Go Home!

Pam and I had been involved with Shiloh Ministries for nearly two years. God had instructed us to remain with Shiloh Ministries until otherwise told by Him.  Our son was born just eight months earlier and now, God was seemingly calling us back to the Old Pueblo, Tucson.

CryDad85

For much of the past two years Pam was convinced we would remain a part of Shiloh Ministries until the Lord returned. Pastor Larry’s teachings supported this idea on a regular basis.  I on the other hand had been hearing little blurbs from the Lord, suggesting we would be moving on, in approximately six months.

The Lord would say to me, “Prepare yourself; you and your family will be leaving Shiloh Ministries before much longer.” I would gently share these comments with Pam but no matter how I tried she was resistant and insistent we would remain.

I would say, “Hey honey, would you be okay if the Lord moved us into some other ministry, say in the next six months to a year?”

She would generally say she didn’t want to think about it because she knew the Lord was going to keep us in Shiloh Ministries through the End Times.

I would then respond by saying something like, “Well that’s possible but what if the Lord had other plans for us?”

Pam would just refuse to consider the possibility the Lord might have something elsewhere for us. This would not have been a bad thing, except the Lord wanted us to move on soon.  After all, it is really good for Christians to have sticking power, you know, endurance.

 When the six months were nearly up, we were serving in Escondido, California for a Shiloh Ministries California Revival. At about that time the Lord shared with me Pam and I would be leaving Shiloh Ministries within the next couple weeks; unfortunately, Pam still could not receive the idea we would be leaving Shiloh Ministries and its pastors.

Larry Crystal 86

Pastor Larry at Crystal’s Baptism

Sadly, Pastor Larry and I had always struggled to get along. We saw God’s Word differently and these differences created difficulties being the two of us at times.  As our pastor, Larry would regularly convey to the congregation the following idea {a time is coming when he, Pastor Deason, would share things with us the Lord had shared with him; things the congregation would not necessarily understand or be able to find in God’s Word.  We, the Leman, would need to trust his interpretation.  Pastor Deason went so far as to say we, the congregation, might not be able to find his teachings and understandings in God’s Word; however, because of his track record and his walk with God we should just take his word for the message and submit our lives to whatever he said God was sharing with him.

I said, “not on your best day, mister!” Well, that’s why Larry and I didn’t always get along.

Because of Larry’s persistence along this line of thinking and my refusal to support what I considered heresy, Pastor Larry would regularly use me as an example before the congregation as someone out of alignment with God’s will and understanding. I was labeled the rebellious one in the congregation.

Then, “According to God,” Pastor Larry said, “it is time for Pam, the kids and Steve to leave Shiloh Ministries.” Fortunately for Pam and I, the Lord had actually told me the same thing just the day before.  Thank you Lord!  What a coincidence?

By the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every Word be established.

The day after the Lord instructed me to return to Tucson, Arizona Pastor Larry pops by our “motorhome, if you could call it a motorhome” to tell us the Lord had shown him we were to return to Tucson. Larry said it was because I was too rebellious.

Later the same day Doctor Earl came to Pam and I telling us he had been praying when the Lord spoke to him and told him we were supposed to return to Tucson, Arizona and that the Lord had instructed him to return with us and help us to make it home safely. He also chose to help us financially at that time.  Thanks Doc and of course, Lord!

The day I was to be confronted by Larry the Lord told me Pastor Larry would give me an excuse for his actions. He was justifying his cruelty and the selfishness of his behavior.  When Larry shared his ultimatum with us the Pastors were not aware Doctor Earl was leaving too.

When Larry did come over he said he was sending us back to Tucson, but the Lord told him Shiloh Ministries was not “allowed” to help Pam and I financially in any way to get home. According to Pastor Larry we were supposed to just leave Shiloh Ministries penniless.

We were to also take our 65-foot homemade motorhome containing all of our worldly possessions and our two small children and simply drive back to Tucson hundreds of miles away.

Well, good I told him. Thank You, God!  For God is our provider and our comfort.  I must admit I was a little peeved at first.  Especially when Pastor Larry told me he was forced by God to dump us out in the cold because I was constantly rebellious to him and to the Lord.  According to Pastor Larry there was not any more room for my rebellious nature within the camp.

I am grateful I was not hurt emotionally by these acts. The Lord may have told Pastor Deason those very things; however, I doubt it.  What was the rebellion he was referring to I wondered.  Could it have been my unwavering stance in rejecting anything contrary to the Word of God? Maybe it was because it conflicted with his positions?

Or could it have been because he insisted we needed to pursue unfounded teachings? Don’t know.

For the two years Pam and I served at Shiloh Ministries I had maintained and advocated this Bible first philosophy.

One of the last things I said to Pastor Larry before he left our home was this, “Larry, if what you are saying isn’t in the Word of God then it isn’t the Word of God! Even Moses was subject to the Word of God after God sealed it in stone!”

As hard as it may be to believe, this powerful man of God, Pastor Larry turned to me with a smile on his face and said, “One greater than Moses sits before you now.”

I could not help myself: I had to laugh. I knew I was upsetting Larry by laughing but it was not my intentions.  I did not want to leave in anger or contention; however, I felt so vindicated by his statement I just could not stop from laughing.  Larry left a little upset, but Pam and I were free to leave according to God’s instructions.  Thanks Lord.

Just twenty or so minutes later, Larry after talking with Doctor Earl, discovered Dr. Earl was returning to Arizona with us. Larry then left extremely upset.  Doctor Earl had been one of the primary sources of financial support for Shiloh Ministries.  Our group from Shiloh Ministry believed God had sent us to California for the purpose of putting on a revival and subsequently moving to the Escondido area.  This was not panning out as Larry and the group hoped it might.  Too bad, we had great hopes.

Oh well, we are all just human. I’m sure God did and will continue His work in everyone involved, Larry included.  Thank You, Lord for Your goodness!

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