IN THE WORLD there is common belief, standards, norms, and customs. Behind most of these norms is a mass of people who ignorantly go along with the unobserved life, or people who willingly follow the crowd. We are warned in the Scriptures about the broad-path and not following popular opinion if it is evil (see Ex. 23:1-3).
If you are walking alone with someone you know, let’s say a close friend, and he or she asks you to do them a favor; you will be more inclined to say, “No” to them. But say, you have a group of all your close friends and they all request you do something you don’t wish; you will be more inclined to say, “Yes”. When multiple people are telling you what to do, persuading you, giving you advice, and pressuring you; your ability to say “no” to them will be more difficult. This is especially true for those who are dependent passive-people pleasers.
What makes leaving the Institutional Church difficult is that it seems as such a radical, unpopular, and abnormal belief in the eyes of the masses. With such intellectual, persuasive, and seemingly good intention-ed people promoting such organizations, the majority of people see the IC as a place were people can get their lives together, have ties to the community, build a family, connect with others, and help change lives. The IC is seen as virtuous, as moral, and regarded by society as a place that’s upright.
However, what has to be objected is all things must be judged. When judging with spiritual discernment this is were the IC takes a turn for the worst. If the majority of people were spiritual and judged all things; they would have understanding of the fallacies, errors, deception, doctrines of devils, religious evil-spirits, nonspiritual fleshly worship, vanity, unbelief, and denial of power that every church takes part in. Not to mention that there are people professing to be believers yet, are such as the Apostle Paul prophesied would be like in the end-times, whom we are warned to turn away from (see 2 Tim. 3).
Looking at the only Lord, Jesus Christ of Nazareth and the time He walked this earth in the flesh before being crucified. He never succumbed to popular opinion, norms, crowd mentalities, and the masses. He did not care for what the majority thought. He only desired to obey the will of His Father, even if that meant believing what no one else in the world believed. Jesus was labeled by religious people as demon possessed, others saw Him as literally insane. There was never a time when Jesus was an outsider to the popular opinion and beliefs.
The Lord specifically warned that the way of life is narrow, oppressive and only few would find it. We are not to follow the masses and the easy, wide-broad path that leads to destruction. Walking by faith, means not walking by sight. Religion is unable to present faith, and therefore must rely on the seen for their faith to be authentic. The faith they present is not of God, and is humanly inspired to trust in works, rituals, traditions, and that walking by such is faith. Or, that faith is some willy-nilly blind trust, a sort of attitude like, “Throw yo hands up in the air if you jus don care!!”
True faith comes from God, and “is the assurance of the things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). We have been convicted of the not seen reality of the Institutional Church, and have assurance of what we hope for, namely the revelation of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Despite what the masses see, we will not rely on the seen, but the unseen conviction, and walk by faith.
It takes faith that comes from God to leave the IC, and when He does provide the faith for you to leave, you will always have a go to haven here at Pam Sheppard Ministries. Contact the number 888-818-1117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss the IC, or the ministry.