“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” – Hebrews 6:4-6
When something you have believed with all of your heart, that has shaped your life and affected your every decision suddenly disintegrates, you are left with empty hands and a wounded heart. You feel completely lost.
The message was all I had ever known. It felt like my world had turned upside down. I was devastated. I can honestly say there is not a day that goes by that I do not hope something will miraculously put all of the pieces back together.
Contrary to the popular assumption, I did not leave because it was too hard. I didn’t leave so I could change my standards or make new friends. I left because I could not take what I had been taught back to the Bible.
Perhaps one of the hardest things I faced was the judgment of those I left behind. I knew I would loose friends. I knew it would hurt my family. I even had somewhat of an idea of the gossip I would face. Somehow though, no matter how much I braced myself, it just wasn’t enough.
Telling your family you no longer believe William Branham to be a prophet is like slapping them in the face. It hurts beyond any words I could try to say. I love and respect my family. I didn’t want to tell them, but a day came when I no longer had a choice.
You cannot prepare for such times. You can play it out over and over in your head and yet I promise you, it’s never like you anticipated. The heaviness of heart lingers even still. I do thank the Lord He was with me, and provided me the words to say. However, no matter how settled you are in your thinking and your stand, there is just no easy way about it. From that point on, things will never be the same again.
I’ve had confident friends shrug off my questions with, “Why doubt?” Is it doubting to want to understand what you believe? Is it doubting to think the Bible is your absolute and what you are taught should line up with it?
It hurts to loose friends. I ache when I think of the hurt and shame I cause my family. I want them to be proud of me, I’ve always aimed to please. Rejecting the teachings they raised me under was far from pleasing. It was the deepest kind of heartache and shame, and I had caused it.
It would seem so simple to ignore discrepancies. It would be so much easier to pretend nothing had changed, everything would remain the same. My family would be happy and I would still have my circle of friends.
However, I chose the Bible over the words of a man. In doing so a line was drawn. My family, friends, and everything I had ever known was on one side of the line, but God was on the other. Never in my life had I envisioned my family apart from God. Tears spilled down my cheeks and my body shook in pain.
Please dear Lord, please don’t separate me from my family. That is when I found Matthew chapter ten. I read it over and over knowing I was being tested.
The moment you cross that line all other doors are shut and locked and there is but one way to go. I would forsake all else for my Jesus. Without Him, I had nothing, I was nothing.
I have been told I am an apostate. You know, I had to look that word up to be certain of what it meant. It means you forsake your faith. I’d like to clarify that. My faith is in God. He is my source of strength. He is my rock and my deliverer. Without Him I would not be.
I may not have been able to take all of the message teachings back to the Bible. It is true that I was stripped down to my foundation. Everything I thought I knew was gone and I had nothing left. But my foundation wasn’t the message. My foundation was my Creator, my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Friend.
You can take away the prophet, you can have his message. But you cannot take away my Jesus. Don’t you dare try to tell me He left me. He promised, He would never leave me or forsake me.
And He hasn’t.
I left the message because I believe I am choosing Truth, I believe I am honoring the Word of God and allowing Him to lead me as He promised to do. I left the message because I didn’t want anyone or anything between me and my Lord. He ripped the veil once and that is the way it should remain.
I will not lean upon the words of a man, I will not rest in the confidence of a ministry. I do not look for comforting words from a prophet. When I get to heaven and I go before my Lord, it will be just me and Him. I might as well start now.
Forsaking the teachings of the message does not make me an apostate. Faith in the message does not save you. Faith in Jesus Christ…. that saves you.
I’m not an apostate. I am a Christian.