I decided that, lacking time to write in-depth blog entries, I’m going to refocus my efforts on shorter posts and, with luck, keep my blog updated more often. That said, I have been thinking lately about misfortune and our human tendency to believe, despite all evidence, that the world is fair and that suffering is our fault. We all know it doesn’t work that way. We say life isn’t fair. It’s a cliche. That doesn’t mean, though, that when trouble comes our way, we don’t assume it’s something we brought on ourselves.
As former Message believers, it’s even easier to ascribe failures or hardships in our lives to rejecting the prophet and “blaspheming the Holy Ghost.” While my voice may not ring with the authority of someone claiming to be the mouthpiece of God (in case you’re wondering, I only claim to be the mouthpiece of me), I’m here to offer you this:
Whatever hardship you’re going through, it’s not because you left the Message.
If you’re depressed, it’s not a demon afflicting you because you left the Message.
If you’re stuck in a conflict with someone you love, it’s not God punishing you because you left the Message.
If you don’t have the money you need, it’s not because you’re not tithing to a Message church.
If you’re sick, it’s not because you’ve rejected God’s healing.
If you’re stuck in a bad job or school situation, it’s not because you left the Message.
If you got fired or laid off, it’s not because you left the Message or rebelled against God’s calling.
I could provide statistics. I could tell stories. I could show you that pain afflicts people in the Message, too, in equal proportion. But you already know that. What you need to know, though, is that Branham was wrong. Your pastor was wrong. Your family was wrong. Your friends were wrong. Leaving the Message didn’t expose you to the devil or remove God’s love or protection.
None of it is because you left the Message.