospel has changed our lives.
I have read many posts on this forum and must conclude that RAG also changes lives. But these changes have damaged THE BODY OF CHRIST. The changes I see are bondage, hurt, broken hearts and families. This does not honor, praise or glorify GOD. Some of the posts mention that these changes did not originate with RAG.
The_Bear mentions “Conforming and self-congratulatory behavior…” and those who “…huddle together with a few others and try to get a sense of approval by insisting that all look, talk, and act alike, thus validating one another’s worth.” But I ask should we live for the approval of men or to serve our LORD? I believe there is a problem that predates RAG, the problem of SPIRITUAL PRIDE.
I have had conversations with the JW and tried to learn why anyone would want to be part of this heresy. The best explanation I can reckon is that they take pride in the knowledge of their jumbled doctrines. A SPIRITUAL PRIDE that makes them feel superior to those who are confounded by their nonsense. Imagine the pride and arrogance that must be possessed to re-write scripture (NEW WORLD EDITION) to suit their doctrines.
I have been to meetings and bible studies of a particular group where I approved of the doctrines and the actions of those present and felt like I belonged and it was good. This group grew rapidly as others felt the same. But it went to our heads; we were a special group not making the same error as others. We wanted everyone to look to us to see how it is done. This too is SPIRITUAL PRIDE. The pride became apparent when we started comparing ourselves to other groups and eventually inwardly started comparing ourselves to each other. The leadership became proud and arrogant no longer accountable to the “sheep”.
The mission statement of a popular group states ‘we are non-denominational, we are not opposed to denominations as such, only to their over emphasis on doctrinal differences that cause division in the body of Christ.’ (Paraphrased by memory)
Regarding 1Cor 1:12 those who claim that ’I am of Christ’ have caused division in the body by their over emphasis of their doctrinal differences a SPIRITUAL PRIDE that may have originated with good intentions but lead to feeling superior, proud of being different because they correctly interpreted scripture. In the world we could call this political correctness within the church. I would also compare it to nationalism, which begat Nazism.
Some of us have repented of this SPIRITUAL PRIDE we have learned that GOD is in charge. We are accountable to GOD, not to manmade leaders or to those who have appointed themselves overseers of the flock. We can no longer follow the leadership of man; we are to follow Christ.
We need to continue to pray that those in bondage would awaken from the deceptions of RAG and the SPIRITUAL PRIDE that is still alive in this group today.
Posted on Monday, August 08, 2005 - 5:21 pm:
Jody, you ask RE my Aug. 6 post
Are you a former member of RAG?
I have never bowed down to or saluted DER LEADERSHIP; but I do have family both in and out. I have never spoken to Robert personally but I have heard him teach. He did not expound on the gospel or Christian character, I don’t recall enough details other than I didn’t walk away with anything spiritually edifying. If I was a corporate shark type, I might have learned some tips on business power management. I have been to various camps where I was greeted warmly, shortly followed with “where do you stand?”. Although I am unskilled at debate, I marvel at how well simple logic could withstand several of those who tried to persuade me to support the markings. I have met several of the leaders who rather than support their positions biblically resorted to juvenile manipulations. As a contrast, those who have left never tried to enlist my support or demand I take sides, but rather encouraged me to check the facts. I have been to the men’s meetings where biblical protocol was set aside in the interest of unity (conformity). No one would dare question the powers that be, or they would be out of order. I have met those in the group who are unhappy with the way things are or how they have been handled but feel they have nowhere to turn for help. They would be cutoff from family and friends or even financially.
When I talked about my experience with spiritual pride it was in a non-related group. But I have learned from my mistake and I do see parallels to the group those both in and out. There are those who long for the good old days or the way things were. But, maybe those good old days weren’t as good as all that. I too sometimes long for those glory days, but I feel it is wrong to glory in a church or a man. We need to not follow man, man will let us down, we need to glory in GOD. In the good news of what he has done for us. We need to let this part of our past go and look to the present and how we can live to glorify GOD today.
Is it possible that the group was too separatist not just doctrinally but also in trying to protect its children from the corruption of the world? We are in the world but not part of it. Sounds like hiding your light under a bushel. Did the group become proud of being different?
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2006 - 5:14 pm:
after reading your post, i felt the need to apologize to you, on behalf of all men. it was a sick situation that you have been through and I hope that time will heal this wound. i know that this happened some time ago. when i was a young man and unsaved, this type of thinking was commonplace. at the time it repulsed me, yet i was speechless when I encountered associates with this attitude/mentality. peer pressure made it even harder to take a stand.
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