This year I bought new eyeglasses. They are huge. 1980s big. I did not realize until I got home that the brand name on my glasses was “True religion.” Perhaps you remember the song Losing my Religion by R.E.M?
That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough
I miss opening my Bible and reading it with little knowledge, just listening or looking at words that popped out at me. Meditating. Talking to a man I used to call Jesus. The flying J. Now, I call him by the Hebrew name, Yeshua, and mostly of late, I speak to the Creator and creation. Birds, flowers, trees, lizards, butterflies and whatever else I see, I greet.
Before the rabbit trails and the knowledge came—I thought I had something special. But there have been too many passages and books scrutinized, layers of unpeeling and processing information followed by more information. This has been my diet for a good 15 years. Studying things that twist up the brain. Often not retaining it. For instance:
There are 12 months, 12 zodiac signs, 12 apostles, 12 disciples, 12 tribes, 12 gates, 12 pearls and the Son, the Messiah.
The sun is the light of the world.
The Son/ Yeshua is the light of the world.
The risen Saviour.
The sun comes in the clouds and every eye sees the sun.
The Son comes in the clouds and every eye sees Him.
“And He said to them, “Behold, of you having entered into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him into the house into which he enters.” (Luke 22:10). The next house? Aquarius. Follow the Ruach, the Holy Spirit that soon will be poured out. What happens on earth is happening in the heavens.
On and on the rabbit trails go. Many go from Christianity to Messianic or Torah pursuant, some move on to Judaism, others to agnosticism or New Age. Many start out studying the Bible, then the Torah, the portions, from there they travel to Kabbalah, and the Talmud, and on to rethinking many things they have been told all their lives. Some teachers proclaim we can’t go by feelings, but gut instinct is altogether different. That signal in the gut that lets you know someone dangerous is following you at night on a deserted road before you ever see or hear them behind you is an important feeling to hone. If someone is teaching you something and it doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and weigh your fears. Do research. Today we can research many things. Maybe I haven’t dug deep enough.
The following comes from FELLESKAP FOR FREMTIDEN, blog titled The Mazzaroth in Bible prophecy:
“And I turned to see (in the Heavenly scroll) the voice that spoke with me (Yahovah had spoken, identified himself as Aleph/Tav, the Father). And having turned (He didn`t see Yahovah) I saw (in the Heavenly scroll) a golden lampstand (7 seven classical planets also seen as the seals over the Heavenly Scroll/stars) One like the Son of Man (the constellation Orion represents the Son of Man in the Heavenly Scroll) clothed with a garment (of the high Priest) down to the feet (tallit – Psalms 119:3) with a girdle of gold about His chest (chest plate of the High Priest Zachariah Chapter 3) The hair of his head was white like wool (John begins describing the constellation Orion, as white as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire, and his feet glowed like bronze which had been fired in a furnace, and His voice sounded like many waters (reference to the water-bearer Aquarius) And in his (Orion`s) right hand he had seven stars (Orion looks like he`s holding the remarkable 7 star cluster of the Pleiades) , and out of His mouth went a sharp, two-edged sword (the sword of Orion, a metaphor of the Word of Yahovah), and His face was like the sun (the sun is a metaphor of the Messiah) shining in its strength.¨
Photo by Guillermo Ferla on Unsplash
At this point, I may have lost you, been called a heretic, or worse. I’m trying to figure out where to go or how to get back to a simpler time. I have a four-part series coming out soon, but honestly there are many days I want to throw everything I’ve ever written away and write poetry or fiction. I’m trying to find myself again. Possibly, you feel the same way.
Once you start unlearning one thing, it leads to another and a whole lot of rabbit trails. Suddenly you realize you’ve been lied to, not just once at one “church” but repeatedly. The word cult becomes very familiar as you start to see that almost everything you’ve gathered for was cultish in its own way—each place adding rules and traditions and more bondage. Not only do you start seeing all the kingdoms we as men have built, but you also notice the languages and how different words take on different meanings over time.
In my youth, all the men behind pulpits prayed with a King James vernacular—Elizabethan English. It sounded sort of like this, “And the Lord says unto thee, thou shalt become a prosperous person, and no sickness shall cling to thy person. For He is the God that healeth thee.” After our ignorance was pointed out, we started speaking in simple modern terms, although some still talk this way. They might also wipe their brows with handkerchiefs and make loud noises between enunciating syllables, pounding on pulpits, and slapping the Bible. Others have gained a different vocabulary and multiple new topics of interest. Hebrew has become a way in certain circles of using words like Pesach instead of Passover, speaking the Torah portions in Hebrew, or speaking the Hebrew names of the authors of the Bible. Or instead of saying we are having a gathering on Friday evening, bring a dish, many say oneg. Oneg (Hebrew: “Sabbath delight”) The word is found in Isaiah 58:13, and other places and means delight.
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We often hear words so often that we think they are normal, and we never research where they came from. A friend of mine mentioned that she wondered why people say, “Bless you,” after a person sneezes. Who came up with this?” as she was talking, I was thinking about other words that we say that are just habits. However, when I said the word “ministry,” she said, “what does that word even mean?” This blog is dedicated to her lovely brain that keeps me bouncing around with new thoughts.
Here is a list of words I have been mulling over lately.
- Prayer warrior—Since prayer in its truest sense concerns introspection, I’m not sure about this label. This term “Prayer Warrior” makes it sound like there are those who fall into special categories, and their prayers, or way of praying, can battle or war against an enemy.
All this hyped-up language makes one believe that people are going to battle as a warrior to fight the Devil. King David simply asked the Father if he could pursue the men who burned Ziglag and took their wives and possessions, and be triumphant. The Father told him he would recover all. We don’t hear him praying all these commands and telling angels where to go or the devil for that matter. This “prayer warrior” language is not what Job did, and if anyone were a “prayer warrior,” it would have been the apostle Paul, but he died like the rest of his fellow apostles. No one stops Stephen from getting pelted with stones. Were there no prayer warriors in the 1st century? If I were to latch this term on someone, it would be Hannah or Esther. How would you describe it?
- Prophetic intercessors—James W Goll, author of The Seer, The Prophet, and over 40 other titles, gives three definitions for this term on his blog The Power of Prophetic Intercessory. They are as follows:
Three Definitions of Prophetic Intercession
- Prophetic intercession is the ability to receive an immediate prayer request from God and pray about it in a divinely anointed utterance.
- Prophetic intercession is waiting before God in order to “hear” or receive God’s burden (God’s Word, His concern, warning, conditions, vision, or promises), responding back to the Lord and then to the people with appropriate actions.
- Prophetic intercession is not as much praying to god as it is praying with God. We let go of our agendas, and we take the time to receive the desires that are in God’s heart. Thus, prophetic intercession (revelatory prayer) is praying with God!
I wonder if the prophets hidden in caves by Obadiah would have called it this? I wonder if this is an accurate term to use. Possibly I’m overthinking everything at this moment. But Jeremiah must have lacked in this area, or he would have skipped writing Lamentations and never been thrown in a cistern. I guess he was not able to intercede for himself. (sarcasm). What are your thoughts? Possibly he needed a team of intercessors to intervene and shake the heavens on his behalf. See how that sounds? What are your thoughts on these terms?
Photo by Sherise VD on Unsplash
- Pleading the blood—This is by far my worst pet peeve. I have heard of people pleading the blood over their washing machines and their computers that were on the brink, but nowhere in scripture are we told to do this. Not Paul or Peter or any apostles bring forth these instructions. This doctrine possibly originated at Azusa Street by William J Seymour, a one-eyed black man who led the Azusa Street revival. He would often “plead the blood” over the sick. Many were healed and received miracles. Later, this doctrine was introduced by pastor Larry Hutch, using the seven places Yeshua bled from. It was instructed to sheep as a means of covering family members that were lost or protecting them. At times it was used as a formula. “I plead the blood of Yeshua over, insert name and then tell Satan he can’t cross that bloodline.” Concerning salvation, the word is clear. I’m paraphrasing Acts 16:31, “Believe on Messiah Yeshua, and you will be saved, you and your house.” So how did this teaching also work its way into material substances? Pleading the Messiah’s blood over material objects seems quite sacrilegious; the same blood poured out at the cross will be pled over a dilapidated washing machine. We read nowhere in the New Testament of anyone pleading the blood or sprinkling it. Paul did not plead the blood over the demon-possessed or the sick. The priest could not sprinkle the blood just anywhere. Yeshua is our high priest. How do you feel about this one?
Many of these word terms may be familiar to you, others not so much. It really depends on your upbringing, background, and religion.
The term or word religion is a word no one exactly knows the origins of, but one definition is cult. The word religion is thought to come from Latin.
. . . and directly from Latin religionem (nominative religio) “respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods; conscientiousness, sense of right, a moral obligation; fear of the gods; divine service, religious observance; a religion, a faith, a mode of worship, cult; sanctity, holiness,” in Late Latin “monastic life” (5c.).
religion | Etymology, origin, and meaning of religion by etymonline
Ministry— c. 1200, ministerie, “the office or function of a priest, a position in a church or monastery; service in matters of religion,” from Old French menistere “service, ministry; position, post, employment” and directly from Latin ministerium “office, service, attendance, ministry,” from minister “inferior, servant, priest’s assistant.”
ministry | Etymology, origin and meaning of ministry by etymonline
Over time different words form or take on different meanings. Today if a car is sporty or cool, the younger generation may call it “sick.” The Bible doesn’t mention doctrines, creeds, dogmas, Statements of Faith, What We Believe, Membership card or any other cue card. Religion and its terms are not just Christian issues, it’s also an issue in Judaism and Messianic communities. The car looks great many times. The vehicle we call church or gatherings can look good on the outside and still be “sick.” All the terms above have crept in over time, along with all our rituals we think are holy. We change one ritual or tradition or saying for another.
Here are a few more terms I may try and expound on if anyone is interested, or perhaps you’ve already investigated these? If so, share your thoughts, I’d love to hear them.
Slain in the Spirit
Speaking in tongues
Ushering in the Holy Spirit/Ruach
Commanding and loosing angels
Binding the Devil—
What terms or language do you wonder about?
Pure Religion–“Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)
PS. New releases are still awaiting book covers. We are hoping this is almost completed. To be continued.
Great blog! I wonder how many others can relate to your ponderings. Our ponderings. The book of Ecclesiastes was a hard read in my younger days. Now I find myself shaking my head in agreement with the writer. What could I learn from the wises man on Earth? So far, just stay humble. Keep it simple. Because the more I trick myself in to thinking I know something, I learn I know nothing. Loosing my religion is the best decision I have ever stumbled upon. Love comes more naturally. Compassion is easier to have. Trying to learn God’s ways are easier, that yoke is light.
“For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.” Ecclesiastes 1:18
And you said it all, “The more I trick myself to think I know something, I learn, I know nothing! LOL
Great blog!!! I’ve been losing my religion for some time now and learning to lean into Messiah more in relationship with Him. I’m so in love with Him that all these religions of men make me nauseous. I totally agree with this blog!!!
I think that is the secret. Moving back to our first love. Stepping away from what we as men have made it. Love you.
Bonnie, I once, a very very long time ago, waded foolishly in the broken cistern of much of what you’ve written about in this post. The hour is late. The path only narrows from this point onward.
in a recent phone call I said: feed your people. clean your house. read a book. the simple days. I’m right there with you and just cringe at a lot now. I can’t go back so I cling. and hope. The anchor always holds.
this too is vanity….I just re-read all of ch 12 of ecclesiastes and especially the first part cuz i am old and can relate to not enjoying quite so much as earlier days. So I obey the summary as best as each day presents itself. I give the pain to Him continuously and read His book..
Cringing and clinging. Yes, my friend, that sums it up. Ecclesiastes keeps coming up. That used to be my favorite book. I told a pastor that once and he said, “How depressing, that book shouldn’t even be in the Bible.” I guess Lamenting shouldn’t either. I’m thankful for you and the others who have commented and made me feel not so alone or strange.
This is the most real, powerful and clear writing I’ve ever read from you. It’s like seeing the bottom of the river at the top of Niagara Falls. It’s so visibly clear yet beneath massive life altering power.
Perhaps I feel this way because it lands square and level in my heart. Perhaps because I relate. Perhaps because my spirit resonates with the Holy Spirit Who inspired you.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Your words are a gift and they help me, and ALL who read them, align thoughts and impressions.
Strange, well, we are called to be a peculiar people for sure! I love you.
Thank you, Ellen. I pray it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. It’s hard to feel so much and still feel numb too. So much transition coming over and over again. I’m glad you could relate and that I am not alone. This email has caused an old friend to become very angry with me. Sometimes words cause eruptions. Even when we do not intend for them too. I sure love you. Thanks for the encouragement.