If we are to believe these words above, and the book from which they are derived, we must admit that the ways of God are peaceable, gentle, full of mercy and truth. Those who claim to have wisdom, but yield only strife without a meekness of wisdom are, according to these words, earthly and perhaps even following demonic doctrines. It states people that are not peaceable are full of confusion and, in reality, are not doing God’s work but are really just working evil. Please forgive me as I use of a little figurative language in this post to illustrate this point but it seemed the best option at hand.
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good life his works with meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, boast not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by them that make peace. James 3:13-18
History has seen many authoritarian, legalistic, religious men and movements rise like huge waves upon the land intent on capturing men for their own purpose. These movements push at mankind's shore then recede, leaving only faint ripples in the sands of time and in the process they cast off bits of flotsam. Those who witness the event do their best to describe it but find it nearly impossible. They can only point to the ripples left in the sand as evidence of what has occurred. They may perhaps hold up bits of cast off flotsam as evidence the destructive wave was once there. They may even try to form an adequate picture of what occurred, but the picture never quite comes close to describing the actual fury of the event.
As I write this history of the ABC I too am left with only bare traces in the sands of my and other peoples memories. I have some knowledge of where the bits of cast off flotsam lay but most has disappeared with time. All that is left now is the retelling. From the ripples in the sands of time, and the remaining bits of cast off flotsam, I attempt to piece together the dynamics of the wave that struck the shores of my and other peoples life. My singular perspective, aided with various recounts of history, is the best I can do to retell the fury and lack of grace that accompanied the destructive waves that crashed upon the shore. It is a sometime difficult task.
I have been witness to more than one destructive wave that passed through the ABC. During my time within it’s walls there were two large waves of destruction that passed through and many small ones which did less damage but were still very rogue. Part of me became a bit of that cast off flotsam in both of the large waves I was witness to.
I now inhabit the shore, having escaped the last wave successfully, and around me lay bits of cast off flotsam among the ripples in the sands of time. Those that remain, and remember the storms, occasionally peer out to sea, watching for the next batch of clouds to form that will produce yet another destructive wave. It is my hope there will be no more flotsam cast ashore because the flotsam I refer to are living breathing men, women and children who are left severely weakened by the churning of the wave. But I know history repeats itself and, among the appearance of calm within the ABC, another storm brews somewhere just beyond the horizon. The day will com when another storm will appear in the distance, building waves ahead of it’s surge, and a new round of cast off flotsam will be flung to the shore. I know firsthand the awesome power of these destructive waves and how much damage they do to peoples lives. I hope others will be spared the fury but the best I can do is warn others to stay away.
Before the first wave ever crested in the sea of the Assembly of the Body of Christ (ABC), before the first bit of flotsam was pushed from the ranks, there was a man who sang he sang he had written to "the group". It began;
Can't you see that flash of fireThere are many verses to the song but the chorus below repeats several times,
Ten times brighter than the day
For behold that mighty city
How we've failed you once again.
Oh Lord, God of manThis man stayed around in "the group" for just a few short weeks. After he departed, this song, "Mystery Babylon", was re-interpreted to be about “those other people”, the ones on the outside of the ABC, who were trapped in "Mystery Babylon" denominational churches. We, “the chosen”, huddled safely under our unnamed non-denominational tower, speaking our common language, knowing we were secure and protected in "The Body of Christ" and could not be scattered. We did not understand then that, not far in the future, we would become just like the denominations we pointed to. We too would acquire a name which denominated our tower. Just like the others we pointed to. We did not know that soon a corporate body would be birthed for the sole purpose of hiding the gold. I too felt protected in those days but, inwardly, I also wondered if this song was not really a warning to us all. Perhaps it was time to look around, start again in a new, right, way...while there was still time. I wish we had.
How we've failed you once again
Look around, start once more
Follow him, while you can.
There were others that felt this was a warning too but, "for the sake of unity" said nothing. Keeping quiet “for the sake of unity” is a major doctrine in the ABC just as it is a major theme in every other cult. We, every one of us, remained quiet beneath our proverbial tower, and continued to point the finger at the denominational masses "outside" who called themselves by a name and worshiped in their brick and mortar buildings. We felt pure in our pride.
We were certain we were different since we had no brick tower. We were certain God looked on us with more favor because we worshiped in homes instead. We cried out proudly to those we saw "in Mystery Babylon" in an attempt to “rescue them from the pit”. We talked endlessly of our hope of "drawing them out of Babylon" so they too could find "peace and safety" just like us beneath our, as yet unnamed, virtual tower constructed from a "new" design.
Only a few short years drifted by, after this song was introduced, before the first storm began to brew at sea. Soon a large wave could be seen rising in the distance and it would rise up out of the seas of the "the group" and, with great fury, cast its flotsam to the shore. The ripples, though greatly faded now, can still be seen to this day, if one looks closely.
In Genesis there was once a people who said, "Come, let's build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top reaches to the sky, and let's make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered abroad on the surface of the whole earth." That story is found in Genesis 11 and took place not long after man first became upon the earth:
The whole earth was of one language and of one speech. It happened, as they traveled east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they lived there. They said one to another, "Come, let's make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, "Come, let's build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top reaches to the sky, and let's make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered abroad on the surface of the whole earth." Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. Yahweh said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is what they begin to do. Now nothing will be withheld from them, which they intend to do. Come, let's go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So Yahweh scattered them abroad from there on the surface of all the earth. They stopped building the city. Therefore the name of it was called Babel, because there Yahweh confused the language of all the earth. From there, Yahweh scattered them abroad on the surface of all the earth. Genesis 11:1-9One of the prevailing doctrines in “the group” which was then carried over into the “Assembly of the Body of Christ” is that one must never vocalize a differing opinion, challenge the leadership, or balk at a "discipline" lest "the unity of the body" be disrupted. Silence is rewarded with false peace. It was worried that the "new babes" would discover the turmoil that brewed beneath the surface then become injured or leave but it was deceitful and dishonest to bury the underlying turmoil and to pretend unity. It is this same doctrine that caused God to destroy the tower man created at Babel and then scatter the perpetrators. The tower was only a hoax of safety. The tower was simply a prideful act and those that sheltered under this tower thought they had found a perfect unity in language. They had convinced themselves they could now see eye to eye on all things an be “perfectly united under God”. It was a false unity of their own design.
The tower of Babel stood within the ancient city of Babylon. This is disclosed in Zechariah 5:11 which shows Babylon was in the plains of Shinar so Babylon is precisely where the tower of Babel stood. What we have today in authoritarian, legalistic movements like the "Assembly of the Body of Christ"; as well as others which demand a false "unity" by enforced silence or by destroying and casting off anyone who disagrees with the leadership; is simply another manifestation of Babel. But this time it is a Mystery (or hidden) Babel or Babylon.
One of the main facets of Mystery (or hidden) Babylon is the constructing of a tower; whether brick and mortar or virtual; for the purpose of having a common name and common language. While this does give one a sense of safety in belonging to a movement, it is a false sense of security. Building towering movements like “the group" / "ABC” that are perceived as "perfect and in order" or "God's perfect will" is not what God intended for his creation.
The United States has satellites that fly high above the earth looking for any anomaly that might indicate a threat to our nation. Man-made threats are easy to pinpoint because man-made objects are built using man's geography; that is with straight lines, squares and perfect circles. God, in my view, has a better geography. This geography, on the surface, seems chaotic and random but science calls this fractal geometry. It is by this complex, random fractal design the entire universe is constructed. What seems random, chaotic and imperfect to the mind of man actually creates a perfection, strength and longevity man is not able to duplicate. Compare the lines of a mighty, gnarly, towering oak to that of a man-made straight wall sky scraping tower. Which is stronger? The oak will outlive most of us and the towers we construct are fragile indeed. It is written that God's ways are not our ways and His ways are not ours. Perhaps God's kingdom is of a chaotic, fractal random design that yields patterns that are not only beautiful, but strong as well, perfect and devoid of the straight line designs of man.
Why do we, as mere men, feel we must build our proper square and perfect circle or square towers of religious authoritarian movements? Why do we then huddle under these towers and demand all around us have a common name and a common language? Is not God everywhere and not contained?
Where could I go from your Spirit? Or where could I flee from your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there! If I take the wings of the dawn, And settle in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there your hand will lead me, And your right hand will hold me. Psalms 139:7-10In my view God does not desire straight wall towering authoritarian movements like the ABC. It does not matter if we have constructed our towers from brick and mortar or created them virtually through house movements. Any attempt by man to design and build a tower that is "perfect and in order" is truly vain. It is only God who can build the house and unless He builds it the laborers are laboring in vain.
Jesus, when speaking to Nicodemus about being born again, said:
The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don't know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:8God's kingdom is designed to be carried on the wind throughout all of the earth like seeds that cannot be confined or controlled.
He said, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed on the earth, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he doesn't know how. Mark 4:26-27Imagine if the lives of those touched by God were quickly edified, just as nature designed, and were then set free into the world like seeds on the wind. They would blow about without constraint or imposed guilt. To man this may seem chaotic and uncontrolled but, like the rest of God's creation, it is a fractal perfection that yields beauty...not bondage.
So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:7
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. Isaiah 55:8-13
One imposition of the ABC is that, once you have stepped below its tower, you are not free to leave. You must continue to pay your homage and tithe to the ABC, even if you feel God is taking you elsewhere. That is bondage.
If you leave the base of the ABC tower, you are considered "out of fellowship" or "in the wilderness" and are usually visited by emissaries who try to draw you back beneath the base of the tower “for the sake of unity. (Cancer cells have the same reasoning within them. Cancer cell clusters are very unified to their own strength but are very destructive to the whole.) Should one return to the base of the tower they return as one who has “been outside the walls” so they must then prove themselves to be worthy of the tower again. They must prove they are trustworthy to its people. Most often you simply are never truly trusted again.
Another imposition is that you must speak in exacting words, follow the exacting patterns previously laid down. It is assumed in the ABC this pattern was designed by my father Ramon A Haas. This, as we have seen, is a myth and a wrong assumption. Any variance from the established ABC order, any questioning of authority, no matter how small, is treated as dissent and rebellion and is dealt with harshly through "discipline" or ex-communication. The Assembly of the Body of Christ (ABC) retains a facade of "peace and safety" on the surface but beneath that surface lies a great churning turmoil. The churn is remnant of the many storms that passed through and now lay just beyond the horizon. Those who vary from the accepted language, or challenge a doctrine set down by the leadership, in even the smallest degree, will find themselves caught up in this turmoil and cast like flotsam from the next destructive wave. Those who remain, hand in hand, beneath the towering wave "protecting the unity" are unaware they are really just in Babylon, held in a yoke of bondage and are living in a cancerous system.
Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17
Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and don't be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1
"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30