Monthly Archives: October 2009

“My Journey Out” (Part 12)

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Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10 and Part 11.

In early 1994, I drove back to Illinois to attend a high school friend’s funeral. It was held in a small church and I sat with my parents in a middle row of the sanctuary.

As I sat there on the wooden pew,  listening to the pastor, the Holy Spirit interrupted my thoughts and blanked out all noise from the service and the people around me. I was there, but I wasn’t. Then, He spoke to me:

“My Church consists mainly of a bunch of nice losers,” He said. “They pray for the sick, and if the person dies, they aren’t angry and don’t really feel that bad about it. After all, they did their religious duty.

“Now, in Major League Baseball, both the winning teams and losing teams want to win; it’s a part of each player’s make-up. But after a while, the losing teams’ players don’t really mind losing anymore. They still receive large paychecks and enjoy all the fantastic benefits of just being a Major League player. So, losing is not such a big deal to them.

“But this is not true for the winning teams’ players. Each of these players hates to lose and will do anything and make whatever sacrifice is needed to win games. They absolutely hate losing!

“I want My Church to hate losing!”

The conversation ended and I began weeping so hard I thought I was going to vomit. My sister leaned over. “Don’t you think that you should get a hold of yourself? You’re making a scene,” she whispered.

I shrugged my shoulders. There was nothing I could do, nor did I care what others thought of me at that moment. I was devastated by the Holy Spirit’s description of the Church:  “a bunch of nice losers.

Now, what’s funny is that I was upset with God for allowing my friend to die. I had witnessed to my friend over the years. Prayed for him. Fasted for him. Invested time in his healing. But still, he died and I was mad at God as I sat there in the pew!

So, wouldn’t you think that God would have corrected me about my anger at Him? And yet, He didn’t. Instead, He redirected my anger toward the Church’s losing attitudes.

From whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:16)

(Continued in Part 13.)

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“My Journey Out” (Part 11)

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Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9 and Part 10.

Just weeks after my salvation in 1985, I had dreams and visions. Most were about this and that, but there has been one recurring dream which I’ve had in almost every city I’ve ever lived in.

The dream has always been about explosions, gas pipes blowing up, bridges being destroyed, cars falling into rivers, buildings being destroyed, death and devastation. And the dream has always been adapted to the particular city I was living in at the time.

For instance, in Virginia Beach (VA), I saw US navy ships at the Norfolk Naval Station being blown up by missiles and bombs. Powerful ships sank into the bay, much like the ships at the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In a matter of moments, the largest naval station in the world was gone.

Maybe some people might attribute my dreams to a wild imagination and pepperoni pizzas, but that would not explain the many people who have had similar dreams.

Now, moving to California was certainly not on my life’s to-do list, but in August, 2001, Honey was upset with our sales jobs in Virginia Beach, Virgina. She kept seeking the Lord about something different and new for us.

Then, one day she said, “Larry, the Lord wants us to move to California. Pray about this, okay?”

I cringed when she mentioned moving to California; weirdos and lefties – yuck! But I caved in to Honey’s pleas and sought the Lord for a few days.

What happened is that the Lord filled my heart with an overwhelming peace, much like morphine mellows out a person who is sufering extreme pain.

And also, at the same time, I felt the Lord say that He would show me a sign for His reason in having us move to California sometime during our trip to the West Coast.

Thus, we loaded a twenty-four foot Ryder truck with our belongings and headed for California. Along the way, we stopped at our children’s and parents’ homes  in Pittsburgh (PA), Polo (IL), Faribault (MN) and then, Glidden and Jefferson, Iowa.

Most of us probably remember what we were doing on September 11, 2001. I was sitting at a computer in Jefferson, Iowa, checking emails. Honey was in the bedroom; and Honey’s uncle was sitting in a recliner watching the Today Show. Then, the first plane hit the World Trade Center. And then, the second plane.

Two hours later, both towers collapsed. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth one crashed in a Pennsylvania field. We were glued to the TV sets, wondering what was happening to our nation.

But somehow in the midst of the confusion, I knew 911 was my sign from the Lord for moving to California.

Now, before you get all huffy, remember: 911 was going to happen whether we obeyed God or not. The Lord just used the tragedy – which He knew about ahead of time –  to imprint on my heart that America was at war.

So, how does my journey out of the traditional church fit into all of this, right?

I see possible major terrorist attacks hitting San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. These terrorist attacks may not be low-level ones like 911, but instead, they may be nuclear or electro-magnetic pulse attacks. Hundreds of thousands of lives may be at risk.

And just like 911, we are not prepared.

Our federal and state governments, police departments and whatever are helpless. At best, we can expect them to show up with body bags to stuff corpses into, but that’s about it. So, don’t misplace your faith and hope in our governments. It’s a waste of time; time which we have too little of!

The only hope for the West Coast (and America) is the church. The one with Jesus Christ as the Head.

Yet, this underscores a major problem which the Body of Christ has in America.

(Continued in Part 12)

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A Video That Is Worth A Thousand Words

Here’s a video from Mark Pedder:

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“My Journey Out” (Part 10)

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Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8 and Part 9.

Rather, the present-day pastor was born out of the single-bishop rule first spawned by Ignatius and Cyprian. The bishop evolved into the local presbyter. In the Middle Ages, the presbyter grew into the Catholic priest. During the Reformation, he was transformed into the “preacher,” “the minister,” and finally “the pastor” – the person upon whom all of Protestantism hangs. To boil it down to one sentence: The Protestant pastor is nothing more than a slightly reformed Catholic priest. (Again, we are speaking of the office and not the individual.) (Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna, Tyndale Publishing; pp. 141)

To have pastors in a church is Scriptural, but the present-day pastoral system is quite unscriptural; it is an invention of man. (The Normal Christian Church Life by Watchman Nee)

No expression of a New Testament church is ever led by just one professional “holy man” doing the business of communicating with God and then feeding some relatively passive, religious consumers Moses-style. Christianity has adopted this method from pagan religions, or at best from the Old Testament. The heavy professionalism of the church since Constantine has now been a persuasive influence long enough, dividing the people of God artificially into laity and clergy. According to the New Testament (1 Timothy 2:5),  “there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” God simply does not bless professionals to force themselves in-between people and God forever. (Houses That Change The World by Wolfgang Simson, pp.10)

“Larry is a stubborn believer,” says my wife, elongating the word stubborn so that it echoes off walls.

Okay, admittedly, I’m stubborn. But my stubbornness pertains mainly to when I believe I’ve heard the voice of the Lord.  And if I think I’ve heard the Lord, then I will hang on until something happens or the Lord loosens my grip.

Have I ever erred in thinking it was the voice of the Lord when it wasn’t? Yes, I have my share of wrong presumptions under my belt…and the scars to prove it.

But as Graham Cooke says, “I’d rather err on the side of presumption than to not step out in faith when I believe the Lord has spoken to me. Presumption isn’t a sin, but fear is.”

I agree with Cooke.

And yet, when the Lord asked us to walk away from the traditional church system, I really struggled with it. I felt as though we were the only people in the whole world doing something as ridiculous as this.

Thanks to the internet, I soon learned that millions of believers in the United States were doing the exact same thing. I read books by Gene Edwards, Frank Viola, Wolfgang Simson, Watchman Nee and others. All of these encouraged me on my journey out

In a nutshell, Edwards, Viola, Simson, Nee and others proclaim the royal priesthood of the believers (1 Peter 2:9) and denounce the unscriptural clergy-laity separation in the traditional church system.

Though I agree with the teachings of the above men, I have a different passion for ecouraging people to exit the tradition church system, especially on the West Coast.

(Continued in Part 11.)

Larry Who’s writings and teachings appear on this site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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Trying To Find My Niche

This is just an announcement to let readers know that beginning today, I plan on writing three articles per week. Most of my scribblings will be series oriented and teachings of sorts, ie My Journey Out, Waiting on the Lord, etc.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing editorial, sound-off, give-a-piece-of-my-mind types of articles because I do. It’s just that my particular niche seems to be more along the lines of teaching rather than anything else.

Along with the three articles per week, I need to head back into the discipline of writing books, of which I have taken a detour from for a long time.

So, if you want, stop in on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m sure you will sometimes agree with me and sometimes not.

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“My Journey Out” (Part 9)

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Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8.

What was Jesus’ main problem with the Pharisees? Most of us would answer, “Hypocrisy.” Right?

Yet, when I look in the mirror every morning, I see the biggest hypocrite in the whole world, the one who I intimately know inside and out better than any other possible hypocrite. And guess what? Every believer, without exception, has this same problem at sometime or another.

Hypocrisy cannot be the answer. So, what was Jesus’ main problem with the Pharisees?

And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. ‘ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” (Mark 7: 6 – 8)

Did you know the Pharisees had ushered in a Judaic revival just before John the Baptist and Jesus arrived on the scene? Josephus, the historian, who estimated the sect at 6,000 strong, stated that the Pharisees were considered “the hope of Israel” and were the dominant spiritual influence for the Jews.

In fact, the Pharisees held many beliefs in common with Jesus. They believed in the resurrection of the dead, the Messiah’s soon arrival, angels, a day of judgment, a person’s free-choice and God’s sovereignty. They taught that God was a loving, all-knowing, just and merciful Creator. They called for Jews to live a life of obedience.

And yet, Jesus found fault with them.

Can you imagine how shocked the people were when they heard Jesus rake these so-called holy men over the coals?

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)

What was it about these traditions that bugged Jesus so much?

In their zeal for God, the Pharisees came up with rituals and programs to protect people from disobeying the Torah, and thus, reaping the wrath of God. For instance, the Sabbath Day’s Journey or just how far could a Jew walk on the Sabbath without sinning against the Law.

At first, the Pharisees determined a Jew could, in good conscience, walk within the boundaries of a city, especially to a synagogue or the Temple. Then, later Pharisees, determined they could walk 2,000 cubits (cubit = approx. 18 inches) outside the city. Later, this was upped to 4,000 cubits, or about one mile.

This minuteness to detail was carried over by the Pharisees into every area of daily life for the Jews. It became known as “the yolk of the Torah.” It was an impossible burden for anyone to carry.

Jesus exposed the traditions for what they were: a man-made religion filled with rituals, programs and traditions.

Now, what if Jesus visited the American traditional church system today, what would be the first thing He would point to as a man-made tradition? The office of the pastor.

So, what about the separation of clergy and laity? Is it scriptural?

(Continued in Part 10.)

Larry Who’s writings and teachings appear on this site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.


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“My Journey Out” (Part 8)

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Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7.

Have you ever had a prophetic word spoken to you which made you grit your teeth and hope it was wrong? As in…really wrong?

“You’ve been searching for a home, and the one you’ve found, is not it,” said Jim Goll to us at a meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

If Honey and I could have chosen any prophetic word not to hear, this would have been the one. At the time, we had moved  eleven times to seven cities in six different states in less than two years of marriage. We were feeling like the lost tribe of Israel, looking for the Promised Land.

Our response to  Goll’s words: “He could be wrong, right?”

But he was not.

Since that prophetic word in 1997, Honey and I have moved at least eighteen more times to nine different cities in three more states.

Now, in each city, we have attended some awesome churches. Metro Christian (Kansas City, MO). All Nations Church (Charlotte, NC). Vineyard Churches. Four-Square. Baptist. Friends. Non-denominational and countless others. We’ve met and fellowshipped with numerous believers; all of whom we would have enjoyed to stay around forever.

Yet, while I was driving my pickup truck on West Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia, I had a quick vision. In it, I saw a white iron lung. It was like the machines which were used in the 1950’s to help polio victims support their breathing during acute polio infections.

There was not an individual in the iron lung, but instead, the American traditional church system was on life support. It was barely breathing. I looked toward the back of the iron lung, and what I saw there shocked me. The unit was not plugged into a normal electrical outlet, but rather, it was plugged into bags and bags of money.

As I looked on, a voice spoke to me: “Pull the plug!”

Then, the vision ended.

Later that day, Honey and I prayed about the vision. We felt that we were supposed to leave the traditional church system; and we did.

Now to be honest, Honey and I thought (like Elijah) that we were the only ones who were asked by the Holy Spirit to leave the American church system. But thanks to the internet, we soon learned about millions of others who had similar experiences.

Hey, what about the separation of clergy and laity? Is it scriptural?

(Continued in Part 9.)

Larry Who’s writings and teachings appear on this site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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