Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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From a conversation with Brother Tom Traughber
Since I obeyed the call of Jesus and came out of Christianity, I have desired to have a reputation for being a non-Christian. Brother Tom Traughber helped me understand more perfectly why I felt that way.
Brother Tom has a dear relative named Benny. After many years of showing no interest in God, Benny began to feel a sincere conviction to seek Him. He began attending worship services at a Christian sect, which is what almost every one of God’s children does when they feel a call from Jesus. Benny had always told himself that if he ever became a Christian, he wanted to be a Christian like Tom. So, Benny came to visit Tom and his wife Suzi to talk to them about the things of God and to let them know that he was now trying to serve God. Since he felt that Tom was the best example of being a Christian that he knew, he wanted to share his new-found Christian faith with Tom. One can only imagine his surprise when Tom frankly told Benny that he was not a Christian at all.
This bluntness was not typical of how Tom spoke to people about coming out of Christianity (Xty), but he felt led by the Spirit of Christ to do so on this occasion. He loved Benny and did not want him to become another victim of the deceitful spirit of Christianity. Benny left Tom’s house that evening convinced that Tom was suffering some form of mental illness and told his wife as much. So, instead of returning to talk more with Tom about repenting and serving God, Benny threw himself whole-heartedly into the local Christian Church he had joined. As with all who have a zeal for God, Benny was quickly given offices to hold, responsibilities to meet, and titles to enjoy.
It was a wonderful choice Tom made that evening to obey Christ and confess the truth to Benny. It actually may have saved Benny and his wife from a long life of hypocrisy and frustration. In just a matter of months, Benny became disappointed with Christianity, just as Tom had suspected he would. Whenever any person who is truly hungry for righteousness becomes a part of Christianity, disappointment must follow, for only the holy Ghost can satisfy genuine hunger for God. No claims of “getting saved” or flattering titles and positions can quench genuine thirst for the waters of life.
But the beauty of Tom’s confession of the truth was that when Benny became disillusioned with Christianity, he was not facing a dead-end, for he knew a man, Brother Tom, who served Christ without being a part of Christianity. Most of God’s children cannot make the “disconnect” between Jesus and Christianity; they think that to serve Jesus, they must remain within the whitewashed walls of that religion. The Lord is calling for them to come out of that religion, but they have not been taught how to recognize His loving voice. Christian ministers cannot train God’s children to hear that voice because they themselves do not recognize it.
Tom blessed Benny the night he told Benny that he was not a Christian. Tom wondered for months why the Lord Jesus led him to speak so plainly about his exodus out of that religion. Now, it is clear why. Benny belonged to God, and God knew that Benny would be disappointed in his search for God within the walls of a religion that is contrary to the Spirit and truth of Christ. And God wanted Benny not to be discouraged about seeking Him when he became discouraged with Christianity. God was wise to know that, and Tom was wise to obey the leading of God’s Spirit. It is never wrong!
By the time Benny and his wife came to a prayer meeting with Tom, their hunger for God had grown tremendously, and the first night they came, both were filled with the holy Ghost and fire. It was a beautiful thing to witness. But isn’t that, after all, what Jesus promised when he said, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled?”