Monthly Archives: June 2013

What Happened to FREE?

giveMIRACULOUS GIFTS. Some of the writers of this period tell us that the miraculous gifts of healing, exorcism, and even raising the dead, which distinguished the Apostolic Church, were continued down to their day. Justin Martyr speaks of evil spirits being cast out by believers through the name of Jesus Christ. He is confirmed by Irenseus. “Some certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have been delivered from them become believers and join themselves to the Church. . . . Others lay hands upon the sick and heal them. Yea, and even the dead have been raised to life again, and have remained among us for many years. . . . The entire Church entreating with much fasting and prayer, the spirit of the dead man has returned. For all these benefactions,” he adds,“the Church takes nothing in return, for as she has freely received from God so freely does she minister.” — Edward Backhouse, Early Church History to the Death of Constantine, 1906.

During the early era of Christianity, the “church,” or God’s assembly of believers, were gifted miraculously with the ability to heal, raise the dead, exorcise spirits and the like. Please notice that the “assembly of believers” that did these things took NOTHING in return. Where is this same spirit today?  What does the “church” by today’s definition, give freely? Notice that the “church” today, for the most part, does not do any of these things for others and yet, demands loyalty, service and your money!  Doesn’t everything come at a price?  Tithing is commanded. Mission giving is commanded. Other offerings are commanded.  Who truly benefits from all this giving? Do the sick, the poor and the needy whom GOD has commanded for us to take care of?  Think about it.  God did not command us to take care of religious leaders!  Those who benefit the most are church leadership and their families. This spirit of greed has taken over and now has supplanted God’s spirit of humility, grace, and true giving to those that need it.   Most of what people give, goes to build bigger and and more elaborate church buildings, pay huge utility bills and, support the Pastor’s high end life-style. What is left to go to the poor and needy?  How much of it goes back to the poor and needy within the church? Do congregants know where their money is going?  Did you know that if a congregant does not tithe, pray, and give of their time to the church, that the church will not give back to them when they are in desperate need?  What kind of Christianity is that?  What church do you know of that gives 100% of its funds to food banks, shelters, halfway houses, widows in need and the poor in general, even if they are within the congregation?  I don’t know of any. The only ones that I know of that give freely of their time and efforts and money are those who are taken advantage of in order to support churches and those that run them.

I Purchased 60 Chapters to Give Away

I have purchased 20 copies of Chapters One, Two and Three of Linda Murphrey’s book, Healing From a God Who Wasn’t,  to give away.  I will only give one chapter per person on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in a free copy, message me with the following acceptance of the terms.  Once these are gone, that’s it! So, let me know if you want a chapter!! In your email to me, please put the following:

I would like a free copy of a chapter from Healing From A God Who Wasn’t. I agree that no part of these chapters will be reproduced, scanned, digitally captured, recorded or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the Author. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Violators can be prosecuted. Copyright 2013 by Linda Murphrey.

Signed, ____________________________(your first and last name)

For more on Linda Murphrey, visit www.lindamurphrey.com.

Thank you,

Cynthia McClaskey

The New American Idol

“Many people who conceive of idolatry as the worship of statues and totem poles assume that it no longer exists. From Judaism’s perspective, however, idolatry occurs when one holds any value higher than God and morality. A person who says “My country right or wrong” and , on this basis, acts unjustly, is an idolater. By regarding his country’s demand to do wrong as more binding than God’s demand to do right, such an individual makes it clear that he or she regards country as higher than God.

Unfortunately, the idolatries that tempt modern man often are of great value, i.e., the nation, art and literature, even education. It is only when one ascribes to them supreme value that they turn into “gods.” For example, the people who agitated to have fascist propagandist Ezra Pound released from incarceration because he was a great poet apparently believed that great literary figures are beyond good and evil, and therefore should not be punished for doing evil. Good literature is wonderful, but such and attitude is idolatrous.

Evil can ensue when one so elevates a good ideology that it becomes a form of idolatry.”

— Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Jewish Wisdom

idolRecently, I posted my story on here that covered the many “red flags” my husband and I ignored while involved with an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.  Today, I would like to draw an analogy from those “red flags” to show a modern day idol that is pervasive in many American institutions. According to Telushkin, any ideal that is elevated above what is morally right, can be cited as “idolatry.” I would like to add to this that any “person” that we elevate above what is morally and ethically right can be cited as an “idol.”  By regarding this person’s demand to do wrong as more binding than God’s demand to do right, such an individual makes it clear that he or she regards the this person as higher than God. This is idolatry.   Let’s talk about this idol.

The New American Idol

From the beginning, man has had a desire for money, power, prestige and control. Through the many articles on this blog, I expound on this desire of men and how it has affected women adversely. Last week, I laid out a whole bunch of “red flags” that went ignored because of this new modern day form of idolatry that has infiltrated many religious institutions. This idol is such that:

  • It garners the utmost respect and trust from everyone that steps foot into an institution where this idol reigns supreme.
  • Whatever this idol says to do, we do.
  • Whatever this idol teaches and preaches, is gospel. It is “truth.”
  • This idol is “perfect” and does no wrong in the eyes of the people that worship it. If accused of wrongdoing, the people will take the side of this idol and support it all the way to the prison house.

How can this be? How can such blind trust and faith be put in an idol that people are willing to forgo the living God and morality  to prop this idol up in their minds and hearts?  The answer: “Religion” teaches us to.  This idol is so powerful that it blinds even the elect and, leads them along in chains of bondage to the idol’s every whim of doctrine, desire and want. Let’s look at this idol’s influence:

The Idol’s Influence

  • It has the “unquestionable” trust of the people that serve it.
  • It is revered as “holy” and full of “wisdom” on any subject that people are in need of help with.
  • It is supported financially, so much so, that many of these idols earn in the millions.
  • Questioning this idol’s doctrines, teachings, and “rules” will bring you under attack from its worshipers.
  • Exposing lies will bring you under attack from its worshipers.
  • Exposing abuses will bring you under attack from its worshipers.
  • This idol can affect political change through its followers.
  • This idol controls the personal lives of its followers.
  • This idol controls the flow of information.
  • This idol claims that it is the “guardian” of God’s Word.
  • This idol claims to be the “mediator” between God and man.
  • This idol claims to be the “final authority” on all matters of faith and practice for believers.
  • This idol claims “authority” on “God’s will” for others.
  • This idol has the power to punish those who disagree with its doctrines and rules.
  • This idol is propped up by accolades, gifts, money, paid vacations, new cars and all manner of “play toys” and high end “stuff.”

What is the name of this idol that has such power, prestige and control?  The answer: PASTOR

Adele Hebert’s Story

adeleFrom the Author: It is not very often that I come across a woman that the Lord has led down the same educational path as me. What a blessing it was to be able to correspond with Adele and learn that she has studied many of the same scholars’ works that I have. It was as if we had a kindred spirit right out of the gate. When I learned that Adele’s four children were kidnapped by her ex-husband, my heart sank on her behalf. No one can imagine the depth and magnitude of the trauma this causes to a mother. . . except one particular woman of the Bible. Her name was Michal and she was Saul’s daughter. When King David took her from her husband Palti, she already had five children she was raising with her husband. King David took her from her husband, who loved her deeply, and her children. That is why she despised David and never had any children with him. (Read the account of this story here: Another Twist of Scripture to Subjugate Women to Abusive Husbands) And yet, this story has been used to subjugate women to abusive husbands.

I am so glad that Adele had an independent spirit and the ability to think for herself; something the church despises in a woman.  I would also like to add that Yochebed, Moses’ Mother, is Adele’s heroine. She is the woman that Adele associates with to the greatest extent. Although Michal endured such great tradegy, Yochebed sacrificed her son, even though she knew he would be raised by her enemy, an Egyptian, with no regard for God. I genuinely believe that Adele and her book will be a blessing to many women who are struggling with the twisted doctrines of a church system that fosters abuse toward women and children.  To see Adele’s book, click here: Every Woman and Child

— Cynthia McClaskey

 

adele hebert story

Jesus Loves Women and Children

When I was growing up (Catholic), we were taught to sit and be silent, and no chewing gum. I don’t remember a thing the priests ever said. As a teenager I decided I didn’t want to go anymore. There was never any communication about God, no bibles in the house, no talk about why anyone went to church. It just happened.

When I got married I thought it was a good idea to go to church occasionally. I can’t honestly say I learned anything from the sermons in those years either. It was all empty talk. They only have a few minutes to give a sermon yet they seemed quite happy to pass the time expressing how the Smiths came back from Hawaii, or that the Jones got their new boat, or that their favorite hockey team won last night. When I had my second child I was so happy and wanted an announcement to be put in the bulletin, but they told me, “only if it gets baptized,” yet trivial stuff was in there like building fund, puzzles, birthdays, jokes.

It seemed like every Mother’s Day was marked for a sermon about submission. One year the ex beast came and as soon as we got back into the car, he said, “ya, the priest said a woman is supposed to submit to her husband.” Thankfully, I had a swift comeback, “that’s right, and the husband is supposed to die for the wife.” I was disgusted with that priest, for setting women up for abuse. Religion definitely influenced my marriage.

I was in an extremely abusive marriage, and wanted to leave, but I had heard so many times that God hated divorce, that I felt doomed. Even after being born again, I left the Catholic church, but I found no satisfaction or help in any other church. My best education came from Oprah; every week she seemed to have another abused woman on tv. That’s where I learned the word ‘abuse.’ No one in my family wanted to hear my troubles and I had very few friends who had the patience to listen to my dilemma. Finally, God spoke to me and said, “You don’t have to die for him, I already have.”

My marriage was ugly but my divorce was hell. The ex beast finally kidnapped all four of my children, 900 kms away. After that I was completely ostracized. No one wanted to associate with a wailing, grieving mother who lost her kids. I was so devastated that it is amazing I am here today.

After losing my children I was in a constant state of sadness and depression. I had no purpose in life. Going to church got to be more frustrating as time went on. I had even stopped reading the bible.

…Then I happened to find an old book in the back of a church that was about to be thrown away. It was “God’s Word to Women” written by Katharine Bushnell in 1923. That book changed my life. I devoured her book and knew she was right about the mistranslations and the misinterpretations of the women stories in the bibles. She found many errors in ancient manuscripts, almost always against the women. For years I compared bibles and found that Katharine was right. I was disgusted with all the patriarchal churches.

When I think back about all the priests / pastors in my life… one tried to feel me up when I went to confession, one new priest wouldn’t let me get my Christmas lights from the storage room (and I used to be in charge of so many things there), and, after months, he finally appointed a man to unlock the door, and they had been stolen. Another priest, when I asked him a question, gave me some fancy warning about not taking the bible literally and that people have to study it for years to be able to understand it.

So I went to a seminary to take a course and when the story came up about men not wanting the children to get close to Jesus, the priest professor said it was because children have snotty noses, and they are always crying and sneezing and dirty… and I was pregnant and was mortified. I was deeply wounded; my Jesus wouldn’t think that way. One Baptist church was disturbed about an unwed pregnant woman, and wanted her to come to a meeting alone, without her fiancé, to be questioned and chastised by all the male elders; her parents said they would leave the church if they pushed it, so they dropped the meeting.

The priest who married me and the ex beast left the room so we could listen to some premarital tapes; the ex beast fell asleep, and when the priest came back wanting to discuss the tape, the ex beast and him had a grand old conversation about all their travels and I was left in the dust. I later found out he tried to hit on my cousin, and had many convinced that he needed a housekeeper and a house! . . .and the people supported him!

More than one bible study turned bad because I asked too many questions or gave too many answers. One bible study leader wouldn’t even tell me where the next bible study was, or what it was all about, and he had been leading it for 3 weeks already. Another used the Timothy silent verse to shut me up, and when he read the words from his bible, I asked him if those were God’s words or man’s? He had to admit they came from the margin. Needless to say, I was not invited next time.

I found pastor’s wives to be jealous if I tried to talk to their husbands. I found arrogant men trying to make fun of what I said, even when it was very profound. I found little support from the people who went to church; they were uneducated and afraid. One friend was raped by the pastor when she was a girl; her mother sold her to the members of the church; but no one wants to talk about it, still to this day.

Most priests / pastors do not do any homework for their sermons. Some yell their heads off and say they are anointed (that’s when I leave). What I have learned has been from God, good books, blogs and friends.

My passion is studying the women in the bible, because we don’t seem to hear much about them in sermons. I thought that someone should write a book with all the verses pertaining to women and children. Then it dawned on me that God wanted me to write it. I do love the women stories. There are so many things that Jesus did for women, but the most important one is that Jesus gave women a voice.

Tithe?

TAT Cover“One who wishes to donate should not give more than a fifth of his income, lest he himself come to be in need of charity.” — Babylonian Talmud, Ketubot 50a

During my time in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, we were REQUIRED to TITHE ten percent of our GROSS income to the church. Sadly, this teaching was the cause of many years of struggle to be able to pay our bills and buy groceries to feed our family. The stress that this placed on my husband and I was unimaginable as we worked countless hours trying to make a living to be able to cover this tithe AND, meet the basic needs of our household.  Not only this, we were also required to give to missions and other projects that the church undertook.  When all was said and done, at the end of the year, we were realizing that what we gave far exceeded the ten percent that the Jews were required to give!  No wonder we were in poverty and always in need of charity ourselves!!

What is amazing is the fact that Gentiles are being REQUIRED to adhere to an Old Testament law that never, at any time, applied to them. This law was for the Jew, not the Gentile. Also, this law for the Christian Jew, is no longer in force and was done away with under the New Covenant.  What I have come to realize is that the masses of Gentile peoples truly do not understand the tithe. They are just believing what they are TOLD about tithing without doing their homework to find out if they are being told the truth. My book, The TRUTH About Tithing, teaches people about how this law for the Jews has been corrupted and, used as a means of acquiring wealth by Christian leaders.

No where in the New Testament does Christ or any of his representatives teach tithing. What is taught is charitable giving. Christians must understand this fact.  We were taught that if we did not give a tithe off of our gross income, that we were robbing God. What a terrible lie of the church that puts people in bondage and poverty. It is time for people to take back their finances and realize that THEY are being ROBBED. They are NOT robbing God. Really? Robbing the God of the universe that doesn’t NEED your money?  Really? What detriment to God happens when you keep your money to feed your family and pay your bills?  Don’t you think God wants you to be able to provide for your family first and foremost before giving to others?  Don’t you think that God WANTS you to have a good testimony by paying your creditors on time?  You cannot help others until you help yourself first. Give from what you have, not what you don’t, or you will find yourself in need of charity just like we did for many many years.  If your church is telling you to tithe or give and you can’t pay your bills, SHAME on the church!