75. Learning From Expelling an Evildoer

By Kaitlyn, Netherlands

In March 2021, I served as a leader at a church. When I met with the watering supervisor to check on the work, I discovered that some of the group leaders were just bossing the brothers and sisters around and urging them to do their duty, while they just twiddled their thumbs and didn’t water the newcomers. They didn’t try to understand the actual difficulties the brothers and sisters faced in their duties, so their guidance of work was just giving some empty speeches and enforcing the rules, rather than sharing a practical path. The supervisor and I fellowshiped with them that leading a group wasn’t just telling people what to do, they had to provide practical watering for newcomers as well, so as to be able to discover the problems and difficulties existing in the work. But quite a few days after the fellowship, they still hadn’t taken any real action. I looked into it and discovered a team leader Kinsley was disturbing and obstructing things. She herself didn’t practice, yet was inciting the other team leaders, saying, “The church leader and the supervisor have us watering newcomers. This leaves me no time to follow up on the team’s work—does that mean we don’t need to do it anymore? Then what is the team leader’s job?” She then said, “Do you know, this supervisor is an amateur? How can an amateur teaching professionals do the job properly?” When the supervisor inspected the team leaders’ work and found problems, she spoke more severely, and Kinsley then judged that the supervisor was scolding them haughtily, and she even spread this among the brothers and sisters. Without any understanding she also judged the superior leaders to have selected someone not in accordance with principle. But in fact, the supervisor had been promoted and cultivated according to principle. Although she didn’t have much experience watering newcomers, she had good caliber, she was capable and bore a burden in her duty, and she could be cultivated. She could also spot problems and guide the work, and after some time watering newcomers she’d made some progress. But Kinsley, under the guise of “amateurs can’t teach professionals,” attacked the supervisor and insisted she wasn’t fit for the position. She also spread rumors that the superior leaders had appointed people without principle, which made the brothers and sisters have biased opinions against the leaders and supervisor and refuse to carry out the work. This caused a disruption in those leaders’ and workers’ duties, and in the work of the church. Not only this, at gatherings Kinsley made use of fellowship, nominally on her understanding of herself, to disingenuously belittle and attack the leaders and supervisor. For example, she said she’d raised suggestions to the superior leaders and supervisor, but they didn’t understand the work and didn’t take her suggestions. Kinsley said she didn’t want to persist, but in the end discovered her advice was correct. In fact, what she said wasn’t the truth at all. She was intentionally vague in her fellowship, making it seem like the leadership didn’t understand the work and were holding her back, refusing to take her advice, and that she was being suppressed for upholding the interests of the church, so everyone would have sympathy for her and side with her.

Kinsley always belittled and judged leaders and workers, and the brothers and sisters had reminded her of this and fellowshiped with her on it plenty of times, but she’d never repented for it at all. This isn’t a matter of showing some momentary corruption, it’s a problem of her nature essence. I thought of God’s words about exposing such a person. God says: “The matter of competing for status is an issue which arises often in church life and it is something that is not uncommon to see. What states, behaviors, and manifestations belong to the practice of competing for status? What manifestations of competing for status can be said to be part of the issue of the disruption and disturbance of God’s work and the normal order of the churches? No matter what article or category we fellowship, it must pertain to what is said in article twelve, about ‘the various people, events, and things that disrupt and disturb God’s work and the normal order of the churches.’ It must reach the degree of disruption and disturbance, and it must pertain to this nature to be worth fellowship and dissection. What manifestations of competing for status are associated with disrupting and disturbing the work of the house of God in nature? Most common is competing with church leaders for their status, which is chiefly manifested in seizing on the leaders’ faults and errors to denigrate and condemn them, and purposefully exposing their revelations of corruption and the failings and shortcomings in their humanity and caliber, particularly when it comes to deviations and mistakes they have made in their work or when dealing with people. This is the most commonly seen, and most blatant, manifestation of competing with church leaders for status. In addition, regardless of how well church leaders do their work, whether or not they act according to principles, or whether or not there are issues with their humanity, they do not care about these things; they simply do not obey church leaders. Why don’t they obey them? Because they also want to be a church leader, this is their ambition, their desire, and so they refuse to obey. No matter how the church leader works or handles problems, they always seize on their flaws, judge and condemn them, and even go so far as to blow things out of proportion, distort facts, and make mountains out of molehills. They do not use the standards that the house of God requires of leaders and workers to measure whether what this leader does is according to principle, whether they are someone who is correct, whether they are someone who pursues the truth, whether they have conscience and sense. They do not make judgments according to these principles. Instead, as befits their own intentions and aims, they constantly nitpick and split hairs, finding things to hold against leaders or workers, spreading information behind their backs about the things they do that are not in line with the truth, or bringing up their shortcomings. They might say, for example, that ‘Leader so-and-so once made this mistake and was dealt with by the Above, which none of you know about—that’s how good they are at putting on an act.’ They ignore and overlook whether this leader or worker is being trained up by the house of God, and whether they are a qualified leader or worker, but simply keep on judging them, twisting the facts, and scheming against them behind their back. And to what end do they do these things? It is because they are competing for status, is it not? There is an aim to everything they say and do. They are not thinking of the church’s work, and their evaluation of leaders and workers is not based on the words of God or the truth, much less the work arrangements of God’s house or the principles that God requires of man, but on their own intentions and aims(The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers (14)). I learned from God’s words that if someone does not look at whether leaders and workers are right people, whether they’re suited to the principles of God’s house for cultivating people, but instead they just find fault and try to get something on them, and intentionally judge and belittle them behind their backs, trying to incite the brothers and sisters to attack and condemn them, then they are disrupting the work of the church. Such a person should be exposed and reined in, and, in serious cases, removed from the church. With regard to Kinsley’s behavior, she wasn’t looking at whether the supervisor was getting results in her duty, if her work was benefiting the work of the church, or if she was worth cultivating. Kinsley just seized on the fact that the supervisor’s skills were inferior to her own, and on this basis spread the idea that amateurs couldn’t guide professionals. She judged and attacked, and sowed discord, and let the brothers and sisters develop prejudice against the leaders and workers, and refuse to carry out the work we arranged. This hindered our progress in watering work. This wasn’t Kinsley showing momentary corruption, this was her consistent behavior. She’d already seriously disrupted church life, and wasn’t fit to do her duty. I should dismiss her immediately according to principle. If at that point she still didn’t repent, she should be cleansed from the church. But as I thought about dismissing Kinsley, I hesitated, thinking that she’d been a team leader for a while, and was a good actor. The brothers and sisters didn’t have much discernment of her, and some looked up to her. They felt she had a burden in her duty, that she was loving and had a sense of justice. If I dismissed her as soon as I joined the church, would the brothers and sisters think I was heartless and cruel? That I was being punishing? Would they approve of my leadership after this? What’s more, Kinsley’s humanity was really vicious, and she had many methods of fanning the flames and sowing discord behind the scenes. If I offended her and she pointed the finger at me, and judged me among the brothers and sisters, stirring up my relationship with them, my work would get a lot harder to do. I figured I shouldn’t rush to dismiss her, but first prune and deal with her, expose and dissect the essence and consequences of her actions. If she accepted it and changed, then she’d still have a chance. If she didn’t, and kept judging the leaders and workers, it wouldn’t be too late to replace her.

Later, our superior leader Juliette and I sought out Kinsley and several other group leaders, and fellowshiped with them on principles for selecting people in God’s house, and the background of the supervisor’s promotion. With regard to their behavior during this period of time, I exposed and dissected that their actions were in essence forming a faction, judging and attacking leaders and workers, and disrupting the work of the church. If they didn’t change, and kept spreading rumors and disrupting work, then they’d be dismissed. A few team leaders could accept this and reflected on themselves, and said they wanted to cooperate with the supervisor and get the job done together. Only Kinsley didn’t make a clear statement. To my surprise, a few days later, Kinsley said to a sister that the supervisor was an amateur leading professionals, and that the superior leaders had a problem in selecting people. That sister wasn’t taken in, but instead fellowshiped with her on some principles. Seeing the sister wasn’t playing along, Kinsley stopped at that. After that, she messaged a few other team leaders to rope them in and mislead them, saying, “I got defensive after the leaders’ fellowship the other day, afraid I’d be cleared out. Did you guys feel the same way? I don’t even dare say a word now. It’s like we can’t even make suggestions, can’t have different opinions, and if we speak up, we’ll be dismissed and kicked out of the church. Who’d dare make suggestions again?” Then she said that the poor progress of work was related to the leaders not appointing people according to principles. Not only that, she also went to a brother responsible for the work, using the excuse of seeking those principles to spread the idea that the current supervisor was unfit. That brother fellowshiped with her on the principles of selecting people in God’s house and the situation of the supervisor. After that fellowship, she said she understood, that she wasn’t biased against the supervisor anymore, and that she would work harmoniously with the supervisor to perform their duties. But later, she secretly spread discontent against the leaders and workers, arguing, “The fact that all the brothers and sisters spoke up for the supervisor must be because the superior leader Juliette has forced a consensus. Juliette has power, and others fear her. I’m anxious that if I continue reporting the problem of the supervisor, she might treat me like an antichrist.” What that really meant was that Juliette was hiding the truth from the others in the church, and was suppressing reports of problems. Hearing these manifestations of Kinsley, I was shocked. I had never thought she was so slick and cunning. So many people had fellowshiped with her on principles, but she refused to accept it. She had no understanding of or repentance for her behavior of judging the leaders and workers, instead intensified her efforts in deceiving people and attacking the leaders and workers. She incited disharmony between the brothers and sisters and the leaders, constantly disrupting church work. Wasn’t she acting as a minion of Satan? I felt great regret. Why had I not dismissed her in the beginning? Why had I hesitated all those days, giving her more chances to fool people? I knew Kinsley had always belittled and judged the leaders and workers and disrupted their duties, so I should have immediately dismissed her. But I was afraid of what the others would think of me, so I wanted to first fellowship the truth and prune and deal with her, then dismiss her if she still didn’t repent. I thought this would be perfectly justifiable, and that the brothers and sisters would be convinced, and wouldn’t think ill of me. To protect my name and status, I not only didn’t keep Kinsley in check, I gave her free rein to continue disrupting the work of the church. Didn’t I have a part in her evil? Thinking over what I’d done was really tough for me. I felt I hadn’t fulfilled my responsibilities as a leader or protected the work of the church. God hated that. So I prayed, asking God to guide me in reflecting and knowing myself.

In my devotionals the next day, I saw a passage of God’s words exposing antichrists that helped me better understand myself. God’s words say: “Antichrists give serious consideration to how to treat the truth principles, God’s commissions, and the work of God’s house, or how to deal with the things they face. They do not consider how to satisfy God’s will, how to keep from damaging the interests of God’s house, how to satisfy God, or how to benefit the brothers and sisters; these are not the things they consider. What do antichrists consider? Whether their own status and reputation will be affected, and whether their prestige will be lowered. If doing something according to the truth principles benefits the work of the church and the brothers and sisters, but would cause their own reputation to suffer and cause many people to realize their true stature and know what sort of nature essence they have, then they will definitely not act in accordance with the truth principles. If doing some practical work will cause more people to think highly of them, look up to them and admire them, allow them to gain even greater prestige, or enable their words to carry authority and make more people submit to them, then they will choose to do it that way; otherwise, they will never choose to disregard their own interests out of consideration for the interests of God’s house or of the brothers and sisters. This is the nature essence of antichrists. Isn’t it selfish and despicable?(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Three)). God reveals that antichrists greatly cherish reputation and status, and everything they do is for that. They only do things beneficial to their name and status; if they think their interests will be harmed, they’ll turn a blind eye to problems. They’d rather see the interests of the church harmed to protect their own. Wasn’t my own behavior exactly like that of an antichrist? I knew well that cleansing the church was what God’s house required, and God has said many times that when an evil person disrupts the church, leaders and workers should make short work of them—exposing them, constraining them, or purging them. Kinsley’s behavior had already become disruptive to the church’s work, so I should’ve handled her promptly. But I was worried the brothers and sisters would think poorly of me, and wouldn’t support me as leader. To protect my own name and status, I had merely dealt with her and exposed her. I knew she hadn’t accepted that, but I didn’t restrain or dismiss her, so she had continued sowing discord, and disrupting the church’s work. I was willing to sacrifice the interests of the church to protect myself. I was so cunning, selfish and despicable! I hadn’t handled Kinsley according to principle, nor guided the brothers and sisters to understand the truth and develop discernment. As a result, some were misled by her and took her side, which disturbed and obstructed the church’s work. I felt so guilty, and was filled with regret. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be a leader at all. I prayed, “Oh God, a disruptive evildoer surfaced in the church, but I protected my own name and status instead of the work of the church. I’m so selfish! I don’t want to keep living in such a despicable way. I want to truly repent to You.”

Then I sought out some brothers and sisters who were familiar with Kinsley, so as to learn more about her overall behavior. While looking into it, I saw that some of them lacked discernment of her, they thought she had a sense of justice, and could protect the work of the church. Some knew the error of her ways, but thought it was just because she didn’t understand the truth principles. I fellowshiped with them on the truths related to what a sense of justice is, and what arrogance and self-righteousness are, and the difference between momentary transgression on the one hand and someone’s nature essence on the other. This helped them gain more discernment of Kinsley, and they were ready to stand up and expose her. But when I sought out Brandon to understand Kinsley’s behavior, he vehemently defended her, and shot back at me, saying, “Why do you want to investigate her? She just made some suggestions. Why are you guys condemning her? How come you leaders and workers suppress anyone with an idea, and give them a hard time? Who’d dare give suggestions? This investigation of yours makes me afraid to ever have a differing opinion. You guys seem a lot like antichrists, they don’t allow different voices.” I was startled to hear all this. I’d never imagined he’d have such a strong reaction and claim we were unfair to her. To begin with I fellowshiped patiently with him, but he wouldn’t listen, and still believed in Kinsley’s words, thinking the problem was with the leaders. I really wanted to give up then. I felt like my understanding of the truth was shallow and I lacked experience in dealing with matters like this. If I kept handling this, others might develop prejudice against me. Then I realized I was starting to consider my own interests again, so I silently prayed to God and asked Him for faith and strength. I remembered this passage of His words: “Do not always do things for your own sake and do not constantly consider your own interests; do not consider the interests of man, and give no thought to your own pride, reputation, and status. You must first consider the interests of God’s house, and make them your priority. You should be considerate of God’s will and begin by contemplating whether or not there have been impurities in the performance of your duty, whether you have been devoted, fulfilled your responsibilities, and given it your all, as well as whether or not you have been wholeheartedly thinking about your duty and the work of the church. You must consider these things. If you think about them frequently and figure them out, it will be easier for you to perform your duty well. If you are of poor caliber, if your experience is shallow, or if you are not proficient in your professional work, then there may be some mistakes or deficiencies in your work, and you may not get good results—but you will have done your best. You do not satisfy your own selfish desires or preferences. Instead, you give constant consideration to the work of the church and the interests of the house of God. Though you may not achieve good results in your duty, your heart will have been set straight; if, on top of this, you can seek the truth to solve the problems in your duty, you will be up to standard in the performance of your duty, and, at the same time, you will be able to enter into the truth reality. This is what it means to possess testimony(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Freedom and Liberation Can Be Gained Only by Casting Off One’s Corrupt Disposition). I understood from God’s words that we can’t consider our reputation or personal gain in our duty. We must put the interests of the church first, accept God’s scrutiny, and dedicate our whole heart. That’s the only way our duty gains God’s approval. I couldn’t stop practicing the truth for fear of offending others, or for fear of them developing prejudice against me. I hadn’t handled such a matter before, but I had to at least stay true to my duty and do my best to fellowship on discernment with the brothers and sisters. Brandon had been deceived by Kinsley, and was speaking on her behalf, because she’d confused different concepts and had turned arbitrary judgment and the spreading of fallacies into “speaking the truth.” She had taken the leaders’ exposure and rebuttal of her fallacies, and their prevention of her from judging and condemning people, as “forbidding suggestions and different opinions.” These falsehoods that appear true can be really misleading. Kinsley had twisted the facts, making judgments behind the scenes that the leaders were selecting people without principles. Leaders and workers and the brothers and sisters had fellowshiped with her on the principles for selecting people—she not only refused to accept this, she kept on twisting the facts, saying the leaders were suppressing her, not allowing her to raise suggestions, and forbidding all differing opinions. Isn’t that reversing the facts and framing others? She said, “I’m afraid that I’d be kicked out of the church. And who will dare raise a suggestion again?” Those words appeared to come from the heart, but they were hiding her sinister intentions, her attacks and judgments. She wanted to confuse the brothers and sisters and rope them in to stand on her side in confrontation with the leaders, and to refuse to cooperate with the work of the leaders and workers. She was disrupting the work of the church. Brandon had no discernment and was deceived by Kinsley’s remarks. I should have given him loving help and support. Through fellowship, he later gained discernment of her. He realized he hadn’t sought the truth and lacked discernment, which is why he’d shielded Kinsley, standing on the side of an evildoer and speaking on her behalf. He also saw how pathetic he was without an understanding of the truth, and how susceptible to evildoing he was. I was really happy to see him turn these things around.

Later, some co-workers and I gathered and fellowshiped with the brothers and sisters on how to discern evil people, and we dissected all of Kinsley’s behavior. Everyone gained discernment over her, and we voted, nearly unanimously, to remove her from the church. During the vote, they noted some of the knowledge they had gained. They said things like, “Kinsley was particularly adept at fabricating lies and inverting the truth, and under the guise of protecting the interests of the church she spread her biases against the leaders and workers everywhere. This turned the church’s work into a huge mess. No matter how leaders exposed and pruned and dealt with her, she didn’t remotely regret this or repent. She has an evil essence.” Others said, “Kinsley appeared very gentle, but her words were misleading, sinister and malicious. If it were not for this fellowship and dissection, I’d still lack discernment of her. I’ve seen how crucial it is to understand the truth and have discernment of others.” Some said they’d been misled by her before, and thought she was protecting the work of the church, unaware she was doing so much evil in secret. They had no discernment of her, so they stood by her side and said things that didn’t accord with the truth. They needed to reflect and repent. They also saw that God’s righteous disposition tolerates no offense—evildoers who disrupt the work of the church sooner or later will be revealed and cast out. Hearing the fellowship of my brothers and sisters made me very happy.

This experience taught me that, when an evildoer appears in the church and disturbs and disrupts the work of the church, if leaders and workers do not practice the truth and handle them according to principles, instead protecting their personal interests, that’s essentially letting Satan sabotage the work of the church, acting as its minion, doing evil and opposing God. Only by clearing the evildoers out of the church right away, and by leading the brothers and sisters to learn truth and gain discernment, can the work of the church be protected, and the responsibilities of a leader or worker be fulfilled.

Previous: 74. Being Called Out Unmasked Me

Next: 76. The Lessons I Learned From Being Dismissed

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