67. After My Dad’s Expulsion
By Isabella, France
A few years ago, I was doing my duty away from home when I suddenly got word that my father had been defined as an evildoer and expelled from the church. It was said that he hadn’t had a positive role in the church, spreading notions and negativity, and curbing people’s enthusiasm for their duty. The brothers and sisters fellowshiped and dealt with him numerous times but he didn’t accept any of it, and was hostile to those who exposed and dealt with him. I was really taken aback by the news. I knew he was temperamental, but I felt like he had good humanity, he was loving to the brothers and sisters, and was always helping them with difficulties they had in life. Our neighbors all said he was really helpful and loving, so why would he suddenly be expelled for being evil? Ever since accepting God’s work of the last days in 2001, he’d been spreading the gospel and performing his duty. He’d slept in piles of firewood and in graveyards to escape arrest by the CCP. He had suffered greatly, and although he hadn’t done anything too remarkable, he’d worked hard for years. How could he be kicked out, just like that? I wondered if the church leader had handled it wrong. Why didn’t he get a chance to repent? For a while, any thought of my dad was really painful, and I felt bad for him.
About a year later I came back to my hometown for my duty. At first when I saw my dad, I still felt really bad for him and wanted to do whatever I could for him. He took great care of me, too. But I gradually realized that there was something off in the way he talked. He was always saying negative things that could make someone misunderstand and distance themselves from God, and feel depressed. Take my mother, for example. She had been a church leader, but she was dismissed for having poor caliber and not doing practical work, so she was in a negative state for a while. My dad did not fellowship on God’s will to help her, but said, “There’s no security in God’s house, and everyone will be dismissed one day. Didn’t God know if your caliber was lacking? God set this up for you on purpose, selecting you as leader and then dismissing you so you’d suffer. Your low caliber has been determined by God. If God doesn’t give you good caliber, you’ll never do your duty well!” After he said that, my mom’s state worsened. I was really angry when I heard about what he’d said, and felt like he was really unreasonable. It was a normal change of duty in the church, but he said it was God intentionally making someone suffer. That’s just not accurate. The church arranges and adjusts people’s duties based on their strengths, on the one hand so that the church’s work develops smoothly and is more successful. On the other, it’s to enable people to know their own caliber and stature, so they can find a suitable duty and position and make better use of their strengths and do their part. This arrangement is entirely in line with the principles and is beneficial to the church’s work and people’s life entry. My mom was dismissed from her leadership position, but she was doing another duty that suited her, and she could use this failure to know herself and to learn a lesson. Wasn’t that a good thing? How could my father bend the truth? There was also a brother in the church who had quit his job so he could do his duty full time. When his duty wasn’t too demanding, he found a side job to earn some money. It was hard labor, and he made a living while performing his duty. He’d never done anything so physically demanding, and when he was worn out he’d feel really down. When my dad found out, he actually said to the brother, “My family used to be fairly well off, but since believing in God we’ve always been making sacrifices. Now we hardly have any money, and I have to do hard labor. You’re giving up plenty already, but one day you might really be crying….” I was shocked to hear him say that. Why would he fellowship with the brother like that? When people give up everything to expend themselves for God, although in their material life they may not be very wealthy, and they may suffer a little, what they receive is truth and life. That is something that cannot be replaced with any amount of money. What my father had said didn’t accord with the truth. Our lives weren’t much harder than they used to be, and so many times when my dad had problems finding work or difficulties in life, God opened up a path for him, helping him find a suitable job to keep making a living. Before gaining faith, he was always smoking and drinking and his health was terrible. His hands would shake when holding his rice bowl. He quit drinking after he believed in God and spent his time doing his duty and fellowshiping with the brothers and sisters, so his health got better and better. Everyone who saw him said how great he looked, that he looked like a new man. Our family had received so much grace from God, but my dad didn’t mention any of that, instead just twisting things and complaining, deliberately leading people to misunderstand and blame God, intentionally disrupting their relationship with God, leading them away from God and to betray God.
There were lots of things like that. After I gave up my studies to do my duty full time in the church, he was always saying, “You’re expending so much without leaving yourself an exit. You’ll regret it one day.” That just didn’t sound right to me. For a created being to do their duty in the church was right and proper. It was my responsibility and my obligation. I gave up my studies of my own free will. Being able to believe in and follow God and do my duty in the church was God’s grace to me. And all these years performing my duty in the church, I’d understood some truths, and gained things I’d never have got in the outside world. I know what people should pursue in life and I understand plenty of things in the world a lot better. I don’t follow evil secular trends like young people who are unbelievers. These are very real things that I’ve gained that I couldn’t have gotten at school. But my dad made expending in one’s duty for God into a negative thing. Wasn’t that spreading negativity and death? I shot back, “I won’t regret it! Maybe I haven’t been studying for a few years, and doing my duty instead, but I’ve learned a lot of truths and gained so much. I’d never get that out of books. What you’re saying isn’t in line with the truth.” I was shocked when his temper flared up, and he clenched his fist in anger like he was going to punch me. Then I realized that my dad wasn’t the person I’d thought he was. I’d always judged him based on his external good deeds, not the principles of the truth. I’d always seen my dad as so concerned about and caring for me, outwardly loving toward other brothers and sisters, and as someone whose humanity was not bad. But behind his nice behavior, something sinister was in his heart. He had enormous notions about God and His work. His words seemed to be comforting and understanding, thinking about our options, but in fact he was spreading notions about God, getting people to misunderstand and blame God. Accepting them would cause us to develop notions and misunderstandings about God, or even want to stop believing, stop doing our duty and expending for God, and go back out into the world. It was really misleading!
Later on I read some of God’s words that addressed his behavior. Almighty God says, “Those among brothers and sisters who are always giving vent to their negativity are lackeys of Satan, and they disturb the church. Such people must one day be expelled and cast out. In their belief in God, if people do not have a heart of reverence for God, if they do not have a heart of obedience toward God, then not only will they be unable to do any work for Him, but on the contrary will become those who disturb His work and who defy Him. Believing in God but not obeying or revering Him, and instead resisting Him, is the greatest disgrace for a believer. If believers are just as casual and unrestrained in their speech and conduct as unbelievers are, then they are even more evil than unbelievers; they are archetypal demons. … All who have been corrupted by Satan have corrupt dispositions. Some have nothing more than corrupt dispositions, while others are different: Not only do they have corrupt satanic dispositions, but their nature is also extremely malicious. Not only do their words and actions reveal their corrupt, satanic dispositions; these people are, moreover, the genuine devil Satan. Their behavior interrupts and disturbs God’s work, it impairs the brothers’ and sisters’ entry into life, and it damages the normal life of the church. Sooner or later, these wolves in sheep’s clothing must be cleared out; an unsparing attitude, an attitude of rejection, should be adopted toward these lackeys of Satan. Only this is standing on the side of God, and those who fail to do so are wallowing in the mire with Satan” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth). “People who do not strive for progress always wish for others to be as negative and indolent as themselves. Those who do not practice the truth are jealous of those who do, and always try to deceive those who are muddle-headed and lack discernment. The things these people give vent to can cause you to degenerate, slip downward, develop an abnormal state, and be filled with darkness. They cause you to become distant from God, and to cherish the flesh and indulge yourself. People who do not love the truth and who are always perfunctory toward God have no self-awareness, and the disposition of such people seduces others into committing sins and defying God. They do not practice the truth, nor do they allow others to practice it. They cherish sin and have no loathing of themselves. They do not know themselves, and they stop others from knowing themselves; they also stop others from desiring the truth. Those they deceive cannot see the light. They fall into darkness, do not know themselves, are unclear about the truth, and become more and more distant from God” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth). Pondering this, I saw that those who are always spreading notions and negativity among the brothers and sisters belong to Satan. People like that are acting as Satan’s lackeys, disturbing and misleading people, and keeping them from coming before God. My father saying things like this, and saying them all the time, wasn’t just showing momentary corruption or negativity and weakness. It was because he hated the truth and God in his nature and essence, so when anything happened, the perspectives he expressed were entirely contrary to God’s words and the truth, they were all notions about God, to get people to misunderstand, blame, and betray Him. I saw he didn’t pursue the truth at all. He performed his duty merely to obtain blessings, and when he didn’t receive material blessings for his suffering and expenditure, he felt like he’d been wronged, and was even full of resentment and hostility to God. He couldn’t follow the path of faith, and wanted to rope others into distancing themselves from God, betraying God, and confronting God along with him. His words were full of Satan’s tricks, all to attack people’s drive for their duty and ruin their relationship with God. He was nothing but Satan’s minion, belonging to the devil. A normal person who was good-hearted wouldn’t deliberately do something like that, no matter how negative and weak they felt. Only a satanic demon would feel such great hostility to God. I increasingly felt that my father was frightening, that he wasn’t a good person, but an evildoer.
I read another passage of God’s words: “It may be that in all your years of faith in God, you have never cursed anyone or committed a bad deed, yet in your association with Christ, you cannot speak the truth, act honestly, or obey the word of Christ; in that case, I say that you are the most sinister and malicious person in the world. You may be exceptionally amiable and devoted toward your relatives, friends, wife (or husband), sons and daughters, and parents, and never take advantage of others, but if you are incapable of compatibility with Christ, if you are unable to interact in harmony with Him, then even if you expend your all in relief to your neighbors or take meticulous care of your father, mother, and members of your household, I would say that you are still wicked, and moreover one full of cunning tricks” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Are Incompatible With Christ Are Surely Opponents of God). This helped me see that we can’t tell a good person from an evil person by how they outwardly treat others, but by their attitude toward God and the truth. No matter how superficially nice they are or what people think of them, if they essentially hate the truth and God, they’re an evildoer who’s an enemy to God. Although my father was outwardly warmhearted, helping the brothers and sisters when they were lacking anything, was never miserly, and didn’t spare any expense to host the brothers and sisters, although he looked like a good, kind-hearted person, in nature and essence he was disgusted by the truth, he hated it. He clearly knew that God had already exposed our wrong views of having faith just to seek blessings, but when God arranged an environment inconsistent to his own notions, that didn’t satisfy his desire for blessings, he turned ugly, was filled with notions about God, judged Him and even hated Him. Over all those years, he’d never reflected on himself or sought the truth, but kept judging God’s work and spreading his notions about Him. The intentions in his words carried Satan’s tricks, leaving people unwittingly negative and weak. It was really sinister. God evaluates people based on their essence, on their attitude toward God and the truth. But I was evaluating my dad based on his outward presentation. Seeing he had some good behavior, I believed he was a good person and that the church should not have expelled him, so I wanted to advocate for him. I didn’t understand the truth or use God’s words as my rubric. I was so foolish. Understanding this, I felt that the church was definitely right to expel my father. He hated God and the truth, so for being expelled by the church he only had himself to blame. I no longer felt sorry for him. I felt free.
Then something else happened that gave me even more insight into him. My dad heard that a sister who had dealt with him before was dismissed from her duty. He was reveling in the news, and with a hateful gleam in his eyes, he clenched his teeth and said, “Remember how you dealt with me? You said I wasn’t principled in my duty, I didn’t practice the truth. Now it’s your turn!” He had a really fierce look in his eyes and a scary look on his face. I saw he had no compassion whatsoever. When he was dealt with, he didn’t seek the truth and learn a lesson, but hated that person for years because his pride was wounded. This further proved to me that my dad was in essence someone with a malicious heart, an evildoer who hated the truth. This was an evildoer showing his true colors, and it certainly was right to have him expelled from the church.
Later, God’s house arranged for churches to check and see if anyone had been wrongly cleared out or expelled, or if any of those who had been cleared out or expelled had truly repented. For these individuals, the church could consider reinstating them according to principle. The new leader didn’t know my father’s situation. She saw my dad’s superficial enthusiasm and willingness to host the brothers and sisters, that he helped them to find work, that he was really caring, and that he’d made some offerings. She therefore thought he might have been wrongly expelled, and wanted to bring him back into the church. Hearing the leader say this, I was shocked, because I knew in my heart that his expulsion was entirely in line with principles, that it wasn’t a mistaken expulsion. I said right away, “My dad can’t be allowed back in.” Not knowing my dad, she just fellowshiped on how people need chances to repent. At first I wanted to talk about his specific behaviors, but I hesitated, and didn’t say anything. I was thinking that he was my dad who’d raised me all those years. If he knew I’d stood in the way of him being reaccepted, he’d be so hurt, and so mad at me! At that thought, I kept my mouth shut, but I felt really guilty after the leader walked off. Only my mom and I knew clearly about the matter of my father, and not speaking up at this critical time would be failing to protect the church’s work. That night I was tossing and turning, and thought of a passage of God’s words: “Who is Satan, who are demons, and who are God’s enemies if not resisters who do not believe in God? Are they not those people who are disobedient to God? Are they not those who claim to have faith, yet who lack truth? Are they not those who merely seek to obtain blessings while being unable to bear witness for God? You still mingle with those demons today and bear conscience and love toward them, but in this case are you not extending good intentions toward Satan? Are you not in league with demons? If people these days are still unable to distinguish between good and evil, and continue to blindly be loving and merciful without any intention of seeking God’s will or being able in any way to harbor God’s intentions as their own, then their endings will be all the more wretched. Anyone who does not believe in the God in the flesh is an enemy of God. If you can bear conscience and love toward an enemy, do you not lack a sense of righteousness? If you are compatible with those which I detest and with which I disagree, and still bear love or personal feelings toward them, then are you not disobedient? Are you not intentionally resisting God? Does such a person possess truth? If people bear conscience toward enemies, love for demons, and mercy for Satan, then are they not intentionally disrupting God’s work?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together). I felt terrible when I considered God’s words. I knew very well that my dad hated the truth and resisted God, that he was an evildoer in essence. He didn’t fit the church’s principles for reinstating people. But I still wanted to cover up for him and shield him, and I was unable to expose his evil behavior. I was too sentimental. I was living by satanic philosophies like “Blood is thicker than water” and “Man is not inanimate; how can he be free from emotions?” I thought he was my dad, so I couldn’t be too heartless, I had to be nice. I was afraid my dad would hate me if he found out I’d talked about his problems, that he’d call me ungrateful and say he’d raised me for so many years in vain. I wasn’t looking at things according to God’s words. I was protecting my father on the basis of emotion rather than protecting the work of the church. I was resisting and betraying God in everything that I did. My father’s essence was that of an evildoer, and if he came back to the church, he’d just disrupt church life and hinder the life entry of the brothers and sisters. Didn’t that make me an evildoer’s helper? The more I thought about it, the worse I felt. Living by my emotions, I didn’t know right from wrong, and had lost sight of the principles of being human.
I read a passage of God’s word: “By what principle do God’s words ask that people treat others? Love what God loves, and hate what God hates: This is the principle that should be adhered to. God loves those who pursue the truth and are able to follow His will. These are also the people that we should love. Those who are not able to follow God’s will, who hate God, and rebel against God—these people are despised by God, and we should despise them, too. This is what God asks of man. If your parents do not believe in God, if they know full well that faith in God is the right path, and that it can lead to salvation, yet remain unreceptive, then there is no doubt that they are people who are sick of the truth, who hate the truth, and there is no doubt that they are those who resist God, and hate God—and God naturally abhors and despises them. Could you despise such parents? They are liable to oppose God, and revile God—in which case, they are surely demons and Satans. Could you abhor and curse them, too? These are all real questions. If your parents prevent you from believing in God, how should you treat them? As is asked by God, you should love what God loves, and hate what God hates. During the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus said, ‘Who is My mother? And who are My brothers?’ ‘For whoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother’ (Matthew 12:48, 50). This saying already existed back in the Age of Grace, and now God’s words are even more clear: ‘Love what God loves, and hate what God hates.’ These words cut straight to the point, yet people are often unable to appreciate their true meaning” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Recognizing One’s Own Misguided Views Can One Truly Transform). God’s words gave me the principles I needed to apply to my dad. He was my father, but he was evil in nature and essence. He hated the truth and was God’s enemy. He would only cause disruption in the church and harm to the brothers and sisters. God hates and is disgusted by people like that, and He doesn’t save evildoers. Just considering my affection and love for him would be cruel to the brothers and sisters, it would do harm to the church, and would be standing on the side of an evildoer in resisting God and being His enemy!
Later on, my mom and I fellowshiped on it, and we both felt it was God testing us, that we had to practice the truth and uphold the interests of the church. If we covered up for and protected my dad and didn’t bring his evil behavior to light, we’d have a part in his evil, and we’d be damned and punished by God, too. My dad hadn’t yet been reinstated, but when the brothers and sisters visited us, he would still spread words of negativity and death that were disruptive to them. If he did come back, then any group he came in contact with would be hurt, and any church he came in contact with would be a church full of victims! If I ignored my conscience and kept quiet, that would damage the brothers and sisters, and would be disturbing the work of the church! I got more scared and realized that at this critical moment, protecting the work of the church or covering up for an evildoer involved the stance I took. The church leader didn’t know my dad, thought he seemed like a good person on the surface, and was considering whether he should have another chance to return to the church. But we did know him, so we had to practice the truth and be honest, and report his evil behavior truthfully to our leader. A few days later the leader came to our home for a gathering. My mom and I opened up about my dad’s evil behaviors, and in the end he wasn’t invited back. I felt really at peace when I put this into practice.
At first I’d been taken in by my dad’s surface behaviors and I didn’t have any discernment of him. I couldn’t tell a good from an evil person. Through my dad being expelled, I learned some truths and gained some discernment, and saw clearly the essence of my father as an evildoer. I overcame the restraints of sentimentality and treated him based on principles of the truth. That was God’s protection and salvation for me! Thanks be to Almighty God!