Griping about the Church

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by ScottEmerson, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. ScottEmerson

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    It seems to me that in these last few years, we have a lot of professed Christians who are simply dogging the Church. They make claims that the Church has completely lost their way, and many of them are forming their own church in order to do so. We've had two youth ministers of the church where I currently serve who have left to start their own church "the right way" in the last seven years, and it always causes more problems than it fixes.

    What are your responses to people like that, and what can be done to support the church instead of trying to tear it down?

    As an aside, one of my friends and I have discussed what God is teaching us in life, and he wrote me this: "I don't know very much. In 2,000 years of church history I created my own little belief system -- sort of like God was telling me that his people somehow got it wrong for the last 2,000 years and now I was going to get it right. There is a reason why they call them the church fathers--Oh well, grace is amazing." I really enjoyed the wisdom from a 23-year-old.
     
  2. untangled

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    Hey Brother,

    I hear what you're saying. People get mad and leave churches, dog their brothers and sisters and claim to have the true way. In my humble opinion I think people get angry about not being in full control at times.

    I knew a man that used to be extremely involved in his church. Something happened and he stopped going. he started watching some preacher on tv that claims that it is unbiblical to have an actual congregation. He also teaches doctrines such as soul sleep, no second coming and other heretical teachings. The man fell for it because the preacher talked about all the problems in the church. I can honestly say what once was a good man turned into the most hateful person I know. He actually expresses feelings of hatred toward the Church and openly rejects what he calls "organized religion".

    Sometimes people just take their opinions and put "thus saith the Lord" behind it without any truth to it. Its sad to see people who were once active in church turn away because of a petty argument with a deacon, teacher, preacher, etc.

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  3. superdave

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    It may well be true. The church in many cases is not functioning normally.

    Or it may be that their church is functioning normally and they don't like it.

    Calling someone to change can cause trouble.

    John said it like this. "They went out from us because they were not of us"

    People who leave can be right, you have to evaluate each situation. If someone leaves and doesn't attempt to find a church that they can align themselves with, than you just learned something about their true priorities and attitudes, and you don't want them in your church in that state either.
     
  4. donnA

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    I think for the most part it's a cop out. One church might have problems and you have to leave, but christian churches as a whole, nope, don't buy it. Those I've seen like this just wanted it all their way, to revolve around them. They were not serious about God.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    Scott,

    There is nothing wrong with more churches. In fact, more rather than bigger may be the biblical norm. I think it depends on what the church they are leaving is doing. I think in many cases the church at large and churches in particular have lost their way. We see a capitulation to culture in many areas that is dangerous at best. There are certainly worthwhile reasons to leave a church and start another. Whether or not this fits that, it is hard to tell.

    The church is strengthened by rigorous Bible teaching. That alone would prevent much of the cancer that has weakened the church today. Knowing God's word better than we know the culture is a start in the right direction. Leaning on the authority of God's word rather than trying to figure out what people want is key. I know that will spark a debate that has been had before, but I think there is a great weakness.

    I think the church is strengthened by involvement at a core level, rather than surface involvement that doesn't change our lives from week to week. The gospel is a "whole life" venture. I preached this morning from Luke 5:27-32 about Matthew's conversion. He left everything behind and made a radical change. Today, too many times, I fear salvation is just an addition, to a house we are already building. God wants to totally transform us and he wants us to leave everything behind, including the values and desires of the world.
     
  6. Grasshopper

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    Excellent. I would add the church is strengthened by rigorous debate as well. Perhaps people leave churches because pastors have a "my way or the highway" mentality. How many very good discussions on this board would even be allowed in most Baptist churches? Good debate and discussion forces one into the Word and to challenge traditions which may or may not be truth/biblical. Too many lazy Christians who just accept what is preached from the pulpit and never use thier mind to question or challenge.
     
  7. Thankful

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    Our church has approximately 500 members with Sunday attendance of 200. Our church is 34 years old. A church two blocks from us is only 2 years old and has an attendance of 2500 per Sunday. They have to have 5 services.

    Are they doing something better than we are? I don't think so. I just praise the Lord that those 2500 people are going to church to praise our Lord.

    We are a traditional SBC and we are still growing. Sometimes we even get members from this large church.

    We have assisted in starting new churches. Not because anyone was angry, but there was a need for a new church.

    In 1963,100 members from the First Baptist Church here started another church. Today both churches have over 6000 members.

    I don't think that it is wrong to start new churches. I don't think any of these churches were started to tear down another church but to add to the kingdom of God. God is being glorified.
     
  8. robycop3

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    I believe that's why we have different denoms. Some people are led to stress certain Scriptural doctrines more than others. I am a Baptist because I believe in hellfire, lectern-banging preaching FROM THE BIBLE, proclaiming the GOSPEL as Jesus presented it. getting His message out to as many people as possible. To me the Baptists do this best.

    I am saddened to see such false doctrines as regenerational baptism, salvation by works, KJVOism, Hyper-Calvinism, & Hyper-Arminianism invade some Baptist congregations. If my church were invaded with any such, I'd leave it quickly.
     
  9. Plain Old Bill

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    I don't think Scott is talking about a mother church starting daughter churches. That is natural and healthy.We would pray that this is done as often as possible along with missionary support.
    It's hard to say why some people are disgruntled and leave to start "thier own works". But if the work is thier own and not the Lord's then someone is in trouble.
    Some might see the church they are in as dead or the pastor to controlling.They may feel the Bible teaching and preaching are weak.They may feel they are not being discipled.They may feel uncared for.They may notice there is no visitation program. They may notice nobody is getting saved.They may feel they are not being given an opportunity to use thier gifts.

    There are so many things the church can do to help people feel used of God.There are institutional ministries (rest homes,jails,prisons)for the lay preachers to preach and teach in.The preacher and deacons could mentor some on visitation and soul winning.Teachers could be taught better how to teach thier classes and how to grow thier classes.Some people could minister through being pen pals to prisoners and missionaries.A prayer ministry could be started.A teen center could be started so kids would have something decent to do with thier time.These are not things like being in the chior or being an usher where they are out in plain site but actual ministries and helps to do the things churches do.For those who are interested the church could start a Bible scolars class for advanced teaching which would be a good place to recruit workers.

    In the end though there are always going to be some who are unhappy no matter what,every church seems to get thier fair share of these people.The only thing to do with these folks is to find them a church that does'nt have enough unhappy folks .
     
  10. ScottEmerson

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    I love my church, and it is a big church. While I can somewhat see the perspective of those who gripe, at the same time, I realize that I'm a part of something much bigger than my own preferences and own desires. I'd love for our worship service to be more contemporary, but I understand that we have 2,000 people that worship besides me in the service. One of the things that I found was missing was one-on-one mentoring opportunities, so I found and are continuing to find people who are interested in doing such, and organizing it. One of the best times of my week happens when I play ball with one of our students. I call it "basketball and discipleship time."

    What if, instead of griping, we do what God's called us to do in the first place? Who am I to think that I've got the Gospel Truth, and that everyone else is completely wrong?
     
  11. Gina B

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    Scott, perhaps you could be more specific in what gripes bother you!
    We need to scream it from the rooftops that the church in general is lazy and has forsaken their "first love", which is Christ, and replaced him with the desire for bigger memberships, bigger tithes, a bigger name, for their own glory instead of Christ's, and often do not even realize how they are pleasing their own flesh and feelings of goodness and believe they are doing a good work.
    We treat each other like dirt and unbelievers even worse.
    We DO have the truth, although admittedly we try to say we have the truth when it comes to items we don't have any way of knowing the truth about completely. But...having the truth of Christ crucified and teaching it to the lost, discipling new believers, and strengthening fellow believers is the focus of a Christian life.
    Those who truly do such are indeed rare. The Word doesn't tell us that many enter into the truth, it tells us that few do. That doesn't mean we take a magnifying glass to each person who differs in the least from us and try to figure out if something's wrong with them, it means we take a magnifying glass to ourselves and pray to God to help the flaws we see and the ones we cannot see.
    If each believer would do this the rest would fall in place.
    I went to a new church Sunday. I was readily accepted, and it wasn't until the end and one single woman, before I was approached and asked if I was a Christian, and if I believed in Christ's death and resurrection for us. ONE person in an entire church, on her own. Unprompted. In most churches I've been in I was NEVER asked on the first visit.
    Where's the urgency of the message? We don't have it, and it's the central power of Christianity. THE MESSAGE!
    We don't like to witness. When we see unbelievers and false churches we slam the door in their faces. I had a Jehovah's witness come to my door today, you know what I did? I smiles and welcomed her in my home, treated her like gold, and shared my beliefs while asking hers and how they differ. She's coming back, and I'll have answers to some of her questions.
    I *could* have shut the door in her face and said no thanks, not interested, but that isn't what GOD tells us to do and that isn't how a Christian should act and people just don't get that! I see over and over and over where people straight up admit that they won't talk to a mormon, or they make snide comments to JW's, or yell out the window instead of answering the door.
    You know what that's called? PRIDE. Our first love as believers is Christ, and we have lost that love and replaced it with pride in knowledge and other things.
    Even a mormon is not completely wrong. People are looking and seeking for a God, and WE HAVE THE ANSWER!
    We are the church, we have the answer, and we all too often refuse to share it, guarding our light and hoping others can see it through the wall we put up around ourselves.
    This is wrong. The church is wrong to do this. A true church would quit doing this, and a true Christian will recognize this problem and try to warn other Christians in the church so that the truth can shine out pure and free from those whose faith is grounded in the truth.
    Gina
     
  12. Joshua Rhodes

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    I serve in a church (just started a month ago) that just went through a split. It has caused much pain, and the wounds have not healed yet because the problem still remains, although is severely diminished. People are finding petty things to complain about, and it really distracts from the great things God is doing this holiday season. Why can't we leave our baggage at the door, come in and worship in spirit and in truth with all our heart, soul, and mind and strength, listen to the Word preached, respond to a holy and mighty God and then pick up our baggage as we leave?

    Or even better, why not leave that baggage at the foot of the cross? Too many people cast off sin like fishing: Here I cast, now I reel in... can't we just throw in the entire pole? [​IMG]

    I love the Lord, and I love serving His Church. I pray that the entity which is the Church will heal... and that the Lord is continually lifted up. Because when He is lifted, He will draw all men to Himself.
     
  13. Plain Old Bill

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    Joshua I pray that your new churches wounds heal quickly and you all get on about doing what the Lord would have you do.
     
  14. Joshua Rhodes

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    Thanks Bill... that's my prayer as well.

    We know that the evil one prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour... but my wuiet time this morning was in Isaiah 26, and I was reminded that perfect peace is afforded to those who keep their minds stayed on the Lord. I pray that for all of us!!! Amen and Amen!
     

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