We just finished a week-long family event at our home. Almost 30 people from several states came and enjoyed being together. It was wonderful.
And it was a trial, although not for all the obvious reasons, save for one: religion. My family was raised Pentecostal/Charismatic and we all shared similar doctrines for most our lives. Then about 2-3 years ago, I began learning new things and my doctrines began changing.
I stepped out of the lines and did things like, umm, reading outside the usual doctrinal stuff. I read “Pagan Christianity,” by Frank Viola and George Barna. This book was one of the first to rock my status quo, and then it was “Raptureless,” by Jonathan Welton. Of course, there were many other authors in the mix like Maria Maddalena de Pazzi; hers was some rather obscure but enlightening material.
As I read each work, I spent lots of time in conversation with Father God, discussing truth and reality. Sometimes I went to Him with great fear; stepping out of the acceptable into the unknown, and doing it alone, is rather terrifying. One of my friends said she waited for the thunderbolt to come down and take her out when she opened up “Raptureless” for the first time.
Then I discovered that I wasn’t alone in this journey of learning. There are hundreds of thousands of us. We are a unique blend from around the world, sharing an amazing love, peace and unity. But mostly we share personal conversations with Father God. Those conversations have become our predominant source of guidance and ‘food,’ whereas previously, our guidance and ‘food’ had come from pastors and preachers inside the church community.
I am now a different kind of Christian from the rest of my family. I’m not yearning to leave the Earth in death, but rather I believe Heaven is in the process of coming to Earth. I don’t believe that Father God is responsible for any sickness or death, but rather I believe He is leading us to understand life, to receive glorified bodies here and now.
I’m not waiting for Jesus to appear in a ‘rapture’ situation, but rather I believe He is already here and will appear more clearly as we accept our oneness with Him. I don’t see the world, the government or our leaders as headed to hell in a hand-cart, but rather I see the process of Father’s Spirit being poured out upon all mankind.
I’m not concerned, nor do I spend any time in turmoil or torment over the issues of abortion or homosexuality but rather I know these things are temporal and fleeting. They bear almost no significance to the increasing Kingdom of God which is eternal. I don’t fear further judgment on the Earth, but rather I believe Jesus already paid the entire price that will ever be paid and it is finished.
So, as you can see, whenever my family joins in typical Christian conversation, I am suddenly the odd man out. I blend into the wallpaper because I cannot join in the outrage, the concern or the escape.
And I cannot lay on them the blanket of my learning in the old manner of Christian debate because my behavior has changed, too. Men seldom change their minds and hearts based on angry debate. They learn just as I did, through conversation with Father God. Those are the conversations that change our hearts forever.
My learning proceeded at my own pace. Father was not in a hurry, urging me to proceed quickly. He was kind and gentle, telling me to “Take all the time you need, I’ll be here with you.”
So how did I manage those conversations with my family? I listened. Sometimes, I became busy in other duties. But usually I only commented when I was asked personally, and then only briefly. Otherwise, I kept silent.
Yes, it was difficult. This is a new behavior I’m learning. In the company of like-minded people, I have no problem interjecting into the conversation. But this was not like-minded and my interjections would have broken their common bond in a rude, disruptive manner. That is unloving behavior and Father is far more concerned about loving than He is about correct theology.
His revelation to me is the same as with healing, to speak as I would prophesy, “These beautiful people are learning and growing and come into all knowledge of the Truth.” I didn’t say it to their faces, and maybe I should have, but rather I spoke to the spiritual realm, to open doors and create paths.
The dream about the twins Joe and Jim displayed this loving behavior so clearly. My job in the dream was to be aware of the patterns and then simply be ready to offer wide open, unconditionally loving arms. That is when my brother’s heart will reach out for mine willingly. That is the time he will ask to follow me into freedom.
(Editor: Laurie Hilgers)