An Open Letter to the Church

Dear Pastor,
Thank you for your nice note. You’re correct that we haven’t been at church in a while. I don’t know when it was that we last attended. Not being sure how pastors take that kind of news, I just want to reassure you that we think very highly of you. In fact, we really enjoyed attending for the many years we were there. We’ve stopped attending. Here’s why.
Our boys regularly attended the youth service. They enjoyed the music and games very much. But we recently attended a service at another church and the boys came out of the youth service puzzled. They said, with a look of shock on their faces, “We had to read the Bible and talk about what we read. That’s all we did!” I know getting kids to attend can be a challenge do it's made "fun", but I’m worried that a church with “content” was so surprising to them. Even worse, I’m worried that it surprised me.
Second, and probably more important, I don’t know that we share the same beliefs. As I shared with you, our household has undergone a dramatic change in the last year, as we’ve become more aware of the finite nature in prophecy, and the urgency of accepting salvation through Christ. Since then, really amazing things have been happening and I’ve told you about some of them. Scripture has opened up to me like never before, which I give Holy Spirit the credit for.
One of the understandings that I’ve come to is that we really ought to be keeping the commandments - not because we could ever earn salvation, but because we love God and are grateful for the gift of grace and salvation that He offered us through Jesus Christ. If we are supposed to keep one or two of them, then we ought to keep all of them. To me, that includes keeping the Sabbath, which I think is Friday/Saturday. That said, there’s not really a checklist in scripture that says what to do, but I really try to keep it holy to the Lord, and ask for forgiveness for my ignorance if I have messed up.
I had a funny dream in late summer of this year. In it, I entered our church but the sanctuary had stairs instead of aisles. I was in a hurry and didn’t want to make small talk with someone I had recognized stationed by some equipment at the second step from the bottom. I tried to whiz by them while attempting to avoid stepping on a wired device that he was positioned near. Just as I reached the person I was trying to avoid, he called my name. I startled, took a misstep, and fell onto the ground, tumbling and landing on my back. I started to laugh, and purposefully laughed harder so that my acquaintance would know I wasn’t holding any grudges against him for my fall. It was important to me to show him that I didn’t blame him for calling me out.
Feeling like I was going to be late for something, I jumped up and started to make my way to the side of the stage. Climbing through a drum kit, I accidentally bumped a microphone, and the sound echoed in the sanctuary. Someone in the control booth gave instructions to turn the mic down because of the noise I was making. I replied, “Don’t worry, it’s just me,” and saw that the sanctuary was full of congregants.
I then noticed that a few of the band members were quite young, and didn’t have the tools with which to play their instruments; they were only pretending to play. A young man at a xylophone was waving his hands without mallets and a young lady was trying to help him, bringing him different items to use, but they hadn’t found the right tool yet.
Your worship pastor was playing drums. I felt like I was annoying him as I urgently made my way to backstage. Reaching the room, I ran into you, Pastor. You said you were glad to see me, and gestured to two other men with tanned complexions as you told me that things would be different from now on.  The tanned men seemed to have some set of rules about preaching, and I idly wondered if they were so tanned from all the golf they had been playing. As I looked at you, your face changed; you became a brunette with a dark complexion and bright white teeth.
You started telling me about the God of Romans, describing Him as barbaric. I didn’t reply, but I understood that God isn’t barbaric; rather, it’s mankind who is barbaric. God has given us over to our lust for violence and is using that barbarism to remove evil from the earth in order to preserve His remnant. For some reason, I was mentally comparing what you said about God to the book of Leviticus, but I had no idea why. It occurred to me that I wanted to speak about that point to the congregation, but I wasn’t allowed to.
As the tanned, brunette you (not the real you) spoke, I resolved to study Romans so that I could correct the preaching should it be wrong. I planned to give a discrete warning with a shake of my head. If that didn’t work, I’d raise my hand, hoping the teaching would be corrected. And if that still didn’t work, I would stand up and proclaim the truth, though I wondered if I would be carried away from the sanctuary by “heavies.”
I tried to exit the backstage area, looking for an inconspicuous door, but the door I chose led to center stage. I closed it and tried another, but that one was no better. It seemed like my exit from backstage wouldn’t go unnoticed, as I had wished.
The dream continued and I went home to a mansion where my husband showed me our kids’ room, which was decorated beautifully. That was the end of the dream.
Now, I’m sure one could look at this and say that my thoughts about the importance of keeping the commandments had sparked this entire dream. That would make a great deal of sense considering how we process our days in the subconscious hours of sleep.
But the strange part is that the dream I just described took place several months before I ever came close to that conclusion about the Commandments. What’s even stranger is that I could only vaguely recall this dream I'm sharing with you in this letter. It was hard, because it had taken place four months ago. In fact, I had completely forgotten about it, until I started to write to you today. But as I wrote, I suddenly recalled that on that night, months ago, I had gotten up and typed the full details of the dream out. It seemed very important that I do so at the time. I love to sleep, and I don’t like leaving warm covers, so typing out a dream I had is something I have never done before. Ever.
Do you see what I’m saying about God doing strange and wonderful things in our home?
So, as much as I have loved attending your church, it’s no longer the place for us. You’ve been a Pastor probably longer than I’ve been a believer. I’m in no position to tell you what to preach or how to shepherd your flock. But I believe God wanted me to get this message to you in my dream.
Had you not written your note, I probably would have never remembered this dream or told you about it. Pastor, I believe you’re missing something important that you’re supposed to be telling the church and I think we’re running out of time. Please pray and ask God to tell you if that’s correct, or incorrect. I pray for you, for pastors worldwide, and for the congregants of Christian churches nightly, in tears about the lukewarm state of the Body of Christ. I’m so tired of ATTENDING church. I want to BE church, and that’s what you see in my posts online in that infernal, godforsaken, time-suck called Facebook.
It kills me to speak this directly to someone I hold in such high regard; it’s absolutely contrary to the way I was raised. Please know I share all of this in love, and acknowledge that you are more educated and experienced than I am. If you’re interested in what I uncovered in October – November about the commandments, read the three-part series “Reconciling Law and Mercy” on my blog. I’m always available for conversation. I can't imagine what it must be like to be charged to follow the Holy Spirit, and at the same time keep a corporate entity solvent and church elders happy. But in the middle of that wrestling, I hope you have a moment to take a quick look at the prophecies that are unfolding at rapid pace. It's the most exciting time to live in the history of the world.
Love,
Julie

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