If you do not read all the scriptures (I HOPE you do!), scroll to the end and read the last one...
Before I realized something was really wrong:
Jeremiah 6:16-19, 21 NLT
This is what the LORD says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’ I posted watchmen over you who said,
‘Listen for the sound of the alarm.’
But you replied,
‘No! We won’t pay attention!’ “Therefore, listen to this, all you nations.
Take note of my people’s situation. Listen, all the earth!
I will bring disaster on my people.
It is the fruit of their own schemes,
because they refuse to listen to me.
They have rejected my word. Therefore, this is what the LORD says:
“I will put obstacles in my people’s path.
Fathers and sons will both fall over them.
Neighbors and friends will die together.”
2 Corinthians 11:4 NLT
You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
Colossians 2:8, 16-23 NLT
Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.
You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.
1 Thessalonians 5:18-21 NLT
18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.20 Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
1 Timothy 1:4-11, 19 NLT
Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.
The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.
We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.
Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
The Day We Sent Our Email:
Galatians 5:1-26 NLT
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.
Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
1 Timothy 2:1-4, 8 NLT
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.
John 14:16-18, 26 NLT
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
John 15:26-27 NLT
“But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.
John 16:7-8, 13-14, 33 NLT
But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Proverbs 28:1, 10-12, 26 NLT
The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions. Those who lead good people along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the honest will inherit good things. Rich people may think they are wise, but a poor person with discernment can see right through them. When the godly succeed, everyone is glad.
When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding. Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.
Proverbs 29:1, 5, 9, 11, 16, 20, 22-25, 27 NLT
Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism
will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery. To flatter friends
is to lay a trap for their feet. If a wise person takes a fool to court,
there will be ranting and ridicule but no satisfaction. Fools vent their anger,
but the wise quietly hold it back. When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes,
but the godly will live to see their downfall. There is more hope for a fool
than for someone who speaks without thinking. An angry person starts fights;
a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin. Pride ends in humiliation,
while humility brings honor. If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself.
You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify. Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. The righteous despise the unjust;
the wicked despise the godly.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Between our Email and Our CG Leaders Response:
1 Timothy 4:7-8, 12, 14, 16 NLT
Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.
2 Timothy 1:5-7, 12-14 NLT
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.
Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.
Psalm 91:1-16 NLT
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the LORD your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”
Proverbs 26:2 NLT
Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.
Psalm 138:3-8 NLT
As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. Every king in all the earth will thank you, LORD, for all of them will hear your words. Yes, they will sing about the LORD’s ways, for the glory of the LORD is very great. Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for you made me.
Ephesians 6:12 NLT
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Isaiah 41:9-10, 13-20 NLT
I have called you back from the ends of the earth,
saying, ‘You are my servant.’
For I have chosen you
and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. For I hold you by your right hand—
I, the LORD your God.
And I say to you,
‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob,
don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you.
I am the LORD, your Redeemer.
I am the Holy One of Israel.’ You will be a new threshing instrument
with many sharp teeth.
You will tear your enemies apart,
making chaff of mountains. You will toss them into the air,
and the wind will blow them all away;
a whirlwind will scatter them.
Then you will rejoice in the LORD.
You will glory in the Holy One of Israel. “When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the LORD, will answer them.
I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them. I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus.
I will give them fountains of water in the valleys.
I will fill the desert with pools of water.
Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground. I will plant trees in the barren desert—
cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine. I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means—
that it is the LORD who has done this,
the Holy One of Israel who created it.
This one confused me (LOL):
Proverbs 26:4-5 NLT
Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
2 Timothy 2:2, 11-15, 20-21 NLT
You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
This is a trustworthy saying:
If we die with him,
we will also live with him. If we endure hardship,
we will reign with him.
If we deny him,
he will deny us. If we are unfaithful,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny who he is. Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them.
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
Psalm 92:4-5, 12-15 NLT
You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me!
I sing for joy because of what you have done. O LORD, what great works you do!
And how deep are your thoughts. But the godly will flourish like palm trees
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The LORD is just!
He is my rock!
There is no evil in him!”
2 Timothy 2:23-25 NLT
Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.
2 Timothy 3:1, 5, 14-17 NLT
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
Psalm 94:11-22 NLT
The LORD knows people’s thoughts;
he knows they are worthless! Joyful are those you discipline, LORD,
those you teach with your instructions. You give them relief from troubled times
until a pit is dug to capture the wicked. The LORD will not reject his people;
he will not abandon his special possession. Judgment will again be founded on justice,
and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it. Who will protect me from the wicked?
Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Unless the LORD had helped me,
I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, “I am slipping!”
but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—
leaders whose decrees permit injustice? They gang up against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death. But the LORD is my fortress;
my God is the mighty rock where I hide.
The day after we received CG Leader's email:
Titus 2:2-8, 11-15 NLT
Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.
Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.
Titus 3:1-11 NLT
Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.
But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.
Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We spoke to one of the pastors and felt (somewhat) heard. And that was the end of it, we were done. I have had a hard time putting this all behind me because of the mistreatment happening under Mark Driscoll's leadership. The final scripture I have to share I "found" after praying and asking God what he wanted me to do with all this, because Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill still bug me!
Here it is:
Jeremiah 23:16-32 NLT
This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies says to his people:
"Do not listen to these prophets when they prophesy to you,
filling you with futile hopes.
They are making up everything they say.
They do not speak for the Lord !
They keep saying to those who despise my word,
`Don't worry! The Lord says you will have peace!'
And to those who stubbornly follow their own desires,
they say, `No harm will come your way!'
"Have any of these prophets been in the Lord 's presence
to hear what he is really saying?
Has even one of them cared enough to listen?
Look! The Lord 's anger bursts out like a storm,
a whirlwind that swirls down on the heads of the wicked.
The anger of the Lord will not diminish
until it has finished all he has planned.
In the days to come you will understand all this very clearly.
"I have not sent these prophets,
yet they run around claiming to speak for me.
I have given them no message,
yet they go on prophesying.
If they had stood before me and listened to me,
they would have spoken my words,
and they would have turned my people
from their evil ways and deeds.
Am I a God who is only close at hand?" says the Lord .
"No, I am far away at the same time.
Can anyone hide from me in a secret place?
Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?"
says the Lord .
"I have heard these prophets say, `Listen to the dream I had from God last night.' And then they proceed to tell lies in my name. How long will this go on? If they are prophets, they are prophets of deceit, inventing everything they say. By telling these false dreams, they are trying to get my people to forget me, just as their ancestors did by worshiping the idols of Baal.
"Let these false prophets tell their dreams,
but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word.
There is a difference between straw and grain!
Does not my word burn like fire?"
says the Lord .
"Is it not like a mighty hammer
that smashes a rock to pieces?
"Therefore," says the Lord , "I am against these prophets who steal messages from each other and claim they are from me. I am against these smooth-tongued prophets who say, `This prophecy is from the Lord !' I am against these false prophets. Their imaginary dreams are flagrant lies that lead my people into sin. I did not send or appoint them, and they have no message at all for my people. I, the Lord have spoken!