Dangerous Rebel


In my early 20’s I was actually BANNED FROM CHURCH

No kidding…

Apparently I was ‘causing trouble everywhere’ because I was simply listening to Jesus and doing what he said, which at that time included living my life amongst unchurched people, praying for them, visiting them in court, eating with them in their houses and preaching on the streets…

What’s more, I was doing all that ‘without permission’ from the leaders of some of the most prominent and respected churches of my city at that time…

My memories of this were jogged as I met a young couple recently who had also garnered a bad reputation in Christian circles in their city, simply because they were being church ‘beyond the system’ – they had actually had the audacity to take it upon themselves to go out into the streets of their city, heal people and meet as church in homes and other notoriously bad stuff like that, again, without permission from the hierarchies and powers that be…

Performing those transgressive acts has resulted in their names being ‘smeared’ across that city. Even their friends have received emails from church leaders warning them not to associate too closely with this young couple…

Are they some kind of Dangerous Rebels to be treated that way?

It was said of the apostle Paul, ‘those who have caused riots all over the empire have come here now too…’

The Old Testament prophet Elijah was known as the ‘trouble maker’ of his nation…

So perhaps this young couple are in good company…

Noise- in the abstract is what scientists call phenomena which is unpredictable, out of control, beyond the system. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

How much noise are you making?

Jesus says he would rather us HOT or COLD…he vomits up the lukewarm out of his mouth. But when we meet people who are too HOT we tell them to ‘tone down’, to ‘chill’. We deem them too intense and are even offended by them…

In our generation we seem to value luke-warmness as the highest value, mediocrity and niceness as the goal of our faith. As long as we don’t offend anyone, in any place, at any time- this for us is ‘pure religion’. If we do something that doesn’t offend anyone, we feel that we have arrived- that we must be doing something right because we are accepted by the world…

How have we become so bland?

We’ve bought hook-line-and-sinker into a lie, a great delusion

Jesus said, ‘if the master is called Beelzebub, how will it fair for the students?’

What have you been called recently?

John Wesley (founder of the Methodist Movement) was referred to as a ‘fire brand,’ as was William Booth  (co-founder of the Salvation Army) and others who were ‘fire starters’ in their generation…

Wesley was barred from so many churches it’s hard to count, whilst Booth was actually referred to as the anti-christ by a prominent christian spokesman of his day. George Fox (founder of the Quakers) was thrown into prison times without number!

Have you been BANNED FROM CHURCH (for the right reasons?)

Then wear it with a badge of honour as that’s how they treated the prophets, righteous and wise men and women that went before you! Rejoice and be exceedingly glad! Join the roll call of heaven

When you’re on a mission from God, you can’t let anything stop you…

God appears to Moses as a blazing fire that cannot be quenched

Joseph’s brothers refer to him derogatorily as a ‘dreamer’

David’s brothers mock him and Jesus’ brothers didn’t believe in him…

Dreamers, Rebels, Firebrands…

If you’ve been BANNED FROM CHURCH

You’re in good company…

As our movement leader said to the authorities of his day,

‘Am I some kind of Dangerous Rebel?’ – Jesus

(If you’ve been BANNED FROM CHURCH for doing what Jesus told you to do, contact me!)

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeremy Ley July 17, 2017 at 9:39 am

Wow! I’ve been waiting for an article like this for quite some time. Seems I am in good company after all!

Thanks for posting!

I too, it appears, am a dangerous rebel. All your descriptions apply to me and my family who were reprimanded many times for doing things that were unorthodox (you know, like trying to obey Jesus).

We suffered much at the hands of a hierarchy bent only on preserving the system and church tradition to the point where we were actively prevented from making disciples.

We tried desperately for years to encourage those who cherished their positions to consider the commands of Jesus and the responsibility of leaders to equip the members of the body for ministry but were considered as a threat.

Paul once said: “Am I now your enemy for telling you the truth?” We certainly felt like we were enemies for daring to do so.

After 25 years, we left our church because we wanted to make disciples without the pastor’s permission. We said we already had permission from the One in Whom is all authority in heaven and earth.

It was an incredibly painful decision to make and it still hurts. We are often challenged to exercise forgiveness. But we also press on, in pursuit of the kind of fruitfulness that can only come from obedience to the church’s Head – not the church itself.

New doors have been opened for us as a family since moving on. God has given us new friends and new opportunities to serve Him with much greater freedom. And we are seeing fruit in the most unexpected places!

I pray God’s blessing and help for all those who have had experiences similar to ours. It costs to follow Jesus and we may lose much along the way. But God is worthy and faithful. And He has not finished with you. Keep going!

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Peter J. Farmer July 17, 2017 at 10:36 am

Hi Jeremy! It’s good to be aquainted with another Dangerous Rebel! Yes, there is pain along the way in the pursuit of following the voice of Jesus at all costs when other voices around you seem hell bent on persuading you to follow their voice instead…

Jesus said, ‘my sheep hear my voice’

May we continue to hear his voice ever more clearer in the days to come and act all the more swiftly to put into practice those things he says…

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Jeremy Ley July 17, 2017 at 11:50 am

Thank you Peter, I really treasure your encouragement.

God bless and may we not grow weary in doing good as we follow the Shepherd’s voice…

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Claire Ellis July 18, 2017 at 11:08 pm

Hi Peter,
Yes I am definitely a rebel and an outcast and have been banned from quite a few churches now along with my husband having stood eye to eye with many pastors and discussed the ‘undiscussable’ subjects that no one else dared to mention.
After 15 years in a heavy shepherding church we suddenly had a revelation one day that all they were interested in was marrying people off and making more pastors to start more churches so that each one could bring in tithes which then got sent back to the mother church. We left and everyone was told not to speak to us because we had ‘backslidden’ which was far from true..We have been back a few times since to visit but the last time when we took time after the service to pray for a long term friend of ours who had MS the pastor called us aside and told us that he has heard we are ‘itinerant and wander without a church home ‘ and ‘to keep our praying to the street’ and not to pray for ‘his church’ and if we want to come in ‘his church’ we must come under ‘his headship’. Oh well.. That was the end of that chapter . It was a sad day when I was also named publicly after a bible study meeting in another pastors house , by the pastor as ‘arrogant and full of pride’ simply because a couple of us mentioned that the meeting had been very good that week and that we had been praying for the bible study and for people to get more out of it and the Holy Spirit to move. The pastor said that I was boasting to say that. He banned me from the worship team because I suggested we sing more spontaneously but he wanted to follow the music. We started doing evangelism and this church was the nearest to the local market and High street, however, the pastor would not allow us to use their leaflets to encourage people to come to their services so we had to buy our own tracts which we started putting our own names and contact details on…this is where it began for us I think.
It was sad for us and for our daughter to have to leave and do church at home for a while because having been there for 12 years, we really wanted to encourage them to be obedient to what Jesus has said. They did not want to know.Jude 1 v 22-23 came to mind then. We lost a lot of friends.
These friends today still don’t even talk to us and consider us to be weird.

We started doing street outreach with lots of random evangelists, in fact, anyone who we could find. We wanted to know as many ways to do it as possible. We were self-taught. Us and the Holy Spirit. Then we discovered H.O.T.S and joined a church that did this in east London. But shortly after we joined they stopped doing healing on the streets. We were left at a loose end. Then the Holy Spirit showed us The Last Reformation, a movement which is rapidly spreading where many worldwide are learning to get out of churches and onto the streets to make disciples. We learned how to heal, share the gospel easily, baptise in the Holy Spirit and water and to cast out demons. We did a couple of their training courses and then last year my husband left his job and we lived entirely by faith for 8 months while we did ministry at our home and visited people and we also did 5 public events where we trained people how to do this.
We are waiting eagerly to see what God has for us next.
We are in East London, but there are only myself and my husband and our daughter (19) . We also have 1 disciple who we see regularly and who is very eager to learn. We long to find others like us in our area who we can meet up with , have fellowship and bible study and do outreach and meetings with.
So far it’s mainly me who is free to do discipleship and outreach most days and the studies I do also as my husband has different gifts. The Lord gave me many dreams and visions last year and downloaded much gospel and evangelism teaching into me in my sleep over many months, which I believe is preparation for something to come . I try to always give testimonies and sometimes share what I am given on Facebook, (Facebook: East London Disciples) and the Lord sends us requests for prayer, baptism, deliverance etc . I’m not liked by many in the UK , and other places too because of many reasons: apparently people say I am arrogant, full of pride, too loud and talkative, too much of a leader when my husband should be , I have even been labelled as manipulating by many people (but I think thats after they heard the gospel I preached and the Holy Spirit compelled them and they didnt like it). But by many others, my friends, I receive much encouragement and support to keep going, to be brave and continue to be bold and just as loud and straight-talking. Many women have encouraged me also to continue because I am the face of a ‘normal woman’ which encourages others to do the same.
I do not fear because it is God who is leading me. Jesus is my head and I am His body. Christ is in me, the hope of Glory.Praise God!!

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Patti Moys July 19, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Too true! We weren’t ever banned, but we were sidelined, misunderstood and accused of being too ‘intense’ even whilst being valued for certain things like faithfulness and anointing. It’s a long time since we’ve been around leaders who expect their permission to be sought before taking action, but it was a very real factor in our early days. Is it still strong out there? It keeps people passive and enforces the obsolete & non NT clergy/laity (pastor/sheep) divide. We initially accepted the 1980’s submission teaching, believing it to be scriptural, but after head covering was enforced, repealed, then enforced again, we made up our own minds! The words of Paul, ‘Follow me AS I follow Christ’ liberated me from ever following a person as a leader again, or needing permission to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is a ‘Glorious Outlaw’ (John Eldridge) – let’s continue to follow Him outside the camp.

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