Good mornin to you my friend. Recently I had a discussion with my friend Vladimir online, and the discussion gravitated toward the subject of not fitting in with institutional religion. And Vladimir made some excellent points that are worth sharing for the benefit of anyone else who also doesn’t find any meaningful fellowship in institutional religion. So here’s his thoughts about the matter:

Vladimir Pandovski

April 24, 2022 at 8:50 am 

The high percentage of narcissists in Christian leadership and ministry (1 in 3 being higher than the average for politicians) is a symptom, not a cause of the disease. Narcissists simply go to churches to meet their needs, which is contant admiration from sheepish victims, with no accountabiility for the abuse done to them. If Christians didn’t worship men in authority, narcissists would simply move on elsewhere. That’s the nature of that mental illness.

Notice how the same abuses (financial, sexual, doctrinal etc.) done by Roman Catholic priests are also done by pastors in Protestant churches. It’s because today there is essentially no difference in these two religions.

Vladimir Pandovski

April 24, 2022 at 9:33 am 

Do people even fellowship? It seems like everyone goes to the temple building to hear what the priest has to say then go back home to their real lives with a clear conscience that they keep a religious life. Where is the New Testament church?

Vladimir Pandovski

April 24, 2022 at 10:54 am 

I used to get discouraged and depressed for being ‘churchless’ but realized it’s a gift of God, it’s freedom from the religious yoke. Every attempt at fellowshiping with organized forms of religion ended up me basically getting an unpaid job (translate stuff) or give money for someone ‘s ministry elswhere. As soon as I’m materially unprofitable to them, the ‘fellowhip ‘ stops. There never was real fellowship , just working to make us feel worthy of God’s grace. If I believed God loves me so much that He gave His only Son for me, I wouldn’t have done 99% of the things I did. So really I can’t blame them for my unbelief. Lee, grab that freedom of God’s grace, be joyful, and never look back. There are no narcissists in the church you and I belong to, which is the body of Christ.

Vladimir Pandovski

April 24, 2022 at 11:18 am 

Now that I think about it, most the New Testament epistles are the 1st century equivalent of emails, blog posts and Facebook messages. They fellowshiped, pastored, evangelized, and even apostled in the Spirit through whatever earthly means of communication the Lord provided. Can you imagine the joy of the Corinthians receiving a letter from Paul? Or Paul from them while in prison?

Vladimir Pandovski

April 25, 2022 at 3:51 am 

Remember what God told to Abraham, a man whom He told to move away from effectively the biggest city and civilized center of the world, to an unknown land and sojurn alone and childless.

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
(Ge. 15:1)

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
(He. 11:8-12)

“I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” – We can bank on that promise! A promise from our Abba who loves us worth more than all the wealth of this world. The reward of the saint is God, not stuff. It’s our family. We are never ever alone!

I live in the heart of Eastern Orthodoxy, I’m surrounded by their churches. You live in the greatest Protestant country, you are surrounded by churches. I can’t travel 3 miles without passing next to 3 churches. Yet we are as thirsty sheep panthing for God, seeking a brook in the desert to drink and be filled. We can never be filled from man’s religion. We need the Spirit, we need to drink from God. And in Him we lack nothing, we are all one body, one family.

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
(Is. 55:1-3)

~

Here’s Vladimir’s sites:

WordPress: https://vladpand.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100073628263347

YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UC9qXN0e09PgEYFEfttbEcUw

All glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and no glory to us whatsoever!