Archive for September, 2000

What Holds the Church Back

I just wanted to comment on the article I read this morning “DOES
‘PHARAOH’ DOMINATE TODAY’S CHURCH? – by Andrew Strom. ” I know this
was
written some years ago. I have been a born again Christian for 5years now.
God has grown me up QUICKLY. I would say around 2 years ago, our city, the
city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States, had begun to join together
as far as across denominational lines. It has really begun with the
intercessors coming together. I have seen different groups of intercessors
coming togther as one, to pray for our leaders, Pastors and our city. This
year, we are having a city wide intercessory prayer meeting. People I have
met years ago in different ‘circles’ or intercessory groups are joining
together AS ONE. There are intercessors who have visions of seeing large
meetings take place in parks and on the streets.

Really, I want to just emphasize the truth of this word. I couldn’t quite
put my finger on it, but now I know it is a ‘pharoah’ spirit that is
ruling our leadership. The Lord showed me that Pastors in our city (and
the leadership in our city is SO divided its unbelievable), are ruling the
congregations through fear and control. They tell us not to go to other
churches without their permission. IF you go to another church, you are
not loyal to your own and trying to help build others churches and not
your own. Your told you are in ‘spiritual fornication’ if you visit
another church on a Sunday morning or during a weekly service. BUT, if
other people from other churches visit your church on Sunday morning, its,
“glad you came. please come again. If your not getting fed, come over
here” and no questions asked about why your not in ‘your church’. The
Pastors I believe try to control their congregations with fear because
they are afraid they will leave or ‘loose some sheep’. That if you go
visit elsewhere, you will like it better an leave. if anything, you will
draw from them and bring something back to your local body. It is so
controlling that I would feel guilty if I missed a night of service! I
would invited people to prayer meetings with friends and they told me
“have I told the Pastor yet, and they wouldn’t go unless the Pastor knew
about it first!” I have had the Pastor tell me if I invited people to hear
a well known speaker that was coming to our city they needed to get
permission from him first! Before I went out of town, you had to ask him
if you could go! And if you told them God was leading you to go, they
questioned it and called it being disobedient.

It gets pretty bad. But its all out of a fear of ‘losing’ members. I see
the people are ready to fellowship, come together for city wide
gatherings, etc. but its the leaders who are not ready and willing to give
up this kind of control and power, so the people go elsewhere, to find
freedom, because we are ready, but the leaders in our city won’t budge
(some are and do) but as you said, we know what to pray now and God wants
to do it, and he will rather they are willing to go or not. I see so much
the people are ready, but our leadership is hindering the growth and
development of the body because of their own preconcieved ideas, its about
building ‘our church’ and not the kingdom. We recently had a city wide
outreach called ‘Convoy of Hope’ come to our city. the coordinator was so
desirous of allowing the inner city churches to facilitate this event, due
to the fact the outreach was to the inner city.

On each letter head, there were over 40 local ministries and churches
listed as participating. Guess what, only 10% accounted for the help
involved that day, because the Pastor’s are so hesitant to get involved
and to let go of their own agenda. Thank you for your article. It lets me
see that God is truly showing me the condition of the church and the
hearts of men. The Lord showed me a vision of men all standing in a
straight line. I saw the power of God being demonstrated like never
before. the true signs and miracles of God were occurring before the
peoples eyes. They could not deny it was God. I saw a line being drawn. I
saw a line of fire go up that line. I saw some men crossing over the line
and others who would not. I heard the words, ‘either you are for me or
against me’. God was speaking to the leadership in our city. And as you
said, if this is what God wants, He will do whatever it takes to make it
happen, with or without us.

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