From time to time I receive emails and information from people who are watching the evolving events in the Holdeman church,and to some degree I incorporate this news and information into my posts. I have recently received a bit of information that interests me. I will share it in bits and pieces here and give my take on it.
According to this source, “there is an absolute schism taking place – between the liberal and the conservative. The church has become a bunch of independent congregations who are governed by their ministers – and that overall governance has fallen apart. Changes and direction that are agreed upon in minister’s council – or annual meetings – whether to move more towards the conservative or more to the liberal – are completely ignored when it is brought back to the congregations. People in the different congregations are seeing the impact now as their kids are grown and choosing mates from different conservative congregations – and then they watch them trying to deal with the realities of going from conservative to liberal world along with new marriage.” In any case, the source is convinced that eventually the church will split.
So what am I hearing here? Two factions, liberal and conservative, splits, division, none of this seems right to me. The consensus brought to me by this individual is that the conservative side will dig in and become ever more legalistic and controlled/controlling, and the less conservative ones, shall we even say “liberal” will drift further in that direction. It would appear that this schism has widened to the point that an intact church can no longer contain both factions.
After Jesus was resurrected, the disciples had trouble knowing him because they were in the habit of knowing him after the flesh. When he was manifesting in a spiritual manner, they were lost. They had no clue. If they couldn’t recognize it according to the old ways then it was beyond them. Still, to this day, we want to recognize him according to the flesh instead of the spirit. Why do we not learn. It’s been 2000 years and people still can’t get it right. He cannot be accurately perceived with the natural mind, but only through the spirit.
How does this work when we insist on one true visible church? When we trace a lineage, when we write down laws and rules and list the ways in which we are right, are we seeing him according to the spirit, or the flesh?
So how do we see unity? Is it when we all believe exactly the same things about everything, and practice them in the identical exact same manner? Is this really unity? One thing that I can tell you is that if this is how you see unity, it is inevitable that you will soon experience schism and division. It is impossible to sustain this kind of unity. Our unity cannot be based on doctrines. Such unity is superficial at best. Having like doctrines is not a basis for unity, it is a basis for division. We delude ourselves if we believe that we can ever experience unity if it is based on agreement about a lineage, or anything else that we can perceive with our senses. Oh how we love to know that we are right. How we love to see where others are wrong. Whenever we attack or expose the sins of others, having pride that we are not like that, we have insured our own ultimate fall. This is why many heresy hunters become mean spirited and usually wind up doing more damage to the church through causing division than was done by the heresies that they were trying to confront.
Yes, this is so true. When men set about routing out the heresies, and slicing off the portions of the body that they deem to be unlovely, they are doing more harm than the supposed heresies they fear. We see it at work among us even now. The body is being carved into pieces and the blood is flowing. Can the body sustain this violence? I don’t think so. And still the ministers are in a bind. They have taught for years that they are the one true only visible church, and read the scripture that says there is no division, no schism in the body. How then can they tolerate the fact that there is in fact schism? In order to prevent a split which would be embarrassing, they keep trying to fix this broken machine. Unity! Unity! they cry. All the while the two factions are drifting further apart.
The church cannot heal, it cannot save, it cannot baptize with the Holy Spirit, it cannot lead us into all truth. Only the Lord can do these things. When our emphasis becomes the church more than the Lord we have been reduced to worshiping the creation instead of the Blessed Creator, and our faith has been reduced to a form of godliness which denies the very power of the gospel. We are not changed by beholding the church, we are changed by beholding the Lord.
I will make the comment again that the assessment of the church that was made at the beginning of this post is one person’s opinion. Yet, we see it happening before our eyes. There are misguided men who believe they can repair this thing by individually examining and fixing (according to their understanding) the wrong behaviors and beliefs. What they do not understand is that men and women need an inner transformation and this can never be effected by a man. We need more of the living Christ within us, not more right belief, more right practice, more benched ministers or recessed revivals.
Jesus will meet you where you stand. You do not have to be inside a church, or have approval of men, in order for him to meet with you. Do not be deceived. Men do not contain him within their walls. The time has come when the embarrassment of schism is upon the church. How will it all play out?
The passages in this article that are in italics are from Rick Joyner’s book There Were Two Trees in the Garden.