A FORMER PASTOR WARNS: LEAVE THE CHURCH! Part 1
by Pam Sheppard
Even though I was an atheist without church background, born again at home 34 years ago, I still became a product of the church when I joined it in 1979 and entered into ministry in 1981. At a bare minimum, I preached at least 52 sermons a year for 25 years, having pastored 3 different churches. Yet when I look at the fruit of my ministry, I find little to none. You see, no one is really getting saved at church altars. At least, not since the 70′s. The old saints knew that “church” had grossly changed from their recollections of the 30′s, the 40′s and 50′s. They KNEW that the people had not been born again but they did not know the reason.
Does that make me sad that I had no fruit? No, it doesn’t. The irony is that if I had remained in church, I would have had a completely different assessment from “being inside.” For churchfolk have a broader yardstick by which they measure fruit. In fact, I would have been considered “one of the most fruitful” for my effect upon people with my preaching appeared to have a profound impact upon the congregants. Yet, for one who now has “an ear to hear,” I can hear the enemy’s mocking derision. “Pam, you thought that you were all that and a bag of chips but you were no different from the rest of your sinful,uninspiring colleagues. You have no fruit because religions demons have been in charge of the church since the Holy Ghost left it!”
Once I was willing to come face to face with this truth, then my spiritual eyes were opened to the fact that these times of ours are like a puzzle made easier if we can discern the grand design and rid ourselves of assumptions gleaned from“churchdom” that primarily consists of faulty biblical interpretations. For example, the church has interpreted the Lord’s parables about the kingdom of God as evidence of the Church’s great triumph and victory, as we assume we know what the Lord meant when He said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against the “church,” a subject that I have addressed in several of my articles and books.
The fact of the matter is that the enemy has assigned religious demons to every church in the entire world and the evidence confirms that either God is dead or if the Holy Ghost was ever in the organized church, He has certainly left it. My faith causes me to only accept the latter. So, once we discard the assumption that the church will ultimately bring the world to Jesus Christ, then we can better interpret the truth. For the Lord’s parable of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven point to the spread of apostasy and corruption over centuries of time, particularly in light of their scriptural context in connection with other scriptures.
Nevertheless, as I have tried the spirits for myself, I have certainly looked into my own heart to see if there is any bitterness due to never really being embraced, accepted or loved by the organized church. I anticipate that those who remain steeped in ”church business” will counterattack with various rationalizations to discredit my belief that “the church age is over.”
I expect that. Yet, it is important to note herein that 3 years AFTER I left the denomination, a Bishop made me an incredibly good offer that I turned down. This bishop offered to support every aspect of my ministry–an offer that would have made me a best selling author. Yet God spoke clearly. He said “the Bishop’s offer did NOT come from ME!” The truth of the matter is that my very life is at stake if I return. I will be turned over to Satan for the destruction of my very soul.
So I speak on behalf of no one but myself. For surely, if I had been embraced by the organized church, I would certainly not “know what I know” today. In fact, I believe that God has given me great grace by allowing me to experience non-acceptance so that my eyes would not be blinded by what I perceived to be “my success” in ministry. In truth, after 30 years in ministry and 34 years saved, I can count the fruit on one hand, with perhaps a finger or two to add-on.
The bottom line is this: I was one of the most dynamic preachers, one who was considered a healing evangelist with power to cast out demons. Yet I have done my own assessment and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that many who responded to my invitation after hearing one of my sermons were not saved. Moreover, those from whom I cast out demons may have been delivered from torment but only one of them that I know of is actually saved.
I also can remember my laying on of hands to many who claimed to be healed yet they were not or the “healing” was only a temporary remission of symptoms and persons died from the very diseases that they had confessed that they had been healed of. No fruit. This is not fruit. Once I humbled myself to this truth, more truth came. You see the hearts of the godless have already been hardened and the hearts of countless believers have been blinded by the god of this world. Souls are still being saved, but my ministerial experience is that the Lord is not saving people in church.
The work of the Holy Spirit is being conducted during a period of transition where the former church order has ceased as an effectual system, where a remnant of sincere people have been brought to salvation in spite of the powerlessness of the organized church. The work of the Holy Spirit today is not with the crowd but with the individual. My ministry today is directed toward the distracted, the deluded and the deceived believer because the gospel has already been preached worldwide.
I don’t think there is a soul in the world who has not heard of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Yet churchfolk STILL don’t understand the cross or the resurrection, so it is understandable that there is very little fruit of salvation occurring in the church. The reason why they don’t understand is that preachers continue to preach doctrines of devils. Without the power of the resurrection, no man is saved.
The book “Come Out of her, God’s People,” provides a detailed account of my memoirs as a pastor and an evangelist in a well-known African-American Denomination. This book is less about me and more about why I believe that the candlesticks have been removed from the entire organized church. Click the books cover for the e-book and the title link for the softcover.