Oct 27, 2009

What's in the Teaching?

My grandparents on my mom's side lived a couple of hours away from us so we didn't get a lot of visits with them when I was growing up. But every year during our summer break my sister and I would go spend a week or two with them. It was always fun and my aunts always had lots of fun activities planned for us. One year, when I was 12 years old, we went to visit and my aunts had planned lots of bible study for us. This was my first recollection of ever having any kind of bible study. We didn't go to church, study the bible, or have any conversations about God in my home. My grandma (mom's mom) was a Catholic and told me about Jesus being the Son of God and dying for my sins but that was the extent of my biblical teaching. It was a good foundation though.

My aunts had recently become Jehovah's Witnesses and were zealous to share their new religion with us. They wanted very much for us to join their religion and be saved so we got a crash course *bible study*. The study was from the JW bible and most of the lessons or teaching, focused on Armageddon, the end of the world, and the book of Revelation. God was going to destroy the earth as we know it and then make this a perfect world again like it was in the beginning. All Jehovah's Witnesses would be saved and made perfect, like Adam and Eve, and live forever here on the new perfect earth. One of the scriptures that they used in teaching me about Armagedon was from Psalm 91.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. Psalm 91:7-8

The wicked in this verse I was told refered to those who were not JWs. I was terrified at what I learned about Armageddon, but I had a heart, as most children do, ready to love God. All I needed to do was be obedient to God. That would mean that there would be times when I would need to be strong and stand firm. Not everyone was going to believe the Truth but I was not to let that influence my obedience. It would take courage to stand up for God, but if I did, God would save me.

You see, the Truth was being presented but in a way that is distorted. I was being taught that salvation comes from works. I quickly chose not to follow this teaching for reasons that are not relevant to this post. I continued to live in an environment where God was simply never a topic of discussion.

About a year later, after school one day, several kids started picking on my sister at the bus stop, with the tallest and most muscular girl leading it. I thought they were going to hurt her and I didn't know what to do. I was literally a 98 lb weakling and all alone. I mustered up every ounce of courage I had inside of me and said to that girl "What do you think God thinks about what you're doing!?" She looked at me and said "God? What do I care what God thinks!" I was sure I was in big trouble at that point but the party broke up and everyone went home. The next morning I was on the bus to go to school and we were approaching that girl's bus stop. I was cringing inside because I knew I had made a powerful enemy. When she got on the bus I was shocked to see that she was wearing a dress. She never wore dresses. She was a tough girl. It was as though God was telling me that He had taken care of the situation. He had protected me, and I wondered if she had some remorse for what she had said about Him. She didn't even look at me and that was the end of it.

You see, God used the cult teaching that I had received to teach me that obedience to Him comes out of Trusting in Him. That stirred up courage in me to act on Faith in Him.

The devil will take God's Truth and twist it and distort it so that it sounds good, and right, but points us to the wide road instead of God's narrow road. But God can use any situation, holy or evil, to accomplish His purpose. So does that mean that there was nothing wrong with the cult teaching? Does that make it okay to participate in it and teach it to our children?

"...so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." Matthew 7:13

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. Colossians 2:8


"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou


Kelly Combs said...

This is such good teaching Edie! I studying with a JW for 6 months when I was in my mid-20's. The more I studied, the more I realized something was off. But the exciting thing was it set off a desire in me to find the Truth and figure out what I believed as an adult.

Jesus is the way, the TRUTH and the life. I'm so glad I know the truth.

Great post!

Andrea said...

GOD can and will use anything and sometimes strange teachings to get us refocused on HIM and HIS truth.
Blessings, andrea

Debbie said...

I've seen God use nonbelievers to teach me lessons too. Thank you for sharing a bit more of your background with us Edie. I love hearing about the paths we each walked to get to where we are now.

BTW, I love your new look on your blog. You are so creative and talented! I still can't get over what you did for me on Heart Choices. I think you are awesome!

Love you,

Loren said...

Wow Edie ...great story! God CAN use ANYTHING to teach us and this is clearly an example of that! His hand was mighty on you and I am thinking it planted a seed in the girls heart at that very moment as well! Wouldn't you love to talk to her today!??

I love your new blog look....you did an awesome job!

bless you on this Tuesday :)

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post! Your words touched my heart and encouraged me today.

Heart2Heart said...


Well stated. I love how everything that people say is evil from TV, radio, books and movies should be avoided, yet we as Christians should be looking at these as opportunities to let our light shine so that those walking in the darkness will see Christ in us. I hate to see so many people looking for the devil in the everyday that they simply stop looking for God.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Irritable Mother said...

Surely, God can take anything and make good come from it. His Truth is true no matter who speaks it.

Does that mean I would teach cult views to my children? No way!

I want to teach them the Truth now so when they are older they will be able to discern lies that are twisted to look like the truth.

sara said...

great post today! I love the quote at the end!