“Church” Trauma

Neil Girrard
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Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Mt. 13:43 π Mk. 7:8 π Jn. 10:27 π Acts 7:48 π Rom. 8:7 π 1 Cor. 14:3 π Eph. 4:11 π 1 Ths. 5:21 π Jas. 1:27 π 1 Pet. 5:3 π 1 Jn. 2:21

Greek Words Mentioned in This Article
Loveagape – [26] π Assembly, “Church” (KJV)ekklesia – [1577] π Lot, Partkleros – [2819]

One author writes,

“Many apostles and prophets today are not in church at all, because they have not much room in traditional churches. They have been pushed to the side, they are often feared because they seem so strong, radical and different, and many have not only been marginalized, but truly rejected, and as a result have given up on church almost completely, maybe with a last flicker and a spark of hope still burning in them. Many of them are in business today, or have become medical doctors. More and more of them know deep down that they are made for more than just earning 10,000 dollars a month or operating ulcers, avoiding the church that hurt them, spiritually surviving by TV and Radio, and attending an occasional conference or a Christian businessmen’s ‘Chapter.’ Those rejected, undiscovered or underemployed apostles and prophets suffer from what I call the ‘church trauma,’ a very deep and tricky wound inflicted to them by the very institution of healing, the church, which did not live up to its own calling and, an almost devilish scheme, has badly hurt those whose ministries it needed most. Many of those Christian businessmen therefore heavily support anything but the church, invest into parachurch ministries and missions, as long as they can stay clear of the church which have hurt them so much. The tragedy of this is, that the church is God’s mission. Someone needs to find them, go to them, apologize to them profoundly, heal the ‘church trauma,’ speak to that glowing spark and fan it into a flame, and then recruit them, helping them to see how God sees them, and release them into their apostolic and prophetic potential for the building up of the church.” (Wolfgang Simson, Houses That Change the World, 1998)

Perhaps it is unfair to pull this quote from a book which has been replaced by the author with a new version but it is not to be missed that these quotes pull their understanding of apostles and prophets from the movement of that name – a movement with only one kernel of truth ( Eph. 4:11; top ) and heavily populated by frauds and counterfeits, super-imposters who now stand in places of impotence so as to usher in a brand new age of “apostolic” error and apostasy. That’s not the way they say it, of course – they call themselves “super apostles” stationed in places of importance around the world to usher in a new age of apostolic authority. It’s really not all that hard to see which statement is more honest!

This first quote here is only the “he’s hurt, he’s bitter” deception put into acceptable jargon for people still in “church” trying to wrap their minds around the apostles and prophets movement of the late 1990s. It’s really a way to dismiss what genuine prophets and apostles would have to say because in order to accept the truth about the “church,” these people, including the author quoted above, would have to stop believing that “church” is a good thing. The apostles and prophets movement failed in part because it refused to fully recognize the genuine nature of the “church” – and the “church” could not dare to recognize any true apostles or prophets who were speaking of the real roots of the “church.”

The deepest lie in the above quoted paragraph is the sentence that “the church is God’s mission.” No, the “church” is not God’s mission and the underlying compromise is a simple denial of the truth that “No lie is of the truth.” ( 1 Jn. 2:21; top ) But in order to unwrap this deception, we must first create a linguistic basis in which to even start discussing what’s going on here.

“Church” (the English word as can be found in any worthwhile dictionary) refers to the “Christian”: 1) building, 2) clergy, 3) religion and 4) people.

When we compare these meanings to the New Testament, though, we find that

  1. “The Most High God does not dwell in buildings made by human hands” ( Acts 7:48 ) so the “church” building is not His house.

  2. There is no exalted clergy class whatsoever in the New Testament except to be forbidden ( 1 Pet. 5:3 ) yet the clergy derives their name from the Greek word used in this very verse that originally described all the people (and not a select, exalted few “leaders”) as God’s heritage or portion. (see kleros [ 2819 ])

  3. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” ( Jas. 1:27; top ) More money is spent on “church” buildings and clergy salaries than on all outreach, charity and missions combined and showing how much like the world we can be and still be a “Christian” is a very acceptable norm at many, if not most “churches.”

  4. The word “church” has historically been used to translate the Greek word ekklesia. [ 1577 ] This word ekklesia is a political word that refers to the political assembly that gathered to attend to the affairs and issues of their particular locale. The Christians appropriated the word (just as they had with other words such as agape [ 26 ] which now refers to God’s unique and transcendent love for mankind) and thus ekklesia refers to the people who have been translated from darkness to light and are now to gather to attend to the affairs and issues of Christ’s kingdom as they need addressed in their particular locale. Thus people – the fourth definition of the English word “church” – is the only sense in which the word “church” has any relationship with ekklesia.

Three parts deception, one part truth – tells the story very nicely. When we look more closely at the two words, ekklesia and “church,” like this, we discover these serious discrepancies between the meanings – and these discrepancies are so serious that one even wonders how modern translators feel justified in using the English word “church” to translate the Greek word ekklesia!

In this light, then, it is much more nearer the truth to say that the “church” is not God’s mission – rather, it is Satan’s scheme (wile, strategy, confidence game) to deceive and divert people away from their appointed life in Christ. It is more nearer the truth to say that the ekklesia, the people who do and who will belong to Christ, is God’s mission. But the “church” as we know it is the Babylonian prostitute who uses her deceptive wiles to lure men away from the narrow path that leads to life and into the path that leads to destruction. Knowledge, rituals, authority, rhetoric, sophistry – all these and more are used to transform the newborn believer from a spiritual infant back into a carnal expression of lifeless churchianity, a corpse. And the depth and multitude of schemes that overlap within the “church” preclude this from being a merely human coincidence – it can only be a demonic scheme of epic proportions! Both the quantity and quality of dangerous and even lethal deceptions that can be routinely found at “church” more resemble the snake pit from an Indiana Jones movie than a place of loving and nurturing childcare! Anyone who denies these obvious facts is completely blind to the spiritual realities.

No, the “church” is not God’s mission – rather it is Satan’s most effective effort in his bid to keep God’s plans from coming into effect. This is why the “church” must be abandoned so that the ekklesia may again stand in unity with their King who leads them. This is why the angels will remove the tares from among the wheat so that the wheat, the sons of the kingdom, can shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. ( Mt. 13:43 , etc.; top)

The same author quoted above also wrote, “A prophet’s perspective is radically different to that of the pastor. He hears from God and quite mercilessly questions everything, including the pastor, from God’s perspective. That, however, is his healthy and God-given duty. For that reason, there is also a historical tension between the pastor and the prophet: one as a defender of the status quo, who wants to maintain the community; the other who questions everything and is seen (rightly) by many others as a threat, because he disrupts things and wants ‘movement now.’” (ibid)

This is simply religious confusion. While there is certainly a check and balance that exists between the functions of a shepherd and a prophet, everything should be questioned from God’s perspective ( 1 Ths. 5:21 ) and all of Christ’s sheep must hear His voice! ( Jn. 10:27 ) – not just the prophet. Any shepherd who places the love of the flock above his love for the Savior is as off track as a prophet who cares more about being right than he does about speaking the truth in love. Further, if a shepherd is truly functioning in God’s parameters of his gifting, he will not be threatened by what any prophet (who is also truly functioning in God’s parameters for his gifting) says or does. This view of inordinate tension between “pastor” and prophet simply betrays that the author (instinctively and “subconsciously” perhaps but certainly spiritually) knows that the “pastor” is – and is doing things that are – beyond the parameters of God’s intent for the function of shepherd. That is, the author knows the “church” is beyond the parameters of God’s mission but he continues to write as if it were operating in the true role of bride and body of Christ. This is merely deception in written form. The prophet who is truly operating according to the Spirit of God is indeed dangerous to the carnal inventions of men and demons but he is as much a part of God’s building process as the shepherd. (see 1 Cor. 14:3; top ) To see the shepherd as the benign maintainer of communities and the prophet as merely and at best, a policeman or, at worst, an intruder to be driven off, is a complete distortion of the fullness of both giftings. Historically and as is seen in this quote, the “pastor” has been given the presumption of “innocence” and appropriateness for his expression of his gifting whereas the prophet is given the presumption of guilt, stupidity and ineptness for his expression of his gifting. This presumption and unfounded bias has been a most effective hiding place for the deceptions of the enemy to do its work and this attitude is not at all from God.

Simson wrote, “Many apostles and prophets today are not in church at all, because they have not much room in traditional churches.” (ibid) This sentence was written about two years after I first left the “church.” I was certainly young and immature in the Lord at that time but I did not leave the particular “church” I attended because I was hurt by them and bitter against them for what they did. The event that caused my departure, my exodus, was a mishandled mess on both sides, to be sure. And at that immature stage, I was ready for a carnal kind of warfare with the one I attended – and this was a popular mega-“church.” I had goods on them and I could have proved things in a court of law or in front of unbiased, fair-minded witnesses, either one. I certainly could have and was all prepared to wage an internet flame war.

But the Lord intervened and spoke clearly to me and said, “Leave them alone – they are blind leaders of blind followers. The only reason they are blind is because they want to be blind. My sheep hear My voice. If they are not hearing My voice, what good is yours?” Only three people besides myself that I know of escaped from that particular abomination though I am confident the Lord has rescued many others at different times. But the vast majority of the people – and the conflict I was in came to involve everyone in leadership at that “church” – showed only signs of truly being under strong delusion, unable to recognize even the most basic of spiritual truth. Today I do not stand opposed to “church” because it has hurt or harmed me – I stand opposed to “church” because it is a lie.

It is indeed a valid reason to leave a “church” when the entrenched status quo will not permit you to grow up and become what Christ intended you to be. It is indeed a valid reason to stand opposed to all that is “church” when this systemic prevention of infants and children from attaining to spiritual maturity (or even life!) is the standard result around the world no matter what culture or time frame one examines! No one in their right mind would defend the murderous practices of an abortion clinic nor place a child molester in charge of a child-care facility but somehow we’re supposed to just turn a blind eye to the countless millions of people who have been spiritually aborted or mutilated, completely alienated from God, as a result of their “church” experience. No! No lie is of the truth. We have let the wolves be in charge of the sheepfold for so long that we can’t even recognize the reality of it all!

It is not merely “church trauma” that needs to be addressed. What we really need to address is whether we are a wheat or a tare, whether we are deceived or dealing in truth and light. When we can address these questions in Christ’s light and by the direction of His Spirit of truth, then we won’t need to worry about some “prophet’s” supposed hidden motives of hurt and bitterness. We will simply walk in the light of God and be ready to extend His grace (power and mercy) to any who have any motive apart from finding and following Christ and God wherever He may lead. With those who have been wounded by the hands of Christ’s “friends,” what would go much further than having some “pastor” or “church”-ite extend a profound and sincere apology (that is in reality seeking only to recruit them back into the deceptions of “church”) would be for “church” leaders to prostrate themselves before holy God, receive revelation about what it is they really are and do, repent and acknowledge that the prophet has indeed spoken rightly and truly about their religious abominations! This would go much further in healing any incidental wounds that may have occurred!

There is no attitude more condescending – or repugnant – than seeing some supposed “Christian” leader dismiss the truth of what someone else has to say by believing and hiding behind a lie. These are mere fig leaves that do little or nothing to hide shameful reality. The excuse that the speaker is secretly driven by hidden motives (which conveniently require no evidence to prove their existence) only shields the one making the excuse from having to come to grips with his own inability to live in the light of truth. “Church trauma” is just another convenient label we place on others so that we won’t have to repent of our own hidden agenda of keeping our self on the throne of our life. We don’t have to listen to truth if we can dismiss the messenger! This is an age-old trick and is as undeserving of respect now as it was when it was first brought up!

The “church” is perpetuated by “theologians” and “scholars” and “pastors” and speakers and talking heads of every imaginable title and denominational persuasion. Yet since these do not submit their intellects and understanding to God, they produce only more carnal abomination that wars against the will and word of God. ( Rom. 8:7 , Mk. 7:8; top ) And yet we are supposed to submit to their carnal perspectives and have no concern whatsoever about God’s perspective. How foolish! When we stand before God’s judgment throne – and every person will – we will be judged from His perspective, not theirs. It is indeed a foolish man who disdains the very perspective that will be used at the most important trial he will ever be the defendant in! But because the “pastor” and the “church” are above questioning and beyond examination, the one who seeks to know God’s perspective here and now must be explained away as merely a victim of “church trauma.” If this were only in some fictional book, it would be a laughable farce – that sincere men who claim to follow God espouse and propagate this nonsense is simply mournful.

If there have been any wounds inflicted upon anyone at “church” and especially any done by the hands of “church” leaders, the wounds are not to be excused and mislabeled as mere “church trauma” immaculately perpetrated on the victims by no one. And they are certainly not a means by which to dismiss truth. They are only evidence that something is very, very wrong with the way “church” is routinely conducted. To think otherwise is to fail to think clearly and spiritually – and this is a sign that the one who believes such foolishness is deeply deceived indeed.

Let he who has ears hear.

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