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.
Select a tract, month, or collection:
My wife and I are clearing out the house, slowly getting ready to move, and we are going through everything. This is one of the things she found while going through the drawers in the oak desk. It is a letter written probably in or around the late 1980s. It was in my folder called "Adam's Stories". The staples were rusty that held the pages together indicating that it had been out in the storage shed at one time, and the notebook paper was lined with rounded corners and a little discolored. We don't have anything like that in the house. I don't remember when we did have that kind of paper. It it written in a "point of view" which is somewhat psychological. That is where I was before we attended Four Square in 1997. I thought that way when farming. If this was written in the late 80s or early 90s, it is really amazing.
In the reference towards baptism I feel like spirit baptism was what was referred to but water is being used as a means of example. That passage is vague and reflects that I was trying to write about something I didn't know about but was trying to grasp for. I feel like I would not have written against Christianity so strongly when attending Four Square, so it had to be written before 1997. And I don't believe I would have written about baptism like that after your tracts came. There is still a christian influence. One clue is that I don't recall ever listening to Christian radio. That is not something I normally do, even today. Another clue as to when it was written is in the opening paragraph which alludes to my trying to remember something that had been forgotten.
When I wrote the phrase, "It brought back a lot to me", it indicates that there was a time when I had pushed aside all memories of what happened to me in Christianity. Little flickers of my love for Jesus would come out every once in a while when something sparked them off, as in the instance of listening to a religious radio program. That was my life between 1980 and up to1997. It is a mystery to me. I wish I knew for sure when it was written. At any rate, it is a testimony as to where I was years after leaving Christianity in 1979. Parts of it feel like Jesus is talking and others are exploring thoughts and talking to myself. It is copied here exactly as on the two handwritten pages we found:
I was listening to a Christian station on the radio today. It brought back a lot to me and showed me a few things too or rather reminded me.
One song talked about someone willing to give all that he had.
Funny but something has happened to me over the years in that area - I used to "give all" too, but something becomes apparent when you stop "giving all" consciously. In Christ, I think one can grow into a conscious state of "having nothing" - even though you "have it all". Things become less real and spirit becomes more real. A person in the Lord sees all things as gifts from God to be used to glorify God. All that we have becomes "borrowed" only to be given back at any given moment.
I think this lesson was learned by the spirit slowly working on me over the years - dealing with a lot of losses and yet knowing slowly too that even in having nothing - we have it all when living in uprightness and clear conscience.
Strength in conduct, speech, and wisdom towards man is a towering wealth - not cars, houses, clothes, etc....
I still do not feel sure about the things I own today. They seem only a dream to me in many aspects. What is really real is waking up in the morning - liking myself and knowing I can do some good, somehow, today and be "with Him" through it all. All else is a shadow of reality. But, any provision is not lightly taken - and is deeply appreciated and cared for, every day giving thanks.
A message I would like to give to many Christians is - stop trying so hard to act out an "acceptable Christian life". Live and know - in fellowship with Him. Relax and attend to those things that interest you and are important in your life. He will show you the path to walk only if you are walking, and how can you help but do so. Trying to live a Christian life is a lie - a diversion from the truth. Being yourself and letting Christ live in you is better and much less murky progress is made. Don't muddy the water with your own efforts - the danger there is to trust in yourself - not God, and then following that is to see yourself - not God. and of course that isn't a pretty sight - so we feel bad about ourselves and are constantly repenting. This whole thing (Christianity) isn't God - it is man, and confusion.
Welcome Christians to freedom - you are sons and daughters now of an infinite intelligence - none of us can figure it out - but all of us can know we are a part of a huge - perfect plan - in His house.
Fear Not - a commandment of Christ - is one which we cannot of ourselves carry out (like all the others). Only "In Him" we fear not because we know there is nothing to fear.
Nothing, Nothing, and again Nothing can be done outside of Christ. We, from the beginning of faith - are In Christ.
It is like swimming in a pool of water as in Baptism. Something you may take the rest of your life to understand happened there. You became something totally different whether you believed the whole thing or not or even understood the whole thing. Jesus didn't ask you to understand it all at once. You may kick and scream through the confusing things that happen to you in your early Christian life. Not necessarily openly of course - but in the confusion of your mind. Little do we know when we are birthed we have a new daddy - the greatest teacher that ever lived. Our minds need to be slowly transformed - completely changed. Believe it or not - your heart was changed in an instant and it will always lead you to learn - your mind will follow.
All this is so much bigger than "church attendance", and living an "outwardly acceptable Christian life".
Every Christian I know has shunned me in one way or another. I am not doing what lines up with what they are taught. "I don't go to church anymore" I tell them. Their minds are instantly filled with a host of fears and negative images - and they push me away as a loathsome thing. Excommunicated is a powerless word. Nobody - no matter what - is excommunicated from Christ (if he wishes to commune with Christ). That is the funny little guarantee in Gods word - come unto me - "knock, and the door shall be opened unto you"- and that ain't no church door for sure. So again another lesson is learned through suffering - not by choice and not by my own derisiveness - accept everyone regardless of appearance as you would want God to accept you and love everyone to the measure that you have experienced God's love in your own life.
I'm still learning. We all are.
Dear Brother Adam:
This wonderful "mystery letter", written years before we met, serves to confirm what the Lord has taught us all; to wit, that we were hearing from Him before he brought us together in this place. None of the saints who meet in my house was hoodwinked into being here. No one was overpowered by a man's personality (certainly not mine) and joined a cult. (In coming out of Christianity, we escaped the greatest cult of all!) We were all searching for and sensing the right thing before we understood what exactly that right thing was. And that God, alone, has brought us to where we are today.
Thank you for sending this. It is a remarkable example of the truth that before we knew Him, he knew us and was drawing our hearts toward him "with cords of love".