When My Parents Were Cleared Out From the Church

September 28, 2022

By Ai Yi, China

One day in October 2018, a supervisor told me, “Your parents were removed from the church. I heard it was for disrupting church work.” I was stunned when I heard the news. I simply didn’t dare believe my ears. My parents had done some disruptive things, I was aware of that before, but I didn’t think it was bad enough to get them cleared out. At the time I just sat there with my heart in turmoil. Before, my older sister was an antichrist’s accomplice and refused to repent regardless of any fellowship, and ended up being kicked out of the church. Now my parents were being removed from the church, too, so I was the only believer left in our whole family. In that moment, I felt incredibly alone. It had been over two decades since our entire family joined the faith and we’d suffered the CCP’s oppression the whole time. My dad was arrested twice for sharing the gospel, and he’d done five years’ time. My mom, my sister and I had moved all over the place, without any real home, to evade arrest by the police. There have been all sorts of ups and downs all those years and God’s work is nearly at an end. How could they be cleared out of the church? They had a really tough time over those years. They suffered a lot—was it really all in vain? At that thought, I couldn’t hold my tears back and I was trying to reason with God in my heart: Maybe my parents didn’t contribute much, but they’d suffered enough. Considering all their years of sacrifice, couldn’t they have one more chance at repentance? They could even just stay in God’s house as service-doers! The more I thought that way, the more painful and dark it was for me, and I lost energy for my duty. The sister I was paired with gave me a heads-up: “Encountering something like this, you have to accept it from God—you can’t complain. Whatever God does is righteous.” I understood the reasoning at the time, but I just couldn’t shift my thinking.

I’d read the papers on my parents being cleared out a couple weeks later. My dad was incredibly arrogant. He always went his own way when he handled general affairs, and didn’t do his duty according to principle. He wouldn’t accept brothers’ and sisters’ suggestions, which caused some serious losses to offerings. Also, when he knew he had personal safety risks, he still made deliveries of books of God’s words. He wouldn’t listen to anything the brothers and sisters said, but just went his own way, so he ended up arrested and then sentenced for delivering books, and the books of God’s words were confiscated by police. It was a real blow to the church’s interests. Also, when my sister was expelled, my dad twisted things, saying that happened because the leader had it out for her. He also made a big deal about some corruption the leader revealed and threatened to bring her down through criticism. My dad tended to elevate and bear witness to himself in front of brothers and sisters, and as a result they looked up to and admired him. So when he said things like that, some of the others were misled—they’d stand on his side and become biased against the leader, which kept the church’s work from moving forward. My dad’s behavior was seriously disrupting the church’s work, and he had zero remorse or repentance for all the evil he had done. He ended up determined as an evildoer, and removed from the church. My mom was cleared out mainly because she wouldn’t stop making a fuss about my older sister being expelled. She kept spreading her complaints about the leader among the brothers and sisters, and she was twisting facts, always arguing the case in gatherings of some people who had been kicked out, saying the leader was unfairly after them. That seriously disrupted the life of the church. She wouldn’t repent after the others fellowshiped with her lots of times, and ultimately she was defined as an evildoer and removed from the church. Seeing all of my mom’s and dad’s evil deeds, I could see that based on the principles, they should be cleared out, but when I thought about that actually happening, I didn’t know how I’d manage. I was in so much pain. I felt paralyzed and weak when I read the materials on their removal, and I couldn’t stop crying. I also started reasoning with God: “God, You love human beings. My parents have been believers for 20 or 30 years and have suffered so much. You really won’t commemorate anything they’ve given?” I was living in negativity and misunderstandings. I felt like, with all of my family kicked out, with me as the only believer, how could I stay on this path? And so, for over two whole years I lived in this muddled state, and ultimately I was dismissed because I wasn’t achieving anything in my duty. At the time, I was in serious emotional pain, and I prayed over and over, in tears, “Oh God! I’ve had notions and misunderstandings about You over my parents’ removal from the church. I know this is a dangerous state, but I don’t have the strength to shake it off. God, please guide me and save me.”

Then once in my devotionals, I read this passage of God’s words. Almighty God says, “Upon knowing that God loves humankind, they define Him as a symbol of love: They believe that no matter what people do, no matter how they behave, no matter how they treat God, and no matter how disobedient they might be, none of this really matters, for God has love, and His love is unlimited and immeasurable; God has love, so He can be tolerant of people; and God has love, so He can be merciful toward people, merciful toward their immaturity, merciful toward their ignorance, and merciful toward their disobedience. Is this really the way it is? For some people, when they have experienced God’s patience once or even a few times, they will treat these experiences as capital in their own understanding of God, believing that He will forever be patient and merciful toward them, and then, over the course of their lives, they take this patience of God and regard it as the standard by which He treats them. There are also those who, after having experienced God’s tolerance once, will forever define God as tolerant—and in their minds, this tolerance is indefinite, unconditional, and even totally unprincipled. Are such beliefs correct?” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 1, How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve). “God is righteous in His treatment of each and every person, and He is earnest in His approach to the work of conquering and saving people. This is His management. He treats every single person seriously, and not like a pet to play with. God’s love for humans is not the pampering or spoiling kind, nor are His mercy and tolerance toward humankind indulgent or unmindful. On the contrary, God’s love for humans involves cherishing, pitying, and respecting life; His mercy and tolerance convey His expectations of them, and are what humanity needs to survive. God is alive, and God actually exists; His attitude toward humankind is principled, not at all a pack of dogmatic rules, and it can change. His intentions for humanity are gradually changing and transforming with time, depending on circumstances as they arise, and along with the attitude of each and every person. Therefore, you should know in your heart with absolute clarity that the essence of God is immutable, and that His disposition will issue forth at different times and in different contexts. You might not think that this is a serious matter, and you might use your own personal notions to imagine how God should do things. However, there are times when the polar opposite of your viewpoint is true, and by using your own personal notions to attempt to gauge God, you have already angered Him. This is because God does not operate the way you think He does, nor will He treat this matter like you say He will” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 1, How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve). After reading God’s words I understood that God is loving, but God’s love for man is principled. It’s not a blind, unprincipled kind of love like people have. God is a righteous God, and He has a stance toward each person’s actions. God has love and mercy for those who love the truth, yet still have transgressions. But as for those evil people who are sick of and hate the truth, who disrupt God’s work, He condemns and casts them out. Just because God is loving doesn’t mean He can show evildoers compassion and tolerance, and allow them to disrupt the work of God’s house. I didn’t understand God’s essence and I was delimiting God with my own notions. I thought God loves humans, so as long as we believe in and follow God and make sacrifices for Him, no matter how much evil we do, He should keep giving us chances to repent. So when my parents were cleared out, I couldn’t accept it, and I was reasoning with God and resisting Him. Before my parents were removed from the church, God’s house gave them plenty of chances, but they only got to this point because they never repented. God’s disposition is righteous and holy. As long as people are willing to repent from their transgressions and displays of corruption, God is incredibly merciful and tolerant. But people like my parents, who have done so much evil without truly repenting, and even intensify their evildoing, are actually antichrists, evil people, and God can’t keep on showing those kinds of people mercy and tolerance. He particularly can’t treat them leniently just because they’re long-time believers and they’ve suffered a lot.

I read another passage of God’s words. “People say that God is a righteous God, and that as long as man follows Him to the very end, He will surely be impartial toward man, for He is most righteous. If man follows Him to the very end, could He cast man aside? I am impartial toward all men, and judge all men with My righteous disposition, yet there are suitable conditions to the requirements I make of man, and that which I require must be accomplished by all men, regardless of who they are. I care not how your qualifications are, or how long you have held them; I care only whether you walk in My way, and whether or not you love and thirst for the truth. If you lack the truth, and instead bring shame upon My name, and do not act according to My way, merely following without care or concern, then at that time I will strike you down and punish you for your evil, and what will you have to say then? Will you be able to say that God is not righteous? Today, if you have complied with the words I have spoken, then you are the kind of person whom I approve. You say you have always suffered whilst following God, that you have followed Him through thick and thin, and have shared with Him the good times and the bad, but you have not lived out the words spoken by God; you wish only to run about for God and expend yourself for God each day, and have never thought to live out a life of meaning. You also say, ‘In any case, I believe God is righteous. I have suffered for Him, run around for Him, and devoted myself for Him, and I have worked hard despite not receiving any recognition; He is sure to remember me.’ It is true that God is righteous, yet this righteousness is untainted by any impurities: It contains no human will, and it is not tainted by the flesh, or by human transactions. All who are rebellious and in opposition, all who are not in compliance with His way, will be punished; none is forgiven, and none is spared!” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 1, The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment). I learned from God’s words that God’s righteousness isn’t like I thought, that we get back the same amount we expend. God doesn’t need to favor those who run around, expend themselves, work and suffer. For God, there is no such thing as “All hard work deserves recognition.” God doesn’t determine a person’s outcome based on how great their suffering and seniority are, and He doesn’t look at the extent of their superficial sacrifices. What’s key is whether they pursue the truth and put it into practice, if their life disposition has changed. If they’ve never practiced God’s words, no matter how experienced they are or how much they’ve suffered, they’ll never gain God’s praise. They’ll be righteously punished by God for the evil they’ve done. I was measuring God’s righteousness with a transactional mindset. I thought that my parents had made sacrifices and suffered quite a bit over their years of faith, so no matter how much evil they did, God should give them more chances to repent, not clear them out, that that wasn’t fair toward them. I really couldn’t tell right from wrong. I thought of Paul running all over Europe to spread the gospel of the Lord. He was arrested multiple times and suffered quite a lot, but in his work he constantly elevated and bore witness to himself. Ultimately, he said that he lived as Christ, and dying would be a gain, and as a result people have really adulated him for two thousand years. He holds a place in people’s hearts higher than the Lord Jesus. That’s why he offended God’s disposition and was punished by God. I saw from this that God doesn’t look at the extent of people’s external efforts, but He gives retribution to all those who do evil and unrepentantly offend His disposition, according to their deeds. For example, my parents put in plenty of effort and expended themselves a lot, but everything they did was disruptive to the church’s work, and sabotaged proper church life, causing harm to the brothers’ and sisters’ lives and damaging the church’s interests. Removing them from the church was God’s righteousness. I didn’t understand God’s righteousness, but clung to a transactional mindset that hard work deserves recognition, reasoning and making a fuss with God, living in a negative state and going against God for a long time. I was so rebellious! Realizing this, I felt terrible and full of regret, and prayed, weeping, “God! I’ve believed in You all these years without knowing You at all. I’ve measured Your love and righteousness with my own notions and imaginings, always going up against You, reasoning and quibbling with You. Oh God, now I can see that my parents being removed was Your righteousness.” I felt much more grounded after that prayer.

Later on, I reflected that I got so upset about my parents being cleared out of the church because my feelings for them were too strong. That’s why I struggled to accept the news of them being removed. It made me think of some of God’s words: “God created this world and brought man, a living being unto which He bestowed life, into it. Next, man came to have parents and kin, and was no longer alone. Ever since man first laid eyes on this material world, he was destined to exist within the ordination of God. The breath of life from God supports each and every living being throughout growth into adulthood. During this process, no one feels that man is growing up under the care of God; rather, they believe that man is doing so under the loving care of his parents, and that it is his own life instinct that directs his growing up. This is because man knows not who bestowed his life, or from whence it came, much less the way in which the instinct of life creates miracles. He knows only that food is the basis on which his life continues, that perseverance is the source of his existence, and that the beliefs in his mind are the capital upon which his survival depends. Of God’s grace and provision, man is utterly oblivious, and thus does he fritter away the life bestowed upon him by God…. Not a single one of this humanity that God cares for day and night takes it upon themselves to worship Him. God only continues to work on man, for whom He holds out no expectations, as He has planned. He does so in the hope that one day, man will awaken from his dream and suddenly realize the value and meaning of life, the price God paid for all that He has given him, and the eager solicitude with which God waits for man to turn back to Him” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 1, God Is the Source of Man’s Life). “No unbelievers have faith that there is a God, or that He created the heavens and earth and all things, or that man is created by God. There are even some who say, ‘Life is given to man by his parents, and he should honor them.’ Where does such a thought or view come from? Does it come from Satan? It is millennia of traditional culture that have educated and deluded man in this way, causing them to deny God’s creation and sovereignty. Without Satan’s deception and control, mankind would investigate God’s work and read His words, and they would know that they are created by God, that their life is given by God; they would know that everything they have is given by God, and that it is God whom they should thank. Should anyone do us a good turn, we should accept it from God. In particular, our parents gave birth to and raised us; this is all arranged by God. God rules over all; man is just a tool for service. If someone can set their parents aside, or their husband (or wife) and children, in order to expend themselves for God, then that person will be sturdier and have a greater sense of righteousness before Him” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 2, Only by Recognizing One’s Own Misguided Views Can One Truly Transform). I realized from God’s words that God is the source of human life, and everything we possess is given to us by God. We’ve only gotten to where we are today through God’s care and protection. For everyone who’s been gracious or helpful toward us, we should take it as having come from God. I wasn’t going by God’s words, but was just thinking of how good my parents were to me. I didn’t see how God’s rule and arrangements were behind everything my parents did, that it was God’s care, protection, and guidance that brought me to this day. I didn’t thank God for His care and protection or repay His love, but resisted and betrayed God because I couldn’t set my feelings for my parents aside, to the point that I couldn’t continue on my path of faith. The more I reflected on this, the more I felt I had no conscience, and was so indebted to God.

I read another passage of God’s words later. “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 Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 1, God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together). God’s words revealed my precise state. God requires that we love what He loves, and hate what He hates. Those who hate the truth and resist God are essentially evil people who God detests and hates, so we should hate them, too. I wasn’t discerning my parents’ essence in accordance with God’s words. No matter how much they harmed the church’s work, I stood on their side, reasoning with God and resisting Him. I even lost heart for my duty. At that point I understood why God said, “Emotion is God’s enemy” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 1, Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 28). I was loving and merciful toward evildoers because I was caught up in emotion, even hoping that God would give them another chance for repentance, let them stay in the church. I was incredibly foolish! No matter what evil people do, they’ll never truly repent. That’s determined by their essence. Leaving them in the church would be allowing them to continue doing evil and disrupt the church’s work. It would be standing on the side of evildoers and going against God!

There was another passage of God’s words I read later on that enlightened me a bit. God’s words say, “One day, when you understand some of the truth, you will no longer think that your mother is the best person, or that your parents are the best people. You will realize that they are also members of corrupt humankind, and that their corrupt dispositions are all the same. All that sets them apart is the physical blood relationship with you. If they don’t believe in God, then they are the same as the unbelievers. You will no longer look at them from the perspective of a family member, or from the perspective of your blood relationship, but from the side of truth. What are the main aspects you should look at? You should look at their views on belief in God, their views on the world, their views on handling matters, and most importantly, their attitudes toward God. If you look at these aspects accurately, you will be able to see clearly whether they are good or bad people. If one day you can see clearly that they are just like you, that they are people with corrupt dispositions, and even more so that they are not the kind-hearted people who have real love for you that you imagine them to be, and that they are unable to lead you to the truth or onto the right path in life at all, and if you can see clearly that what they have done for you is of no great benefit to you, and that it has no significance at all for you to take the right path in life, and if you also find that many of their practices and opinions are contrary to the truth, that they are of the flesh, and that this makes you despise them, and feel aversion and hatred toward them, then in light of these factors, you will be able to treat them correctly in your heart, and you will no longer miss, worry about, and be unable to separate from them. They have completed their mission as parents, and you will no longer treat them as the closest people to you or idolize them. Instead, you will treat them as ordinary people, and at that time, you will completely escape the bondage of emotions and truly emerge from your emotions and family affection” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 2, Only Resolving One’s Corrupt Disposition Can Bring About True Transformation). This was deeply moving for me to read. Since my feelings for my parents were too strong, I just saw how good they were to me, not their attitude toward the truth and toward God. I couldn’t clearly see their essence or what path they were on. That’s why I couldn’t properly approach the matter of their removal, but I was caught up in emotion, reasoning with God, depressed and resistant for over two years. My life was seriously damaged, and I committed transgressions. It was the watering and sustenance of God’s words that gradually awakened my rigid, rebellious heart and erased my notions and misunderstandings of God. Now I feel a lot freer and I have energy for my duty. Thank God for His salvation.

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