I need advice

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I posted in another forum about what happened. Here is the link to that: http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=75227

    Now that it SEEMS as if the worker deemed this a false allegation, I need to start working on the right way to handle this at church.

    I'm reluctant to leave the church before doing the right thing, and still reluctant anyhow because
    1. When I joined, I made a commitment to it and I don't take breaking commitments lightly.

    2. At least one of my kids calls this home and I don't her stressed out over loyalties. It shouldn't be like that, so at the least, she needs to witness me doing the right thing before I even consider leaving and putting the choice for her to stay and go into her hands.

    So...I've thought about this and my first thought is to go to the pastor and ask him to make a general statement about how the appropriate way to handle an issue with someone else in the church is to go to them first rather than call a government agency and hide your identity, which is what they did.

    Would I be right to expect my pastor to do this?

    The second thing is that I have an idea of who did this, but am not completely positive. I'll try to keep this pretty basic so I'm not gossiping myself, but I have a child who claims a relative abused him. We reported it to police and have a restraining order out, and it seemed odd to me that the same person who went to court to speak for the alleged abuser decided to join our church and it makes the victim very uncomfortable and he doesn't want to go there anymore. I asked the pastor if we could meet together with the relative who joined and he (rightfully) said I need to go to that person first. I did, and she stomped off without replying to my opening, which I tried to do in a non-threatening manner. So I guess I need to take some people with me as a witness, right?
    What should be my response if I ask for this and am told that it's a personal issue and not a church issue, so I shouldn't handle it through the church? That seemed to be strongly implied when I brought it up to someone in charge before when I was uncomfortable in going to her without a witness...that I should go to her outside the church. Although the timing of this person joining was very odd, coinciding with the restraining order and court date and then started attending extra days at the exact same time the victim returned home after being gone from in-patient therapy for a time. This is really disturbing to our family and to the victim of the abuse and we DO think that it is an issue for the church to help us with, being that this person joined and is in membership.
    Am I wrong on that?

    I appreciate any input you may have.
     
  2. Don

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    There's a lot to address; and although there is wisdom in the council of many, I'm by no means an authoritative figure. . .but here are my opinions/thoughts:

    Should you "expect" your pastor to make a statement? No; but you should ask him to do so. He should then prayerfully examine the matter and perhaps consult with others to determine if it's something that actually requires an announcement, or perhaps a sermon.

    You addressed the individual, or attempted to, about the abuse. Since they wouldn't hear you, then yes, you should take someone with you. Seems to me it would be best if you took someone who was familiar with the situation, as well as a deacon. If the person won't meet with you, that information needs to be given to the pastor, along with the explanation that he may need to "force" a meeting.

    As for suspecting who did it: ask 'em. They'll either tell you, and then you can educate them about your family dynamic; or they'll lie about it, in which case you'll have to let the matter go until you have evidence.

    My heart goes out to you, and I'll say a prayer for the situation.
     
  3. HAMel

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    I am not quite as "touchy feely" as a lot of folks are. My wife and I resigned our membership in a church after nine years as it became the House of Gossip. With their tongues hinged in the middle and flapping on both ends..., we left. It's now the Gossip Capital of Haws Run North Carolina. It's a Hen House!

    Gossip is as an addiction to porno is.

    These people don't care. They will keep on until their "subject" is destroyed. They over-load their hind-parts with mouth and once they begin to realize the cat is out of the bag they become embarrassed. Then, somehow, their embarrassment becomes your fault.

    If no one in Church Leadership is willing to take a stand then take to the podium yourself and expose it all. Your children depend on you looking out for them. Be strong. Tell it like it is, expose it and let it fall where it falls. Strong people do not need to fall victim to ruthless individuals.

    Being a Christian should not be a burden.
     
  4. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    Gina...

    I hope you dont mind if I give it to you "full streghth". :thumbs:

    If I were in your place I would conclude that your *church* is in fact a hornets nest filled with treacherous vipor snakes.

    I would flee that place like the plague.



    Shake the dust off and find a real church, where true "agapa" love is in abundance and the people really care about thier brothers and sisters.

    A church fellowship should be an Oasis if Love, not a den of iniquity.

    There are love filled churches all over the place. I have been blessed to have experienced 3 of those blessed churches.

    Put it in Gods hands amd let him lead you.

    God bless.
     
  5. Benjamin

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    Okay, I'll give my two cents. I hear you saying that the alleged victim is uncomfortable because a person is in his presence, who defended the alleged abuser (so probably doesn’t believe his story?) and therefore he doesn’t want to be there anymore?

    In that case I’d tell him that he knows the truth and so does God so it doesn’t matter what this other person believes; that person is not his judge. Simple as that, let it go.

    If I really thought this person was calling CPS and making false accusations I would ask him/her point blank if they did and demand a yes or no answer. If they will not answer…you have your answer.

    Further, if there is nothing to hide there is nothing to find so if this person is out for vengeance he/she will find none and there is nothing to be uncomfortable about….except that if this person is meddling and has a goal to cause trouble because of spite in which case I would cut all contact. A family should stick together and be unified against an outsider who would be up to such things. It takes two to make a fight and no one in your family has to give this person the time of day and shouldn’t if they are up to such things. If I wanted to stay at that church I would simply completely ignore that person while there rather than give them the power to change a thing in my life. I wouldn’t even involve the church…that’s how rumors get started.
     
  6. freeatlast

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    Gina you ask advice, but all this is very vague. What is their mental illness? Are they disruptive? It seems like you are the main one dealing with this problem, why? Where is your husband in all this?
    I understand reluctance to give details but you did ask advice and that takes details. Based on just what you posted I would say leave the church and teach your children at home if their mental illness is the main problem in all this, but your husband is the one who should be making the decision in this as he is the head not you.
     
  7. HAMel

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    The issue here, as I see it, is not the mental or physical condition of the victim. Think victim. Victim, like in the one having been harmed.

    The issue appears to be the cold blooded, heartless individual lacking a moral compass and otherwise obsessed with causing harm to another and/or a group of church members that won't take a position against such nonsense?

    If the perpetrator is as described it's time to throw the bum out.
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    you know Gina, if you chose the right then "Church Disipline" should address this for you, right? That in & of itself would answer your question IMHO.
     
  9. righteousdude2

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    Gina...

    ....I know you fairly well from your posts on the BB, and I would have to agree with HAMel. His advice is superb, especially the fact that being a Christian should not be a burden. The path to heaven has enough struggles. We certainly don't need additional trials coming from the (spiritual peanut gallery) place we count on to teach us and where we go to glean fellowship.

    Gossip is the acid of the soul. So is the judgment from our peers, even when it may be well intended and from the heart. Lat your prayers and His Spirit serve to move upon you and lead you through this.

    You have my prayers and thoughts! :praying:
     
  10. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I'm not going to publicly post their diagnosis, but nope, it disrupts nobody at church so long as we keep them with us. There is the possibility of outbursts/violence with one, though meds are helping a lot, but we don't see any benefit in putting other kids at risk so they remain with us during church services and we don't put them in Sunday school, which means we can't go anymore either. (we stopped having them go when we realized the possibilities/severity of what they have)


    My husband is right here with me in this. We do have different personalities. He's more likely to knock some heads together, while I'm better able to remain calm and rational. So it's better for me to do the public talking. (then go home and kick the cement wall behind the patio out of frustration!)

    We'd both be a lot more willing to leave if the other kids were not totally involved.
    Neither of us would succeed in staying out of church and learning at home. I might like to study, but I've tried staying out of church and not going and it was a massive fail, I went downhill and it got pretty bad before I even realized how far down I was going. My husband is the same way. We need the structure for our spiritual safety and growth.

    I'm still working on cooling down, not quite ready to be calm and rational. Even on the small chance that it wasn't this person who did it, they still don't need to be there and should have been asked to leave when I brought the situation to light. I didn't ask for that though, just asked for us to have a meeting together and was frustrated when it didn't happen, but tried to see it from their point of view.

    I don't know. I'm tired. Just the thought of going made me physically ill on Saturday night. Until I go in and talk, hopefully Thursday, I'm just trying not to change what we do, sticking with the routine. So is my husband. I guess I'm posting this for both of us...we're both unsure of what to do, what we want, how to proceed, going back and forth between grief and anger and that's why I'm here asking for advice.

    I guess I could always go ask the church. :BangHead:
     
  11. Aaron

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    Unless your children are in danger at this church, and unless the gossip is of such a nature as to permanently affect your standing in the church or in a court of law, if you decide to stay, my advice is to bear this patiently and quietly.

    If the individual whose joining is suspect has alterior motives, they will be manifest soon enough, and she'll leave soon enough. Church discipline was not instituted to be administered for every offense or sin, only the very grievous and serious ones.
     
  12. freeatlast

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    Gina,
    Based on what you have said I leave you with scripture. Eph 4:26, 1 Cor. 13:4-8. In other words forget about it. Move on and forget about getting any satisfaction other then love as there is nothing to gain in this of any value. Totally burry the hatchet, ignore and forgive the wrong you feel you have suffered or leave that church!
     
  13. Gina B

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    Without sounding too cheesy...I am very thankful for all the input here!
    Hubby and I both have time off work tomorrow so we'll use that to pour over the advice here, talk, pray, come to some type of agreement we feel is right and the best thing for our family.
     
  14. Gina B

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    Okay, my husband got the chance to read this top to bottom and we decided our next step is to talk to our pastor, present what is happening within the church, and request that leadership address the issue in some form. Hopefully directly to one person and also as a general teaching on the correct way to approach another church member you have an issue with. We hope that at least the second thing will happen.

    In the meantime, I'm going and staying in services as long as I can stand it, made it through the whole thing yesterday but I'm not going in the evenings at all as DH works evenings and I don't want to be seen with any of the kids at church until this matter is resolved.
     
  15. Gina B

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    Well, things kinda just went downhill from the time I posted this.
    Uphill first though...things seemed okay and I won't get into the fullness of it, but things got ugly and we've stepped away for the time being while retaining our membership should things work out better in the future.
    I've written and asked that certain people be pulled so we can discuss it face to face with the people involved and am waiting on an answer to that.
    In the meantime, I did mention that I don't feel right not actually DOING anything in the church that is in our community. We do attend a church that is out of town and holds services on Saturdays instead of Sundays, so we do still "assemble with others" but we were doing that anyhow before all this.
    So I made it known that I'd still have no problem going in and continuing with areas that need help...DH and I had been on the cleaning crew and would go in and clean on Thursdays. We'll see if they still want that or not.

    I'm not sure why and I stated this to them...despite everything, I know we were meant to be there when we were and I don't feel like we're done, but for now I cannot mentally, physically, or spiritually handle the stress of attending.

    Am I a freak or has anyone else felt this way about a church before, let alone acted on it? It's odd because I will admit that I'm sad and angry and don't want to be there, so I don't understand why I am feeling led that we're not totally done, but I'm not going to question it. I just want to know that I'm not the only person on earth that has ever felt this, let alone acted on it.
     
  16. Don

    Don
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    I'm actually feeling something similar about the church I'm currently attending. Several things that have come up over the last year. None of which are worth separating, but none of which I support for various reasons.

    While definitely not the same as yours, it's still weighing on me and my family. So while I can't say I know how you feel, I can certainly empathize.
     
  17. HAMel

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    Matthew 10:14

    "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city."

    Chances are you will not accomplish anything by discussing this with your Pastor. In the end he will say, "Lets go to the Lord in prayer about it", when what needs to be done is take it directly to the congregation and expose it for all to see. If they are then callous about it then shake off the dust and move on.

    The cry from almost all churches now-a-days is usually, "Why are we not growing....?" "Why are people not getting saved....?" "Why can't we attract the youth...?" "Oh why is this and oh why is that...?" For the answer they need to look no farther than the closest mirror.

    This lovey-dovey approach against gossipers and back-biters and purveyors of all things destructive from within needs to be dealt with and dealt with quickly. Letting it slide and just praying about it merely prolongs the inevitable.

    It should not be a burden to be a Christian.

    ...my wife and I have been there and done that. In effect, the gossipers bring first blood and the wound hardly ever heals.
     
  18. abcgrad94

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    Amen! God cannot bless the church if it is full of unrepentence.
     
  19. HAMel

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    Amen! God cannot bless the church if it is full of unrepentence.

    ...or a pastor who won't take the bull by the horns and take care of business!
     
  20. Jkdbuck76

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    Gina,

    I cannot say that I understand your situation. Maybe I'll sit down and read it again. And I do not have an answer. But I know God does.

    I'm going to pray for you, your family, and your church.
     

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