There were a few things driving me from our modern Church system. One: The complex and business like nature it had become. I was looking for the simplicity of Christ, not complexity. Jesus was simple and deep, not complex and shallow, and so should his Church be. But most Churches today are completely “program” oriented, rather than the simplicity of flowing in the Holy Spirit.
Two: Along with the business like system, came a constant need for money. Somehow pastors were no longer living by faith and love offerings, as the early church did, but built mansions, ate expensive meals, drove luxury cars, fine clothes, had 401k, retirement funds, investments, and all while preaching about the one who taught us to be nonmaterialistic and help others. These big Churches were money hungry machines teaching a different Jesus than the Apostle Paul taught! (II Cor. 11:3-6)
Third: Jesus shifted us away from stone cold temples to the family warmth of tables in homes. He sat and ate with sinners. He got thrown out of temples. He showed us a Church “family”, not a congregation. But Rome and Constantine took us back into those cold temples, not Jesus, or the Apostles, or the early Church fathers of the first 300 years!
I could make quite a list of reasons, actually. The stage platforms, all the shish, boom, bah, and hype. Manipulation. Etc, etc. But so much of it seems to come back to the ego and pride of man, and a love for money, though they deny all this.
Black Elk experienced this first-hand in his day. Let me continue a couple of his quotes, and it will be very obvious what I’m referring to.
Black Elk > “But if the vision was true and mighty, as I know, it is true and mighty yet; for such things are of the spirit, and it is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost.” (Black Elk Speaks – Chapter One).
(Black Elk Speaks – Chapter Seven) > “Afterward I learned that it was Pahuska (General Custer) who had led his soldiers into the Black Hills that summer to see what he could find. He had no right to be in there, because all that country was ours. Also the Wasichus (basically referring to the white man) had made a treaty with Red Cloud (1868) which said it would be ours as long as the grass should grow and water flow. Later I learned too that Pahuska had found there much of the yellow metal that makes the Wasichus crazy; and that is what made the bad trouble, just as it did before, when the hundred were rubbed out.”
It is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost. I love the way he says that. And the yellow metal that makes the white man crazy! Indeed, indeed. Some things never change, but it ought not be so in the family of God!
The love of money. Ego and money are such temptations for man. I spoke to a lady the other day, who has struggled all her life to keep bills paid, while her Pastor is currently building himself a mansion; complete with vaulted ceilings, spiral staircase, a lake right out the patio doors, I mean really really nice. I asked her what she thought of this? She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Oh well.”
The old story of the King who thought he was wearing fine clothes, but was actually walking around naked, but no one would say anything, because of whatever reasons they may have had, until a young boy asked too loudly, “Why is the King walking around naked?” And the crowd was shocked!
These are a few of the reasons I left and simply went to God’s word in my Bible and began seeking simple truth. It’s there! And early Church fathers verify it all in early records written, and so much more! The fork of the road leading to the Dark Ages is there! And we are repeating much of history today, but for some reason, few there be who are willing to point out the naked king and offer real solutions.
This was all part of my early journey as I sought God in the Black Hills. That book came home with me, from South Dakota to Indiana. I was amazed at the greed, the love of money, the needless slaughter of the bison, the Indian’s food! For the love of money! And I see that same ugliness in our modern religious system! And we shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well?” I can no longer do that.
I hadn’t been home long when God led me to download 5,000 pages of early Church history and begin my studies. How enlightening it was. Men like Polycarp, disciple of the Apostle John. And events that were taking place at that time. Decisions being made. The path to the Dark Ages, but not till 300 AD!
So how did we stray from a Church that turned the world upside down, to a Church acting like the Roman Empire?! Hhmmm. Well…you can bet pride, power, and money had a lot to do with it. Few there be who was pointing out the naked king, and those who were, were not of the popular opinion, but time certainly proved them right. Those who had wisdom, those who spoke the obvious truth, those who were right, were ignored and pushed aside, their voices silenced!
But today…the Internet…easy access to information, books, historical records… podcasting… the truth is getting out there… knowledge is spreading… some are asking about the naked kings… a revival is building, but not in the big Church buildings. This modern system is too much like a copy of the world. It has become a millstone around our neck showing the world a different Jesus. Not the one who walked Jerusalem in the day, and died on a bloody cross, without a place to even be buried.
Yes, much of what an old Indian before my time had to say, speaks to me. God surprised me with that. Black Elk speaks, and so does God! Of the seven Churches of Revelation, are we Smyrna or Laodicea? The answer seems obvious to me, but not to those still applauding naked kings. It’s time to awaken, light your lamps, and see if your light is true, or dies? When was the last time you got away from all the rat race and shish-boom-bah, and went out somewhere “simple”, alone with God, and heard his “whispers”? This is where my journey to Micro Church began, though at the time, I had no idea.