a question of ethics

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by abcgrad94, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you had a couple who left your church under less than stellar circumstances, who then started attending a church where you had many good friends who welcomed them based on the assumtion that you were on good terms with these folks, would you gently caution your friends? Or would you say nothing and take a chance that the couple would also cause problems and division in the other church?
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd leave well enough alone. It could lead to gossipping, or at least, give the appearance of sour grapes. If the issues that caused them to leave are still in play, then those issues will be apparant to their current place of worship.
     
  3. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,114
    Likes Received:
    220
    Well, did they ask for a transfer of letter, if so, was it granted unconditional?
     
  4. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,185
    Likes Received:
    370
    It would completely depend on the circumstances.

    We had a man who was preying on women who attended our church. He would conveniently need to "pray" with women at every chance he could and he would always physically touch the women (on the shoulder, around the waist, etc.). He made every woman uncomfortable with his 'closeness' and it was addressed by the pastors. He would say that it was all innocent and he'd be sure he wouldn't do it again - but an hour later, he'd be "praying" again. It was finally decided to ask him to leave the church if he could not follow the direction of the pastoral team. After he left, we found out that he was asked to leave 2 other churches for the same reason but they didn't want to tell us to avoid "gossip". Our pastor felt quite differently and when he found out where this man was newly attending, he gave a call to the pastor of that church to give him a "heads-up" and that pastor was able to be much more proactive that we could have been.

    But then we've had other circumstances where someone left because they didn't agree with what we had said and we never went on to tell any other church because that was an issue between us and them - and did not affect anyone else in the church.

    So, if it's an issue that could harm anyone else spiritually or physically, we'll pass on the information. If not, then we'll just let them leave quietly. If we're asked, we'll tell the truth, but we'll not go hunting them down.
     
  5. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    No. Most churches around here do not require a letter, just a "statement of faith" which is basically a personal testimony saying you've been saved and baptized.

    Our former members are pretending to still be on friendly terms with us, but that is not the case. Our friends serve as deacons and other leaders in this church and are currently under the impression that these folks have our "stamp of approval" so to speak. The pastor was a good friend of ours but has since moved on and we do not know the current pastor, although we remain in touch with our many friends at the church. It's a small church with few workers, and our fear is that with (our former members) persona, they will quickly be asked to fill leadership positions and that's when the trouble will start. I don't want to gossip, but I would hate to have our friends feel we've betrayed them by keeping quiet.
     
  6. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    Then, barring any potentially criminal or outwardly inappropriate activity as mentioned before, I lean back towards leaving it be. You don't want to present the appearance of having sour grapes or of being a gossiper, and I suspect whatever caused the issues with your church will make themselves apparant in their new church as well.

    Just my $.02. Your mileage might vary.
     
  7. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    It would depend on the circumstances and the people. If they left because of actual problems, such as moving against the pastor or what the bible says, misleading others, or some other kind of rebellion, by all means let it be known before they are moved into a position to cause real harm to the church.

    If the circumstances were more of a conflict of personal views or such, let it lie.

    I know I would rather have someone come to me and let me know the situation that to find that we have welcomed a viper to our midst.
     
  8. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I were the other church, and if the pastor didn't give a heads-up to our pastor, I'd be a bit miffed. Trying to classify troublemakers by the nature of their troublemaking is a dangerous game.

    On the other side of the coin, I'd also like to know from the previous pastor if candidates for membership had been good members, and how much involvement they had in the work of the church, what their gifts are.

    I'd call it truth in packaging.
     
  9. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well said and worth saying.

    This idea of a "letter" always amuzes me. "Preacher," some member will say, "I'm moving out of state and I want to take my letter with me." It doesn't work that way. You don't have a standing letter. That said, in most Baptist churches, you could murder the organist and get a letter unanimously at the next business/members' meeting. It's sickening...and it's a fairly modern development that needs to go away.
     
  10. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,114
    Likes Received:
    220
    Then that is the price the gaining church will pay for not requesting a letter.

    Unfortunately, with most churches, a letter is nothing more than a formality. I think we need to get back to some true church discipline.!

    Salty

    So as not to Hijack this thread, I have started a new one about changing church memberhsip
     
  11. John Toppass

    John Toppass
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    7
    Who is giving the "heads up" if it is the pastoral team and approved practice then it would be right if only all the facts are given. If it is anyone else it is sinful gossip.
     
  12. Victorious

    Victorious
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    3
    That would definitely depend upon the circumstances in which they left your church. You need to decide whether you would be gossiping or whether there was a real threat to others based upon your knowledge. Difficult situation.
     
  13. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    So that's where our visitors are coming from!!! LOL

    It would depend on the situation, and the potential harm to the other church...

    A pastor to pastor meeting may be in order.

    Tell your hubby, I'll bring the donuts... he can supply the coffee! LOL...

    BTW.. we are planning on visiting you all the Monday or Tuesday before Christmas... whichever would be best for you.
     
    #13 tinytim, Dec 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2009
  14. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's why we always talk to the pastor of the church the people are coming from when they are coming from another Bible believing church. Sometimes they are leaving because of good reasons (doctrinal issues) but other times they are coming because they don't like the pastor or have caused so much trouble they are asked to leave either directly or indirectly.

    We have saved ourselves from serious issues when these things are talked about up front with the other pastor and the people wanting to join.
     
  15. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,185
    Likes Received:
    370
    This is actually a really good idea and one we've done a few times in the past.
     
  16. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,114
    Likes Received:
    220
    Another possibility with the pastor - pastor talk would be to invite the member in question to attend the pastor meeting.

    And then if he declined to meet with both pastors...
     

Share This Page

Loading...