The religious system is supported in part by a series of special meetings held annually, semi-annually, and so forth. Denominations sometimes call them different things. One of the most common names is "revival." These meetings all have the same general idea motivating folks to a "spiritual-high" that will carry them over until the next such series of meetings. People often say, "They're so important, they help keep my battery charged."
Even the "Grace Movement," and a few other "fundamentalist" groups, are often caught up with their own particular version of the "revival." We get our "batteries charged" at what we call "Bible conferences." But where in the Bible do we get all this stuff? Where did this phenomenon come from?
The fact is, we do not find these "revivals" or "Bible conferences" in the Scripture. They were actually handed down to us from another source tradition. Would anyone disagree with this?
What is the source of this tradition? This was not the tradition of Paul that we are talking about here. It is the tradition of our fathers (i.e., our denominational fathers). It is "the tradition of men" the vary same tradition that Paul so warned us against (Colossians 2:8-23).
How could we so mindlessly be caught up in such a system of meetings that has no Scriptural basis? How could such meetings have secured so high a place in our priorities and activities? Have we never searched the Scriptures and ask ourselves, "Can we find this pattern in Paul?"
"Bible conferences" are human inventions that by and large rob believers of their time and finances, while usually being reduced in part, to an "us"-against- "them" sectarian "pep-rally." "Let's all chant together, 'We're Independent, Fundamental, AV1611 King James Bible Believing, Mid-Acts Pauline Dispensationalist'." And while at the conferences, we basically cover the same subject matter over and over to each other. This keeps us "charged" until the next conference. How is this different from the other denominations and their "revivals"? Don't we hear of "batteries" being "charged" just like the rest of the religious system?
And just where is our "batteries" located anyway?
One brother has put it this way, "I see these big meetings as just another form of 'pump-em-up' sales session. . . . Personally, I'm having some trouble seeing it as anything more than yet another organized 'church'. There always seems to be an agenda. . . ."
"Revivals" and "Bible conferences" are a part of the modern-day, religious, busy-ness system. It affords us the opportunity to build a reputation of respectability and spirituality, while continuing building our organizational identities. Why do we spend so much time, money, and energy in something that mimics the world system, and has no basis or foundation in our apostle, Paul?
Think on these things.
It would appear to me that some additional comments, on a personal level, may be in order at this time. As many of you may already have suspected, I have personally had great difficulty with the "Bible conference" system for some years now. After many restless nights and days of grief and struggle, I have finally decided to not attend any more "conferences." These "conferences" are contrary to the light that God has given me. I desire to stand outside the religious system. I want live outside the camp! Not one foot in, and one foot out.
In fact, I realize that I have lead people to the wrong conclusions about what I am trying to teach. No wonder that some of the saints think that I am just talking about the "other guys" when they read these e-mails, when in fact, I am talking about us!
Don't get me wrong, I greatly enjoy seeing the saints and having fellowship with them. The issue is nothing personal against anyone. It is just the whole system itself. This has not been an easy conclusion for me to come to, and it is not made on a whim. In fact it is more than a half a dozen years in the making. I have been struggling with this -- one conference at a time.
This is the decision that is consistent with my understanding of Scriptures, and the convictions of my heart and conscience. I am sure that I will also need to make other choices along the way to be fully consistent. But the time has come for me to "come clean" in this area. As some of you may have heard Oscar Woodall say, "You cannot stand against what you are a part of." "Our's is not a ministry of infiltration." "We must fly one flag." When I think of these things, they bring conviction!
Some of you may have known in the back of your minds that this day would come. I do appreciate your love, concern, thoughtfulness, and patience to and with me during this LONG transition that I have been in. You may not understand the steps that I am taking. But I do want you to know that I love you, nonetheless. I am not mad, unhappy, or disgruntled. I just must be true to my own convictions. I must be consistent.
Outside the Camp,
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