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Author Topic: Is It OK To Leave The Church?  (Read 7922 times)
TalkerCat
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« on: February 12, 2006, 04:24:36 PM »

I'm in a dither over whether or not to leave my church (family).  Recently, I have become disappointed in the leadership and the example it sets for the others.  It has become very apparent that our Pastor has let his ego get the better of him; plus the fact that I'm not being spiritually fed.  I know biblically that I should approach the problem and try to work it out; however in this case I fear the reaction ~ the pastor is well-known for his quick temper (believe it or not). 

I've been attending this church for about three years and over the course of time, Pastor has hurt my feelings more than once; has not made himself available for marriage counseling (which I'm desperate for); terminated the entire worship team suddenly and without cause (when asked, his answer was "because I'm the Pastor, that's why"!)

There are very few people left that were there from the beginning; and although there are a lot of new people every Sunday, very few return a second time.  I'm sure this is mainly due to the lack of worship and praise music.  So now my question:  Do I have enough reason to leave and find a new home church?  My heart is broken over this situation and I'd appreciate the advice of my dear brothers and sisters here at CU.  Also, can one get enough spiritual fulfillment without 'regular' fellowship?  I read my bible every day.  I only listen to christian music.  I fellowship at CU every day.  I feel fulfilled, but am I doing enough to please God?


Blessings-

Your friend and
sister in Christ,
Terri
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2006, 07:22:18 PM »

Hi sister.

You present some difficult questions. Some men get to the point that they think that as the Pastor they own the church and can do what they want and as they want. They take the scripture saying "feed my sheep" and twist it to read that the sheep belong to them. As you know this is not true.

Sometimes they experience burn out and they themselves are not getting replenished through the Lord.

The church belongs to God and a Godly church should be set up with proper checks and balances. This is the purpose for Deacons, church membership meetings ......

If a Pastor is not doing his job, then the others in position in the church should be finding out why and doing something about it. Supporting him, helping him to return to his work or if needed replacing him.

Start out with prayer asking God for guidance in what to do and say. Then if you have already discussed this with the Pastor or are not able to then perhaps the next step is to take it to a Deacon. If after exhausting these avenues and there is still no solution then perhaps another church is in order.

As we approach the end times many churches will fall prey to this and much, much worse. We as Christians must stand up and take the necessary actions to do those things that are right.


Quote
Also, can one get enough spiritual fulfillment without 'regular' fellowship?

Fellowship and worship with other Christians is important in our spiritual health but the most important thing is the fellowship and worship that we have of and with Jesus Christ. If we are not able to have fellowship with other Christians for some reason then at least fellowship and worship with Him must never go stale or infrequent.


Quote
I feel fulfilled, but am I doing enough to please God?

Sister that is a question that only God can answer. I understand this feeling though completely. I have been to the point of not getting any sleep in order to try to do more for Him. The Lord knows our frailties and does not expect us to do more than we are able. I am confident that if He wants you to do more for Him that He will bring it to you.

There has also been times that I have reached a point where I have felt burnout. I attempted to turn away from many things. God said no I want you to do this, He dropped it right into my lap.

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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2006, 10:34:44 PM »

I concure with Pastor Roger, Terri. I would also pray, on the matter. God will never lead you astray sister.

Resting in the hands, of the Lord.
Bob
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2006, 12:12:42 PM »

Howdy Terri!

I'll answer that with the very words of Jesus Himself...

"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.  But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.  Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.   For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."

Pastor or not, he's a brother in Christ.  Leader or not, he's a member of the body of Christ.  Right or wrong, when gathered together in Jesus' name, HE is there.  The question is: Is Jesus pleased with this church's behavior?  The Pastor has a problem, but has the church called him on it?  Have they attempted to make it right?  Have they attempted to restore him?  If you're not being fed, it might be because he's got a problem you need to help him fix.
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2006, 12:42:51 PM »

Hi sister Terri, gee I've missed you, how are you feeling?
Sister I agree with PR, and DW. Remember too that you must bring this to God in prayer, He will guide you in the way you should go.
As PR said the flock belongs to the Lord, and every Pastor must keep that in mind. But I can't tell you whether it would be right for you to leave or stay.
I will pray that the Lord reveal to you what you should do.
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2006, 01:20:06 PM »

Thank You Jesus ( and thank you Allinall for reminding me of His commands).  I will muster up the courage to address my issues with the Pastor to the Pastor himself . . . . bless me that I can resolve the problem in a one-on-one meeting.  I'll keep you posted.

Blessings & Christian Love,
Terri
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2006, 01:49:56 PM »

Not For The Better!
by Chip Brogden
"Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse" (I Corinthians 11:17).

Jesus made it clear that "where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there I am in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). Just two or three!

I thank and praise God that Jesus did not say, "Where two or three THOUSAND are gathered together, there I am." He did not say, "Where two or three HUNDRED are gathered together, there I am." And He did not say, "Where two or three DOZEN are gathered together, there I am."

Jesus also did not say where the two or three had to be gathered together. He did not specify a church building or a living room meeting. And He did not say how many times a week they had to be gathered, or if the gatherings had to be structured or unstructured, open or closed, inside or outside.

By establishing His Presence in the midst of a group so small as two or three, Jesus repudiates our fascination with large numbers. Anyone can gather a crowd if you tell them what they want to hear. May I say that a large group has no more of the presence of Jesus than a small group. The numbers are irrelevant. Either Jesus is in the midst, or He is not. If Jesus is not in the midst of us then having a large group of people will not compensate for Him not being there.

I would rather sit on the living room floor with three people and have Jesus in the midst than sit in a service with three thousand people where Jesus is nowhere to be found.

Of course, Jesus can sometimes be found in large groups of people, but as my wife says, He tends to get lost in the crowd.

WHAT ABOUT ASSEMBLING TOGETHER?

Concerning our assembling together, the author of the letter to the Hebrews says:

"Forsaking not the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).

Praise the Lord for the simplicity of this Scripture. Once again, we are not told WHERE to assemble (the local church). We are not told WHEN to assemble (Sunday morning). We are not told HOW OFTEN to assemble (three services a week, prayer on Tuesday, youth group on Thursday). Taking this verse by itself, it simply tells us to make the most of every opportunity we have for encouraging one another face-to-face. Yet it gives no direction about where, when, or how many times a week this is to take place.

As a pastor, I misused this verse all the time. I did it in ignorance, but the message I consistently sent out was, "You need to attend more, pray more, give more, and do more than what you're doing. You need to be submitted to me so you can have a spiritual covering. You need to be accountable to a local body of believers. And if you don't come to church every time the doors are open and if you don't participate in every program we have available for you then you are forsaking the assembling of yourselves together!"

Is that really what this verse means? When you read the verses preceding this one it becomes apparent that the Spirit of God is not trying to get us to be more faithful to attend church services. In fact, when this was written, Christians did not have "church services" (or church buildings, for that matter).

So what does it mean? If you read the entire chapter (better yet, the entire letter), you find that we are being encouraged to draw near to God without fear, by a "new and living way", through Jesus Christ our High Priest, Who has already assembled us together as the house of God in order to lead us into the Holy of Holies.

Based on what we know about the Lord's Ekklesia, we could just as easily say, "Don't forsake the house of living stones that Jesus is assembling together, because there's no other way to draw near to God!" But people usually find what they expect to see, not what is really there. So we nullify the Word of God with our tradition, missing the blessing and turning it into a burden.

IN THIS I PRAISE YOU NOT

Jesus said if HE is lifted up then HE will draw all men to HIMSELF. Instead, we lift up religion and draw all men into an institution.

Are we suggesting that Christians should never go to church or have fellowship with others? Of course not. But we ask, can fellowship only occur in the context of a church meeting? Once we realize that our fellowship is supposed to be based on a relationship with Jesus, not a relationship with "church", we will discover that there are more opportunities for fellowship OUTSIDE the local church building than there are INSIDE.

That is because Christ-based fellowship lasts as long as you are abiding in Jesus, while church-based fellowship only lasts as long as you are attending that church. When you go to their services and support their agenda then they love you. Once you leave, and they realize you are not coming back, they want nothing more to do with you. The reality is simply this: their fellowship with you is church-based, ministry-based, man-based, or money-based, but it is not Christ-based.

The true character of a church, fellowship, or ministry is not judged by how they receive you when you join, or how they treat you when you are there, but rather, how they send you when you go, and how they relate to you after you have left.

Many churches, gatherings, meetings, ministries and fellowships do more harm than good. They should be shut down because Jesus does not have the preeminence there. Thus, they serve no Kingdom purpose. I am convinced that most churches exist only to give the pastor someplace to preach on Sunday. The meetings continue but no fruit is produced. They are dead branches still clinging to the vine that need to be hacked off to make way for new growth.

Paul told the Corinthians that when they came together it was not for the better, but for the worse. To be sure, they gathered together. They were faithful to assemble. But their gathering together was not a testimony to their faith, it was a testimony to their division. Actually, they were not assembling together at all, they were assembling separately. "Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you!"

The apostle says it would be better for them to stay home than to gather together for the worse, have division, teach heresies, despise the church of God, bring shame to one another, eat and drink damnation to themselves, and come together "unto condemnation" (see I Corinthians 11:17-34).

This is strong language. When was the last time you heard a message on that? What pastor is willing to stand up and say, "There will be no more services until we can learn how to come together for the better, and not for the worse." Not many!

IN THE SPIRIT ON THE LORD'S DAY

Brothers and sisters, do not be deceived or troubled. If we are one with the Head then we are one with the Body, even if we are not physically gathered together; and if we are NOT one with the Head then we are NOT one with the Body, even if we ARE physically gathered together. How can that be? Because Jesus is building His Church, and it is a spiritual house, not a physical house.

This principle is clearly demonstrated in the life of John the apostle. Exiled to the Isle of Patmos because of the testimony of Jesus, he was physically isolated from other believers and had no face-to-face contact with any of the churches. He had no "covering", no "accountability", no "authority" no "local body of believers", no "fellowship". He seemed to be cast off into a corner, forgotten.

But John says, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day." He maintained connectivity to the Head and to the Body of Christ by way of a spirit-and-truth worship walk. This connectivity is spiritual, not physical, not social, not geographical. Because of this, John received a clear vision and a fresh revelation of Jesus Christ. As a side benefit, John knew the exact spiritual condition of the seven churches of Asia, even though he was not assembled together with them.

It is better to be alone and be in the Spirit than to assemble together and be in the flesh, going through the motions of Churchianity, gathering for the worse, and not for the better. Jesus said,

"Isaiah was correct when he prophesied about you hypocrites, saying, 'These people draw near to Me with their mouths, and they honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me, and they worship Me in vain, for they teach as doctrines the commandments of men'" (Matthew 15:7-9).

Friends, there is a more excellent way! The Father is actively seeking and recruiting for Himself people who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Jesus is setting them free from vain worship and traditions of men, and He is gathering them together into a spiritual house of living stones. The Holy Spirit is leading them into an ever deepening, ever increasing relationship with Christ. With them, every day is "The Lord's Day"!

While everything not established on Christ is being shaken, those who are being reduced to Christ are receiving a kingdom that cannot be moved. It is a wonderful time to be alive and to see God's Purpose being fulfilled! Why would we be content with anything less? He has given us new wine and new wineskins. Let us seek the preeminence of Christ in all things, and when Jesus does gather us together in simplicity, He will be in the midst, and our gatherings will be for the better, and not for the worse. Amen.

http://www.theschoolofchrist.org/articles/better.html
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sincereheart
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2006, 01:52:06 PM »

Two more great articles on the subject:

Lonely, But Never Alone
http://www.theschoolofchrist.org/articles/lonely.html

The Wisdom Of The Pharisees
http://www.theschoolofchrist.org/articles/pharisees.html

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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2006, 02:23:03 PM »

Thank You Jesus ( and thank you Allinall for reminding me of His commands).  I will muster up the courage to address my issues with the Pastor to the Pastor himself . . . . bless me that I can resolve the problem in a one-on-one meeting.  I'll keep you posted.

Blessings & Christian Love,
Terri


 Smiley You're most welcome! I'll be praying for you both Sister.  Smiley
« Last Edit: February 13, 2006, 02:27:04 PM by Allinall » Logged



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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2006, 12:56:03 AM »

I had the opportunity to talk to Pastor Dave and he surprised me by being most receptive.  In fact, he said that I'm one of several people who had approched him lately.  I'm going to stick around and pray for my Pastor (even harder than before) ~ we'll see what happens.

Thank you all for your wise advice ~ I've grown very   Kiss  fond of everyone   I love   Kiss the fellowship, I love   Kiss the support, I love   Kiss the atmosphere and I love being a Christian at Christians Unite!

Blessings~
>^..^<
TalkerCat


 Cheesy   (((GROUP HUG)))    Cheesy   (((GROUP HUG)))    Cheesy   (((GROUP HUG)))    Cheesy
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2006, 01:02:56 AM »





We all love you and appreciate you, too sister.

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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2006, 01:04:44 AM »

I had the opportunity to talk to Pastor Dave and he surprised me by being most receptive.  In fact, he said that I'm one of several people who had approched him lately.  I'm going to stick around and pray for my Pastor (even harder than before) ~ we'll see what happens.
I will pray for Pastor Dave, as well.

Thank you all for your wise advice ~ I've grown very   Kiss  fond of everyone   I love   Kiss the fellowship, I love   Kiss the support, I love   Kiss the atmosphere and I love being a Christian at Christians Unite!

Blessings~
>^..^<
TalkerCat[/b]

 Cheesy   (((GROUP HUG)))    Cheesy   (((GROUP HUG)))    Cheesy   (((GROUP HUG)))    Cheesy
We love you to, sister! Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2006, 09:10:48 AM »

I had the opportunity to talk to Pastor Dave and he surprised me by being most receptive.  In fact, he said that I'm one of several people who had approched him lately.  I'm going to stick around and pray for my Pastor (even harder than before) ~ we'll see what happens.

Thank you all for your wise advice ~ I've grown very   Kiss  fond of everyone   I love   Kiss the fellowship, I love   Kiss the support, I love   Kiss the atmosphere and I love being a Christian at Christians Unite!

Blessings~
>^..^<
TalkerCat


 Cheesy   (((GROUP HUG)))    Cheesy   (((GROUP HUG)))    Cheesy   (((GROUP HUG)))    Cheesy

SWEET!!  Well Sis, you've gained a brother.   Smiley  And we're kinda fond of you too!
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2006, 10:26:24 AM »

Brothers and Sisters,

I just found this thread, and I love it. I've had nothing but good and pleasant thoughts this morning, and I've been giving thanks for all of the Blessings of God. They are too numerous to mention.

One of the things that I always give thanks for is the sweet Christians here on Christians Unite that I get to fellowship with every day and many times into the night. I know that God is with us, and I know that God is Blessing the Work being done here for His Glory. We can't see each other, but we are assembled together in the Name of JESUS. I feel and see more and more that the Gospel of God's Grace, JESUS and the Cross, and strengthening of God's children is a priority here. I'm not saying that Christians Unite should be your only assembly with other Christians, but I am saying that Christians are worshipping and praising God here. We give God all the Glory and Praise for our fellowship, and we give thanks that hosts of lost people easily find and read the Gospel of God's Grace here. GOD'S WORD is more powerful than any two-edged sword, and the WORD OF GOD has always been a priority here. If the lost are searching for a path to JESUS, they will find it here. Admin and all of the sweet Christians here make all of this possible WITH GOD'S HELP.

This thread is just another thought of joy on a beautiful morning in JESUS. Here's a big:


Oklahoma Hug!
To All Of You!

Love In Christ,
Tom

Psalms 36:7 NASB  How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2007, 11:00:43 AM »

This is an old thread but prayers are answered in God's time so here we are back again.

My Pastor hit "bottom" when people started to leave his congregation, then his dear wife got breast cancer.  When I learned of his tribulation, I went back into the fold and have stayed.  There is such a difference in Pastor Dave now!  What a humble man of God he turned out to be!  The congregation is growing again and we worship the LORD singing!  His teachings are profound and backed up by the word of God Himself.  Thankfully, Sister Jolene's breast cancer is in remission ~

His Truth Is Marching On .....

Thank you Jesus! Praise the Lord!  Bless Pastor Dave and Calvary Chapel!

=^..^=
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