Sunday, April 19, 2009

Systems Can't Control Me



I just heard someone recently compare church buildings to hospitals. This person said it is a place where people get help when their sick, but to me, I think that is a horrible analogy because in the same sense, that is where a lot of death happens. My dad died in a hospital and that place isn't a place that I have experienced life in that much. When one is sick and the doctors in the hospitals can no longer cure or fix the problems, then what is the point of staying in the hospital?! In the same sense, why stay in an organized religious system if you only find spiritual deadness there? Of course people would say that it is the ‘individuals' fault that he/she is not growing or experiencing spiritual life with God, but to be honest, it usually isn't the individual who has the problem but the system itself is so screwed up that instead of it adding life to you, it takes life from you and causes one to become spiritually dead. It is so easy to rely on systems to do everything for us. We rely on the health care ‘system’ to cure us, we rely on organized religious systems to spiritually cure us, and there are many other systems that we rely on in order to survive in this world… The world is built up with systems that are supposed to take responsibility for us, and that is something I personally want to stay far away from because the more dependent we are on the world, the more power the world has to take away my freedom, and freedom is something that is irreplaceable if I lose it.

There is a quote I read recently from Jacques Ellul; "If there is one value which I regard as most important, it is freedom." "Nothing I have done experienced, or thought makes sense if it is not considered in the light of freedom." This quote is so profound because it speaks of so much truth in regards to what I have not experienced when relying on systematic boxes!

“Religion inevitably enslaves people, demanding static conformism, and developing into a bureaucratic machine. The Church has professed to liberate people, but it has most often fettered and crushed them, serving historically as the enemy of freedom, and the agent of necessity, oppression and intolerance. The Revelation of God in Jesus Christ, on the other hand, is a dynamic investiture of the Divine "Wholly Other" into man's situation ¬ the very opposite of religion.”

This is something I just read recently when I was learning more about Jacques Ellul and his writings. This quote is so profound that it touches me to the core. Systems weren’t designed to free us, but to enslave us, especially when we become fully dependent on them than God himself. Any system is a horrible substitute to knowing Jesus personally and not becoming co-dependent of Father himself. I am not willing to give up my freedom, no way, no how!

18 comments:

Michy said...

This saddens me. I am not good with words like you are Nicole, but I'll try to explain! :o) I agree any church trying to control people is wrong as well and I'm sure those exist. But there are fantastic churches out there! They encourage. Without judgment or condemnation, they accept people for who they are, just like Jesus did. I love churches that challenge me to be more like Christ and open my eyes to things unseen. The right church doesn't take away your freedom in the least. I have learned so much and grown so much through what I have heard and seen at church ... been inspired and challenged, not condemned. I feel completely free there! My church exists to encourage knowing Jesus personally and depends on nothing other than Him.

Of course I am not at all saying you aren't a Christian if you don't go to church, but God created the church and although there are those that have gone wrong, there are so many that haven't! It can be such a blessing to be with other believers (which the Bible instructs us to do... and yes I know there are other places to do this), to grow, fellowship, love, praise, and learn as well as teach!

Sue said...

I have to disagree with Michy that "God created the church". God created the people who are the Body of Christ. He did not create that system of worship. We did.

Those systems are everywhere, aren't they? And how quickly it happens that we give over our own responsibility to think for ourselves when there is a giant Mothership there to do our thinking for us (not directing that at you at all, Michy! It is just how I see it and I cannot unsee how I see it. At the same time, I am not saying that there aren't good, strong, growing people who attend churches. My problems aren't with the people who are attending churches. My problem is with the structure of the thing to begin with.

*Sigh* I get so frustrated trying to explain myself when it comes to all of these systems and the evil that comes from them. They don't need to be inherently evil in themselves. They just need to be bureaucracies. And from there on people lose their voices and are forced into conformance on how the system tells them to do things. There is no "one person singing a psalm, one person having a word from the Lord" in that situation. That is too inflexible and fluid. It is all about structure in the end.

Even the police force, for example. The police force was created in the 1800s to try to keep law and order. Now we have an organisation that performs this function for us, we allow it to be stripped from our own minds any responsibility we have to look after each other in ways that may prevent some people from committing illegal acts, because that is the responsibility of the "police force".

I could go on and on but I won't because I'm stressing myself out now :) LOL.

Ohhhhh, stop the world, I want to get off.

Anonymous said...

TAKEN FROM YOUR BLOG: "Systems weren’t designed to free us, but to enslave us, especially when we become fully dependent on them than God himself. Any system is a horrible substitute to knowing Jesus personally and not becoming co-dependent of Father himself."

What you say in the quote from your blog that I just noted, and in light of the same idea stated more than once in your blog, I find it rather interesting that you are so against "systems". The reason I say that is in reading this blog and others you have done over the course of time I find you and others asking those of us who are "church-goers" (ie. – “club members”) to leave one system and to join your "system of believing".

System is defined as: " A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole." [American Heritage Dictionary]

You see, those of you who comprise the system of beliefs that you espouse are a group of interacting, interelated, and interdepent people forming a complex whole. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that - although I do not agree with your staunch views on "the church" and what supposedly happens to "all" that attend such. Quite frankly, right or wrong you all have the "freedom" to believe what you believe. But, like it or not, you comprise another "system" of beliefs. My friend, you just can't escape that fact. Your "system" of beliefs (right or wrong) has in essence "bound" you to your ideas and philosophies. Again, there is not escaping "systems".

Another quote from your blog states: "“Religion inevitably enslaves people, demanding static conformism, and developing into a bureaucratic machine."

Wow! Religion is defined as: "Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. b. A personal or institutionalized “system” grounded in such belief and worship."

Why do I say "WOW"? Because your blogs express your belief in a "supernatural power" - ["Father"] who you regard and recognize as creator and governor of the universe. And, you have a personal beliefs and (recognize or acknowledge it or not) you have personal "system" (here's that word "system" again) in such beliefs and you (through the admission contained in your own writings) have a particular manner of worship.

I ask you to go over your own blogs and honestly see if you are not expressing a personal desire for others to recognize and accept your “system” (your “religion”) – with the hope that in doing so they would leave there’s and enter yours. There’s nothing inherently abnormal about that. And, really, if that is not the case why take the time to write at all. Unless your blog is just a personal means of a self-therapudic method of releasing pent up emotions – without necessarily any desire to see others read, consider, and be influenced by what you say. Honestly, in reading your blogs you portray a call to static [angry or heated criticism – (American Heritage Dictionary)] conformity [similarity in form or character; agreement, 2. action or behavior in correspondence with current customs, rules, or styles – (AHD)] to your beliefs. Perhaps it is just your passion for what you believe in, but none-the-less you are by very definition a person of "religion". Man, there is no escaping it. Is there?

Finally what I am about to say is rather strong, but I like you am thankful for the "freedom" to express what I believe needs to be expressed.

Firstly - God's word clearly and in a multiplicity of times states that when all is said and done the Lord Jesus Christ [LORD OF LORDS and KING OF KINGS] will return to earth to set up His kingdom. Ultimately, God's Word states that the Lord Jesus will offer up the kingdom to the Father (1Cor.15:24). It is not possible to have a King or a kingdom without having some "system" in place by which the kingdom is to function. In other words, "system" is eternal. And, at one period of time after the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth He will "rule the earth with a rod of iron" (Rev.19:15). My question to you: Does that not put Him into the category being fettering, crushing, and the enemy of freedom? I am only referring to what you stated in your blog.

What about all the times that both the Old and the New Covenant (Testaments) repeatedly let us know about the commandments of God and the consequences of breaking them? Or are there no "commandments" and we are thus free to do what Judges 17:6 says: "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." No king - No system. Right? Read "the rest of the story" and see how all that turned out. Not good!


Secondly, I quote from Matt 7:3-4: "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?

I trust that you will believe me when I say that I'm not referring to that verse because I think you are a hypocrite (as the following verse states). Quite frankly, I believe that you are very honest and rather forthright in what you write in your blog. I really do not see anything "hypocritical" (ie. - your being a fake or a pretender in your beliefs). But what I want to point out is that both the speck and the plank are basically made out of the same material family. In other words, what we see in such detail about others may be that which we have so magnified in our lives. Not that we are attempting to cover it up, but rather the opposite. That very thing that is so magnified in our lives causes us to observe in great and even minute detail in the lives of others.

I said all that to say that you and many of the others on your blog that agree with you (and again, you all have the right and “freedom” to what you believe) are clearly espousing a detest of the very thing that you so graphically see in others and obviously desire for them to leave. You see, that's why I took the time to write what I did about "systems" and the fact that there is no escaping them, and in every system there are those who are so very "passionate" about their disagreements and dislikes other systems they have observed - and, quite honestly, those who have such passion would like to see others leave what they are “bound” in and to and become a part of the "system" they are “bound” in and to. Question: Isn’t it amazing that in both the Old and New Testaments (Covenants) true follower of the only True and Living God are call bondservants. Those who are freely committed and bound themselves to the Lord God Almighty, His kingdom, His will, His ways, His commands, and Word, THERE'S NO ESCAPING IT – IS THERE?

Wow! No wonder the Lord Jesus Christ said, "you are either for me or against me." (Luke 11:23) Hey, you're in one "system" or the other. That is, in one kingdom and under the "system" of that ruler of that kingdom or in the other kingdom" and under the "system" of the ruler of that kingdom.

Isn't it amazing that Jesus is referred to so often as "LORD". Even the Father is referred in His Word as such? How can He be Lord if there is no kingdom (“system”) to be Lord over? AGAIN, NO ESCAPING IT! HUH?

Well, just as you write to give "food for thought" to those reading your blog, I have done likewise in responding to your blog. Aren't you thankful that we all have the "freedom" to express what we truly believe we need to share with others? I am !!!!

Our Lord's very best and His only and true freedom to you.

1-4-Him

deaconandusher said...

Usher: Deak, I like this girl's depiction of the "system". It's right on.

Deacon: Yeah, unlike the bloke who wrote the anonymous comment at the bottom. I think they like to hear themselves type! A bunch of rubbish and all substantiated by modern day human stupid gibberish - even dictionary entries!

Usher; You'd think people would figure it out, but they just keep going back to a stifling church that wants to control, divide and conquer. Yuck!

Sue said...

Uhhhhh ...

Erin said...

Well here I was going to come to your rescue, Nicole, but DeaconandUsher did well at that. Anonymous commenters frustrate me because they choose to lob their thoughts at whoever they want without putting their name behind it.

Here's the thing (and I will be the first to admit I speak in generalizations): Yes, in order to have a King we must function in some sort of Kingdom. However, the present "system" of that Kingdom (i.e. Church as we know it) requires the submission to other men in order to be considered as faithful in that Kingdom system. That is the system we decry...for me there is only one King, and I answer to Him alone. That doesn't mean I invalidate all aspects of that system, but I am not ruled by it nor subject to it.

Likewise, I don't believe Jesus created a hierarchical system with Lords and Dukes and Earls and peasants, etc. I believe he created a system where we each are free to know him personally and don't have to come to him through the so-called "proper" channels that the system would have us. Undfortunately many people in the "system" don't recognize that this is true; but it is.

And no, being unchurched is not a system...if one were to look at our various "community" blogs they would find people who hold to a wide variety of beliefs...we demand no conformity person to person, only a freedom for each person to know Jesus as they will. We have no hierarchy, we have no procedures, no rituals, no demand of loyalty...I could go on.

And I, for one, don't desire for anyone to come to my beliefs, because honestly it's the hardest thing I have ever done and I don't wish it upon anyone.

Hopefully Sue is no longer stunned and can add something here. :)

Frank said...

Brilliant post and excellent comments, (excluding "anonymous" nonsense)

"The church is an institution that Satan has set up to prevent Christians doing the work of the Lord"

This is a prophetic word the Lord gave me about ten years ago.

People keep saying that God created the church, and that words like those above cannot be from God. The truth is that God did create the church, but what you see out there on the street is NOT THE CHURCH THAT GOD CREATED. It is a man made institution that happens to contain the saints.

Jesus said "Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, You shut up heaven to men, you neither enter yourselves and you prevent those who are trying from entering."

He was of course speaking to the leaders of the Jewish "church" of that time. How dare he criticise what God had created in such a manner.

The hierarchical leadership system that is church as we know it, is an idea imported from the world that has no place in God's true church.

The reason that any earthly business organisation needs hierarchy is because it does not have an omniscient CEO, nor do all its members have an ear directly to that CEO.
If we are walking in the spirit we do not need pastor/mediators between us and God.

Frank

Michy said...

To me the bottom line is you can't judge all churches unless you've been to every last one of them. And perhaps an entire church shouldn't be judged by the actions/beliefs/feelings of a few members that may not represent the rest of that church? In many situations in life you have to put up with the negative to get the benefits of the positive and church is no different. No church is perfect, but there is so much positive to get out of it!

And to Anonymous, I like that you argue your points with Biblical references and dictionary definitions! Makes it easier for a dummy like me to follow what you're saying.

Nicole said...

Did I create a mess or what? ;) Well, all I can say is, more power to ya if you find your fulfillment in the religious box (system) you find yourself in! Freedom is not found in any system, its found in Jesus, period. You call this blog what you want, but those who feel they have to defend their own religious systems will never see the flaws they HAVE. Yuck!

I could write a huge comment in regards to everyone who participated in this blog post entry, but, I think that there has been really good words shared here already (thank you), and I will leave it at that!!! At least it brought out some interesting conversation!!!

Thanks for sharing! :)

Frank said...

Michy
"You can't judge all churches unless you've been to every last one of them."

It's not about judging any particular church, its about judging a false and ungodly system.

Therefore visiting all churches will reveal nothing other than that they all follow a hierarchical system which has no biblical support.

We labour under the false idea that God would never ever bless or anoint something which he didn't approve of, or actually ordain. Therefore the fact that many churches are clearly blessed by the presence of the Holy Spirit is wrongly taken as a demonstration of God's approval.

The folly of this is demonstrated many times in scripture, but most clearly in 1 Sam.8. where the Israelites demand of Samuel---
v5......now make us a king to judge us LIKE ALL THE NATIONS.
v7And the Lord said unto Samuel, hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee, for they have not rejected thee, but THEY HAVE REJECTED ME THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM.
The ensuing verses detail God's warnings over the nature of a king when given such power. Effectively that he will enslave them, tax them to the hilt, take all their riches and their offspring for servants and soldiers. ie. make their lives hell!

v18 And you shall cry out on that day because of the king that you have chosen, AND THE LORD WILL NOT HEAR YOU IN THAT DAY!

The amazing thing about God is that he gives in to our stupid freewill choices, even when they will have disastrous results, witness Adams choice.

Therefore God gave Israel a king, a man without equal in all Israel.

God then anointed Saul with the Holy Spirit and he was counted among the prophets (1Sam 10v11).

HAVING A KING OVER ISRAEL WAS THEIR PLAN, NOT GOD'S.

Looking at all this, it is clear that the anointing of the Holy Spirit has nothing whatsoever to do with something being right or approved by God. The request for a king was an act of rebellion against God's reign, yet if God was petulant and refused to have anything to do with their stupid mess, wherever would Israel be?

God pours out his spirit NOT to approve of anything but to lead us into all truth, ie. to get us out of the mess and into HIM.

The body of Christ has done exactly the same as Israel. Everwhere the cry goes out, GIVE US A KING TO RULE OVER US.

God again says.....THEY HAVE REJECTED ME THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM.

The saints prefer Paul or Apollos, -leaders they can see at the front of their meetings rather than God Most High!

Laurie said...

Dear Anonymous, I just hate it when people post anonymously. I really think anonymous posters should just be ignored or deleted if they aren't willing to own up to who they are. If you're not willing to do at least that, why should we listen to you? It just seems so cowardly to hide your true identity behind a non-identity. Why not come out in the open for a real, honest face to face discussion instead of just doing drive by postings like a drive by shooter who hides behind the darkened windows of his car so he can safely get away with taking pot-shots at his targets?

Maybe you think you won't be heard if you identify yourself, especially if you are someone personally known to Nicole. I'm not sure anyone is listening to you anyway because sometimes it seems more like you are writing because YOU like hearing what YOU have to say and enjoy trying to make clever arguments rather than entering into any real dialogue about the topic. If I were Nicole, I think I'd begin deleting and/or blocking all posts by all anonymous posters. As for me, identify yourself and then maybe we'll talk.

Anonymous said...

To Laurie,

I hope you don't mind me saying this, but you just did talk to me. And, if my writing is just my liking to hear what I say, why does it so irritate you to the point of having to address it like you did? Personally, (and this is just my personal opinion and freedom) if I thought someone's writing was just a bunch of ramblings I'd just pass over it and let it speak for itself.

As for the clever arguments, all I did was define what was stated in this blog, and give scriptural reasons for what I believe. (Is that not part of the "freedom" that this blog so often refers to?) The "freedom" is to either hear it and accept it, or to hear and reject it. Isn't that a great part of what "freedom" is? Right or wrong about what we have chosen to believe what someone has written or said the liberty and "feedom" is there to do that. The Lord Jesus plainly made that clear when He looked "with love" at the rich young ruler who rejected what He said to him. Though He obviously wished that young ruler had done differently the "freedom" to chose was there, and the rich young ruler's decision to do what He did didn't affect Jesus love for Him. Isn't that the way the Father would have us to be. That's part of the "freedom" we are given - both to you, me, and any others.

As for deleting anonymous writers, that, too, is a personal "freedom". But, personally, I believe what Jesus said is true with regard to test all that you hear to the Word of God and keep that which is good. Whether we know who said it or not. But, then you and I have the "freedom" to handle the situations we come across in the manner that we feel best - provided it doesn't violate the word of God. And, your desire to delete annoymous writers is perfectly legitimate if you so deem to do it, and I, personally, believe you have the right and the "freedom" to so. And, I would and do honor that.

1-4-Him

Nicole said...

Dude, seriously... WHO ARE YOU? What's the point of hiding your identity? Why? Yeah, you have the freedom to do so, but, seriously, I think its pretty lame to dig deep into a discussion without identifying yourself... You have the advantage because you know who you are talking to in this blog post, but are you ashamed of coming out of the closet? Exposing who you are? Because if that is the case, than I would assume that yo are pretty afraid of what I or others may think of you if you did give us your name. Maybe I don't evenknow you at all, and that is perfectly fine, but at least give me the pleasure and introduce yourself, especially if you desire or want to continue contributing to my blog! You gotta give me more than 1-4-Him! Please?

Laurie said...

ah well, in my use of the word "talk," I was referring to trying to have a conversation where there is the possibility of real communication taking place between the people doing the talking. It doesn't seem that you are here for that purpose (you seem more intent on presenting your definitions, perceptions and interpretations as irrefutable fact) and I'm not interested in entering into a public war of words with you with each of us lobbing our proof texts, dictionary definitions and flippant retorts at each other.

Your writing doesn't irritate me, mostly it's the fact that you insist on writing anonymously, especially if you are someone who knows Nicole personally. If you do know her then your writing seems more like harassment rather than a demonstration of genuine love and concern for her. I think a real friend (especially one who thinks they are representing the Lord or bringing a word of correction) would choose a different method of reaching out to her and a different tone in expressing themselves. If you know her personally and have considered her a friend or even family, then I believe you should do her the courtesy of communicating with her privately instead of in a public setting. If you truly are a total stranger then ignoring you from now on probably is the best course of action.

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