Preachers and pastors who make their paying career in ministry are false prophets, we were taught. Those hundreds of thousands of men who have gone through college and graduate school to study the bible and the original languages and contexts of the scriptures, biblical scholars, are fakes. They are not hand-picked men of God.
In college, I made friends with a young woman who was the daughter of a pastor. She was the first person to tell me about the trinity – she even drew a picture to explain it. At that point I was already out of the FOC, but still very much afraid of other belief systems and worldly churches. I told my mom about my new friend and what I was learning. Mom’s response was to sternly rebuke me for casting my pearls among the swine. Because the woman had a father who was a worldly pastor, because she was not “born holy” in the FOC, she was swine.
Xenophobe: a person who fears or hates foreigners, strange customs, etc.
How can the FOC receive help if not from a stranger or outsider? I’ve been thinking about this. From my own experience in public speaking, it’s not something that comes easily or naturally. Just imagine, being very sheltered in who and what you were exposed to and then suddenly being called to become a preacher! I have to believe that these men (Walter White and other FOC preachers) really were lead and inspired by God, through the Holy Spirit to preach the word. How else could they have captivated such a loyal following? But, I have also come to accept that the FOC did not alone hold God’s heart. God didn’t send Jesus to die on the cross just for that little town in Oregon. God cares about the souls of the whole world.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Last Sunday, I printed a message from a stranger to the OC FOC. I don’t know what his message is, or what God is calling his friend to do. But, I do believe that if the group is to be helped, it is very likely that the help will come from the outside.