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Archive for September, 2010

A Great Calling

Luke 1:12. When Zacharias saw the angel, he was troubled, and fear fell on him.
13. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bare you a son, and you shall call his name John.
14. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
15. for he will be great before the Lord, and he will not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with holy spirit from his mother’s womb.
16. Many of the children of Israel will he turn to the Lord their God,
17. and he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to prepare a people made ready for the Lord.”

What a great function to have! “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.”

Bekah

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Amen! That took a very great anointing.

jdc

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What an anointing!! Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve never really noticed that before…

te

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That’s a good observation by Rebekah. I thought about how Jesus had a great anointing too – it was to turn many AWAY from understanding him:

Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”

That took power from God too, I believe. Jesus and the Father were very particular on who would understand him.

Gary

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Tithes, Testimony

http://www.goingtojesus.com/text/books/tithesandofferings.pdf

Hi Pastor John:

I listened to the cd, Tithes and Offerings, not long ago. I remembered when I first started out in the Lord, that tithing was not taught correctly at the place I attended. I did not know that the tithe belonged to a person, and not the organization, though I paid them faithfully.

I wanted some recording equipment and didn’t have an extra penny to my name, especially for any music and recording equipment. I decided one day that I would take a portion of my tithe and buy a nice recorder. I did, and immediately, I felt heavy in my spirit. That feeling was so overwhelming after a couple of weeks that I felt as though I was going to physically die.

Though I didn’t have the right teaching, I knew it my heart I was stealing from God. I prayed one day, “Lord, if you will allow me, I will pay back that tithing that I stole from you, and pay interest on top of that.” I felt a relief in my spirit, and after a few weeks, I repaid everything, including the interest that I promised to the Lord.

Oh . . . the recorder broke, not long after the warranty went out; I was back in the same place not having anything to record with.

Now, by doing things God’s way, I have a recording room. I also have musical instruments that are literally flowing out of the room, into the garage. I even have a piano in my living room, and a guitar in my office at my fingertips.

Yes, doing things God’s way is the only way.

Thank you,
Billy M.

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Why?

I was going to put this as my FB status, but I am not bold enough to.

Why do we love God? Why does anyone love a god?

(The Bible says, “Because He first loved us.”)

I fell in love with God because He had mercy on me and He drew me to Himself. So, does that mean that there are some who do not love God, because God doesn’t love them? I thought that God loves all mankind, and desires for everyone to repent and come to Him. But perhaps that is not so.

What do you think?

Brad

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Hi Brad

I think you are asking the question that launches men out into the fathomless waters of predestination vs. freewill. The best we can do with that is to leave it to God — and be very thankful that He called us out of darkness into the light of His Son.

Pastor John

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This, below, is Gary’s response to my Facebook post about the ancient Christian theologian, Augustine. Everyone would benefit by looking at the responses that are coming back against Gary on his Facebook page.

jdc

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“Is it now expected that they upon whom hands are laid, should speak with tongues? Or when we imposed our hand upon these children, did each of you wait to see whether they would speak with tongues? And when he saw that they did not speak with tongues, was any of you so perverse of heart as to say, ‘These have not received the Holy Spirit’?”

John, this cunning and filthy spirit is “in the temple of God showing itself that IT is God.” This reminds me so very much of the last sermon I heard my old Assembly of God pastor preach in Daly City, CA. I say last, because when I heard it preached, God finally told me “you are divorced from this man, don’t come back!”. And I did just that, never to set foot in an Assembly of God church again.

The Pastor, knowing I was in the audience, and what my new beliefs were about Spirit baptism being the new birth experience (we had talked about them in his office a short while earlier), looked at me as he started his delivery, as if to say, “here is my answer to YOU”. His sermon, in short, went something like this. :

Pastor E* *****: God is in charge of this universe, can I get an amen?

Congregation: Amen! (personal note: how could they disagree with him? He has them in his logic now, and is leading them somewhere…)

Pastor E* *****: He can do things any way that pleases Him, amen?

Congregation: Amen!

Pastor E* *****: He is the almighty God, and he gives men his holy Spirit. Because He loves us and is good to us. Amen?

Congregation: Amen!

Pastor E* *****: And he baptizes us with the holy Ghost, Amen?

Congregation: Amen!

Pastor E* *****: Yes, that’s what God does. He does it all over the world, among people everywhere. And when He gives someone the holy Ghost he does it any way he pleases, because He is God, amen?

Congregation: Amen!

Pastor E* *****: When some people receive it, they speak in tongues. When others receive it, they dance for joy. When some receive it they raise their hands. Others sit quietly, overcome by the power of God. Because He is God and He does what pleases him, amen?

Congregation: Amen! (The congregation has now had injected into their hearts, that there is another way to receive the holy Ghost, and tongues is not the only initial sign – this is when the Spirit spoke to me: “you are divorced from this man, don’t come back!”. )

When I read Augustine’s statement John, it felt like it had this same spirit about it – playing up to “how great God is” to tell a lie, and have it readily accepted by the congregation. It is filthy, I hate it, and everywhere it is spoken, it needs to be exposed and reproved. This IS the Spirit of Christianity – the false notion that a person has the Spirit of God BEFORE it comes in and testifies in tongues. It is murder to anyone sincerely seeking Jesus.

May God raise up fearless young men to do it in this generation. I believe one day they will pay with their lives for it. In our generation, God has seem fit to just make us “invisible” for whatever His reason is. We simply cannot get people to listen. One day… at the hazard of the lives of the men telling the truth, they may listen.

Gary

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The Book: Caesar & Christ

Hi John,

I got the book, Caesar and Christ, that you recommended, and read the last 60+ pages of history as suggested, the synopsis of what was going on with Rome and the emperors from 100-400AD. Whew, it gets in your head, and it is unbelievable what went on in those times.

All I can say is, “what a mess”. It seemed to be a dreadful time to be living, and just as dreadful to be a Caesar, which was as good as death sentence. I guess MOST dreadful though, was to be a believer that would not “play ball” with the political system of Rome. Life was so unimportant.

What struck me was the way that money, politics, war and religion were all so intertwined and run by evil means. How COULD a man understand what happened to the Roman Empire unless they knew the truth?

What struck me too, is that there is such a fine line between then and now. It all sounded too familiar, the thirst for power and fame. Money and position. Religion and war. “Believers” and others I suppose, could be tortured and put to death at a man’s whim. It just did not seem too distant from where WE could be at some time in the near, or distant future — IF we get in the way, and there is no legal issues.

As long as it suited the ruler, death to those who did NOT foster the state was in order. Right and wrong was not part of the equation. At some brief periods, religious opponents could be “tolerated” by the state, as long as they did not interefere with a Ceasar’s political plans. But when people got in the way, they were murdered – it was nothing. The “system” was first.

So many different ideas of rule, Domitian (sp.?), Constantine, and others… it was all in God’s hands though, way above men’s. Even the Caesars the writer saw as noble in some respects, were all just setting up what was to come. A conversion was taking place that was bigger than Rome… Christianity was taking over as the phony representative of Jesus on earth, and I guess God’s people in the main did not even notice it was not the real Jesus.

It reminded me of Baal-Peor. God would not curse Israel, so wicked men just “mingled” with God’s people, and that did the job. Jesus could not be overcome by Satan, and Satan could not get rid of Jesus. He just invented his own version, one that could rule, and one that God’s people would not so readily resist… if it had the name of Jesus, it would be O.K. And my, oh my, how that has worked! When DID that religion replace the real Jesus in God’s people’s hearts? It’s astounding.

Anyway, when I was done, I just sat there “astonied”. What you have been saying for a good while now seemed a little clearer to me, that Christianity and the Roman Empire have the same seductive, deceptive, power-hungry spirit. They are one. All they want is power, without GOD’S power. And I’m sure there are many many more similarities.

I suppose that is why Jesus made himself of no reputation. There’s no way to be godly in that system. We must come out and live…. or die. That is up to God and the times we live in.

Gary

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Hi Gary,

You asked, “How COULD a man understand what happened to the Roman Empire unless they knew the truth?” The answer is, he can’t. That is why God has put this work into our hands; we know the truth.

Gd help us get this light to the saints who are entangled in that abomination called Christianity. They have no idea whatsoever how wretched that thing is, in the sight of God. Do we?

jdc

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Thanks for Your Song Words

Hey everyone,

I suppose all the responses are in now concerning the words I asked from everybody, for help with for a song I have written called, “We’re Grateful Lord”.

I thought you all might enjoy reading what we all wrote I think it’s wonderful how we are in such “harmony” of thought and spirit, overall. Responses are below, in order received.

I will try to put into the song some of your words, as they will fit the verses of the song. And even if we do not complete the actual song for some reason, we can certainly still enjoy all our responses!

thanks again.
Bro. Gary

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Amanda

Grateful for a family that understands the hurts & helps us through.
A family that cares enough to listen.
A family that gives corrections with the love of God.

Sandy

Grateful for the sweet tender mercy sent from above, full of forgiveness and love.

Pastor John

Grateful for friends like my Father, who know me and, yet,
overlook failures, and feel no regret.

Billy

Grateful for the messengers God sends to heal us.

Rita

Grateful for the simple mystery of the truth.

Sharon

Grateful for brothers and sisters who love me.

Donna

I am grateful for family to help us learn. . . to learn how to love, cry, give, hurt, live, grow together.

Stuart

Grateful for a soberness in my soul that is never ending.

Cris

Grateful for love and correction that brings forth children.

Abby

I am grateful for a desire to make my relationships grow.
For the hunger to be amongst the things of the Lord.
for the constant support from Jesus and my family in God.
for the love and mercy Jesus has for us.

Margaret:

Grateful that He’s given us a teacher “that hears directly from Him.”
For a Pastor that cares for our souls.

Debbie

Grateful for the privilege and honor to be among the Saints believing the truth,
Not lightly esteeming it, but holding it dear in our hearts

Aaron

Grateful for music that blesses the soul.
For time that we can work to get God’s truth out.

Carrie 

Grateful for something real and eternal.
An anointing from God.
Wisdom from above.
Counsel from wise saints.
Correction timed and applied perfectly.

Brad

Grateful for our remarkable, anointed pastor, a man who speaks the words of God.
For a man who teaches the truth.
For a pastor /or/ man who writes, and doesn’t speak in sound bytes. ha!
For a pastor who obeys what He knows is right.
For the depth and breadth of our brotherly love.
For the holy ghost power from heaven above.
For the smiles on children and the hugs from the heart.
For the knowledge/[feeling] that NOTHING can break us apart.
For the visible healings, the mercy of God.
That we’re connected like peas, in one single pod. (oh that’s a corny rhyme!!)
For the mystery of God, revealed unto babes.
For working and hoping that we’re being saved.

Earl

Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe from harm

Lyn

Grateful for a pastor who labors earnestly to give us only and exactly what we need to be healthy and pure in the Lord. (I know that he is living to do that for us and the body of Christ).
For mothers and fathers with wisdom and love of God – able to comfort, feed, and encourage us.
For husbands able to guide us (wives) – that aren’t afraid to say when we’re wrong. That helps us grow and become strong! (:)
For music that touches the soul…where Jesus touches the soul.

Jimmy T (Otis).

Grateful for a pastor that obeys GOD. A pastor that listens to the spirit.
For he fellowship that GOD gives us.
For the understanding and knowledge of what our pastor teaches us.
For all the wonderful food GOD gives to us.
For the love that GOD puts in our heart for one another.
For the peace that GOD has put in our souls.
When GODS spirit falls on us.
When GOD rescues us.
When GOD gives us music.

Tina

Grateful for a pre-existing love for brothers and sisters.
(I remember when I first came to NC to visit I was a little apprehensive about staying with people I had never met. But to my surprise I already loved them in my heart before I ever saw their faces! I felt as though I was staying with people I had known my whole life. That is still so sweet to me. )

And another thought I had but couldn’t find a short way to say it is – I am grateful for the sweet tenderness of a repentant soul seeking Jesus. (I love that! It just melts my heart.)

Kathy T.

I am grateful for a love that never stop caring, a love that always growing inside our heats.

Amy F.

Grateful for our liberty sets our feet/souls/hearts to dancing free.

Leah

Ooh 🙂 Lately the thing I have been grateful for is: That most of us seem to be in one accord in our thinking and feelings and discernment! Most of us that I can see have been wanting the same things in our life and striving to get that, and I love it!

Token

Grateful for a Pastor to teach us,
To be anointed to listen.
Knowing the truth.
Having each others testimonies.
The feelings between us in the Spirit!
The music He has given us.
Oh my so much more!!

Jim

Grateful that God has given us a foundation so we can become unmoved.

Darren

Grateful that “Jesus has given us life that is worth living, and love that is worth giving”
“He puts a song in our hearts” (Everyone has their own song, it’s their own personal song with Jesus, but at the same time, I think that we have a song together that is made up of all of our personal songs. )

Grateful that He does “knit hearts together” also.

Billy H.

All I know is what I’m grateful for today, and I can’t tell it with one sentence or phrase.

I’m thankful for the job that God has given me to do. Specifically, writing the people back that have written responses when requesting an S.I.T book.

I am thankful that God has given me an opportunity to be a part of a body of believers whose objective is helping people who have a heart for God.

I’m grateful for the work that God has given us to do.

Ashley

Grateful for a tender mercy when you’ve done something wrong.

For a comfort/rest during hard and hurtful trials.

Randell and Doris

Grateful that Jesus is enough.
For the Spirit of God that lives inside of us.
For Preacher Clark and the Saints who paved the way.
Anointed musicians who so beautifully play.
For an anointed Pastor and the truth Jesus has let him see.
For Jesus opening our eyes, ears and hearts.
The family God has put us in.
And the life He has given us free from sin.
The love of God we feel from our brothers and sisters.
Being shown how to live together.

Rebekah E.

Grateful for tender feelings given to us from Jesus/above.
God’s people/Family of God being in my life.
Words of a song/testimony that arrive just in time.
Every time the spirit flows between us.
People who are the real deal/100% .
True Substance.
Holy ghost- we pray to Jesus no matter the circumstance.

Barbara C.

I am grateful for how we all live for the presence of God to come in our meetings.
For how we all know each other, and know what each of us went through to get the holy Ghost.

Amy P.

I am grateful for the unity of the Spirit that we have together as a family.
For the care and understanding toward one another.
For the bond of fellowship that we have grown to understand.
For the love given to us that heals and comforts.
For the excitement among us to live and pass on the truth to others (the “good news”.)
For the willingness among us to live right and live together forever!

Lou

I heard this today: You’re the burning in my soul–without you I’d never be whole….

Julie A.

Grateful for His wing that He hides us under for protection.

That we can hear his voice with instructions to guide us.

His mercy, and love, and grace that he gives when we make mistakes.

Richard

Grateful for the love that is filling our hearts.
For the pure work we are a part of to spread truth of God to hungry souls and clear away the confusion his people have been told.

Leeann

I am grateful for “a freedom to open our hearts to one another without being afraid”.

I also appreciate how deeply everyone cares for one another.

Tom T.

I am grateful for family to drink from the cup of blessing that we share.

Mary

Grateful that Jesus has intertwined our heart’s and lives together.
And for a Unity this world cannot understand.

Terrance

Grateful that because of His sacrifice we are here.
Because of His mercy we came out.
Because of his kindness we can love.
Because of the Father and His Son we are one heart
Because of the spirit that they gave we are living in one accord.
Because He joined you to me I am thankful, I am free, I am loved.

Jason

Grateful for the mercy of God for each other
Giving and Care for each other when in time of need
Being in one accord with sound judgement
Having a love and hunger to feed God’s children
Having a place where people can find rest
Living in a place free of ceremonies where the Spirit reigns
Wonderful anointed music that speaks to the heart
Liberty to live by your feelings

Vince

I am grateful that God connects His children through His Spirit, no matter where they are physically.

Kay

I am very grateful for the examples of ‘how to’s and how not to’s’ that Jesus gives us to follow, (so that we can learn from others).

Darlene

Grateful for A light that shines brighter each day.

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“Cult” Accusations

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
(xxxx@gmail.com) on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 11:05:13
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Name: interested relative

Pastor John, I have been following your website! As a person having some background on cults, I have to say you definitely are heading in that direction.

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I am used to this now. “Cult” has become for this generation an effective pejorative term that has of late become stylish among those who want to demean others. In spite of its over-use, it is remarkable how effective the hurling of that particular insult is, at this time in history.

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What religion suggests relatives should be avoided?

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A number of them do, but I believe that they are misguided to do so. I believe that we should take care of the hearts that God has placed in our lives, to the extent that we can. In fact, I am convinced that the very reason God gives us relatives, friends, work associates, neighbors, and even lets us meet strangers, is to love them and be a positive, healing influence for them.

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And how mighty do you think you are to suggest that in the first place?

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Pardon?

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A religious person is one who is able to forgive, reach out to others in the community/world and help not keep themselves isolated from others and believe they are the only ones to go to heaven!

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Maybe you have contacted the wrong person. Anyone who has been associated with me for any length of time can vouch for the fact that I have consistently (during open meetings of the congregations, even) encouraged the folk here to visit other congregations, to hear what other ministers say, to get to know other believers, and if possible, develop loving relationships with them. I myself have taken my own children, when they were too young to drive, to visit churches and to see what it is like in other places.

Just a few years ago, “interested relative”, I paid for as many young people from here who would, to go on a trip to Nashville, TN, to a national gathering of mostly young believers. All expenses were paid by me, even meals, so that no one would stay home for lack of money. It proved to be a life-changing experience for every one of those young people, as I hoped it would. They loved seeing so many people, about 70,000 in the football stadium in Nashville by some accounts, praying and praising God together. They fell in love with God’s people, the way I did many years ago, so that now they understand Jesus better and the feelings he has for his people, and because they increased in the love of God, they now better understand me and my work.

Let me ask you, “interested relative”, would you be free enough to come to one of our meetings, just to meet these “cult members” and see how you would really feel? You are welcome to come. I think you need to come. It’s awfully hard to speak such evil things about people after you have met them face-to-face, especially these sweet, godly people.

Also, I would like for you to know that in times past, I have received letters much more sarcastic and cruel than yours, and I have forwarded them, in their entirety, to everyone on my mailing list — without making any comments — so that everyone could read those emails without my “interpreting it” for them. No one here is forced, deceived, or manipulated into being here, including your relative, whoever he may be.

I will also forward this email of yours to everyone on my list. Everyone on my list will see everything that you are saying about me (us, really), and I know that everyone of them feels free to agree with you if they want to and, so, make his or her escape from this “cult” before it is too late.

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Even though you choose to brainwash those around you, there are MANY good people in the world, thank God.

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I agree that there are very many good people in this world. I wish I could meet them all, and do something good for them.

But to get to your real point, yours is a cruel and misguided judgment of me and of us. I have already given you just a little of the evidence that would prove, without any doubt to a reasonable person, that your first criticism of me as keeping these people “isolated” is dead wrong. So, why not just stop calling us names and explain to me what evil it is that you think you see among us? Until you establish, openly and fairly, that there is evil here, it is unwise and ungodly for you to condemn.

Socrates once said, “It is unwise to speak certainly about matters of opinion.” I can respect your opinion that we are wrong. But it is unwise for you to declare your opinion with such certainty. You do not know us.

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I just hope that tragedy will not eventually befall your group.

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It might. I don’t know what path God will choose for us in the future. Of course, I hope it will be peace, and not trouble. If you really hoped that for us, though, you would try to help us, not condemn us ignorantly. You would ask sincere questions about our lives and our doctrine instead of heaping baseless abuse on us. From your tone and your harsh words, it seems to me that tragedy is exactly what you would wish to befall us. Maybe that is not the case, but it sure does feel like it, and frankly, it hurts a little.

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How can you live with the way you have influenced people?

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My! Have you taken the time to read the testimonies that are on my website, the web site that you claim to have been following? Or, do they not count?

But again I ask, what have you seen that is evil in the way I have influenced people? Maybe I am missing something that you can help me with. I am willing to hear you.

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I hope that someday your followers realize the truth about your little seemingly sheltered group

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“Sheltered”? Forgive me, but, frankly, that is nonsense. I cannot imagine a more alert, open, and inquisitive group of saints anywhere. I’ve never seen one. Right now, at my suggestion, my daughter is attending the Graduate School of Theology in an accredited seminary in California, being exposed to an incredible array of ideas and systems of belief, and being challenged to decide which way she, in her own heart, will go in this life. I am glad that she chose to go there. And so is she.

Now, tell me, has your pastor ever taken any of his children to other places of worship, or sent them there, so that they can make an informed choice about what they want in life? Has he ever personally paid for a group of young people in your congregation to travel to a religious event, at which event he knows that those young people will hear things contrary to what he himself teaches, just because he wants them not to be “sheltered” but to have enough information to make informed decisions about their faith — based on personal knowledge and experience rather than on tradition and hearsay?

You misjudge us badly.

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…not what Christian life is about…

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Well, you got that right. Christian ministers do not insist that their congregations get out of the nest and put their faith and doctrine to the test, the way that I do. No, my way is not the Christian away of doing things, and I thank God and His precious Son Jesus Christ for that liberty.

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You have tunnel vision

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Christ exhorted us to stay on the “strait and narrow” road that leads to life. I don’t know if you have any farming background, but I learned as a child that if the mule does not have blinders on, to keep his eyes on the rows, it is more likely that he will be distracted and less likely that he will plow a straight row. So, OK. I will grant you this one. I plead guilty to “tunnel vision”. I am keeping my eyes on the goal.

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and , I believe, have made a great materialistic life for yourself…

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If you came to see for yourself what we are doing, and how we are doing it, I suspect that you would not believe the evil things about me that you do. As far as the tithes and offerings that the people here give to me as their pastor, the facts about how all that is handled are provided freely and are on the website that you claim to have been following. If you have not read that part of the website, please do, before making any more allegations against my character.

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but you, too, will have to face your God in the end!

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That is precisely the reason that I stay open to criticism (but do not put on a show of Christian humility when falsely accused), and why I carefully listen to and investigate the teachings and ways of others, and encourage these people here to do the same.

Since you did not sign your name to this email, I cannot address you by name. But I want you to know, “interested relative”, that you are very welcome to come visit us. (I haven’t bitten a visitor in over twenty years now, so it will probably be OK.) Or, all joking aside, if you cannot come, please feel welcome to ask your questions about my manner of life and about the gospel I preach. You will receive straight and simple answers, the kind that Jesus demanded his servants to give.

Thank you for writing. I hope to hear from you again. Until then, my God bless you and yours, and I remain

your servant, for Christ.
Pastor John

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I hope that someday your followers realize the truth about your little seemingly sheltered group

I don’t get it. What’s so wrong with being sheltered? Why does he say we only seem to be sheltered? I think I’m quite sheltered. Since when is it a bad thing to have a shelter? Is one suppose to be homeless?

Our shelter has doors on it, and we go in and out when we please. It has windows too; he used one to contact us. It’s a rather nice shelter really.

Particularly in our pictures and video, we look quite sheltered. I’ve never seen bums (the real ones… not tv) be that happy about life.

In the shelter of his arms,
John

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