in Time for the End of the World
Making that decision to reach out to Christ for guidance and direction
had somehow put me on the other side of an invisible dividing line. I felt
like an alien in a strange land - the people were unlike those I
had been used to associating with and their language certainly seemed to
be from another time.
Nevertheless I was hungry for personal
growth and eager to learn and understand the implications of being a
I read and re-read the Bible
and attended every church service and seminar, every ‘home group’ and
gathering that was on offering. I sold my extensive music collection and
used the money to buy teaching tapes and books.
In the early 80s there was a lot of fear propagated by ‘end time’
doomsayers who would come through town making the fulfillment of Bible
prophecy seem as close as tomorrow’s headlines.
Many people were
literally scared into the 'Kingdom'. I already had a propensity for
conspiracy theories and eagerly borrowed or purchased everything I could on the subject of Bible prophecy as it supposedly related to world
events. It was as if I had discovered Christianity just in time for the
end of the world.
Many of these fears had
apparently been around since the time of Christ himself and at difficult
times in history there were always doomsayers talking about the return of
the Lord in judgment.
But the planets were
aligning, the computer in Brussels was ready to appropriate a special
number for everyone on the planet, Henry Kissinger was being groomed to
head the new global government and the Pope the world church. The gullible
were ready to believe every new theory.
So Which Truth Sets You Free?
As I confronted and probed teachers and preachers for corroborating
facts, often suggesting there may be other interpretations, my genuine
journalistic inquiries were often dismissed.
It seemed I was either trying
to intellectualise, spiritualise or undermine these teachers who were
having such an impact on the congregation.
Rather than getting on with the art of being Christ-like, so many
people were entranced by end-time teaching, fearful of challenging the
pulpit. There was an increasing concern about the rise of antichrist and whether credit cards
and barcodes were the forerunner of the
"mark of the beast" and the 'imminent’ end of the world.
I caught myself falling into the trap and began exploring these themes in
own poetry, writings and radio programmes as I tried to
discern between fact and fiction. I challenged all my friends and
acquaintances with my newfound faith and theories about the future of the
world. Pretty soon I had scared most of them off.
I was helping create an atmosphere of fear with fanciful stories that
tickled the ears. However this angle on Christianity popular in the early
80s did little to challenge the inner person. I began to reassess. I
into the Bible with concordance and reference books at hand and saw that many of the more subtle and inspirational
insights were being overshadowed by misguided interpretation.
Rather than regurgitating the standard evangelical methods (you must repent
and be saved!’) I
began looking at ways to convey Biblical truths in a more
accessible way to people who wouldn’t normally set foot in a church. The religious language being used in most churches was one of
the first barriers I grappled with.
Referencing the Greek and Hebrew language the scriptures were written in,
I began to understand the hidden meanings behind certain words. Confidence in my ability to discern the difference between eternal
spiritual truths and urban myths began to return.
Much of the Bible is riddled
with visions and dreams, symbolism, poetry and imagery to provoke personal revelation.
It's not meant to be translated into 20th century news speak or give us
precise instructions for exiting the planet as God destroys his creation
in a cosmic tantrum.
God is not waiting like some angry father with a big stick for us
to screw up so he can get heavy. Rather than waiting to rain down fire
and brimstone on us he wants shower us with an amazing outpouring of
love, forgiveness and healing.
The Book of Revelation, for example not only a warning to
the churches and the world it is about the apocalypse (apokalupsis) or unveiling of (the character and presence of
) Jesus Christ.
Tyranny of Religion
The Gospel stories and parables - the 'good news' - contains the
keys to unlocking us from
the tyranny of religion and legalism. Jesus the Christ (the anointed
saviour or healer) came to set us free from man-made traditions,
restore ancient truths, and explain the universal spiritual principals
which govern the planet and our lives.
is an amazing privilege to be guided and led by the Holy Spirit (the
breath or essence of God) along the pathway shown by the son of God, 'the
Word become flesh' . Instead of accepting the wonderful gift of liberty, love and
grace offered as 'Christ is revealed in us' many
so-called believers remain trapped in crushing legalism
under the law .
Many church hierarchies are too concerned that new converts dress
the same as them, avoid devilish rock music, and turn up like a
sanitised herd on time for Sunday morning services.
encouraging people to heal and grow as individuals and use their gifts in
the church and in the marketplace, the focus seemed to be on telling the congregation they're unworthy, worthless
worms who should unquestioningly pay their tithes and take everything the
pastor says as gospel truth.
Kingdom of Here & Now
I couldn’t understand why so many people - even successful
businessmen and women who wouldn't stand for this kind of dumbing down in
the marketplace - would become so meek in a church situation.
today a strong belief that as soon as things get too heavy 'down here'
Christians will be whisked away to heaven or "raptured" (a
misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 15:51,52, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) to be with
So why would God raise up a people of faith who’re supposed to
make a difference in the world if they were all going to disappear to some
other heavenly dimension when times get tough? I could never understand
Behind the original premise though is a great mystery, again about
spiritual transformation. Increasingly it seemed to me the Kingdom
of God starts right here and is not "pie in the sky in the
sweet by and by" as one friend so aptly puts it.
The preachers and pastors I approached with my questions and
interpretations did not appreciate being challenged in these areas. So I began
to study long and hard and produced a series of tracts and radio
programmes including the Soul Searching series, which was
played on several stations over a number of years.
Creating My Own Heresies
Among my tracts and unpublished books was a study on Bible
Numerics produced after friends began
asking me: ‘How do you know the Bible is true?’. Another took a fresh
look at the mark of the beast and the ominous number 666.
As I had come from a background where there was strong interest in the
occult and astrology I soon discovered even this area was covered off in
the Bible and it wasn’t all condemning of anyone who read the astrology
columns in the local newspaper. There seemed to be a much deeper origin
that fascinated me. Could it be the Gospel was
written in the Stars?
Beyond the Club Mentality
My experience of churches is not all negative. During my
journey I have experienced wonderful teaching, healing and encouragement
and gained a deeper understanding of the world changing truths that are
My most enjoyable times continue to be meeting in small groups with
likeminded people who support each other and explore biblical and life
truths in an intimate non-threatening environment.
However, I remain
frustrated at the "club" mentality that pervades our churches
and suggests we should be there every Sunday morning and evening even if
we’re bored to tears.
I believe God has allowed a smorgasbord of different kinds of churches
and intimate groups to spring up so that everyone is catered to. We’re
not all going to be happy sitting in a stuffy environment where everyone
wears suits and dares not sneeze, or where the pastor acts like a dictator
rather than the shepherd (spiritual guide and mentor) they are meant to be.
Some people may not be comfortable in a church where there’s a loud
rock band leading worship or where the preacher encourages participation
or the operation of the gifts of prophesy, healing and words of knowledge (all of
which were present in the original church).
There are many places between and outside of those extreme descriptions. If you are
interested go check it out and don’t settle until you have found a place
where you are being inspired and made to feel welcome and
part of what is going on.
A Smorgasbord to Chose From
During the 20-something years I have been a Christian I have slipped in
and out of ‘sin’ (an ancient archery term meaning missing the mark). I
have associated with many so-called sinners, drunk too much alcohol, smoked too
much dope and accepted too many guilt trips.
I have blown it badly. I became so involved in my work that my family
and relationships suffered. I was made redundant twice, ripped off for
thousands of dollars and faced many personal crises including separation
and divorce. I became depressed, shut myself away from friends
including Christians thinking I
could deal with everything myself. But I couldn't. I needed a family
of friends to support me in my difficult times and to get back to my spiritual
roots rather than languishing in isolation communicating only via
This CD Cleaning out the Garage has been
cathartic as I underwent massive changes in my life, literally
dumping years of unwanted stuff in the inorganic waste bin and
re-evaluating my spiritual, mental and physical life.
I never was perfect but each time I fell I found grace and
guidance. As I sought God and read the Bible I found
renewal, hope and a reason to keep moving and growing. It’s been a
rugged road but most of the diversions down side roads and swampy areas have
been the result of my own bad decisions, or because I needed to learn
Heart Restoration Clues?
I never lost faith, God
always came through. Sometimes it’s in answer to prayers, as the
old saying goes, that have ‘more groans in them than words’ – Keith
So You Think This Is It?
Up 'N Gone
& ones in love
Back to Garage
not be conformed to this world (this age) and its superficial customs, but
be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may prove what is
the good, acceptable and perfect will of God," -
& music )
(The new electronic book 2001)