A sweet and precious lady came to the Church and prayed trough to the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
She was so happy, like a child who had found something wonderful and exciting. The glory of God was all over this woman, you could see a complete change in her, a meekness and tenderness that had not been there before.
Almost immediately, she was told that in order to be right and if she had truly received the Spirit, she should take off her wedding rings.
Actually, they were beautiful and likely expensive, a great gift from her husband. The man was not in the Church and he sorely objected to her removing her jewelry.
He did not think this had anything to do with salvation and that the Church people had no right to require this of his wife.
He did not oppose her being in Church but she continually felt that she did not measure up to what they required and under the pressure and feeling less than, she eventually dropped out and never returned.
She is no longer with us. A beautiful and precious light went out. I have to say again, she was so happy, the way many of us once were.
Some time back I happened to see the ministers wife from back in that time and I must admit that I was shocked. A now liberated person, you got it, short hair, make-up and of course, jewelry.
Super conservative folk need not bother to respond to this note.
I am saddened with the memory of this beautiful lady who really never had a chance and I have no desire to argue or clash with those who require so much of others.
We have learned that some of the rules we forced on new converts and even ourselves were not always Biblically based.
Some think I am still going to hell for my mustache, but since God put the hair there, discuss it with Him.
I have decided that we should let Church people believe and practice whatever codes they subscribe to, in other words, leave them alone. According to Jeremiah and Ezekiel, they will answer for the treatment of His sheep.
She was driven out. It’s clear and simple. Some of us have learned a lot in the past years and our attitudes and requirements of others have changed drastically.
Even in the old days, not allowing a new convert to grow and learn the ways of The LORD before expecting them to be grown, seasoned Christians was a fast design for failure, and many did fail.
They did not fail God as they supposed, they failed us and our expectations so we thought we had the right to just boot them out. Tender plants need time to grow. An acorn does not become the mighty oak in a day.
Television was a big issue. You couldn’t have the Holy Ghost and watch television. I’m not playing hardball here, I’m reaching for that precious lady who lived the rest of her time feeling she couldn’t measure up, that she must not love God enough, that keeping peace at home and trust with her husband must not have been important.
We all have made mistakes in this, whether we admit it or not. What responsibility do we have today to those who slipped through our fingers because we followed someone else’s teaching or principles, merciless and harsh to brand new babes.
Can the Church today find the place to just say they were wrong about some things?
Can it ask for forgiveness?
The New Testament churches certainly did not have everything right. There was a lot of sorting out the apostles had to do and frankly much of it was along these very lines.
Truthfully, we did some of the very things Paul told us not to do. It’s in the same book.
God’s Church is not perfect, far from it. The Body of Christ has not as yet been perfected. Therefore, since we the people are members of this body and have more learning and growing yet to do, can we be truly mature men and women of God and go to some of these same kind and simply say, “I was wrong. I was too hard on you and I had no right to be. I hurt you, I didn’t mean too. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time and I didn’t know any better. Now I do.”
We did some things in ignorance, perhaps just following what someone else told or taught us or to please our peers, without searching out these things for ourselves.
I did, I openly confess this. Right now, I have to go to a minister whom I conferenced with many years ago and tell him I was wrong, that I spoke things that I really did not know.
What I thought was truth then was just someone else’s opinion, something I had not truly searched the Word for myself, even though I truly believed it at the time.
The scripture says we should ‘search out our own soul salvation, with fear and trembling.’ This is part of our end-time revival, reviving the right love and attitudes toward one another.
If we know we have made mistakes in some of these things and are not willing to make amends, we need not expect a mighty outpouring in our midst.
Why would He give us tons of new souls if we have not repaired the damage we’ve done to those we already had?
First published: June 7, 2011.
~ Robert Blackburn