Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Who Do They Think They Are?

Posted by Hannah at 3:58 PM

God-is-here-advertising Picture of arrow pointing to a certain church, and people running to itI’m getting so sick and tired of these church leaders telling others that they are hurting Christ in some way by doing what they can define as some ‘sin’.  Notice these ‘sins’ might not be in the bible – nor even hinted at – but they make up some pet sin anyway.

Their words are sweet, and the tone is so mellow as they chant their poison to others.  They basically are preaching hate, and this should be non existent in our places of worship.

Did you ever notice that some circles ALWAYS see the ‘worse’ in everyone except themselves?  It seems taking the speck out of their own eye prior to dealing with the log in someone else’s ONLY applies when they feel it does. 

Who do they think they are?

Should I leave my church?

What a personal question, and I’m sorry I feel is a personal answer as well.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?  by Albert Mohler

I will admit that some reasons people leave a church are rather baffling, but everyone needs to find a church (if they feel draw to belong to one) that feeds them in a profitable way.  What I mean by that is DO THEY bring you closer to Christ, and feed your soul to live for him?!    If they can’t reach you?  They can’t feed you or teach you either. 

If you think about it’s a rather ‘dahhhhh’ moment.   Isn’t serving, worship, teaching, learning, etc important aspects of your faith journey?   Sure it is!  I guess you can robotically do your share, and stay…but why?  Find a place of worship that is able to reach you and your family.  That is SO important!

One of Mohler’s side notes is about people leaving over the worship music.

One person maybe more receptive to the older hymns that I grew up on, and others may need the more contemporary theme.  For myself?  I enjoy both at times. 

Some hymns seem to drone on and on and put me to sleep.  Some contemporary music seems to lack the substance I feel is needed.   Neither are perfect.

I will say most of the churches that I have attended play more than one song, and if I don’t enjoy one – I may enjoy another.    No church will ever give you 100% of your taste in music 100% of the time.  That’s okay as well!  It happens.  I may enjoy the music one week, and not the other.  Big deal. 

I love music myself, and it does effect my mood and receptiveness at times.  NOT always, but sometimes! So if all I hear is long droning hymns?  I maybe snoring during the sermon as they have already put me to sleep. 

If all I hear is no substance contemporary music – that repeats one line over and OVER again all the time – I feel like they want me to be in some hypnotic state, and you will lose me once again.

That is just me, and my reactions maybe different from others.  Its okay.  God made us all custom, and we all are different.  Don’t tell me I’m BAD because I don’t react as you do. 

If you can’t go along with SOME program YOU are hurting the cause of Christ.   I’m sorry, but that is SO dumb and out of touch with most of mankind.

Just as a side note I have never left a church over their music myself.  I would also offer up that most people that mention the ‘music’ will also have other issues as well.  I don’t think they pay attention to that part, because telling others they left the church over music?  WELL it helps their ego a bit! Calling people ‘church shoppers’, and making them sound selfish for leaving?  Sigh.

I mean WHO do they think THEY ARE?
baptist_preacher_intimiating memberAl Mohler also mentioned relationships, and teachings as other reasons people leave the church to seek another.  Yes, of course there are many others.
Church shopping violates the integrity of the church and the meaning of church membership. When members leave for insufficient reason, the fellowship of the church is broken, its witness is weakened, and the peace and unity of the congregation are sacrificed. Tragically, a superficial understanding of church membership undermines our witness to the gospel of Christ. – Al Mohler
As you can see right away Mr. Mohler doesn’t see the need to see the ‘best’ in people (a term you see chanted way to often when they don’t wish to face reality), otherwise he wouldn’t find some cut down word to use like ‘church shopper’. 

If you are not fed in important ways in your church LET me preach to you the above statement to make you feel BAD enough to stay.  You don’t feel our church is a good fit - may we offer you up this guilt trip instead!  Nice.

What truly does ‘weaken’ our witness to the gospel of Christ

Can we be honest here for a moment?  Most of the time when you go to a church, and then leave?  They never follow up, and seek you out. 

Let’s say you were very active in a church, and you leave…I have seen them more concerned about WHOM they would find to fill your shoes.  Its more of an inconvenience than anyway. 

If you are a single parent, and they look down their noses at you during fellowship time…you leaving isn’t going to hurt their ‘harmony’ one little bit. 

I went to a church that the pastor at one time or another made a point of coming to all the group meetings that happened there to show his support and commitment.  He didn’t come all the time, but popped in some weeks.  I guess you could say it was Kudos from him, which of course meant a lot especially to the group leaders.  Encouragement is good! 

I noticed that the one program he didn’t visit was their Celebrate Recovery.  The program was huge, and it helped people deal with the hurts in life that they dealt with.  Most people think it has to do with drugs or alcohol, but it is much LARGER than that.  It could be a victim of child abuse, and wants to move past the hurts of childhood.  It could be a rape or pedophile victim.  A family dealing with domestic violence.  I mean the list could go on and on!  You can guess which group he left out.

The stigma of ‘those people’ is rather hurtful don’t you think?

We have all heard, witnessed, or experienced pastors calling out others from the pulpit.  It could be over women wearing pants to church, or some family not towing the line as the church would wish.  They can scream at you by name, or just make sure others KNOW whom they are speaking about.

There are also too many stories of pastor’s getting caught doing things, and the whistle blowers being pushed out of church. 

Others get tired of the speeches about how man is a sinner, and we all sin etc.  Why do they preach it then? The pastor got caught with their pants down, and the church no longer wishes to discuss the matter.  Sadder still when you know the NEW leader in question (the one reminding you about you being a sinner also?) can be just as nasty as the one that just got CAUGHT!  It maybe in different ways, but still nasty.  SURE we are all sinners, but we aren’t all criminals.

Then we have the pedophiles within the church, and people are encouraged to blame the child and their circumstances instead of the adult.  How in some way the pedophile pastor wasn’t at fault.   It amazes me that the church wishes to control the children in just about anyway they can, but when poop hits the fan?  They are an accountable ALMOST adult in this case, and yes of course they KNEW what they were doing.  So now they have their scapegoat.
the fellowship of the church is broken, its witness is weakened, and the peace and unity of the congregation are sacrificed.
The above examples are a far better ones than church shopper’s that Mohler speaks about.  The churches OWN actions hurt their witness, and God is NOT pleased!  These examples are the ones that truly HURT the witness of Christ.  They are the ones that people leave the faith over – not just the church in question. THEY LEAVE THE FAITH altogether!

When churches and their pastor’s spend all their time telling you what you need to believe, how you need to act, and how you are BAD if you don’t?

Who do they think they are? 

Heresy is what we tell you it is!

I heard youre leaving the church...YOU  MUST FEEL LIKE SUCH A REBEL!Notice in the examples above they do NOT see the ‘best’ in people, but are to busy covering their butts.   You also have those that allow their prejudices and judgments to run things.  Then of course we have the: don’t you DARE tell US what is WHAT!  WE will tell YOU! Attitude

Yes, Al Mohler touched on this attitude of course.  Although if you read his piece?  He has his own, “I will tell you!” opinions as well.  
In our day, issues such as homosexuality and women in the pastorate represent issues that strain our attempts at triage. A rejection of the Bible’s authority on an issue such as homosexuality is a theological problem — not merely a moral controversy. No church can remain divided on this question, and no faithful believer should remain in a church that refuses to be bound to God’s Word. A church that ordains women as pastors may be orthodox on many other issues, but on this question it sets itself against Scripture.
In so many churches and denominations, this obstinate refusal to be corrected by Scripture presents faithful believers with a hard choice — but remaining in a church that obstinately refuses correction is not an option. Efforts at “renewal” in many of these churches have been consistently rejected. At some point, the refusal to separate becomes complicity in the heresy.
I was on a visit to my grandparents home one summer.  I was sitting at the kitchen table eating a snack.  My grandfather’s office was next to the kitchen, and he had the door open.  He was telling the person on the phone about how he had found out  ‘homosexuals’ were in his Christian based lodge.  They were planning and plotting on how to get rid of them, and you would tell by their attitude if they got hurt?  So much the better.

I can’t tell you how uncomfortable I was by that conversation.  I was mad and I was horrified.  Now granted the man was a bigot, but this conversation took that trait to a whole new level.

I have to tell you that I have heard churches vomit the same type of hate towards homosexuality on the pulpit. Yes, we have all heard the scripture of God hates this, that and the other. I’m not speaking of that. It went so much deeper than this.  I’m speaking of the type of hate that my grandfather’s phone call brings out.  That hurts the church’s witness to the world.  I can’t help but not believe it breaks God’s heart.

Homosexuality and women in the pulpit shouldn’t bring out such vile reactions.  The propaganda machine always tends to but them together as well.  How if you have women in leadership – homosexuality will come next.  Can’t you just FEEL the ‘love the sinner – hate the sin’ crowd?  The love overwhelms you doesn’t it?

Great picture of what weakens their witness.  Their excuse about how the bible states you will be scorned for the faith, and all that jazz as their excuse?  Yep.  That is all it is too.  Excuses.

Then have all seen the commercialism within the church.  I have no issue with a church having blog for example as a tool to make announcements, or to add a little bit extra to what they have already given their fellowship. This type of tool can be a huge benefit to a church.  Heck I don’t care if the Pastor publishes a book on occasion – GOOD FOR THEM!


You notice it’s the rock star’s of the church that have their own websites, books, articles, lectures, conferences, paid to come and preach, etc. that seem to feel their opinion is best.  You are suppose to stay at THEIR church, but the rock star’s traveling around quite often are exempt.  The Pastor’s that change churches in some denominations every couple of years?  That is fine for them, but darn it all you don’t have that option unless we give it to you.  You can have a church that has the Holy Spirit clearly within its walls, but if some rock star preacher states you are doing it wrong?  WATCH OUT!  Most churches like this will stick to it, but the upheaval at the time is awful.  People feel - If the rock star says its not good – well you had BETTER change it!  The Holy Spirit be damned!  NOTTTTTTT!

Who do they think they are?
We could go on, but you get the point. Christian, you and your family have the right - even the Christian responsibility - to change churches and take your money with you for any reason you deem fit. It could be because the newly appointed pastor is more of a traveling evangelist who loves to go on cruises with the rich folk. Or maybe the pastor is an angry, pompous ass in the pulpit and you just can't stomach his rants each week.  It could be because your kids don't fit into the youth group, or the youth group is dysfunctional. It could be even something as simple as worship style preferences.

Friends, Albert Mohler is regarded by many to be one of the greatest minds in modern day evangelicalism. Albert telling church members they are morally bound to stay attached to their 501(c)3 religious organization else they are harming the cause of Christ, tells me that we not only can't trust men like Mohler and those he trains to teach the bible rightly, we can't trust them to make arguments that are logical, or even congruent with their other core beliefs. - FBC Jax Watchdogs
There are so many GOOD churches out there, and no you will NOT find one that you agree with 100%!  You know what?  That’s okay if you feel they are benefit to your spiritual life.  We all have our quirks and debits.  We are human after all!  Goodness knows I have benefited from good churches with quirks and debits.  Their good out weighted their bad.

We all need to find a healthy choices for worship and fellowship.  It does not even have to be in a church building, but a firm group of believers.  I have friends that are believers, and they feel they can’t quite ‘fit in’ to their local churches in the area.  They still study, worship, and give of themselves and their money to the benefit of others.  They just have fellowship in a different way, and me personally?  I have been blessed with some friends from differing backgrounds, denominations, areas of world, etc.  People that I feel I can be REAL with!  I have attended churches that taught me so much, and yet on personal level – the relationships?  It just wasn’t there.

On my jaded side?  I think Al Mohler said what he did due to the fact the SBC membership has been falling year after year.  Its his contribution of trying to help the churches hang on for dear life.  Sorry, but that is my honest opinion.

Telling others you are harming the witness if you find a new church that is a better fit for you and your family?  Talk about OUT OF TOUCH!

Who do they think they anyway?

Does God wish you to Leave your Church?  Article has some decent points, but you may not agree with all of it.  That’s FINE!

Six Reasons Why Young Christians are Leaving the Church

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Michelle on 11:29 AM said...

Ah, yes, "church shopping". I suppose once you find a denomination with which you are happy (a box you like well enough), that eliminates the need for church "shopping", right? Even if you move to a different state, all you have to do is select another church in the same denomination.

It just occurred to me after reading your post that this term is just one more way to discourage thought outside of an approved box. What are they so afraid of? People who try to follow Christ don't fear ideas, right? There's no reason to.

And to this, "Can we be honest here for a moment? Most of the time when you go to a church, and then leave? They never follow up, and seek you out." YES. I'm sure they follow up with visitors, but don't let the door hit you on the arse on the way out, if you've been an active member there for years. The pastor of our old church?

He whittled down church leadership and staff to the "Yes Men" and now he is going about his merry way after hurting a number of people who attended (I don't want to not include people who weren't members--), while still claiming to be different from other churches. Yeah, different from a church I'd want to be a part of.

Anonymous said...

Oh many good points...for me the breaking point was "no difference of opinion allowed" at Bible studies (like the widow's gift was Jesus' example of the Scribes "devouring widows' houses" - not an example of how to give) and their use of Isaiah 58 used to support fasting w/o its proper context; i.e. "to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?".
The final straw was the harping on tithing and attendance. It was seen as "forsaking the assembly" if you missed a service - the meaning of "forsaking" was totally lost on them. It broke my heart to leave as I thought I had found a church home, but the emotional damage and stifling and grieving of the Spirit just got to be too much. :(

Anonymous said...

Finding it hard to leave my second church after many years at my first church, where I was taught that one SHOULD stay at one church, because only those who are planted in a church will grow, while those who move are like pot-plants who don't grow. I only left because of a stalker there. Now, in my second church, I don't feel all that comfortable, but dare not leave, lest I be labelled a pot-plant. The reason I don't feel at home is that I don't think they "get" victims of abuse. So I don't say or share much, which defeats the purpose of fellowship!

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