The Wayward “Bride”

Tomato Hornworm, an Enemy in the Garden
Photo Attribution Here

It has been a rough week. The insanity of this week has been met with a quiet, green, calm morning in the woods of Arkansas. The birds are chirping and someone is mowing their lawn. This is a difficult post to write on many levels but I’m going to give it my best shot, something I encouraged Christians to do in my last post.

Definition of Wayward:

“Difficult to control or predict because of unusual or perverse behavior”

Definition of Bride (as used in this post):

The Church Is the Bride of Christ (click HERE for more detail)

Notice the quotes around the word “Bride” in the title above. The reason for the quotes is that every week brings more news of serious trouble in places where people who call themselves Christians congregate. The “Church” is in eternal trouble. The Church is not. Thankfully, there is a remnant of people who act and believe like people who have been touched by the Holy Spirit.

If the problem weren’t so huge, it wouldn’t be so sad. But the problem is huge. To try and cover the topic comprehensively would take many volumes, so I will explain small events that happened to me this week, events that symbolize much more serious issues.

I was censored by “brothers” twice this week. Silenced. Attempting to help two online acquaintances to understand concerns I had, one minor and one major, my posts were completely removed as if they had never existed. No effort was given to even explain why my attempts could be mistaken. In the scheme of things, I know what I experienced is nothing. I’m sure you’ve heard of the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” Being censored along with other things I’m planning to mention here, kind of had that effect.

I will start with the minor censoring. A blogger that I have followed for some time called all members of all Christian denominations “dung.” Although I have come to the place where I question any church or pastor’s basic theology before I even invest time in trying to learn something from them, I believe that there are true believers in many denominations. I took exception to this blogger calling the Bride “dung.” Our four-comment-back-and-forth was erased and a following post appeared on his blog with the heading: “Persecuted for living godly in Christ scripture-comfort.” Three scriptures about suffering persecution for Christ followed.

Being silenced by someone who considers himself righteous startled me a bit. That he may have considered my little critique persecution is only possible mud on the cake.

The more serious censor happened on Facebook. A friend from college who became a pastor posted this on his Facebook page:

“Joy is that kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”

Sounds wise and innocent enough. And then I looked at who said this. The quote is from David-Steindl-Rast. I had never heard of the guy so I looked him up. David-Steindl Rast is a 95-year-old American Catholic Benedictine Monk. It didn’t take long to see that this monk was just another version of Thomas Merton whom my friend had also quoted in the past along with other mystics. I felt that this former Lutheran pastor’s friends should know a bit about this mystic so I shared one of his many faulty (a much too kind word) quotes and suggested that my friend might quote Martin Luther occasionally. I was silenced, the comment removed as if it had never been there. Remaining was this from an allowed commenter:

“It’s a gift of God and a fruit of the Spirit within!”

Deterred but wanting to give it one more try, I looked at post a few below the one from the mystic. All it said was:

Repeat to yourself throughout the day:
Psychotic with God’s Spirit
I am psyched for Him and others

After looking up the word “psychotic,” I found it was a word “relating to, denoting, or affected with a psychosis”

Psychosis definition:

“a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with eternal reality”

I thought it only right to share this definition with my friend and those he is influencing. I suppose I should have known that I would be erased again.

Looking at more of the “SPIRITUAL RECOVERY RECONDITIONING” statements, some of them seemed tame enough.

But, the sad question went through my mind, “Is my friend lost?”

And there was this video this week:

In our world today, there is a chance that this is a fake video. As far as my research can go at this time, it is real. If it is not real, the reality of exact things like this that continue to come to light in churches is appalling.

I read Ezekiel 23 this week. It describes the sins of Samaria and Jerusalem, the people who were supposed to be closest to God. And it describes what will happen to them because they have consistently and continually done abominable things.

And then there are the words of Jesus when referring to others who were supposed to be closest to God:

“You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, express any good things? For the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart.”

The heartbreaking theological and sexual waywardness of the “bride” very recently had another largely reported sex scandal hit the news. You can read about it HERE.

A short rabbit trail to make a point:

I enjoy growing tomatoes in the heat and humidity of the summers in Arkansas. While checking a few of the plants the other day, I found 5 eggs on one of the tomato leaves. Whatever had laid the eggs hadn’t even bothered to hide them. They were on top of the leaf and easy to see. Their golden color made them glisten in the sun. They were some of the most eye-catching eggs I had ever seen. At the same time, they had to be destroyed because what hatched from them would begin to feast on and destroy parts of the plant and even the entire plant if let go long enough. They were easy to crush.
I went to the next plant and found the same thing except this time the critter that laid the same type of eggs tried to hide them on the underside of a leaf, which is where one usually finds them. They had been harder to find but just as easy to crush. I moved to the next plant. On the underside of one of its leaves were a completely different type of egg. They were very small and white, more numerous, and very hard and difficult to crush. This little experience made me think of how things have gone so wrong in so many churches.

It starts with things that should be easily noticed, an obviously false doctrine, an ignored blatant sexual sin, a feel good “gospel” that avoids any type of real repentance. These things begin to morph into things that are more hidden but they are still things that could be addressed and dealt with in the proper manner. If not addressed the problems increase and become almost impossible to deal with. Finally, a church finds itself content with its issues but lost, like the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America to name one. I don’t understand how anyone who remotely understands the Bible can be a leader in that denomination.

So…where do we go from here? I don’t know but some of my friends are hoping for a revival. It is a good hope that I think has a very slim chance of happening because of how far things have fallen. I do know one thing. I will continue to look in the mirror and reflect on the holiness of God and how far the guy I’m seeing in the mirror is from that. And I will remember to thank God for each day and for friends who will correct me when I go astray.

Chris Reimers

Related video I saw after publishing this post:

18 Responses to The Wayward “Bride”

  1. Tom says:

    Chris, I don’t have a lot of time because I’m on my lunch break but I wanted to comment. Yup, the the evangelical church has gotten derailed in many respects. Many pastors are now enamored with Catholic mysticism. Sad. Also sad watching that video about that sexually abusive pastor that I saw earlier today.

    • Chris says:

      I appreciate your comment, Tom. Of anyone, I know you are probably more familiar with these mystics and the dangerous doctrines they are/were committed to than anyone else I know except for “evangelical” pastors who promote them.
      Now that I know that Todd Friel has also commented on the sad video I posted I am pretty certain it is factual. Sad that’s it’s just one of so many similar cases that happen so often these days.
      Over 700 people have been implicated in the latest I’ve heard on the SBC sexual abuse coverup. Tragic.

      • Tom says:

        Yup, this dalliance with Catholic mysticism and other aspects of RC-ism is widespread within evangelicalism. I recently read Sean McDowell (son of Josh) say how indebted he was to the writings of RC priest Henri Nouwen for getting him back on spiritual track.
        RE: SBC sexual abuse and cover-up
        There was/is a very unhealthy environment in churchianity, which includes strong veneration of pastors (already charismatic, confident men) and zero accountability. The megalomaniacal pastor of the IFB church we attended decades ago bragged to an interviewer that his deacon board was strictly for show.

        • Chris says:

          Thanks for the comment, Tom.
          A few years back, Josh appeared at a conference with several other “teachers” who had questionable backgrounds. I’m not sure but I think it was held in Washington, D.C. Maybe I’m too picky, but I think it’s important who a Christian leader associates with. I had to write a blog post here when Ravi Zacharias spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. He did this before any of the sexual scandal broke and I didn’t understand how he could enter that arena and be applauded. Something was wrong with the obvious fact that the Mormon leadership knew he would not question their false religion before he started speaking.
          Josh’s book, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” had a great impact on me in my late teens and early 20s’.
          Last year he apologized and stepped back from his ministry for awhile because of comments he made that seemed true to me.
          I know Henri Nouwen well. How he could have any positive effect on any Christian is beyond me.
          Your comments about the unhealthy environment in churchianity are spot on. I continue to listen to Alistair Begg on Sundays. His message yesterday was very good. I also listen to John Haller’s take on the events happening in the world and how they relate to Bible prophecy. There are some solid Christian leaders out there but they are definitely in the minority.
          Coming out of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, I always had respect for the SBC. Now, it seems that former/current baptists have been as critical of their churches as long as members of other wayward denominations have rightfully had a low opinion of so much going on among their leadership. The lack of discernment everywhere is saddening.
          I hope you have a restful Memorial Day.

          • Tom says:

            Thanks for the good comments, Chris. I hope you have a restful Memorial Day, too. I have to mow the front yard shortly, but I plan on resting on the couch after that.

            • Chris says:

              You’re welcome and I appreciate your kind words. I just got in, didn’t get a whole lot done and I’m sweating like a boxer. Great day for tomatoes though.
              I will stay in until things cool off later. I might just get a nap once I cool down. I love couch naps.

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    Social media really reveal how unbiblical many people are; I feel you with this and feel often pained seeing people be so whacky and undiscerning. And I’m praying for the SBC with all the coverup and scandals

  3. Lee Poskey says:

    Hi,I believe that you are referencing me in your allegation of calling people in denominations “dung.”

    You slander me by your allegation. I’ve never called the people in denominations dung, because I’ve never believed such.

    I called denominations “dung.” Moreover I even explained why I referenced them as dung because of the divisiveness that they create, (based on the warnings of division found in 1 Corinthians 1 and 1 Corinthians 3).
    Just as perhaps someone might represent the film industry as dung,that doesn’t mean that someone is referencing individual people as dung. It’s the organization as an entity that’s being referenced.

    And it’s because you misrepresentat of what I said that I took your comments down. As I’m not going to permit my site to be a dumping ground for slander.

    • Lee Poskey says:

      You want proof of what I said?

      Here’s my exact comment, copied & pasted exactly as it remains to this day…

      “I merely posted that to get baptists to hopefully see the baptist denomination for the dung that it is, and quit identifying themselves as baptists.”

      • Chris says:

        You’ll have to do better than that, Lee. This is only part of one of the four comments made. Please include the entire short “conversation” so that I can make a better judgment on this.
        Even this comment doesn’t help your case in my eyes. You use the term “baptist denomination” and then use the word “themselves.” This could easily be misconstrued.
        You take down the comments and now you accuse me of slander. Since you went to the trouble to copy and paste what was said, please provide the full proof and share the entire back and forth with me so that I can see it again.
        The comment doesn’t remain to this day as it was taken down before I wrote this post.
        And now everyone knows it was you, Lee. I never mentioned your name and would never do that even though you erased me.

        • Lee Poskey says:

          Here is the link to the post:

          Every spec of the post, and every spec of the comments remain as they were written.

          Yours (and my response to you) is the only thing associated with this post that I deleted.

          I didn’t keep any copy of our dialog, so I don’t have a copy of it to give you.

          You obviously misunderstood my intention in what I wrote.
          But from my perspective, you came at me in attack mode.
          Which made your attitude especially insulting when my intention was to expose false religion for the benefit of the body of Christ.

          I read what you wrote, so you accomplished your intention of sharing your thoughts with me.

          You accomplished your objective.

          And I felt it best as the owner of my site to remove such strife.

          And that’s what I did.

          Please forgive me for the hurt that I’ve caused you.

          • Chris says:

            Dear Lee,

            You are completely forgiven. As I wrote in the post ” In the scheme of things, I know what I experienced is nothing.” More than any disagreement we may have had, the censoring was the part the bothered me the most. Please do not censor me again.
            Your prospective, that I came to you in attack mode, was wrong. I was simply asking a question. After getting a weak reply, my second comment was a bit more inquisitive but certainly not attacking.
            A bit of advise: When you get a comment where you think strife is being caused, you may want to pursue it a bit further than two comments made by that person. In a situation like that, all can learn of the other’s intentions and censoring of a brother can be eliminated.
            Also, then the comments are there for all to see so that they can judge for themselves if the comments are attacking.
            You may or may not take this advise but I highly suggest you consider it.

            Thank you.

    • Chris says:

      Yes, I am referencing you, Lee. Maybe there was a misunderstanding on my part but why did you not deal with my misrepresentation of what you said on your blog? I had no intention of slandering you so why didn’t you correct me then?
      What I saw from my angle was that my comments were taken down with no reply and everything was erased. That reinforced that what I was noting seemed true.

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