Sadly, since my book has been published, I have been underhandedly assaulted with great force and fury, in ways that I would have never thought possible….even through my own children being set up and falsely framed by authorities. But this is what it comes down to…..Christians must be ready to give up all for Christ, and when the authorities come in and try to hold your dear loved ones over your head, you can’t ever back down on the truth. Besides, we mothers especially, have a tendency to let our children occupy places in our heart where only God belongs. Only by Jesus’ merits can we be given the strength to love Him with ALL of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and to… only love others as ourselves.
Like Pharisees who carried Christ in their Bibles, but not in their hearts, we who were in the so-called “Church of Christ” all struggled spiritually due to growing up in utter isolation from the true gospel. Though we were never persecuted for the gospel, we suffered in other ways.
Since the CoC misinterpreted verses, such as Hebrews 6:4-6, to mean that one could lose their salvation, we naturally concluded that one could never get it back (v. 6), which was why we’d often fall deep into despair and self-condemnation. My Grandma even wrote in her diary about how she wished we could realize that God is merciful. But she was blinded from the fact that our churches contradictory doctrine of “God is merciful….‘if’ we do our best”…. could never be reconciled with its misinterpretation of such verses. So all we could do was “hope for the best,” despite a chronic sense of doom.
As a consequence, we were all driven into a pressured life of over-achievement, prescription drugs, worldly competition, materialism and self-absorption. But the CoC’s “just do the best you can and maybe God will have mercy” motto, re-baptism, psych-meds, perfectionism, financial gain and the world’s praise could never replace the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and He warns those who attempt to do so.
“Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Lk. 16:15).
Rather than justifying ourselves based on our performance, we needed to judge ourselves according to God’s perfect standard, Jesus Christ. Only then could we have realized the futility of our sinful condition and truly turned to Him in order to be justified by faith.
Thankfully Christ rescued me and plucked me like a brand from the fire. He even rescued me from the medical establishment and granted me the ability to discern that it was being used by the devil to ignite the drug crisis in America. By God’s grace, I learned years ago to look to Him for help and the legal, natural remedies that He graciously provides from nature, rather than running to the doctor every time I get sick. Doctors are NOT little gods and should never be treated as if they are, which was what we did in the CoC, by looking to them for solutions to what were really spiritual problems… not “chemical deficiencies.” But I digress.
When those in the CoC first began to notice a change in me years ago, they despised it. Since we were taught doctrine contrary to the truth of Jesus satisfying divine justice for the sins of His people, they have been shocked and offended to find out that I believe Jesus has done just that for me.
Strangely, but not surprisingly, they even seem to be too afraid to find out exactly what I’ve written about in my book, perhaps because they fear that their fragile CoC foundation will be completely shattered. If they were truly secure in their beliefs, they would not be so fearful of reading my book and discussing it without having a sinfully psychotic episode, which many seem to think requires “psychiatric treatment,” when in all actuality… it requires God’s divine intervention. Because only by God’s saving grace can one respond rightly to the gospel.
Since the CoC has been unable to biblically refute the truth that I’ve come out with, they have resorted to some of the most sinister plots to try to undermine my credibility. And, of course, I’ve also been accused of being prideful for believing Christ has rescued and saved me. But even if that was the case, which it’s not (my only boast is in Jesus and what He’s done)….it is all still a meaningless response to the gospel that I’ve shared, and their sinful reactions have been such a disgrace on their professed religiosity.
Of course, there have been those who initially seemed eager to learn the truth, but have so far been turned against me, which has reminded me of the the scenario in Acts 13:6-12, where those who were initially open to truth, got turned against it. Even in Acts 17:13, the self-righteous Jews stirred people against the truth and those proclaiming it. This is what they must do in order to try to save face and do “damage control.”
The Bible rings more true to me every single day. Jesus even said, “ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake” (Mt. 10:22). If it were not for all of His warnings to be ready for persecution, I would be clueless as to why I have become a target for such hostility against the gospel of Christ. Thankfully, the shield of faith quenches all the fiery darts as Jesus continues to give me the strength to endure. His Word continues to remind me that He experienced the same. Even His own earthly relatives thought that He had lost His mind (Mk. 3:21; 6:4). So I am truly honored to be counted worthy to suffer for His name sake, even if it means that my name will be drug through the mud. Some sweet day He will vindicate me.
Like the ancient Pharisees who didn’t want to be justified by faith in Jesus’ righteousness alone, there are those who still want to believe that their own system of works and “moral excellence” will obligate God to save them in the end. So, in their eyes, I am not only considered a traitor, but I’m also even treated as if I am completely ignorant of what the CoC actually teaches, even though I was a life-long member! For, the veil is still over their eyes, making them unable to fully comprehend the heretical implications of their own beliefs, and the fact that their own religion has even condemned them to Hell.
For this reason, most of my CoC family (on both sides) has also been cut off from me by their bondage to the church. And this is why they have been the hardest to reach. Because love for a false religious system is always characterized by antagonism on a personal level toward any who present the truth. CoC adherents often identify their dislike of the Christian message with the messenger themselves. For many, who are enslaved in false religion, to admit their religion is false seems equivalent to admitting God isn’t true, for their system becomes a god to them. This is why it’s typical for them to isolate and shun those who begin to think independently, which can be very frightening to someone who is not willing to give up all for Christ.
This is also why so many remain in the system, even when they finally realize that it’s wrong–
“Many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (Jn. 12:42).
Some just don’t want to risk all of the persecution, marginalization and false accusations that they see me going through. They seem to care more about family ties and careers. After all, it’s hard to get and keep a high position and good reputation in an area dominated by a religiously abhorrent power structure if you are one that goes up against such ungodly conformity. So, many stay in the CoC, even after learning how blasphemous it is against the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
And Jesus is ashamed of those who are ashamed of Him (Mk. 8:38), for they—
“have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the Word’s sake, immediately they stumble” (Mk. 4:17, NKJV).
Copyright ©2019 by Lee Anne Ferguson.