In churches that go off track.

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Free Christian, Sep 20, 2013.

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  1. Free Christian

    Free Christian Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hi Peter, and anyone else who reads this. This is a discussion on being in or leaving churches or speaking up when things go wrong or are wrong continued from another thread.
    I know exactly, sort of how you feel Peter.
    Often I was told that I should keep going, to not neglect the means of grace. But as I kept attending I kept feeling more and more alienated. It was so often hard to not say anything and then at times I felt I had spoken the truth out of season. It was the truth, but should I have said it when I did. Perhaps those times were my own conscience telling me that I should not have, perhaps prayed more about it and said something when I felt it was 100% time to. As opposed to when I felt annoyed at what was going on. All part of growing I guess, and iv still got a lot to in that regard.
    I too burnt bridges and would say that I should have many times waited. Perhaps been more of a witness for the truth for longer than I had been. I do at times have regrets at doing so and should have left on more amicable terms than I did. Crossed the bridge, but not burnt it as I did at times. Again all part of learning and growing. There were some that were burnt and I have no regrets at those.
    But it is hard without a doubt being somewhere where they blatantly ignore God's Word, not when they are in ignorance, but knowingly turn their backs on what is written and outlined for us to do.
    In one church, the one I was originally saved at it was charismatic. When I raised the questions of why they do all the things they did when they do not appear anywhere in the Bible. The tongues, the slaying in the spirit, the demon possession of simple sins, not that any sin is simple but I hope you know what I mean (they said almost every sin like smoking, bad language, drinking etc were all demon possession) I was outright labelled a heretic, fooled by Satan, demonic. The Pastor told me I was going to go to hell for what I said. All my friends there turned their backs on me, hating me and seeing me as going to the dark side turning my back on God.
    Then there have been ones where they seemed ok, but under it all still refused to do what God outlines in the Bible.
    One place went form being ok to pandering to the world by changing from singing Hymns to singing chorus's, one or two sentences of happy tunes. Not saying that singing that Jesus is Lord and that we love Him is wrong but that is all they would sing over and over. The doctrine and lessons were taken away. They then had nights (Sunday worship) where they would play semi rock type music and songs for the young. All things to make the people happy. Another I went to the Pastor said "Today it is going to be different, this couple got married so the service today will centre on them" that's the closest I can recall the words he spoke but they were to that effect and Im about 100% there in conveying what was meant/said. I was dumbfounded at that one! We quietly left about half way through. Another seemed ok till a woman got up and started preaching. Some you would finish the service and outside after would go to talk to the people or Pastor about God and things and they would look at you almost stupid. The service was over what are you on about? Another they never sang Psalms and after asking the Pastor why when the Bible says to he actually tried to introduce them, good on him for that, but the people didn't like it at all and made it go back to just hymns.
    I wouldn't not go just because they only sang hymns, I would go still but there were other serious issues there too.
    To me its the blatant disregard for what they know, not what they don't know. Knowing something and choosing not to do it consciously that gets me.
    If I could give advice in any way at all from my own personal experiences it would be to pray a bit longer about the decisions we make, to leave if you do as amicable as is possible for one to do so if you decide to leave, to wait until you know/feel 100% in your heart after prayer till you speak and when you do so use the Word of God and be as humble as you can muster yourself to be.
    Im no great person, no teacher to anyone. I stumble all the time, kick myself often and wish I was better than I am.
    I do try though to be sure I am following the truth.
    Peter, the thing I wrote is in bits all over the place. I don't know what was the first or what was the last draft. It was just on the simple, though nothing is simple in regards to the truth, things on singing Psalms, Church order, Prayer, reverence for God ( I have heard ministers use His name in vain), Bible versions, Images of Angels and Christ (that's a big pet one of mine) things like that and some more. Its simple and no way any literary masterpiece or great doctrinal writing in the vein of anyone known. Just a simple put together by myself thing on truth.
    I will though Peter go about getting it together again and sending one to you. Im not great on computers so it will take a while and I want to make sure I send the right one. Give around three weeks.
    Hang in there Peter. Hoping and praying the best for you in the Lord.
  2. GloriousBoaz

    GloriousBoaz Puritan Board Freshman

    I know the feeling.

    A couple thoughts 1. we aren't to be feeling based, a lot of the whole feelings thing is our cultural upbringing for instance the classic example is not marrying because you are not "in love" well thats all emotional and feeling based and if you fall in love you are probably going to fall out of love, because feelings are unreliable. 2. i was at a garage sale yesterday and I have to ask people to sign receipts for my business which is awkward and this one lady wouldn't do it, and my conscience felt "guilty" (best word for the feeling) though I had done nothing wrong, I've also had this happen at jobs i've worked at where they caught someone stealing (not me) and I sudden felt a bit of shame or guilt and searched my conscience saying to myself "did I do anything like that here against my boss, am I to blame too" and then when I witness to people and they turn on God vehemently it makes me feel really bad and sometimes I get that "guilty" feeling. ok one more example since atheists hate christians who "indoctrinate" children with creationism etc, i've been reading in public with my nephew from a creationist book on dinosaurs and felt eyes on me and felt that "guilty" feeling though they are the guilty one of indoctrinating their children with lies. All of that to say that feelings are wrong a lot of times and as biblical men our responsibility is to do what is right inspite (many times) of our feelings. You were probably right in what you said unless it was not in love, and not patient and respectful but even a lot of those times where it wasn't (1. we can't be perfect) 2. God still used it anyways and that means that it wasn't exactly contrary to His will and predestination. I am not advocating shooting your mouth off at every instant (James 3), but to be prayerful and ready to give the answer from the hope that is in you, when many times people aren't going to want to hear it.

    That was my exact thought when reading what you were writing. There are a couple I certainly regret but lots that I don't.

    Yeah I call that the "demon behind every tree syndrome"

    I'm sorry my friend.

    It's how a lot of little things add up isn't it, that's what I'm dealing with right now. Music is lower on my priority list than let's say doctrine but there is doctrine and propriety to music in the scriptures and so we need to be careful there too.
    Wow that is well said, that speaks to my heart, its that picking and choosing that is so destructive.
    Exactly. I was there when I heard certain words come from the pulpit that effected me and just spoke to me "you can not attend this church anymore".

    If it is any trouble don't worry about it I was just curious more than anything, I don't want you to rewrite it or anything like that but just if you happened to have it laying around.
    And we have to remember no church is this way either or denomination, no Presbyterian has a handle on everything or a Baptist, not even doctrinally do they have perfect thought. We are all a mess, church is messy business, I don't think we should sling around that phrase as a cliche and let that give us license to lower the bar but we need to be honest at the same time. I know I could probably say a lot more but right now I'm kinda drawing a blank, maybe we can play off each other a bit more I know this is a topic very close to home for me right now and I've got a lot to spill my guts on, a lot of hurt, confusion, tension and frustration and sorry to say some bitterness bottled up that I really need to get out, but I'm just going to leave it there and look forward to your reply and anyone else's interaction is most certainly welcome.
  3. kappazei

    kappazei Puritan Board Freshman

    Dear Brett;
    I'm sorry that you're going through all this. Some trials are rougher than others. If I may say one thing about leaving this congregation, and I had friends, as most of us have, leave our congregation for various reasons, make a REASONABLE effort to mend fences. Whether they accept your attempt at reconciliation is not your problem. You just have to do your part and step out in faith in order to find a nurturing congregation which also doctorinally balanced.

    I hope the following verses encourage you.
    James 1:2-4
    2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,(A) 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be matureand complete, not lacking anything.
    Hebrews 12:14
    Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

    May you entrust yourself to the wisdom of our Great Shepherd
  4. Free Christian

    Free Christian Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks both Bob and Peter. My friends from back in the church that turned on me was back in the 1980's. I did on a couple of occasions visit or bump into them and try/hope we were at least friends. It was clear we were not. I was definitely their enemy. It did not cut me too bad because I was resolved to stick with what I knew was truth and although I did not expect it, it sort of didn't overly surprise me either. I was sad for them really, that they were so fooled and blind by what were clear unbiblical lies that had no Bible proofs or examples. No history either in many cases. In recent years though, the last 10 roughly, there have been some who did the same, but I don't dwell on it that much. Sometimes it was my own fault, being overly zealous, talking when I should have been quiet. Im learning, or hope I am. Some were are Christian no doubt and I would never say they were not saved but they could not accept an idea different to what they held onto and thought I was off track. Even when I would show them what I believed and they could not. Or when I gave good sound reasons for it. That's life as they say, not dismissing it with a wave of a hand, but these things happen. Im no perfect person and have as many faults as the rest, maybe more:think: but I do my best to stand by what is truth. Thanks again to you both. Peter I sent /answered a pm but my sent box shows I didn't. I think sometimes when I do nothing happens even though I think it did!
  5. GloriousBoaz

    GloriousBoaz Puritan Board Freshman

    I got your PM very helpful, I was taking my time to write you back. Yeah PM's on PB don't show whether they are received and they don't show up in my sent box either, every person that has ever PM'd me has sent multiple PM's and you can tell they weren't sure they sent so they sent more than one lol, but yes I got it and I will rite you back, very encouraged thanks so much.

    Here's a bit of anecdote if it helps. When I was first saved I tried to "be a light" to my party harty drinking druggie friends and it didn't turn out well I ended up back in sin with them, then after overdosing and God saved my life, or rather spared my life, I knew that I had to seperate. So months went by and my friends I had been around everyday for the last 6 years and had been in a band with for that time period and had known since elementary school too, they started to notice I wasn't coming around. I finally met with them and they knew something was up I explained to them how I belong to Christ and I will not live that life anymore and I can't hang around with them anymore and they looked sad but simultaneously they were like "yeah right Peter we'll see you in a couple weeks" (they thought I was just going through a phase) until I said "Well can you help me unload your drumset its in my car" then it got quiet and they knew I was serious.

    So the reason I posted that is because sometimes separation is absolutely necessary and I am convinced to this day (about 7 yrs later) that I am more of a witness to them by not being there than by being there. There had to have been many parties, or many nights partying or playing in bands even that they looked around and said "hmmm... why isn't Pete here? oh yeah he's a christian now" (p.s. I am interacting with them still but not by hanging around their scenes, but rather on my terms, in situations that can't become potential stumbling block for me because of my past).

    Its hard leaving friends but Christ is worthy, Jim Elliot was asked once he graduated from college why he didn't just stay and do missionary work in America because there was a huge need here and he said something to the affect of "America has its judge, it's condemnation is written on its bank books and the dust on its bible covers, if God wants to raise up a sleeping christian to minister to America He can, but how can I not go to the Auca who have never heard the name of Jesus" also the Moravian missionaries who went to an Island with 3000 slaves that the island owners promised would never hear the gospel, they sold themselves into lifelong slavery and when they were on the boat leaving the dock and as the gap widened and they were leaving their family and friends behind not for 10 yrs or 20 yrs but for life, as they had sold themselves into lifelong slavery, the one brother took the others hand into his and shouted "Let the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of His suffering" and they never saw their friends again.

    Here's a song too that expresses my heart about leaving my friends in my particular situation, this is a rap song but read/listen to the lyrics they are really poignant A letter to my friends - Timothy Brindle (Rap-a-long) - YouTube you'll be glad you listened to it.
  6. Free Christian

    Free Christian Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hi Peter. Ha, similar thing with my old friends, but it was God who separated me from them in the end. I will admit I was stupid enough, extremely stupid, to think I could still hang around with them. But after disaster after disaster I finally got it, and what God was telling me, and realised I was doing it wrong and was making my Christianity look like a joke. To my shame.
    Ok, so its not just me who thinks Im not sending pm's or answering them.
    Thanks Peter.
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