Have you ever had the feeling that you are “included” with a group or a person/s, but when it comes right down to it, you are really not? That you are included whenever the group or the person/s involved WANT YOU TO BE, but otherwise not? In other words, included only at the convenience of “them” or “they”, or “he or she”.
In yet other words, you are not really part of, despite what they say, that unit, that “we” or that “us”? Because in truth that “we” or that “us” does not really include you, not really, not at the bottom line of things? Where it really counts? That these types of folks hold cards in reserve, want you when they want you, but otherwise, “don’t bother me today, I have other things to do” type of attitude?
So now let’s take that all too real concept and go back to the days of the Lord, and we could extend that all the way through the entire church age. Have you ever gone to a church where you were told you were part “of them” but you sort of knew you were not? Not really? That all of this is fallen humanity conditional acceptance – but oh how conditional it really is at the root of all of it. Yes, you are welcomed (possibly), as now part of a larger group and this is your new church “home”. You become a “we” or an “us”. Their home is your home sort of thing? But as they examine you, as they explore who you are, what you are, they begin to distance themselves because it is found, alas, you do not believe perhaps, exactly as they do, or for any number of reasons that can be conjured up, and you ask questions that “they” cannot answer or do not want to answer, or do not want to discuss it. Suddenly your new “home” is really not your home at all – only when they want it to be, but otherwise “not”.
The more questions you have, the more they cannot answer, and then the “included” becomes slowly a “not included”. The church functions, the private invites to people’s homes for private entertainment, and you find yourself on the outside looking in, not invited, excluded, and wondering what and why all of this happened? Where once you were “in” and “included” in all functions and private invites. Their family and their friends were now part of your family and your friends. They were excited for you to meet their relatives and friends, could not wait to have you meet them. But then, for one reason or another, you find out that the “family” is not really your family at all and well, somehow you never get to meet all of these other folks. Somehow it all vanishes away in a smoke.
Once you were “in” and now you are “out”. Once their home was your home, their friends and relatives were your friends and relatives, but now it becomes their home and “private”. You are not included. You have been “uninvited and excluded”. Does not matter what reason is actually given, perhaps none at all. It is what it is. And it hurts. Exclusion always hurts, no matter how strong you may think you are. Jesus was acquainted with all of that. So is anyone who really knows Him. One is really never in, not in this world, in spite of all the rhetorical baloney handed out by lying lips and lying brains. It is what it is.
So what are we looking at? It is a good look at the depraved human heart. Fully conditional. “I will love you forever and ever, eternity even…IF” Or “You only, no one else IF” . It has actually been that way all down through time. You are “in” and then you are “out”. Once you were invited but now you are not. Usually starts small – one invitation not given, then another, then another. It all depends upon what the definition of IF is. You get the drift… So be ready for it – especially in these days and times, where family will betray you and feed you to the dogs…
Let’s take that concept to the corporate world, you know, that dog eat dog Marxist/communist slave organization, that freedom loving Americans have sold their souls to. In that world you can be in until they use you up, and then you are out. The selling of men’s souls, as it were. It is a form of usury. Human usury. Why do people beat out their brains, destroy themselves and others just for a paycheck from a communist organization, which is exactly what a corporation really is. It is of the fallen nature. No matter where you turn you find it. So how does one handle it? How do you handle this sort of behavior?
There is no easy answer to it. Whereas Christ and His love is open, totally transparent, all accepting, always welcoming no matter what or who, never disinvite for any reason and ready to accept one and all, fallen nature is just the opposite. Secretive, exclusionary, private. ” I will love you if, and then the list of ifs are given. Conditional, very conditional. The two stand in stark contrast one to the other. When the love of Christ meets the other head on, well, it is hard to understand it.
“A soul convinced against their will, is of the same opinion still.”
No true believer could ever possibly ‘fit’ into this world’s system. After many rather painful experiences I finally came to accept that I simply don’t fit in. In fact, things have become so bad that true believers won’t even fit into most (if not practically all) churches. Many times I’d been ostracized and ultimately kicked out of churches simply because I’d been asking questions that they either didn’t want to hear or else they didn’t want to address.
In today’s modern ‘church’ people have actually become nothing more than merchandise to their pastors (2Pet 2:3) and they’ll exploit you for gain (their gain and your loss). I’ve also come to learn that today’s modern churches are actually dangerous for true believers. You can find out a few of the reasons why in Eze 22:25-29, Eze 44:5-12 and Ps 1:1. Below are verses that came to mind as I read your article.
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” 1Co 1:26-29
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” Jn 15:18-20
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Lk 6:22-23
Stewart, your message is so right on target, even though only a few are likely to understand what you’re saying. The sheep will…but the goats will not. Thanks for continuing to feed God’s little flock.
thanks for a good article Bro. Stew – I call it the “square peg vs round hole” syndrome – thus can’t fit it in.
this article is a perfect answer as too why some cannot stand our company brother Stewert
Been there done that, unfortunately more than once. However all the more reason we should put our trust in Christ, not in man! Good read thanks Stewart
Hello, I find myself in this same camp, and when it really started bothering me (not because I want to be like everyone else but because like Stewart said, it does hurt sometimes) one day when I was reading, a verse popped out at me that cleared this up for me and I hold on to it in my heart, just thought I’d share in case it helps anyone else:
Leviticus 20:26 “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine”
That ye should be mine….we don’t realize how powerful that is. Sometimes when certain situations find me it then reminds me that I do not belong to THIS world, so I can’t belong the same way. Take courage because anything we lose here, we will have so much more where we are going.
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I always felt that way my entire life. Not fitting in. But we have something the world knows not of, The promises of God. Yes even in the true church we are alone. I watch, and have become like a sparrow that is alone on the housetop. But remember Gid takes care of that sparrow. How much more us?
It’s about time you put out a E-Mail like that. I felt it al through my child and youth in the catholic church. Then when I started digging. I found all the sin of the church, Funny. Every one knows Friday the 13th, But no one knows it at all. Even in the basic Christian churches, they to are some what blinded, and I find myself/leading my self in the continuing pursuit to come closer to Jesus.
Oh My Stewart! Your blog could not have come at a better time for me. I was just crying my eyes out to the Lord about this very thing topic in prayer when after I looked at my email and your blog was presented.
I am included in family and not really. That’s been the story of my life. I’ve been asking the Lord to show me what he wants me to learn from all of this and it is probably what you’ve said: the fallen humanity conditional acceptance. We don’t have love to save our souls.
I praise the Lord endlessly that we have someone who has gone through it, can make intercession for us and can show us what true love really is (if we obey his commandments).
Thank you for this important writing and I am putting Cindy in my prayers.