Sunday, August 26, 2012

Perfection [not] Required

Recently, a Follower posted this comment on my blog:

“People on this blog paint a nice picture of themselves and their family that is not entirely correct.”

I want to clarify for the entire world that I am far from perfect. I have made many regretful mistakes. My memoir does not sugar coat my life, and I don’t go easy on myself. It’s a testimony of my struggles to overcome the damning thoughts that had been imprinted on my brain throughout my early years, giving up on achieving salvation (thus the title “I’m Going to Hell for This”), and finally discovering and accepting the free gift of grace. I know that sounds too easy to be true, but it is true.

Do you think that God only uses so-called “perfect” people to do his work? There has been only one perfect person – Jesus. The rest of us are guilty sinners.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:17

What is God’s work? The Great Commandment:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Mark 12:30-31

Very closely related to the great commandment is the Great Commission:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28:18-20

It is a sign of a changed heart to care about those who despise you. To want them to know the love and peace of Jesus. I am not on a mission to convince anyone to leave the FOC, but if my testimony and the testimonies of others through this blog can help even one person to know that they’re loved and wanted by God, then all the insults and accusations are worth it.

I am not perfect or sinless. I never have been, and unfortunately I never will be. A saved person doesn’t become perfect, but God does work in that person’s life, convicting the person’s heart. The way it feels for me is that I can still make wrong choices, but those choices bring sadness into my heart – I don’t enjoy the things I once enjoyed. An example of this is that my favorite drink before I accepted Jesus’s grace was a Vodka Martini – extra olives. A few months after making my commitment, I was out with some friends and ordered a Martini – it tasted terrible. I couldn’t even take a second sip. I believe that is how God works: he doesn’t stop us from making wrong choices, but as we put our faith in him, he makes saying “no” to those wrong choices easier.

I did not start a blog to criticize anyone. I started it to tell my own story and explore my own history. My history, the first twenty-one years of my life and further back in my folks’ history, began with the FOC. This is not a forum to say bad things about any person or put anyone on the defensive. Some of the comments hurt my feelings, but I know that the comments do not reflect on me, but on the person making the jabs – a person/people who are so insecure and scared that they hide their own identity while hurling insults and accusations. Why don’t I block anonymous comments like most blogs do? Because I don’t want to prevent anyone from joining the conversation – whether anonymous or by name. Whether in agreement or vehement disagreement.

Was the Walter White the only perfect man? No, he wasn’t perfect – he wasn’t God. Are you waiting for a perfect, sinless, man? He has already come – Jesus. You will not find another Walter, but you will find salvation. It’s free and available to you.

I am so glad that Jesus loves me – Jesus loves even me! That is not bragging – or maybe it is. It is my greatest personal, lifelong accomplishment!


  1. It's common practice to change" love thy neighbor as thyself". The word neighbor is changed to brother. It makes it less confusing as to why you do good to only your brothers and sisters inside the FOC. Your supposed to love your brother, and prefer your brother, It is telling of the way the FOC treats outsiders, that's the only reason I bring it up. Love thy neighbor has been removed.

  2. Suzanne love this topic

    As we follow Paul's ministry we see him time after time return to the Jews. The very people that tried to kill him many times. They stoned him and left him for dead. Lowered down in a basket. But he kept returning time and time again. Because as he called them "his kinsman" . His love for these people, and his understanding of the grace that he had found in Christ. Kept him going back to his kinsman to try to bring the understanding of this person of Jeaus. I have loved ones there in Oregon city. I like you would like to see the acceptance of Jesus Christ into there hearts and souls. I would love to see my neighbor and all men come to this knowledge as well. But especially my kinnsman. So I understand why you write. Romans 5 deals with this while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. No the perfect. Jesus teaches that he came for the sick the whole need not a physician. I take from that, that the perfect need no healer. But he came for the sinner. That is me. So Christ came for me, yes even me. John 3:16 probably the most quotable verse this and following 3:16-21 deals with what I believe you are talking about. Please continue to write I look forward every week to read the debate that it entales. Debate is thought provoking. Paul kept going time after time. I hope all walks of people read this not only the ocfoc and chew it over think about what is said with an open mind. Compare with the bible pray to God and let the Holy Spirit lead them. That all me come to the knowledge of the truth. To be able to overcome the fear of man, and to follow after God as the Spirit leads them.

  3. My favorite parts, of what I've read, were the ones showing your struggle against your imperfections.

    Haters gonna hate.

  4. So this blog is "gods work"??? And what about you facebook page called "foc survivors" were ex followers go and bash the church? Is that "gods work" also?

    1. I didn't say that this was God's work. I said being able to love those who hate me is a sign of God working in my life.

      The support group was name FOC Survivors for a while, but we changed the name to have a more positive connotation a month or two ago. As for bashing the church, no that is not what it's about. The group is a place for finding old friends and being able to relate with each other based on a shared history.

  5. Whatever. It's a church bashing site. You shouldn't sugar coat it. It's a place that fuels the bitterness of people like you.

    1. It is not a church bashing site (why do you care what we talk to each other about anyway?). It is a place to encourage and support people who have been blackballed and shunned by their family and friends.

      If you want to call me bitter, knock yourself out. You obviously don't know me.

  6. I know suzi and i don't believe she is bitter. she is a beautiful strong woman. she dares to tell her story. if you are posting you are telling your story.

    this is a glorious thing. thanks suzi for being so brave.

  7. If the abused children of the FOC started a site to discuss their feelings, and hardships that they need to overcome, it would be called the same thing. Isn't it worth noticing that they are still trying to control your speech? You've left that world behind and moved on, but they are the ones who seem bitter that they can't control you any longer.

  8. How is a building that sings 10 songs considered a church? It's more of a choir meeting or social gathering. Lol, in what way is the "followers of Christ" a church?. They are all a bunch of blind idiots and that so called "church" should be shut down.

  9. Suzi, how did you come to this decision that it is not possible to be perfect? In the, Sermon, on the Mount: he says that it is.
    You speak as if you are a Baptiste, writing that about drinking alcohol… (which is cool)
    What your beliefs on the bible are, do not offend me, nor will they stop me from reading your post. I was only curious.

    1. Hi Jessie, thanks for reading and asking questions. I came to the conclusion that perfection is not required by reading the scriptures. None of the men and women (except Jesus) were without sin. There were some pretty rebellious folks that were used for the glory of God. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

  10. If anything that i have asked is painful to you, please do not feel obligated to answer.


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