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Feb 16, 2009

The Man and Me

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." 

"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."  
-Thomas Jefferson-


The first time I ever saw the man, I was in my early 30s and newly married. My wife and I were attending a church service together where we personally knew the pastor who was delivering the sermon. This was his first ministry job and we were there to cheer him on. He had just preached an inspirational and encouraging message and was coming in for a landing.  My wife and I were very excited for our friend because he had done such a wonderful job communicating with the people. As he began to bring his sermon to a close, it was time for the alter call, and it was percisely at that moment when I noticed THE MAN appear out of nowhere. I was immediately taken back because the man seemed to force himself on our friend and hijack the very spirit and flow of the room. 

This young pastor, who was so full of passion and zeal for reaching hurting people, suddenly began showing signs of inner conflict. It was brief. Perhaps only ten seconds in all. Unless you really knew him like we did, you would have easily missed it. It happened so fast that we didn't even have time to process where he came from and why he was allowed to take over. We sat helplessly and watched our friend fight a battle within his heart between him and the man. It was a battle for CONTROL. And then, without warning, our friend who had spent the last fourty minutes massaging and caressing the hearts and souls of every person in the room quietly faded away and THE MAN took over.

He gave the salvation invitation and then presented a broader call for people who needed to pray regarding the topic of the sermon. He didn’t really give anyone a choice of whether or not to come forward. He spoke in such a cunning and manipulative way that everyone in the building was afraid to NOT come forward. He had such a controlling spirit to his tone we could tell he had no regard for the people on an individual level. He saw them as warm bodies who were there to serve him and do what they were told. It was hard to watch. 

Within a very short time, the front of the building was filled with people crying out to God and praying together. At the first window of opportunity, my wife and I made a break for it and before we knew it, were cruising I-17, trying to get home in time for the Survivor Finale.  

Later that night, after the anger and fury over Richard Hatch winning the million dollars subsided, my wife was sleeping soundly and I was lying awake replaying that final part of the church service in my mind. Seeing the man for the first time, I was perplexed and a bit discouraged. I didn't understand where he came from or why. He wasn’t there through the whole service and then he just surfaced and took over. I secretly wondered if my pastor friend wasn't lying awake at the very same time kicking himself for letting the man take over. Surely he must have felt embarrassed for allowing this to happen.

I made a promise to myself in that bedroom over a decade ago. I promised that I would never allow the man to do to me what I had seen him do to my friend. It wasn’t so much about protecting myself or my ministry as it was about protecting the people I would some day preach to. I felt I had to safeguard them from his controlling, manipulative spirit. After watching what he did to those people that night, I knew I had to do something to stop him. 

Though I had never personally met the man, I had already decided that I did not like him. I knew then that I would someday hold the same ministry position as my friend and, until that time came, I was prepared to do whatever it took to keep to that promise. 

Over the next three years, I watched the man show up at every service my friend preached and do the exact same thing I had witnessed that first night. He came earlier and earlier each week until he finally took over my friend's position entirely. It was difficult to watch, because by this time, I had developed an outright hatred for the man. I had not yet met him for myself, and that was fine with me. Sadly, because of my friends choice to submit to the man, my relationship with him pretty much dissolved into nothing. I could no longer look him in the eye because I had lost so much respect for him. He was no longer the eager young preacher who had lost the ending part of his service to the man long ago. He had actually become a representative of the man. It was beyond my comprehension how he could just sit back and allow this to happen. He didn't appear to offer any resistance anymore. He now worked for him. I eventually ended the relationship completely.

I did not know at that time that in less than a year, when I became a pastor, I would be formally introduced to the man myself.  

Meeting the man

I had seen enough of him over the years to know what he was like and what he was all about. I knew what he did and how he thought. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when I was preaching my first sermon and he showed up towards the ending trying to take over. I knew he was coming and I had waited for this moment with concern and expectation and sure enough, he didn’t disappoint me. He showed up out of nowhere with a list of things he wanted me to say to the people. Manipulative and heartless things that would definitely get the people to respond but at the cost of crushing their souls. Amazingly, I was tempted to let him take over because I was insecure and this was my first alter call. I had seen how he could get people to come forward. For just a moment I thought to myself, “What if no one came forward when I gave the altar call?” The thought of no one responding and of me standing up at the front of the building all alone terrified me to death. It was tempting but I stuck to my guns and refused to give him the service. He left in a huff after making a comment to me about how my ministry career would be "short lived."

I remember driving home after that experience wondering how long I could continue to resist and what the consequences would be. I even considered the possibility that he might be right. Perhaps I was being rebellious in refusing to acknowledge his point of view. I had about eight other pastors on staff at my church that I worked with and almost every one of them submitted to and believed in the man. He controlled their entire ministries and they were all happy. They all loved him and were careful not to ever speak a single word against him. Our staff meetings were almost entirely about how we could all best serve him. Every decision we came to in those meetings ultimately came down to protecting and promoting the man. Several of my pastor co-workers even came to me in love and understanding and tried to reason with me in order to get me to open up to him. Each of them showed a genuine concern for the path I was on. They used bible passages, points of doctrine and personal illustrations in an attempt to get me to rethink my position towards him. Each of them sternly warned me of the dangers of resisting. Maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the problem and the man was really there for my benefit.

Still, I had seen the man hurt too many people. I'd watched him cause too much destruction to change my position mid-stream. I re-committed myself to my former promise to never allow him into my ministry. If holding to that meant my ministry career would be short lived, so be it.

Needless to say, he didn't stop pursuing me.

Once when I preached a sermon about how tithing was not a New Testament concept, my congregations giving went from their usual weekly sum of nearly $3,000 to a weak and wobbly $700. The man would meet me alone in my office late at night and try to convince me to go back to the people and tell them I was wrong. He showed me on paper that I would be out of business in six months if I didn't listen and recant. I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I knew I was dead right in what I had preached and I visibly watched it set the people free, but I also knew in my heart the man was right. The financial consequences would be too much for my ministry to bear. I remember him telling me once that the fact that people reduced their giving after I preached that sermon on tithing was proof that I was out of God’s will. If I were preaching truth, the people would respond by giving more rather then less. When I still didn’t recant, he would sternly remind me that my paycheck comes from him and I would soon be without one if I didn't start paying him more respect. 

Another time a group of people from my church who were usually in the service faithfully every single week had started to skip one or two services a month. The man brought it to my attention and said it was because of the freedom I was giving them in my sermons. He tried to get me to drop little statements when I was preaching that would make them feel guilty and obligate them to show up more consistently. I remember him dropping words like "faithful" and "committed" into my head when I was preaching. It was difficult to keep my wits about me and not accidentally say what he wanted me to say. I had to speak slower and weigh every single word before allowing it to leave my mouth because the man was standing right next to me screaming these things in my ear in an attempt to confuse me. 

Pretty much every week, he showed up in my office when I was writing a sermon hoping to give his two cents' worth. I hated every one of his ideas and he couldn't stand mine. He would always try to get me to mention him in the sermon as though he and I were friends. He knew that because I had not given him a single minute in any of my services, people were becoming more and more sensitive to his presence when other preachers spoke. I started to see that by not giving in to him, I was actually exposing him. This caused him to fight even harder, lashing out in ways I never dreamed he was capable of.

I think the worst thing he did was when he went to my family members and won them over. He convinced them that I was being totally rebellious because I wouldn't listen to his wisdom. He told them that I was excluding him from my ministry because I wanted all the attention to fall on me. Sadly,  they believed him. My family started pleading with me to accept the man and promote him. They confronted me on my attitude and accused me of just trying to stir up controversy. I come from a long line of preachers who all knew and loved the man. Most of my relatives were in the ministry and they all got along with him. They told me it wasn't the man, it was me. I was the one with the problem. The man was equal to God in their eyes and my refusal to submit to him was a refusal to submit to God Himself. 

I did not know that the promise I made to myself about not giving in to him would some day cost me nearly every single one of my family relationships. One by one, every one of them separated themselves from me because of my unwillingness to submit to the man. This was perhaps the most devious thing he did to me over the last decade. It was also the most difficult time in my life and it caused me to question everything I thought I knew.

I discovered what ticks him off more than anything in the world: GRACE. The man simply cannot sit still during a grace message. Something happens deep within him that is almost scary to watch. He literally explodes with anger and fear. It quickly became more than clear that the very sound of grace threatened the man's existence and his reaction confirmed that. He despised the grace message so much that he sent spies to my group to dig up dirt on me in an attempt to discredit me so people wouldn’t listen to what I was saying. They would report any use of grace back to the authorities.

I was surprised at how much control he held over the people. Even when he was abusive to them, it seemed that the people would still overlook it and continue to support him. I was amazed at how people sounded like the typical battered wife who makes ridiculous excuses for her husband and tries to convince the world that in spite of his constant control and abuse, he really loves her and is a great guy. It was as though he had drugged them all with something that would make them follow him like lifeless loyal zombies. He had them under so much fear that they were terrified to speak a word against him in public.  They had no choice but to serve him and hope that by doing so he would someday treat them favorably by giving them a position of authority in the church.

I was also surprised by how often the people would openly trade in their freedom in exchange for a quick fling with the man. When given the choice; a surprising number of people chose the man over their own freedom. It was as if they despised him and loved him at the same time. Because the man made sure none of them had ever had so much of a glimpse of freedom in their lifetime, they couldn’t find any inspiration in the concept  of it. They couldn’t find motivation in something they had never experience before. Most of them felt they needed the man standing over them spewing out threats of hell and damnation in order for them to get motivated in their Christian walk. When he was no longer there, they would find themselves idly doing nothing or sinning in ways they’d never imagined. Freedom soon became the enemy. People began to fear what they might do without the man in their life. 

Eventually the man made good on his promise to me. He did everything he could to get me out of the position I was in as Pastor. After gaining the love and adoration of my extended family, he began launching attacks on my immediate family. He got people in our church to exclude my wife from social circles. He even threatened to turn my own children against me if I didn't hand over the reins to my ministry. After four grueling years of this constant battle, I finally resigned. 

Ministering to The Man

I honestly felt that if I separated myself from the church and the man, I could concoct a plan to help him change his ways. I knew he had problems, but rather than just expose him or complain about him, I figured I could help rehabilitate him. It seemed at the time like the Christian thing to do. Besides, everyone I knew was telling me that I was being critical by talking badly about him without first presenting alternative ideas on how he might be helped. It seemed that in most people’s minds, abandoning the man entirely was not an option. The majority of people honestly felt that God created the man and gave him his position. Turning our backs on the man would be the same as turning our backs on God Himself. 

I met a group of friends who had left their church because of the man, just as I had. They had a weekly meeting in their home and they invited me to come for a visit. I was more than happy to attend. I thought perhaps I would meet some people who understood what I went through with the man. More than anything, I was excited to be in a Christian meeting without him present. This would be a first for me. As far back as I can remember, he was always present with us in church, so participating in a Christian meeting where he was absent was especially exciting. It even felt wrong in a weird way. It felt rebellious. I secretly wondered if we were going to get in trouble for doing this. I remember even feeling like this particular meeting wouldn’t count in heaven’s meeting logs because the man wasn’t present. I didn’t actually think that thought all the way through but it was a feeling that kind of hovered in the back of my mind.

The meeting started out great. It seemed that everyone in the room knew about and hated the man. They talked openly about all he had done to them before they left their church. I felt right at home for the first time in years. We laughed and cried together as each person opened up and told their stories about their dealings with the man and what he had done to them. About five minutes into the meeting however, I looked up and was astonished and completely taken aback by what I saw. Sitting right there among them, in a cheap disguise, was THE MAN! I couldn't believe my eyes. No one recognized him but I would know that guy anywhere. I immediately lunged forward and tore off his disguise, exposing him to everyone in the room. My heart was racing but I felt like the town hero for just a brief moment because I had saved my new friends from him. To my absolute dismay, these people didn't thank me at all. They didn't react like I would have expected. In fact, they were furious with me, and demanded that I leave and not return. I left that day embarrassed and utterly confused. 

One of them called me at home later that night and explained that they all knew it was the man but they felt it was okay that he attended because he was wearing a disguise. They promised me that he behaved in their meetings and he didn't try to take control. They wanted him there because they were trying to minister to him and help rehabilitate him. They considered him their personal project. They told me that I had been a little too harsh and needed to give him another chance. Rather than just abandon him forever, they had decided to take the high road and reach out to him. One of them explained to me that regardless of how we all felt about the man, we needed him. He told me that God is the one who created the man and because he belonged to God, we weren’t allowed to hold meetings without him. 

The more people I met outside the church, the more I began to open my heart to the concept of rehabilitating the man. It made sense because the man clearly had a huge influence on the church. In fact, he owned it. If we could successfully change the man for the better, we would be affecting millions of people who have suffered abuse by the man. The effects of this could reach around the world and back. For the next year, I spent every waking hour trying to come up with a model of behavior that we could present to the man. It felt like we were presenting halloween masks to him to see which one fit the best. Perhaps we could teach him to focus on helping people instead of using them. Maybe we could take some of his power away but still give him a role in the church but under strict supervision. Our goal was to help him understand things like grace and forgiveness. I would soon find this dream and goal to be a dead end road, for the man hated these things with a passion. 

After discovering that helping him was impossible, I began to go through the Bible line by line in an effort to separate and unravel the man’s teachings from what was actually in Scripture. It was a twisted tangled mess. He had successfully woven his rules and doctrines into almost every principle and concept of the Bible. It was like a cancerous parasite with thousands of deadly tentacles that had invaded its victim so thoroughly that nothing short of a miracle could separate the two. The more I studied, the more I began to notice a common denominator that spider webbed throughout all of his teachings. There definitely was an overall message the man was promoting and it had very little to do with the actual Gospel. What I found literally made me gasp in disbelief.

 

 

Discovering the essence of "The Man"

I've stated publicly that I think there are many wonderful Pastors with sincere hearts who are not out to control and manipulate the people in their church. Pastors who have made it their personal goal to encourage others into a life of freedom and relationship with the Father. Pastors who have for the most part forced themselves not to listen to the man in an effort to focus more on the people in their congregation. I still stand by that statement just as strongly today, and because I know these pastors exist, I have been long-suffering towards the man and have refrained from launching bloody attacks. I was careful not to lob a grenade at him and take the chance of hurting one of the hostages he had in his grip.

The last few years of my life have been like an unfolding murder mystery where the character I expected but wasn't sure about has turned out to be the evil master-mind behind it all. The further away I move from the man; the clearer my vision becomes. As I grow apart from institutionalism, my eyes continue to sharpen and I find myself becoming less and less tolerant of him because I now see his essence. Bit by bit, little by little, I am discovering truths about the man that have brought me to the point of believing that the man is not only an unfortunate hindrance to the saints and needs fixing or rehabilitating, but that he is in fact the mortal enemy of all believers! Rather than receiving a revelation from God about how to fix the man's behavioral problem and salvage his position in God's church, I got the revelation that the man did NOT come from God, but straight from HELL.

There is no chance that the man will become saved in this lifetime or any other. Trying to reason with him and encourage change is not only a losing battle, but it's a complete waste of time. He will never change. In fact, there is not one single piece of him that is open to it because his entire essence is bent upon the utter destruction of God’s people. This is not a statement made out of bitterness. What I am telling you is absolutely true. No amount of gentle talk and loving patience will change the man because he isn't interested in either. He's been faking it all along. He has fooled people for almost 2000 years, making them believe that his intentions are to benefit the body of Christ. Nothing could be further from the truth because:

"The Man" is a devout atheist.

When I began to identify the teachings that came straight from "The System that runs Church," I found that not only were they NOT found in the Bible, but they were completely opposite from the words of Scripture. The man's teachings are easy to identify because the heart of all of them is self-preservation. They are teachings that twist the original meaning of a scripture in just the right way as to ensure the man's future at any cost. I've found that this is the one common denominator to all teachings that were created by the system.

The pattern to these false teachings is pretty much the same every time. God is made to look short fused, too holy to reach and relationally-repulsive. He’s turned into an impossible to please narcissist who cares more about His own glory than He does about anything or anyone else. He is given a personality that no normal person would want to be close too. If it weren’t for the chance of heaven at the end of your life you probably wouldn’t even be friends with Him. Every teaching leaves us with a picture of a god who demands the impossible and is never satisfied with anything we do. Once this twisted picture of God is laid in the hearts of the people, the man then slides in and replaces God with himself. 

In a very short amount of time and with very little convincing, people become more comfortable spending time with the man then they do with the version of God that the man has presented to them. Their view of God is so repulsive and horrid that they willingly exchange God for the man with little or no fight at all. 

Now you need the man to keep you out of hell and away from God at the same time. 

It's the perfect crime. Kidnap a child, convince him that his father gave you permission to do so. Make him think you love him and then slowly turn him against his father. Before you know it, you don't even have to lock the cage. You can take the cuffs off and open the door wide, and the kid will choose to stay with you. Where else is he going to go? The only thing you have to worry about is the possibility that the boy's father may someday find him and prove to him that he's been lied to. If that ever happens, you're toast.

Almost every practice or ritual we have been taught in church is not only based on the man's quest for self-preservation but strangely they also prove his unbelief in God. This is precisely why Christians in this generation are so confused. Their pastor clearly teaches about God, but the system that their pastor serves is atheistic at its core. This is almost impossible to recognize when you're in the thick of it, but once you separate yourself from it and put some distance between yourself and your religion, it becomes embarrassingly obvious.

Evidence of atheism

The system proudly preaches that we need to step in and "disciple" new believers. Christianity has even coined the term, "The discipleship movement." This slogan is based on this generation's belief that it’s our job to walk with and disciple new Christians. Think about this for a moment. This has happened because today's Christians simply do not believe in an accessible Jesus. Rather than make disciples of Christ; we make them our disciples because there is something inside of us that just intuitively knows that they won't grow if we don't step in and do things ourselves. Something deep within the institutionalized Christian rolls it’s eyes at the idea that a person would actually know the living Jesus in a personal way. That "intuition" is unbelief. Suggesting that we simply turn people over to Christ sounds idealistic to most modern day Christian leaders. The leaders speak the word of God to the people, not God Himself. 

The man teaches us that the "main way" we hear God's voice is through reading the Bible. This is an atheist's way of trading something that is invisible and spiritual for something physical. It's interesting that the Bible never once makes this claim about itself. More on this topic later.

For the man to survive in the Christian religion, the very definition of spirituality must be altered and reformed into something a bit more concrete. Rather than knowing God in our hearts, we’re taught that we have to know our bibles. If we know our bibles; we know God. This way, divine inspiration can be claimed by anyone with a Bible and a set of reading glasses. Before we know it, we’re living in a society where everything is weighed against the pastors interpretation of the bible. People who claim to have heard from God on their own, aside from their Bible, are skeptically frowned upon and sometimes even excommunicated altogether.    The entire system reeks of a mentality that God is dead and we all are left with His book. At the very least, He is absent. He’s put heaven on auto-pilot because now that we have the bible, heaven can run itself. All answers, responses, blessings, promises and orders are found in the bible. Just read it and do what it says. The man has officially turned Christianity into an academic club. 

  In fact, in many Christian circles, I've found that "spiritual maturity" is defined by a person's willingness to question or doubt their own ability to hear God's voice, while at the same time, having complete confidence in their Pastor's ability. Spiritual growth is gauged in the man's house by how much trust is put in the man and how little trust you put in yourself.

The man not only gets us to second guess our ability to hear from God, but he also convinces us to question our ability to even hear from ourselves! From the moment we enter the man's home, he requires us to forfeit any and all traces of self-confidence. I call this the stupefaction-doctrine. Amazingly he has successfully convinced an entire generation of institutional offspring to believe that they are nothing more than stupid, simpleminded, idiotic, scatterbrained, asinine, dimwitted, ignorant idiots. We're made to feel like our personal intelligence lies somewhere on the scale between a fichus tree and a rock.

What is even more astonishing is that he has somehow convinced people to stand up and proudly proclaim their incompetence to the world! Those who do this in the most prolific manner are applauded and hailed as our humble leaders. This is another sign of "spiritual maturity" in the man's house. If we openly talk about how easily deceived and led astray we are, and how we can't trust ourselves as far as we can throw ourselves, we are praised and lifted up as a spiritual example to all. The baffling irony is that in the very next breath, we proudly proclaim that we are "children of God." This is either irrefutable proof that God was loaded on LSD when He created us or that He just doesn't exist at all. Our belief in these lies and the teachings themselves are evidence that "the system" that runs and controls the institution of church is inherently atheist.

This fact becomes glaringly obvious every time we have a big fundraiser for our next building. We flat-out manipulate people for money by promising them prosperity and healing, or by using fear and condemnation. Once the carnal and terrified have pledged their life away, we rejoice and say, "Look what the Lord has done." The "Pledge Drive" alone is rooted in UNBELIEF. Seriously, if the man really believed in God, why would he do a pledge drive and pry the money out of the people?

The Man's God Complex

Unbelief exposes itself in many ways, but perhaps its most common and telling manifestation is when someone actually begins to believe that they are God. This is simply not possible unless you first believe that there is not another. This characteristic is unmistakably woven into the essence of the system that rules church. The man unashamedly calls himself the body of Christ, and he even refers to his building as the house of God. He has hijacked nearly every Christian custom in an attempt to divert all focus and attention to himself. If you serve the man, you’re serving God. If you give money to the man, you’re giving to God. To speak against the man is to speak against God Himself!

This is also why the man teaches people that God speaks through the Pastor's sermon. What we are really saying is, "If you've heard us, you've heard God." In other words, look no further. It is not by accident that the majority of Christians have been trained to go to a paid staff Pastor in order to hear from God. Though the man would almost certainly not admit to such training, he cannot argue against the results. This is a disturbing and accurate description of the man's offspring in this generation.

Over and over, I watch the man publicly proclaim his divinity and each time I am astounded at how readily people buy into it. I have family members who don't even think I'm a Christian any more because I quit going to the man's house every Sunday. The man has taught them that he is God and in their hearts they now believe it. He has fooled them into looking to him to supply all their needs. He's successfully convinced an entire generation of his offspring of this terrible lie. Sadly, many people who attend his church actually came because they were sold on the idea of him rather than God. When the truth of God's heart is revealed to these people they are repelled because it goes against the heart of the man. It was the man they wanted from the beginning.

Unbelievably, the man has taught millions of people that he is, "The body of Christ." Anytime any scripture refers to "the body," the man has psychologically inserted himself into that role in the minds of the people. A term that so beautifully refers to believers everywhere, has now been stolen away by the man. Now the average Christian is taught that if they don't attend the man's services, they are "outside the body." How in the world has this happened?

Things that only God Himself is responsible for have been hijacked by the man and are now distributed as the man sees fit. Things like "spiritual food" that Christians need in order to survive, are now considered to be the sole responsibility of the man to distribute according to his wisdom. The man has taught the people that if they don't go to his house; they don't eat. This is the number one thing I hear from Christians of this generation. "I go to get fed," "Who will feed me if I don't go to church?" These statements are spoken without the slightest check in ones spirit, because the man has convinced them that he and he alone is their provider. In fact, they can't even pick up a spiritual fork and bring it to their own mouths any more. The man does it all while they sit there in their pews drooling and snorting like helpless infants.

The man warns us that we'll starve to death if we ever leave him. He tells us stories about others who left, and were reduced to skin and bones in a matter of weeks. Repentant runaways often take the stage to stand before us and testify about the world of famine that exists beyond the man's property line. They tell dreadful tales about the guy who foolishly attempted to handle a fork on his own, only to jab himself straight in the eyeball and nearly lose his vision forever. They plead with us not to try this at home. Just leave the spiritual feeding to the man.

They lovingly explain to us that because of our inner nature of ignorance and stupidity, we are quite likely to mistake a bowl of rusty razor blades for oatmeal, or a can of ignited gasoline for a glass of milk. What would we do then? There's no point even risking it because we're just too stupid. Being as dimwitted and simpleminded as the man has taught us we are, we would almost certainly be deceived by the first heretical teaching that came along. Why take a chance on accidentally selling mama's last cow to an evil stranger for a handful of magic beans? If you love mama, you'll just shut up and stay in church.

Since I left the institutional church almost five years ago, I have had no less than 300 sincere people sternly caution me concerning the dangerous position in which I've placed myself and my family. They'll ask me who my "covering" is, because in their minds, the only valid covering in all the world is the man. When I tell them that the man refused to cover me so I asked God to do the job and He agreed, they shake with anger. I can literally see them burning in their hearts at me! Entire ministries have blackballed me because I wasn't under the covering of the man. Incredibly these people went from thinking I was IN danger without the man's covering to believing that I was A danger. Believe me when I tell you that the man has convinced today's Christians that he and he alone is God Almighty, and the overwhelming majority of them have bought into it hook, line, and sinker!

Even our worship to the Father has been confiscated and put under the man's authority. Christians today have been bred to believe that they must go to church to worship. Think about that one and consider the ramifications for just a moment. This underlying message that comes from the man is evidence of a God-complex and further evidence of a heart of unbelief that there even is a God.

I can almost audibly hear the sound of people reading these words and saying to themselves, "That's not true of me and my church. They have always taught us that worship is a lifestyle and we can do it every day." I said the man was an atheist, not a stupid atheist. He's like the abusive husband who pronounces the words "I love you" and then beats the hell out of his wife. Now her heart tells her he hates her, but in her head, she can never rightfully say he doesn't love her because he told her he did. For every 100 Christians who tell me that they don't need their church to worship God, about 95 NEVER worship Him unless they are in church. Our heart knows the truth, but our head believes the man.

The man believes he is God so much that he even directs all Christian giving unto himself and he does so without any regard for consequence. Giving means one thing to the system of church. It means give to the man. Every single Bible verse that has anything to do with giving is cleverly altered. Pastors twist verses that are clearly about giving to the poor, the hungry, the widows, the fatherless or the homeless, and when they're finished, it means GIVE TO THE MAN. Amazingly, the people scurry for their pocketbooks and race to oblige him. In fact he flat out declares publicly that when you give to the man you're giving to God Himself. What more proof do we need?

The man has made God the boogie man so that we would never have intimacy with God and leave the man. As long as we are afraid of God, but still need Him for heaven, we will need the man to keep us in line with mindless and heartless rituals that just meet the mark to go to heaven. The grace message causes people to stand on their own and love him from their hearts. Once that happens, people no longer need things like accountability or law to keep them in line. Grace threatens the very existence of the man and he knows it.

For many, learning to live life without the man is a difficult process. His superstitions have been drilled into their heads for years. Most people sincerely wonder if they can even survive apart from him and an amazing number of folks find themselves running back to him the moment they feel insecure. They've been programmed to do exactly that.  

I have discovered that it is possible to break free from the grip of the man, and know God at the same time. In fact, I've found that it's almost impossible to know God UNTIL you break free from the man. Some people may never make this move and my heart breaks for them. Many others will and they'll go on to live their Christian lives in the wild. They'll discover the truth about the heart of God and they'll find themselves wondering whey they ever listened to the man in the first place. These are the people we call, Free Believers!



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Comments

  1. Gravatar
    cw

    Just awesome :-D
    Such a beautiful way of putting the man into the spotlight, so we can see him for what he is;
    wretched.

  2. Gravatar
    Randy

    It's so frustrating that so many set in the pews week after week and never learn about the unbelievable love the Father has for them and how that love manifested itself in all that His Grace has given us. This is the "Good News" that will change their lives. Instead they get meaningless sermons they can't even remember 24 hours later, or Bible studies that never teach how to study for themselves. I believe most people in the IC suffer from "battered Christian syndrome". Even though they are bound and gagged by tradition, starved from the truth, abducted from the love of the Father and abused by false teaching, they keep going back because they have been convinced they will “die” if they don’t. It’s time for an intervention. That's what you are doing, one person at a time.

  3. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    That's exactly right Randy. I really appreciate the way you put it. Very good wording. I think you said it better then I did:)

  4. Gravatar
    Stephanie

    Well done. The man IS the enemy. I would rather poke out my own eye..than look upon the man for 1 second. I would rather tear off my own arm..than to link arms with the man on ANY issue. I have left the abusive man and I will never look back for fear I will turn into stale salt..that can add no flavor to my life or anyone else's. I would rather enter the Kingdom with 1 eye and no arm..it is better than sleeping with the man. Harsh? You better believe it. The man comes to steal,Kill and destroy our relationship with the Father and is no laughing matter. Beware the man, he leavens the whole lump and turns us into just another brick in the wall.

  5. Gravatar
    Ian

    I really enjoyed the way that so many abstract concepts about church behavior are rolled up into "The Man". I can hang my hat on that. It has substance and I can begin to get an idea of the personality behind a lot of dysfunctional concepts. Thanks for taking the time and effort to present ideas in novel and challenging ways.

  6. Gravatar
    Richard

    Sounds about right.Just remember though even if we know all mysteries and don't have love we ain't nothing!
    Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love Lennon/McCartney

  7. Gravatar
    Tracy Simmons

    Darin, so nice to read someone's words who has "met" and hates the man!

    When my husband and I "left the ministry" the things that were said to us were hard to even believe. All the "who is your covering" questions, the "where are you tithing" questions, the "why are you wasting your pastoral gifting" questions, and on and on ad nauseum. It felt like The Man was invisible to everyone but us, and we just could not understand how they could not see him! It gave new life to Jesus' words "Let him who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Some people just don't have "ears" and talking is a waste of time. But for those that do, words like yours can bring so much life.

    I pray you will never grow weary of shouting out the truth that is setting captives free.

  8. Gravatar
    debsfree

    I have run into this same man @ my place of employment. In fact @ every job outside of the IC this same man is there. That tells me that in both places I must work to earn. Since becoming a free believer from the IC system, I'm also seeing how this helps me @ my job and with relationships. I used to hang on to people and concepts that were literally killing me. Thinking I was being 'christian' for taking such abuse! Instead of being real I opted for 'nice'. Learning to love myself as the REAL MAN says to do has not been easy. I've had to trust myself and obey the voice inside that says don't suck up! It's a whole nother world out here. Sometimes lonely but only when I look for love and acceptance in the wrong places. Thanks, Darin, for another eye, mind and heart opener :)

  9. Gravatar
    gettingbetter

    Holy cow, Darin, you cut right to the quick here. In a good way! It is mind boggling what I'm seeing as the layers are peeled away. Like the Wizard of Oz - "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"
    Thank you... God is really showing me some stuff through you and after years of feeling so stupid and useless in IC, I'm feeling privileged that I have ears to hear this.

  10. Gravatar
    Chris Pack

    I gave up ever changing the man some months ago, and now I just stay away from him. For years I tried to change him into a new man, but the old just shows up time and time again. I used to lose sleep at night over him. My wife and I used to discuss him constantly. Now, I rest much better and my wife and I talk about more enjoyable things.

    Not speaking metaphorically, do you find that some folks take on this "essence of the man"? I've known and "been discipled" by men who would fall on their sword for the man, so much so that they almost seem to be the man, or at least they perpetuate his existence. I had to not only distance myself from the man, but from his people too.

  11. Gravatar
    Chris Pack

    Also, I like the government quotes at the beginning of this post. For a long time now I've been struck by the parallels between the US government and the IC. What would happen if we let both broken systems fail and got back to the basics of living free? Forget government bailouts and stimulus packages. Stop trying church revivals and revolutions.

  12. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Chris, have you ever seen the movie about Jim Jones? He had several guys around him who enforced his every command. I've met people like that. Believe me when I tell you that 9 out of 10 pastors I worked with were enforcers on behalf of the man. They openly admitted to me that they had only one agenda and that was to follow, serve and promote "The man".

  13. Gravatar
    Joshua Guild

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY THE MOST AWESOME ARTICULATION I HAVE EVER HEARD! FROM A FELLOW WRITER, YOU DESERVE A PRIZE FOR THIS ONE! WAY TO PUT IT ON THE TABLE DARIN! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

  14. Gravatar
    Dana

    I just watched a clip from The James Jones Movie on youtube and I never realized that the people referred to him as Dad. I thought it was a little odd, but didn't think anything of it at the time, but 3 women staff members of the "church" I use to attend would refer to the senior pastor as Dad as well. These were women who are well in their 30's and 40's. Something's telling me, that's not normal.

  15. Gravatar
    Dana

    oops, I mean Jim Jones.

  16. Gravatar
    Jana Guild

    ...what Josh said. So perfectly articulated.

  17. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks so much Josh and Jana. You guys are so nice. It means a lot coming from you.

  18. Gravatar
    AmyinSurprise

    Darin, This is simply awesome. Sigh...how I, too, "heard" the man speak, and even typed his notes, letters, and sermons, both at the church you pastored at, and at another job. It was so hard on my heart to serve the man's own interests, when the Holy Spirit within me clearly told me whose words I was hearing/typing. As well, (I think you know), "the man" manifested himself in my own life as "Ed," as well as many other names. Yes. "The man" is Evil. Period. Thank goodness Papa, Son and Holy Spirit woke me up to the reality of his identity. I am glad you have not and continue not to give in to "the man," Darin. Keep it up brother! Continue to speak Jesus...Grace and Love. ~Amy :) http://amyiswalkinginthespirit.blogspot.com

  19. Gravatar
    FreedSpirit

    Darin, I've newly entered "the wild" and have wept in relief after finding this site and pouring over your blogs for the past 4 or 5 days.
    I recall just before our exodus muttering to my husband......I've walked through university halls and construction sites, corporate settings dominated with chauvinist world views and held positions far out of my depth all successfully by God's grace but, never has my self-esteem been so ravagely mutilated as it was by "THE MAN".
    Like the battered women of the late 70's and early 80's I too am breaking the silence with regard to the abuse I experienced in the name of "The Man's Religion".

  20. Gravatar
    FreedSpirit

    ....Words can't express my gratitude to you for your bold courage but know the remnant is growing and more and more are being called to shout the truth from the rooftops in effort to be active participant is the Kingdom of Christ and "setting the captives free"

  21. Gravatar
    Aylynn

    My own experience has me pondering specializing in Strategic Intervention Therapy and / or Thought Reform Counselling and other "exit counselling" techniques to offer to those wandering aimlessly in the post trauma of The Man experience.

  22. Gravatar
    Dana

    I was listening to this sermon on tithing, because I was curious, and I have to say, I believe that The Man is indeed pure evil. This guy started off saying how it was tithing that kept God from allowing the devil to devour you, not praying, not fasting, but only tithing. He went on to say that tithing is part of the covenant you have with God, a contract between you and God and not to be broken. Then the creep, sorry but he is, told this story of a widow, who could barely fed her family but she managed to give $6 dollars a week to the church, and the pastor of the parish told his jr pastor to tell the woman that they didn't need her tithe, but when he regretfully(his words)told the lady, she said "You are trying to take away the last thing that gives me dignity and meaning." What a snake.

  23. Gravatar
    Stephanie

    Dana, that is a popular set of scriptures the man likes to use. Unfortunately it is a whole story that I have never heard preached in it's entirety. If the whole chapter is read and even into the next chapter Jesus was NOT HAPPY about what was going on behind those temple walls. One of the things he said was that those behind the temple walls loved to devour widows houses. After that conversation he then looked over to the widow and commented on her giving. There is a theme to whole chapter. Going on further the disciples began pointing out the beauty of the temple and Jesus states "yes, look!" I will tear them down and rebuild them in 3 days. That doesn't sound like a happy camper to me. The man loves to take a few scriptures to make money while the truth lay buried under the lie.

  24. Gravatar
    Brian

    Man, just like watching a movie, I was hoping that your story ended with the man getting it in the end or getting saved. I'll keep my preference to myself. But the movie didn't end this way...for now. What an experience. btw, I don't recall you writing such a long message before. Did anything happen recently that conjured this text or was it just something you had tucked away?

  25. Gravatar
    nanrantx

    I began the adventure of knowing Christ telling the man and others I got born again, I didn’t have a lobotomy. Under extreme pressure I eventually converted and submitted to the man’s lobotomy procedure. You’ll just have to trust me…it’s a death by default procedure that results in not knowing “how to” be loved and live loved as a child of God.

    Thanks Darin. What a great article exposing the man. For any like me who may have submitted to the man’s lobotomy [religion], I’m living proof the love of God will eventually result in a reverse lobotomy. And you will become free to know Christ in a way you never learned in religious Christianity. Yippee!

  26. Gravatar
    RichF

    What is so shocking to realize isn't that there is tyranny and the 'survival of the fitist'in the world, we expect that, it is to realize that the same Tyrant who enslaves people on the job, in governments, abusive marriages, etc...reigns so powerfully in the religious systems that we are taught from childhood to seek refuge when we need protection from...the Wolfman! Thanks once again Darin.

  27. Gravatar
    Yolanda

    Was it The Man who convinced Eve not to believe in God in the Garden?

    Does anyone else think it was The Man that tempted Jesus in the wilderness, promising him a big ministry if he played ball, and ultimately killed Him because He didn't? Is he the ruler of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world?

    Could it be that he's the one who promises the world to all who obey him? Money, power, flocks, ministries, etc?

    The adversary is anyone or anything opposed to God. I don't believe the devil is a single being. That would mean he's omniscient. I don’t think so. We know he's spirit, which means he operate through anyone and anything, at any time if he's allowed. Darin resisted The Man and he fled. The Man is just looking more and more like "you know who" to me.

  28. Gravatar
    Jeff

    WOW, this post is extremely lucid and descriptive. This is a great way to articulate this. I never thought of how atheistic all this is but your are right. What you are describing here in a word is witchcraft.

  29. Gravatar
    John Fincher

    Darin,
    My former pastor said that he wouldn't let anything jeopardize HIS (not God's) ministry and the only part of Jesus we have today is in the Bible.

    In the same vein, I believe that the Bible has become the god of Fundamentalists.

  30. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Yes John you are so right. I agree totally. Have you read my article in the "articles" section called "Christians and the Bible?" I think you'll relate to it.

  31. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Brian, sorry it took so long to respond:) Yea, I usually don't write so long winded articles and I originally planned on this being a 3 part series, but something in me just decided to post it all at once. This has been in me for several weeks now and I really wanted to describe what I feel about the spirit of IC government in a way that people could really see and understand. I think the biggest revelation to me was that "the system" is not fixable. (at least that's my opinion). That's really the whole purpose of writing this. I wanted to get that point across to all those who are trying to rehabilitate it.

  32. Gravatar
    Brian

    I was reading an article the other day commenting on Alexis de Tocqueville’s, Democracy in America. It is the cessation of free will to bureaucratic control as the ends of democracy in America. Very fascinating. As I pondered these depressing thoughts, I found myself thinking there was no hope of governing man. But just as quickly as that thought came, so did the thought that there is only one that can rightly and righteously govern man. God is that one. I think it was an old video of Milton Friedman I was watching recently where he said, I paraphrase, we have flawed systems which humans think we need governing, so we empower flawed humans to govern those flawed systems. Does that make sense? Or as he said to Phil Donahue, where do you finds these angles that should govern us?

  33. Gravatar
    Technicolor

    Thanks Darin! Simply amazing! You said it all! I am saddened in thinking of my good friends who don't see 'the man' after being in the IC for so long. How come they don't? I don't understand...

  34. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Technicolor, I think a lot of people ONLY saw The Man. I think it was all about the man to begin with. I am quickly coming to the conclusion that only those who have a heart after God will see the difference. The others have a heart after The Man. Does that make sense?

  35. Gravatar
    Technicolor

    Yes, it makes sense. It has to be that, otherwise it doesn't make sense. Now, my friends were first catholics and sensed a lot of evil with the catholic religion. Then they left and became evangelicals to the point that they don't consider catholics christians. So, how can they see the evil in catholicism but not in pentecostalism, evangelism, etc? In my opinion, as far as 'the man' goes is the same regardless the particular doctrine.

  36. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Yes, I agree with that. It sounds like your friends clearly see the man and they judge whether someone is going to heaven or hell based on the accent of the man they serve. Sounds like they just like the pentecostal man better than the catholic man. They're both the same, only the pentecostal man dresses down while the Catholic man dresses up:)

  37. Gravatar
    Doodski

    It sounds like I am my own worst enemy, right? Isnt that what this "story" is saying?

    So am I the only one wondering who the man is?

  38. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Doodski it's not saying you are your own worst enemy. It's not about you. The article states who The Man is over and over. The Man is the "system of Church" or the "Man made government" we set up around our meetings that takes on a life of it's own. This is why I used the Thomas Jefferson quotes in the beginning. "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."

  39. Gravatar
    phil

    I believe most of what you say is in general correct. There are those brothers in the Lord who do Pastor without all this. You need to show that part as well. And oh yes they are not a financial institution as most of our churches are today.

  40. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I did talk about those Pastors Phil!! You must have missed it. It's the second paragraph under the heading "Discovering the essence of "The Man"....................So......... does that mean that now you believe that ALL of what I said is correct? :)

  41. Gravatar
    bnj

    Hi. Very good article. In my view it only has two weaknesses: 1. The atheist theory. It seems that 'the man' knows God exists and feels the tension and fear emanating from being at odds with Him. After all, even the devils believe and tremble. 'The man' knows his enemy is real and the anger that drives him comes from the ubiquitous fear of his folly being exposed. His anger and control manipulation is driven by frustration. He is frustrated by his powerlessness to bear the fruit that identifies the genuine Christian, of which he claims to be exemplary.

  42. Gravatar
    bnj

    2. The place of Scripture. Concerning the statement that the Bible is not the main way to hear God consider your own path. What standard did you use to test 'the man' and the IC? You sought the words of Scripture: "..I began to go through the Bible line by line in an effort to separate the teachings that the man came up with from the actual teachings of Scripture...I found that not only were they NOT found in the Bible, but they were completely opposite from the words of Scripture." Why did you do this? Why does it matter? Why capitalize the word Scripture? 2 Pet 1:16-21: The Scripture is even more certain and trustworthy than the transfiguration experience(!) Lk 1:1-4, 1 Jn 5:13 The Scriptural account is written that we may know the Truth and the Life for certain.

  43. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I think you Misunderstood a few things. I wasn't saying that "The Man" is the Devil. You seem to be describing Satan here. Also, just because I challenged the teaching that the Bible is the main way we hear God speak, that doesn't mean that I am in any way devaluing or minimizing the spiritual authenticity of scripture. YES scripture IS certain and trustworthy. YES the Scriptural account was written that we may know the truth and life. That however does not say or even imply that Scriptures purpose is to be a "walkie talkie" between God and man on a daily basis. I made a simple statement that the Bible doesn't say it's purpose is for us to hear God's voice through it every day. That's not the same as me saying I don't believe in Scripture.

  44. Gravatar
    joe

    i think this is exactly what phoenix first has done

  45. Gravatar
    Grover

    Hey, Darin and folks. What a good (and challenging)perspective on one of the strongholds that most of us face.

    I waould like to add one more place that we sometimes overlook when addressing "the man." It is summed up in a comment that Wayne Jacobsen made in his Transition series. He said, "If you're reacting to it (IC,) then you're still owned by it."

    I know many Christians who have been "out of the traditional church" for many years who are still "owned" by "the man." Some have built their identity on being OC, but seem to be unable to move into freedom. This just speaks of the deception and subtle manipulation that the enemy uses against God's folks.

    I'm so glad that you (and others) are addressing some of thes issues and trying to expose the underlying lies of the enemy.

  46. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Grover I think that's an excellent point. I remember a point in time when someone I met at the grocery store was telling me the latest update about the Church I used to pastor at and I remember it meaning about as much to me as when I hear that "Staples" is having an office sale or "PetCo" is selling two goldfish for the price of one. I knew then that it was over and I was healed from "the mans" assault on me.

  47. Gravatar
    Neil Girrard

    Sounds to me like THE MAN is just another description of the demonic beings, the lords of the darkness of this age (Eph. 6:12), against which the people of Christ were supposed to overcome rather than bow down to and make traditions of the things they teach.

    Neil Girrard
    paidionbooks.org

  48. Gravatar
    Free Spirit

    Man, you're reading my blog aren't you??

    Funny, how your words here so align with things Papa's been showing me.

    Great read... and couldn't be more true!

  49. Gravatar
    Aimee

    Great job as usual Darin! Love the pics too!!

    - Aimz

  50. Gravatar
    John L.

    You're the man Darin, you're the man!

  51. Gravatar
    Mr. Solo

    Wow! That was good. Nice job.

  52. Gravatar
    Silas

    Sheeesh!!!
    Ya went an' did it again! Wonderful expose' on THE MAN Darin! Wonderful...!

  53. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    wow. thanks Silas. I appreciate you.

  54. Gravatar
    Alison

    Wow! Just Wow! Thank you Darin for being so clearheaded and honest again. Never quite heard it this simple. Reminds me of one of my best friends who is a pastor. We got along so well until I told him that I was taking time from all the church activities to refresh and then I made a mistake asking him where in the NT does it require christians to tithe. Things got cold very quickly between us. When I asked why the change he even mentioned that his ministry is his focus now and he needs to make sure it is protected... I pray that one day he will look over his shoulder and tell The Man to go to hell but I know it will be a while, if ever.

  55. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks Alison. You're a sweetheart. I know how you feel about your friend. It's like standing by watching someone kidnap someone you love and there is nothing you can do about it.

  56. Gravatar
    Alexander

    I enjoy reading the articles but to be honest sometimes this stuff scares me. I am still 50/50 on everything you say. There is apart of me that can clearly see the truth in 90% of the things you said here but I can't help to wonder if all of you have not just figured out a way to not Go to church and not pay tithes and not feel guilty!!

    Church is boring, Paying tithes is not fun either. Sometimes it really does look like people are searching for a way to not feel guilty about not doing it. The church as the institution you are right is pretty much irrelevant but if what you say is right, the answer is to abandon the whole system?

  57. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    The system was created by man - not God. Trust me Alexander, not going to church or paying tithes is not even an issue for most of the people here. They don't need anyone to convince them that those things are silly, worthless and completely unscriptural. Most of the people on this site are well beyond that. Most people on this site have indeed abandoned the "system." They had to in order to go deeper with God and know HIm for real.

  58. Gravatar
    Carol

    How like battered wives we are! Excellent link there! I remember my last day to enter the church building of my long time church home. When I heard condemnation coming from the pulpit and then an admission that he actually didnt hear "the teaching", but was sure how wrong it must of been, (i wonder who's teaching that was,,,hmmm) that was it for me. Never looked back.
    I've visited churches since my move across the big pond...but thanks to you Darin, I just can't sit still anymore. I can't watch people sitting there while the opposite of love is being taught. I look around at the faces and wonder how many people feel uneasy inside but are afraid of showing it. Thanks for bringing me out of the muck and mire. Keep going! I'm with you all the way.

  59. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks beautiful girl. I'll never forget the first day I met you. Yours is a story I'll tell for years to come. Can't wait to see you again next month:)

  60. Gravatar
    Al Newberry

    Just one point of contention, Darin. I think you're a little too easy on the man. I don't think the man is atheistic at all. I think he knows quite well that God exists, and HATES him.

  61. Gravatar
    megan Green

    FAR OUT! This has put into words what I have been thinking and coming to the conclusion of for years! Thank-you for sharing!

  62. Gravatar
    Becky

    Whew! What's left to say? There are so many parallells between church and government and I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that they are virtually one in the same! If we do not begin to take back and declare our freedom, it will be snatched from us. The IC has so depersonalized and demoralized and DESENSATIZED us that we have become the proverbial "frog in the pot" sitting on our padded chairs, wearing phony smiles, eyes glazing over as we nod our heads up and down, agreeing with the man who's boiling us alive.
    I have been away from the man for years now, but as so many of you have shared, I have tried to find common ground with the man. Because the man is diametrically opposed to Christ, this comradery is a virtual impossibility.
    What fellowship has light with darkness?

  63. Gravatar
    Becky

    PS...Darin, some of your posts make me think you must be cousin to the Apostle Paul! He wasn't one to mince words, either! :)

  64. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Al - Good point. :) Thanks man.

  65. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Megan thanks so much for the nice words. It's great to find out that you were right all along isn't it?

  66. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Becky, that's very nice of you. I love Paul and how he thought. i agree with you that our government and the church paralell each other. I think America is in the exact same position as IC Christians are. We are about to lose everything and never be free again, and people are sitting around blind as bats. God help us.

  67. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    Darin, I know you will condemn this comment I make (and probably your 'following' will also have a good dig at me for it)- but I cannot read such a hurtful article and not say anything. I was at that same church for a while, so I know the man & the church you refer to. He is actually a good man - not the hell-sent demon you make him out to be. What stands out clearly to me in this article is that you have been hurt and this is your way of dealing with it. The attack you have against all churches saddens me. With the Freedom comes Responsibility. If you take a realistic look at your article, you will see a lot of The Man in your own ministry/network - people all patting you on the back after each article and afraid to oppose you.

  68. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    Darin, the instruction to teach and disciple others came from Jesus, not the System (as you state). Note the part in the BIBLE below saying: ...TEACHING them to obey everything I have commanded you...

    Matt 28:18-20 Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  69. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    The GRACE that God extends to us was bought at the HIGHEST PRICE - the life and Blood of His Son that was shed for us on the Cross. When we accept Him as our Savior, we partake of His Grace, but are also commanded to forsake our old ways and be obedient to His teachings. It costs us too ! (but its worth it!!) In Luke 14:27-31, Jesus says:
    Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and compute the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish the tower, all who see it will begin to make fun of him.

  70. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    I recently heard someone say, 'we are fellow travellers on this journey together towards eternity. Lets encourage and help one another along the way.'
    Whilst I agree that many churches have 'lost the plot' and are self-seeking, you cannot throw away the fact that many are also sincere in their intentions to help you on your journey and give guidance to those who want to the our Saviour, but might not know where to start. Don't trash every church, just because one church hurt you. (I know you have a lot to say about the term 'church' - in this context I refer to a group of believers who get together in a building or house or wherever - to worship & enjoy their Saviour with others who feel the same way, and to encourage one another).

  71. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    I recently heard someone say, 'we are fellow travellers on this journey together towards eternity. Lets encourage and help one another along the way.' Whilst I agree that many churches have 'lost the plot' and are self-seeking, you cannot throw away the fact that many are also sincere in their intentions to help you on your journey and give guidance to those who want to know our Saviour, but might not know where to start. Don't trash every church, just because one church hurt you. (I know you have a lot to say about the term 'church' - in this context I refer to a group of believers who get together in a building or house or wherever - to worship & enjoy their Saviour with others who feel the same way, and to encourage one another).

  72. Gravatar
    Paul McNaughton

    Thanks Darin, your heart for the hurting and provision of a place for them to come and challenge preconcieved notions of church is awesome. Keep living for God.
    Robert, is he attacking the church or institutional religion, the church is people and as can be seen from this article Darins heart is to be there for the hurting. Jesus saved hs harshest words for the pharisees, brood of vipers, why because he Loved people and hated the damage that institutionalised religion causes. Is the man demonoic, not necessarily its the nature of the beast, why would the devil/evil spirits get involved when the man is doing a great job on his own, the devil/evil spirits are more likely to move in when people leave the man.
    Jesus loves people, motives matter the most, may God continue to bless you Darin

  73. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks Paul - I'm glad you can see this.

  74. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Robert, you do NOT know the person I’m speaking of in this article. You have never once met him. Anytime I give an illustration involving someone I knew in the past, I change most of the details so that the actual person will never be identified. At what point did I make this person out to look like a “hell-sent demon?” Not once. What supposedly stands out clearly to you, isn't true at all. In fact, you couldn’t be more wrong. I WASN’T HURT BY THE CHURCH. Bitterness is a quick response to anyone who has anything negative to say about the institutional church. A good friend of mine put it this way: "The free person in Christ and the rebellious will always look the same to those who labor under religious obligation, because both ignore the conventions that govern men."

  75. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    The fact that you think I have an “attack against all Churches” serves as proof that you are completely blinded to the heart of what I’m doing. Your eyes and heart are so centered on protecting the apple of your eye (the institution) that you are incapable of seeing anything else. This article is NOT about church Robert, It’s about man’s governing system. You missed it because you were so busy protecting “church.”--- People are supposed to become disciples of CHRIST Robert, NOT disciples of US. The correct translation to that verse is found in the Contemporary English Version (CEV) were it says, “Go to the people of all nations and make them MY disciples." That is the point the article is making, but you clearly missed it.

  76. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    You comment that I “trash every church” is unfounded. I’m not sure where you got that from. You must have made it up Robert because it wasn’t in this or any other article I’ve written on this site. In fact, I state the exact opposite, numerous times throughout this site. --- I think what bothers me about your position Robert is that you are either completely blind to how deeply people are being hurt by the system of “church,” or you just don’t give a damn. You love your institution more than you do the people it hurts. I’m here trying desperately trying to protect the PEOPLE and you’re here desperately trying to protect the INSTITUTION. That’s terrible Robert.

  77. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    If we were talking about a Walmart who treated it’s employees badly, using fear tactics and deceptive manipulation to get people to work harder, you would be the first person to stand up for the people and fight for their rights. You wouldn’t even hesitate to point out the evil of the managements practices. You would encourage every single person to walk off the job and never come back. But because you have it in your heart that this system of church is equal to God Himself, you have a blind allegiance to it that clearly takes precedence over the people it destroys. Robert, you don’t have to have been hurt by the “church” in order to see how destructive it is to human beings. You just have to love people more than you do the system. Sadly, you clearly don’t.

  78. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Your concern is for the system and not the people. I’m not upset because the institution of church hurt ME; I’m upset because the institution of church hurt others. --- I’ve always felt that you were a nice guy Robert. I think you're a great guy in fact! Until PEOPLE are the objects of your affections, you will NEVER EVER understand one single article I write. They will always appear to you as bitter and rebellious. You’ll always think that I’m writing out of hurt or revenge. When you love people more than you do your religion, you will suddenly see what I’m talking about.

  79. Gravatar
    Angelina

    Darin,

    Wow, thanks so much for this enlightening article. My family and I just left the IC about 3 and a half months ago. It has been a wonderful time learning about my Father's love for me. The last year or so I would get a sick feeling every time I had to go into the IC. I would struggle to go in and want to turn around and go home. My son actually bought me "The Shack" in June just after we left the IC and it was the best book I hae ever read. Also read "And So You Don't Want to go to Church Anymore" and "He Loves Me". I am going through the stage where my wires are being untangles by my Father and I am just sitting still while he untangles them. Thanks for enlightening my mind even more today. I am so content letting my Father love me and loving others. Wow HE is Awesome!

  80. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    That's so exciting Angelina. I know the path you speak of. It's the greatest thing in the world to get this. All very good books by the way.

  81. Gravatar
    Cindy

    I grew up in church. Never missing a Sunday. And feeling guilty if I did. I go to church most Sundays still, but feel a sense of sadness every time I go. I'm missing something.....Thanks for not being afraid to question and make us think for ourselves.
    Cindy

  82. Gravatar
    bp

    12 yrs ago the man(pastor) and I had an emotional affair at our church. He was an untreated sex addict.I was an untreated sexual abuse survivor. My husband watched as the man seduced me for two yrs while "intercessory prayer" went on. Any other husband would have stepped in. Not mine, he needed the man too much. Eventually I was removed from ministry and sent to therapy. Thank God. In therapy I learned about the man. Very cool therapist. For 10 yrs I traveled the back side of the desert looking for a place where God lived. My husband is still with the man. I can't go there.He can't leave. It has almost destroyed our marriage. It has cost me everything to walk with Jesus. 12 yrs of 12 step recovery and Jesus have taught me that if it smells and looks like bullshit it is. don't print pleas

  83. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    bp, sounds like you know about this first hand. I respect the fact that you walked away. You sound like an amazing person. Isn't it amazing how the man can almost hypnotize people to do things that are totally unnatural? I'm glad you got away. Good for you!!!

  84. Gravatar
    Bonne

    Thanks Darin..but most of all thanks be to God! I cried as I read about the man..because I too know him too well. Having been in abusive marriages literally ..and then the relationship with the "church" and the put downs that I hadn't attended and having the pastors tell me they were astounded i hadn't dried up!!! (Honestly I have sensed God not allowing me to attend church..as it has been a heart cry to as the "false " teaching says God is only there".I never understood..I have thought God was everywhere so I could never totally believe that statement) i too understand about God --it seemed to me as I got to know God He took on being a Father of lies instead of the God of love. It has been a journey of years ...but God is being so good to me as now I 'see' it was His love for me.

  85. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks Bonne:-)

  86. Gravatar
    Brad

    I went to see some Christians bands play at a church and was exposed to the man. I sat watching in disgust as the speaker tried to guilt and fear everyone into being super christians, and then I reflected upon how nothing in his message communicated the fact that God loves us. Now I'm starting to see how the speaker most have been completely separated from God's love, and after this article, I must say he was under control of the man.

  87. Gravatar
    ken radatz

    i have come to see the man in every world system every man made system you name it i see him there standing in the shadows

  88. Gravatar
    ken radatz

    after i posted this i also want to say i see more of god in people now i found when i started to change my mind that god started to show me himself in ways i could have never understood before

  89. Gravatar
    Quebien

    There's a church that I enjoy going to on the other side of town. Unfortunately, the man showed up in a tithing sermon! I kept wanting to shout that there were better ways to drum up cash than to beat everybody up with Malachai - insinuating to folks that they're robbing God.

  90. Gravatar
    Graham

    Robert, thanks for your comments and courage.Those who refuse to be anchored to the word of God will be sucked up by the huge vacuum that is passing over the church.This vacuum preys on those who have been hurt.This vacuum hates
    forgiveness, accountability or biblical authority, it masquerades itself behind love and grace, but is nothing more than a self-seeker!

  91. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Graham, thanks for giving us all an example of the man's mindset. Love the illustration!

  92. Gravatar
    Toby

    Thanks Darin for continuing to speak the truth in love... I'd be tempted to be speaking it in other ways in times like these - lol.

  93. Gravatar
    Toby

    I was thinking about this line from The Matrix just this week and couldn't help but think how relevant they seem right now...

    "That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system… You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it."

  94. Gravatar
    Scott Moultrie

    I thank God for you!

  95. Gravatar
    Toby

    Or said another way, 'free your mind and your aspirations will follow'... lol

  96. Gravatar
    Graham

    In Matthew 18, Jesus told a parable that’s familiar to most of us. A servant owed his king a tremendous sum of money, well beyond his ability to pay, so he and his family and all that he had were to be sold in lieu of payment. But he begged for mercy, and the king had pity on him and forgave his debt.

    That servant promptly went out and demanded from a fellow servant repayment of much smaller debt that he was owed. The fellow servant couldn’t pay and pleaded for mercy but was denied it and thrown into prison.

    The king found out about it and was enraged. The first servant was thrown into prison, where he was to remain until his debt was fully paid.

  97. Gravatar
    Graham

    Systems don't hurt and abuse us, people do.To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

  98. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    People who give their hearts to a system, hurt people. They become blind to the needs and hurts of others because they're to busy protecting the system. They become totally oblivious to the pain they cause in others through their blind allegiance to the system they serve. When you serve a "system" over people, you will inevitably destroy people as a sacrifice to your "system." The sad thing is that when this happens, the person in love with the system can't even be reasoned with. They can't even see their hand in front of their face because they're so wrapped up in darkness. It's not until you love people MORE than you do the "system" that your eyes will open and you'll see why you're the only one not getting the meaning of grace and love.

  99. Gravatar
    Graham

    Grace is a gift none of us deserve,did we deserve to be forgiven? 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. True love is to extend the gift of forgiveness to those who do not deserve it, just like the Lord did when he went to the cross for us. To withhold forgiveness from others is just like the servant the begged for mercy and then went out and demanded justice. [27] "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them.

  100. Gravatar
    Graham

    As Jesus was on the cross suffering with unspeakable pain,what was his response? Father forgive them for they know not what they do. When Steven was being stoned, what was his response? Acts 7:59-60
    While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep. (NIV)

  101. Gravatar
    Tanya Speaks

    Graham what in the world does your comments have to do with this article? You're not making any sense.

  102. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Yea I'm a little lost as well Tanya. Graham what point are you making that pertains to this post?

  103. Gravatar
    Toby

    It's easy to take up an offense for those we are endeared to & nobly call that 'love' when really our security is in something other than Love Himself. Been there. Done that. It's a cruel & parasitic mindset. It seems to me, Graham, that you might be interpreting Darin's use of the phrase "the man" as referring to someone 'flesh & blood' when it's clear to me that he is speaking of a pervasive mindset (system) that is anti- God's heart (antichrist). God is not angry at people who might knowingly or unknowingly be caught up in such a mindset - He is clearly heart-broken.

  104. Gravatar
    Toby

    Nonetheless, revealing the harm and danger is a step to people coming back to the relational wholeness He earnestly desires for us. Systems & structure are a helpful thing when they are serving their rightful purpose, but so often we see the devastation and hurt that comes when structure must itself be served. Form follows function - not the other way round. Hopefully what we're doing here is having a mature conversation about how to grow beyond the pulpit-driven, needs-centered, sin-conscious, man-powered mentality of what we've long called Church - but is nothing like what God's heart is. If I'm wrong about that, then He might not be a God I want in my life.

  105. Gravatar
    lyn

    hey - my problem with this is that it seems to actually put you in the seat of "right judgement" (i first have to admit to being a SKIMMER not a READER so please forgive me if you have adressed this) even with something as freeing as "not serving the man - do you not instead, become the guru???
    i just think we are all broken - and should with God's directing, find the (a) place where we can be our best for him and others - church or no church - BUT DEFINATELY UNDER GOD

  106. Gravatar
    Eric Coleman

    Doesn't your comment do the same thing you accuse Darin of lyn?

  107. Gravatar
    lyn

    how so greg???there was no accusation anyway, just a question - im always concerned that people against 'organised religion' may not notice that they could be becoming 'organised anti-orgainised religion". It seems hard to come away from the leader/follower thing hey?
    i personally love having a loving group of brothers and sisters to share my walk with - i believe you probably do too, so what's the difference if you have it in a church forum or this forum?
    someone (human) is organising it and has to make some choices at some stage i presume, and not everyone will like them, (maybe a blog-split??. .
    i just reckon it's important to know we actually all have the man in us - hopefully a whole lot of Christ too to deal with it!!

  108. Gravatar
    Eric

    Thank You, Darin. You have put words where I have never been able to...

  109. Gravatar
    jack

    Great metaphor and narrative. I was on the way to becoming the man. I probably became the youth, and well on the way, until I had a burnout and resigned. My depression and anxiety was diagnosed and I've been getting treatment. I discovered that becoming the man is really really unhealthy! No surprises there. I'm just surprised at those who somehow manage to do it for a very long time. There is definitely a better way, and i like you am searching for it.

  110. Gravatar
    jack

    I also wanted to say how it was interesting to see how Robert Bresler (above) misread your article. He thought you were speaking literally about "the man" when you were speaking figuratively about the system. I've found whenever I try and talk objectively about the flaws in the system, I get branded as bitter, negative and judgemental. I'm starting to realise that most people who aren't involved in the "inner circle" really just enjoy going to the odd sunday service and church picnic and don't understand why we would want to "bash" that... Those who are in the "inner circle" know deep down that something's wrong, but don't have any alternatives so are left to close ranks and defend what they have, because it's all they've got.... I don't think anyone has really articulated any compelling alternatives - they're all a bit hazy and "out there".

  111. Gravatar
    Ahna Capri

    I almost hate to say this but "the man" and his system was set into motion long ago and an attempt to "save" him would always be futile. But just as he has been put in high places to decieve the masses like Randy mentioned there are those like you who are called forward out of the love of God to truly unite us to Him and be set free from the brain washing of the IC. While there is a huge detoxing that happens when one reclaims the life God has given to them to live, it is at times scary and frustrating to fight the urges and fears that come up to return to old patterns and behaviors for comfort and conformation that maybe, just maybe I do need "the man" to some degree to be okay. But going through the process as unsettling as it can be is so amazingly rewarding and with each step gained a new vision and discovery is made and the bond of daughter/son to their Dad is made tighter. I so love this blog, thanks for writing it. I will admit I was taken back by it's lenght but it was worth it

  112. Gravatar
    Fay

    I've been taken in the 'backroom' by the man for the purpose of not having many witnesses. Could not speak out about what had happened because the zombies in the pews had already been carefully groomed to only look straight ahead. Had a sister-in-law who said without feeling, "must admit that was an awful whooping you got but you should have been smart enough to not bring that on yourself, you have to admit, ya had it come'n
    " Amazing article, cuts to the chasse

  113. Gravatar
    Kevin Perez

    Thanks Darin. I moved from the UCC (in my youth) to no church to The Episcopal Church to the Roman Catholic Church; confirmed in all three. I can say from experience that "the man" is alive and well in these churches too.

  114. Gravatar
    Kevin Perez

    I would only add that "the man" is as close to everyone as their next heart beat (ref. Mark 7:20-23). Thanks again Darin.

  115. Gravatar
    John

    Hi Kevin,
    If you are a New Creation in Christ Jesus, Mark7:20-23 will never apply to you. What will come out from your heart will be a host of good desires, and sort of a boredom and tiredness of many of the old things which pertain to the old nature.

  116. Gravatar
    Jenny

    I really identified with the part about trying to 'reach and rehabilitate' the man with grace and coming alongside, rather than humiliating him through exposure. It just doesn't work; he's too far-gone and deceived. The only way is to take the risk of being misunderstood, misliked and mis-named (e.g. rebellious) and to throw him out of our lives. A huge, but freeing, step into the unknown. No,not unknown, but into the Father's arms. We are never 'uncovered' when we're in Him. I admire the way you lack fear of man, Darin, and love people and God enough to tell the truth, no matter what backlash you encounter.

  117. Gravatar
    Kevin Perez

    Hello John. While I appreciate your kind words and thoughtful reply I don't share your either/or perspective. For me, the truest and most meaningful perspectives have a both/and flavor.
    Although I'm not likely, in a single moment, to hold contrary perspectives and make choices that don't discriminate and differentiate, I try to not ignore or deny what I know to be real and possible. Because God has gifted me with free will I will forever be capable of making the best and the worst choices. With God's good Grace I have hope for the best. Thanks again.

  118. Gravatar
    David Snyder

    Well said, sir.

    This deception wounds Father's heart and, as such, "the man" (the enemy’s attempt to pacify believers through his political structure devised in Nicaea) must die. Something the Lord has been speaking to me about is His upcoming reformation, a reformation of purity and holiness, love and uncontrollable devotion to His heart. When I asked Father how this movement was going to look, he simply said, "After this move, My Church will never look the same."

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  119. Gravatar
    L.J.

    I LOVED THIS DARIN! I love the way you wrote every word.. the carnal mind opposes the things of God. In hind-site I see that I started to disengage about 10 years ago... now that I'm "out" I can't believe how clear it all is.. and God is showing me He's got "FELLOWSHIP" under control.. even for our kids... I've doubted almost every step but couldn't go back because I still trusted HIs leading "out"... I am "eternally" grateful to see the truth more clearly each day... wow.. loved this article. thanks for reposting it! :)

  120. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I'm glad you like this one:-)

  121. Gravatar
    L.J.

    well.. there were a couple others... :) tee hee..

  122. Gravatar
    Doug in Denver

    Darin, thanks for posting this article. Dude, you have eloquently put into words what many people have thought.

    I do not want to be a church basher either. I know sometimes based on what I say and write it can be misconstrued as such. My frustration is against the system as well, and unfortunately it gets the title as church, well it is not the church Christ is building. For now on I will refer to it as chIrch, I for institution. I kind of like it and there is a TM on it:)

    I went to a church in Hawaii that started out in the passion of Jesus, but unfortunately the "Man" that controls the Word Faith movement found a vaction spot in Honolulu and Hijacked the church. Pretty soon the Likes of Copeland, Seville, Duplantis were feeding the sheep cotton candy and skittles, and they got sick. Passion gone, itching ears scratched, and the cash was rolling in.

    I absolutley think you should open with this article and follow it up with Christians and the Bible!!

    You are amazing my brother.

  123. Gravatar
    Lisabeth

    deep breath,,, as lengthy as this is, is how difficult it is to stop reading once started. the flash backs were 'almost' painful, enough healing has ensued, i made it through,,,:0)
    in answer to your question, yes, by all means, this should be the first one. a perfect lead in to where i assume you're going with the book.
    Darin, you are amazing, you give hope where it appears disbelief has taken over and death is but a breath away. 'the man' has infiltrated the most precious aspect of human relationship through a venue of fear and God no longer cares is what he's telling them. i KNOW God loves me, and the freedom coming with this knowledge is major. Lord have mercy, i wish i lived there,,, i'd go back to the building called church if i did.
    thank you for creating this and sharing, missed it the first time,,, timing,,,:0) looking forward to how this book develops. much Love, Blessings, and Grace to you my Friend. Lisabeth.

  124. Gravatar
    Sharron

    Beautiful article Darin, yes I have seen that man. A carnal self serving spirit that cares not for the true love of God.

  125. Gravatar
    Sharron

    Beautiful article Darin, yes I have seen that man. A carnal self serving spirit that cares not for the true love of God.

  126. Gravatar
    Daniel Nielsen

    Really, really, really awesome. A wonderful introduction to what is undoubtedly destined to become a book that will cause genuine believers to wake up and see the truth.

  127. Gravatar
    Ken A

    What an excellent way to describe the evil that has been tapping mankind on the shoulder since day 8.
    Born into the Mormon Church and left it after 43 years. They lace their water bottles with arseinc distributed by The Man.
    William Manchester describes one of The Man's success stories in his book "A World Lit Only By Fire.

  128. Gravatar
    Stan

    Very well written and clear on some basic thoughts ie "The man will never be converted." You choice of a name here (The man), I find most interesting, because first of all he has no power or authority, just insinuation, suggestions and a strong drive to be in control. This is actually reality being played out before our very eyes. Man, that species that was created in Adam who at all times, yet much more at sometimes than other times, rejected God's leadership and direction, ultimately came under the Law of God, (thru Moses) and failed utterly at keeping the Law, and in so doing became condemned by that Law. Only way out was for Jesus, Son of God, born of "woman", to appear as "man" keep and fulfill the Law, then redeem Adam's race, by His death at Calvary. Thus Adam's race ended! Redeemed, Saved, Purchased and Kept. Resurrection began a new species of Life, the Seed of Jesus in the Earth, THE Generation of Jesus Christ.Born of, and indwelt by His Spirit. Adam's race is ONLY A MEMORY!

  129. Gravatar
    Harry

    Darin...all I can say is WOW!! Excellent. You can tell that there was a great "cost" for you to be able to write this article. But freedom is never free. God bless you & your family for your willingness to lead the way through the wilderness. THANK YOU!

  130. Gravatar
    Anita

    Wow! Yes!Ive been there too! Our experiences put into words that are so well expressed.
    Thank you!

  131. Gravatar
    Benny-biy

    That you took all that crap for over 5 years is astonishing. That you stayed the course following the God of love, grace and mercy is inspiring. Well done and thank you for sharing a valuable lesson - and doing it brilliantly!
    Honestly, that was amazing!

  132. Gravatar
    Teri Undreiner

    OMYGOSH, Darin! About a year ago I had this dream . I asked the Lord, "who/what is this "man of perdition that sets himself up in the holy place?" That night I had this dream about this huge pair of "praying hands" before my eyes. They began to open from the top and as they opened slowly, a small man in a suit appeared standing there. I heard this still small voice say, "this is the man of perdition. It is religion without God, religion with God. It is the man, man, man philosophy that sets itself up in the church, outside the church." I was blown away by this dream. And now this chapter in your book. SPOT on bro! I'm Teri and I approve this message". (smile)

  133. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Wow Teri, that's amazing. I honestly believe that the things i'm going to cover in this book are prophetic clear through to the bone. I believe that we Free Believers have a message to "the church" that will quite possibly launch the biggest reformation since the days of Martin Luther. Pray for me that I can get this all ready for print SOON.

    Also, pray that He sends me some of the things I need in order to complete this project. I need a new Apple laptop computer to start with, and about a dozen other things. Just pray for me that I can get this done. My mind needs healing as well so i can concentrate.

    Love you girlfriend.

  134. Gravatar
    Teri Undreiner

    2 Thess 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;setting himself up in the temple of God proclaiming that he iS God."

    What I had forgotten was that I asked the Lord , "what is the great falling away?" That is when the giant "prayer" hands began opening. The falling away was both from religion that exposed the man for who he was and the falling away from God too,to think that MAN himself was God. I was so blown away, D. I will definitely be praying that all comes together. I would lOVE to do a podcast about this with you if you ever do it. THAT dream was VERY revealing to me. I was always taught that the "falling away" was from God and his principles, the "church" etc, but this dream revealed so much more that it is the FALLING away that is GOOD in order to expose what is really in place. Whether FOR or AGAINST God.Love you too, Buddy!

  135. Gravatar
    Scott

    Thanks for being bold in sharing what God has shown you. So much of what you have said "rings true" with my heart. I don't know you personally, Darin, but your blog posts (such as this one)and podcasts have been a regular part of my week for the last couple of years. Thanks for sharing your heart at the risk of being slammed by "the man"!

  136. Gravatar
    Teri Undreiner

    I think this whole thing of "losing our religion", begins to unravel so many things in our hearts/minds. It truly does reveal what is there when all else has "fallen away". THAT is when people can come to terms with "WHO they knew that was influenced by the "WHAT'S " they were told. And you thought you had it hard BEFORE this book. Hahah...You have a lot of people who love you in your corner, Darin. I'm so happy to be one of them.

  137. Gravatar
    Pablo Giacopelli

    Where can I buy my copy please? :-)

  138. Gravatar
    Kim Smith

    As Jesus said. HE IS THE WAY........

  139. Gravatar
    Stan Broyles

    Extremely well written and so spot on... I am convinced that the opening for the man, to enter the picture and take control, was based on our lack of understanding, due to bad teaching, of WHO we ARE. I have come to a conclusion that the basis of the "New Covenant" is found in Matthew 1:1..Oddly enough, the first verse of the first chapter of the first "Book" of the New Testament. (Covenant) I would love the opportunity to speak with you regarding these things. I have been alienated from the man since 1965. I "Looked for Love, in all the wrong places." Churches, Home meetings, small groups, Body of Christ fellowships and even community living (3 times.) In each of these I learned much, but almost all of what I learned was wrong..Our Relationship with "Father" was by Birth, as was the case with Jesus' relationship with His Father...This basic understanding makes everything else understandable... Thank you for writing so eloquently of your experiences. Grace, Brother..

  140. Gravatar
    Donna

    This man has infiltrated all religions, not just the brick & mortor ones. I was raised by a Mother that was (is) in a religion called The Truth. These people meet in homes. They are not allowed to live wordly. They can not have a TV,radio etc. Their women must wear long dress and never cut their hair or wear makeup. It was horribly controlling. Add this to an alcoholic Mother and it became unlivable. I survived, at times I hated their God, but slowly, after 60 years, I realized this was not the real God. God is LOVE, not control. Thank you Darin. You've help to bring me such peace and have helped to enlighten so many others. You are truly a gift.

  141. Gravatar
    Teri Undreiner

    I love this because of the irony of"The Man" thing. The question for me has always been, Freed FROM what TO what?" "There are two ways of being a Prophet. One is to tell the enslaved that they can be free. This is the difficult path of Moses. Another is to tell those who think they are free that they are in fact enslaved. This is the even more difficult path of Jesus" Richard Rohr, "From Wild Man To Wise Man." I might have been "freed" from one world, only to step into another that promised to free me but only enslaved me differently.

  142. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    It's so great to see the level of understanding you all have of what I'm writing about. I think this (being the 1st chapter) is a strong one that really cuts through all the jargon and flat out calls it like it is. The book is going to be a select collection of my blog articles I've posted over the last 7 years. I'm choosing ones that specifically address an area where people have lost their freedom. Each chapter will deal with a specific teaching in christianity that kills it's listeners.

    Pray for me. I need help deciding which blogs to use and which ones to cut out. I'd love your input.

  143. Gravatar
    Denise Vander Werf

    Genius! I too left the Man.......I'm soooo free! Reading this has brought me to tears because I wish I had someone to sit with in person and talk about the great love I have found in God after so long. Thank you Darin!
    On a side note, I don't have JavaScript and am unable to hear your podcast. :( I watched and waited and hoped and prayed for your full recovery. Love to you and your precious family. Thank you again for this message of good news.

  144. Gravatar
    Heather

    Grew up seeing "the man" every week. Praise God he is only someone I hear about now. So sad that many witness his tactics all the time. I pray they find freedom. I have a blast praising God and serving others all week long. But i also get to enjoy joining others in corporate worship in "the building." There is an invisible sign on the door that says, "The man is not welcome." I love you Darin. Always have and always will. Thanks for believing in Ty and I. I smile when I read about the churches you love. I know we are on that list. Thank you for loving people. I believe your mission will bring life. Unfortunately it make bring confusion first because love is the complete opposite of control. It's a long, twisty bridge from one side to the other.

  145. Gravatar
    Karen McRae

    This is ..... well ..... AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

  146. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Denise, you should be able to download JavaScript off the internet. It should only take a few minutes. Also, why don't you try going to itunes. I now you can download the podcast from itunes as well.

    Good luck. Blessings!!!!

  147. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Hey Feather. It's good to hear from you. Yes, many people might think that I'm against churches. Nothing could be further from the truth. I consider your church to be a Free Believer church. I'm 100% for you guys and your ministry. Always have been and always will be.

  148. Gravatar
    Dale

    Darin, it's been awhile since I've read this the first time, but this is absolutely groundbreaking on the second read. I don't care who tries to defend "The Man", all of us, especially within the fundamentalist IC, have been abused and hurt, millions just don't know it. I know I have been, and I'm just now really coming to terms with that. God bless you, Darin Hufford. I thank God that I came across this site a few years ago and I thank God for you.

  149. Gravatar
    Dale

    Darin, it's been awhile since I've read this the first time, but this is absolutely groundbreaking on the second read. I don't care who tries to defend "The Man", all of us, especially within the fundamentalist IC, have been abused and hurt, millions just don't know it. I know I have been, and I'm just now really coming to terms with that. God bless you, Darin Hufford. I thank God that I came across this site a few years ago and I thank God for you.

  150. Gravatar
    fadeke

    Oh my brother Darin,thank God for you.While in the IC,there was a point I started feeling we were worshipping the man and not God but I could not come out and talk against it.Oh my God,we were all like the abused woman who keep making excuses for the man that abuses her.

  151. Gravatar
    Christina

    For the last year or more I have contemplated just how far the lie in the garden went that separates us from the loving Abba who wants us to know His intimate love for us; it went all the way to church. I left the IC after my father passed and the pastor actually said to me that I needed to trust him for my spiritual walk because he had been called and therefore had a double portion of the Holy Spirit. No way DUDE! THE Holy Spirit is powerful enough inside every thought within me to walk out the door. I started REALLY knowing all I hadn't before! Blessings Brother and thank you for sharing this with us!

  152. Gravatar
    David Fredrickson

    Awesome article, Darin! A perfect description of the anti-christ. Ever thought about writing a modern pilgrim's progress?

  153. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Not trying to sound humble here David but I just don't think I'm a good enough writer to do that:) I've only read about 3 novels in my lifetime and I struggle to write non-fiction as it is. I think writing fiction takes a lot of talent and experience.

  154. Gravatar
    Carolee Dalton

    Perfection!

  155. Gravatar
    Loren Rosser

    Darin, there is a prophetic edge to this book that is simply powerful and so needed. It truly is a "bull's eye" and this is the season for it - and knowing the revelation you have that God is love, you are clearly one of the people marked to carry that message. (You can't be "disqualified" under the claim of being offended or bitter.) As I read this I kept thinking how the prophets in the OT testiment used the imagery of the harlot to truly capture what God saw and felt. I see you're capturing God's heart on all of this through the imagery of "The Man." I've read many articles and such that get into the mechanics and all, but this is the first I've seen that takes it out of the head and goes right to the heart. Very well done.

  156. Gravatar
    Andre Cilliers

    Been out of the man's sphere for 18 years.He still rules in his kingdom. Do not despair of God's ability and willingnes to save us from this tyranny. The more of us living the freedom, the more will join us. Well done.

  157. Gravatar
    GS Harvey

    read the blog, cant wait for the book!!! I wish more people could hear these truths. It seems as though a great many churches fall into this situation today, and if you even think about asking where Jesus is in all of it you get pummeled. Seems as though most are versions of what the pastor wants, not what Jesus called it to be!!! God Bless you for having the guts to tell it!!!

  158. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks GS.

  159. Gravatar
    Chance Parker

    Darin, reading this several days ago and after reflecting, I think in your book "the Man" needs further definition. I think many Christians will dismiss this because they truly believe "the man" is either "Christ within me" or the Holy Spirit. I think we all have "the Man" in us but it is nothing more than the idol (God created in our image) that we have to discard or suppress (death to self) in order to approach Christ in spirit and in truth. Peter Rollins has written quite a bit about the birth of the idol in each of us as a small child. If you have not read his work, it does seem to me to be unique, drawing from Bonhoeffer and others. Anyway, great work, I look forward to the book. I'm so glad you continue your recovery and are able to get-on with your life.

  160. Gravatar
    Mark Van Horn

    Excellent points made here. Be encouraged as you continue to expose the lies. Thank you

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