I need advice....confused....

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by doodlebug, May 12, 2005.

  1. doodlebug

    doodlebug
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    What do you do when God calls you to do something in the church, and at every turn someone tries to stop you out of personal vindication? I have gone through the steps of Matthew 18, and this person refuses to even speak to me. I went to our pastor, and then I went to the deacons. The head deacon (we only have two at this time) is the brother-in-law of this woman who seems to be stepping in my way. His only words were that he would speak to her, but that hasn't happened. He said he cannot force her into a room to work out our differences, and he said that the church hasn't practiced church discipline in over 30 years, and he wasn't planning on starting. I know that he has personally disciplined members in the past behind closed doors. The head deacon simply stated that I was putting him in a very difficult position, and he really couldn't do anything about it. The pastor told me that he feels that because of her being the sister-in-law of the head deacon, he has no support in handling the matter, and basically I have to work around this woman. I am so tired of letting her walk on me, and I am so tired of giving God only 1/2 of my best. I don't know what else to do. If I leave the position alone, I know this woman will never allow me to do anything (she has been given too much power over me now), and I know that our pastor is being used and abused by this woman and her spouse. The pastor's son is the youth director now, and he is also being abused verbally by this woman. He said he is considering leaving the church. I feel like there is a time for everything, and perhaps is the time to stop this woman -- how do I do it like the bible says when the head deacon is her brother-in-law (the brother to her husband who is also abusing other people in our church)?
    utterly confused, dazed, concerned, sad....
     
  2. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    Can you give us a little more information on what you are trying to do, and how she is preventing you from doing it?
     
  3. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    To me you have several options.

    1) Suffer yourself to be defrauded. (1 Cor 6:1-8)

    This may be God's way of getting you ready for something, building patience, graciousness, and knocking off some of your rough edges. That is one of the purposes of the Local Church. Your call has a price. Often God makes us wait and endure and suffer before he gives us our call. (See Abraham sacrificing Isaac.)

    2) You may need to be a bit more persistent. Like the guys who broke up the roof to get the sick man to Jesus. It may be God is testing your faith to see how well you handle setbacks and opposition. If you believe you are right, then it would be worth it to be a squeaky wheel until you get some grease (satisfaction). Part of what we are called to do as Christians is to confront in love, exhort, and rebuke. It's dirty work.

    3) You may need to leave. It raises red flags that a church refuses to exercise church discipline. I don't think this is ever the first option. God uses strife to force us to fix stuff. Many times "agreeing to disagree" is more costly that confrontation.

    A pastor should be able to "persuade" two church members into a room to "work out their differences." It's not his main job, but it is one of them.

    Lacy
     
  4. jdcanady

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    Generally speaking, the church has the responsibility to validate your call to a specific ministry.

    That seems to be a side issue, in your case. You are speaking of an abusive member who will not be confronted by the leadership according to Matt. 18. Please make sure your motives are right,that you're not doing this just because your are pursuing a specific position and she is standing in your way.

    If your motives are right and if your church leadership will not practice church discipline, there is little you can do but pray for her and for them.

    The worst thing your could do, IMO, is to try to build some sort of support within the church body to confront her. That will cerainly lead to divisions and competing factions.
     
  5. doodlebug

    doodlebug
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    Thank you for the responses.

    More than a year ago, I worked with the youth in our church. The youth leader at the time was having problems with his family. To put it bluntly, the wife deceived her husband twice in order to get pregnant, the wife (with husband's knowledge) was deceiving church members to get gifts (monetary and otherwise), and then the wife because physically abusing her first child (while pregnant with the second). This was a true mess, and without going further, you can imagine the kind of scandal that came from it. There was an open forum type of meeting over a year ago, and this youth pastor and his wife stood before our church casting false accusations against me (I was not present due to an illness, and the meeting was only called the day before). I have proof that I am innocent of all their claims, but have never been allowed to present this (and I do not feel a need to vindicate myself, as God says vengence is His, and I am not to fear any man). The couple in reference still harbors ill will towards me because they feel that the false accusations are correct. They only based their feelings on gossip. This couple is also threatened because my husband is the only eligible man to be a deacon (our church policy does not allow divorced men, and the man has to be a member for 5+ years). The couple in question have been divorced. We have no desire to hold positions for "power" or "prestige". We only want to serve where God wants us. They have stopped us from serving because they both serve on the nominating committee, and the head deacon (their brother-in-law) says that the pastor has no say on this committee, and that they are the final authority on who gets nominated. So, the minute my name came up for nomination, this woman said she had been praying about the position, and after allowing her a few weeks to try it out, the pastor tried to override the nominating committee just to give me a trial, and he was verbally abused by this couple. Three weeks later, the same scenario happened, they went to committee and she insisted they vote her in. Everyone was afraid of this couple, so they didn't say anything. The pastor was told (either by this man, or the head deacon) he wasn't allowed to tell the committee that he prayed about the position, and felt led that I was the right person. I know it's wrong to rally support, so I have avoided this. I am still working with the youth in all other aspects (events, youth rallies, etc), although the woman has only attended one event in the almost three months she has pursued the position. The youth and youth workers are starting to question why this woman is still in the position (she has taken sub until it's voted in), and want to fight it. I am trying to keep the peace. The pastor is discouraged because he feels like he has no support to do what God's Word commands us to do. I just have to keep praying about this. Please remember me and our church in your prayers. I do not feel God leading our family anywhere else at this point (our pastor feels the same). Thanks....any other insights or scripture would be great.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Wow. I'd be hesitant to give advice. But your husband is the only qualified man to be a deacon, yet this couple are the Youth Leaders? That, my sister, is scary.

    Lots of farms have stumps in the middle of the field. Most of the time we learn to plow around them rather than trying to make a straight furrow. We can't focus on what isn't going to change.

    Application to your church is obvious. If YOU are maligned and not functional there, I would suggest looking for another "field".
     

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