Podcast: My Story (Part 2): Leaving the Message

Continuing from my story of coming into the message, this video explains my experience in the church and decision to leave in 2013.

Joining the Message seemed to be ‘the answer’ in my life. It felt like ‘home’ when I joined. And I can honestly say, being in the message gave me a lot of joy for many of the years I was a part of the church. It didn’t come without problems – which, over time became more concerning. I had a particular interest in seeing people find genuine help for deep emotional pain. It lead me to taking interest in learning a form of Christian counselling called “Caring for the Heart” – which, in reality, doesn’t work well within Message culture.

I share in this video how this phase of my ministry impacted me, and how it contributed to me recognizing that the growing ‘concern’ over the legacy of William Branham deserved my attention.

James Rozak

Creator of Morning Mercy & Former Message Associate Pastor.

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2 Responses

  1. D says:

    Hi Brother James,
    I appreciate your sincerity and kindhearted approach to all this. Have you ever considered the thought that Brother Branham did not intend his sermons to produce most of the strangeness associated with The Message? How would you like it if someone dissected all your sermons, picked out certain statements throughout your recorded life (1,206 sermons), lifted every word from you to be equal with Scripture, strung those quotes together to form a doctrine (very strange doctrines), then attributed it to you? They could make you say pretty much anything, and they could build a ministry on your teaching, using your reputation to build their own popularity. Then add that they knew you, and add a couple exaggerated testimonies of their time with you, and now you have a cult that should not be attributed to you. Did you ever consider that all this was never Brother Branham’s intention? My only argument with you is that I blame the ministry, not Brother Branham, for the cult that has resulted.
    Please respond. My heart is pure in this matter.

  2. James Rozak says:

    I appreciate the thoughtful question, and perspective you presented. I think that is a fair question.
    Yes, certainly! Not only have I thought about what you said, But that was a viewpoint I strongly considered when observing the wide range of interpretations of core doctrines and church order. I struggled to understand how, from the same set of sermons, there could be such wild differences in interpretation that it resulted in widespread broken fellowship, church splits, and division. I attributed much of the problems within the Message to the failure of ministry; including those who were often closest to William Branham. Those men were revered in many circles, and their words carried heavy influence. There is no doubt, as you suggested, ministers and leaders could use the quotes to build their own version of “The Message” – and it’s apparent this happened.

    I also would agree – I don’t think William Branham could have known how extensively his words would be dissected and used; nor fathomed the advent of the computing devices now used (search programs, etc) to probe and assemble sermons and teaching around his books and tapes. Perhaps he would have been more careful in his storytelling if he knew it would eventually be cross-referenced. That’s hard to know.

    But with all due respect, that also highlights the issue surrounding the original content which William Branham left us. It’s easy to understand why ministers struggled to find consistency in their teaching and sermons when using William Branham’s sermons as their reference. He was wildly inconsistent in his teaching, and in the retelling of events in his own life. This, to me, is the root cause; it was the tree he planted producing such inexplicable, differing fruit. So in response… I do fault William Branham as being the seed of discrepancy, which produced bad fruit in the form of churches, leaders, and men that comprise the cult it has become.

    That is my opinion after honestly looking at the legacy of William Branham. I respect that people will have differences of opinion; I can understand the loyalty and love for the figure he presented himself to be. And I certainly don’t mean to hurt or disappoint anyone who would hear me speak in this way; my heart is pure in this matter as well.

    Thank you for writing!

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