left church

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by craig, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. craig

    craig
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    My wife and I quit going to our church because our pastor took 2 week ends any from church to sell fireworks and I couldn't get over it.
    Everytime he said don't put anything between you and God I felt like he did and set a bad example for other christians.
    He always had a good message that God laid on his heart but I feel he should of said he made a mistake and was sorry.I would of forgiven and never thought anymore about it.If we don't find another church we like as much as that one we might go back in time.Does anyone have any thoughts on this?I feel like we did the right thing since I can't seem to get over it and believe me I've prayed alot about it.
    Craig
     
  2. Jim1999

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    My suggestion is to get over it and don't give up worship in a church you enjoyed. Have a direct discussion with your pastor about the issue, keep your cool and get over it.

    Believe me, you will always find a fault no matter the church, and if we all left over the faults we find, every church would be empty.

    If the pastor is taking time away, this should have been prearranged with the church board.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. craig

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    Hi Jim,
    I haven't given up on going to church but it's not that easy.What kind of an example is he setting by telling people that go to the fireworks stand that he's a preacher and instead of being in church he's out selling fireworks.As christians we should be showing the world that we are christians and I don't think he did that.I don't know but maybe some people might think it's o.k. not to go to church on Sunday since a pastor doesn't go.
    Craig
     
  4. mark

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    craig,
    I would have a really hard time with that. I can't imagine. Jim is right, ever church has faults, but the preacher taking off two weekends (I assume you are saying, he missed church) to seel fireworks. That is ridiculous. I would question his commitment to your church and ministry.
     
  5. rsr

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    I can't judge without knowing more about the situation. Is he so financially strapped that he depends on that annual job to keep body and soul together? If so, why?

    I know teachers who run fireworks stands on summer vacation; there's a lot of money to be made by working 18-hour days for a couple of weeks, and it's a lifesaver for some of them.
     
  6. 3John2

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    Hard to believe he someone could not have made arrangements to have someone take over for the few hours of service those 2 Sundays. I too would probably question his convictions. Not to mention his faith. Can't believe God to provide for you? You can't serve God AND mammon.
     
  7. Jim1999

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    My point was, Why should the individual give up on the local church because the under shepherd has defaulted? Question him on it, and get on with your life. He is not the purpose for believing,a nd there are others who may look to you for a witness and fellowship.

    The church body should question his actions.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. bt

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    I believe the Bible teaches us to confront our brother in Christ. Biblically speaking, this ought to be the first step. Then proceed from there. I do have one question for you to think about. If the problem is great enough to leave the fellowship, why would you consider going back if there is not a "better" church out there. Either this incident is great enough for you to seperate youself from this local body of believers or it is not.
    Just something to think about.
     
  9. craig

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    bt,that's a good point,I don't think I'll go back because I've talked to him and he seems like it was alright what he did,but I don't like to sayI never will.It wasn't like it was a vacation he just took off and the church had to find someone else to replace him.We live in the ozarks so there are lots of country churches around so finding one isn't a problem.
    Craig
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    craig - be careful not to develop strong leg muscles and no backbone.

    Running to another church shows no loyalty to the body. At least biblically (as mentioned by others) deal with the matter before you head out the door.
     
  11. donnA

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    Dr. Bob, I think you've nailed a lot of problems with the no commitment thing. I think way too many christians have that problem, no committment to their church body, to Christ in general, priorities out of wack you could say.
    I wouldn't run from my church over something like this. I'd go straight to my pastor if I had a probelm with him. See what he had to say. What were the proceeds from the fireworks sells for? Was it personal, or fund raising? Fund raising for what?
     
  12. Justified

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    Craig,

    First off, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt, (and if it is true, the way you state it). He might not have realized what he had done and projected to people around him.

    Something, though, on the other hand, is I can't see a Pastor that will take off church and work on the Lord's Day, for the sake of MONEY, and for fireworks, noless!

    But, anyway, you must pray about it and then sit down with him, and discuss this issue with him, and not anyone else.

    Now, if what you say is true, and he did take off for this the way you stated, and he knows it, and doesn't repent and change from this view and practise...THEN RUN AND FIND ANOTHER CHURCH! Becaue that means this man is not standing on the Word of God! He forsook the gathering of believers of which he is the shepherd of, for money.

    But, don't stop going to church, find another! And, believe me, it's not easy to settle into another church, either.

    My, opinion, based on your profile and story, is that there is more to this then you are letting on, or there is nothing at all. :eek:
     
  13. craig

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    let me say that my pastor is also a friend,I knew him before I went to his church and I have talked to him one on one about this matter.
    "Justified" is kind of right about a little more to it then what I've said so far only because I just wanted to leave a post and not write a book and bore everyone.
    My wife's mother found out she had lung cancer about a month ago and they were going to take out half her lung and then the x-ray showed a spot on her colon and she was going to have to have a test to is if that was cancer too.My wife told the church about her mother and that we were going to be gone from church for a few Sundays because she had to take care of her on week-ends when she got home.This was a very hard time for my wife and our pastor never once called to ask how her mother was or how my wife was coping with everything and I asked him about that and he just said he forgot.So that was kind of the icing on the cake.
    I have not only strong legs but a strong backbone too.
    The church was there before me and it will be there after me.I have to think of my soul before the church,if I'm not getting what I need from the sermon then I have to go somewhere where I will it's that simple.
    Craig
     
  14. USN2Pulpit

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    Craig, the story as to why you've stopped attending is changed over the course of this thread. It started out because your pastor sold fireworks. Please examine your reasons for leaving before you quit.

    Does your pastor get any vacation time per year? If so, why is he not allowed to sell fireworks? Certainly I wouldn't do it, but I also don't see it as a reason to leave (especially if it was on his vacation). I went to a NASCAR race once...would that disqualify me, too? Perhaps a post above was right - maybe your church isn't paying him enough through the year and he needs the money. To many churches are starving their pastors/families. And just to quit the church - the whole family - because you got your feelings hurt and there are plenty of other churches around...where's the consistency in that kind of walk?

    I'm pastoring in rural Missouri, and although new at it, I know that there are many that "ride the circuit" from church to church to church. Every time they get mad, they leave. Pastors around here are sick of people that quit every time they don't get their way.

    I want to encourage you to stick it out. Don't quit on your local body of believers. Don't become one of those wishy-washy "circuit riders" who won't stick it out.
     
  15. craig

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    USN2pulpit,it wasn't a vacation that was planed,if it was he could do what ever he wants too,but I don't think a preacher should forget about his church to sell fireworks on Sundays.
    I've been doing a lot of study on modern churches and I find that the trend seems to be lets not talk about sinning because it might make members leave,lets just say there is no right or wrong.
    Your way of thinking seems to me is that if the church isn't paying him enough it's o.k. to work on Sundays and not be in church tending to his flock.
    I have nothing againest working on Sunday if your like a fireman or something like that,but I think a preacher shold be in church on Sunday.
    If I walk out of church with feeling like I didn't get nothing out of it then it's time to move on.
    Weather I go to church or not isn't a requirement to get ito heaven,and if I can't get nothing out of the sermon it's time to move on.
    Craig
     
  16. TWade

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    I think some men have mistaken their calling or gift. All the schooling in the world cannot make a man a true shepherd. It is a gift from God.
     
  17. craig

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    hi again USN2pulpit,I hope I don't sound hateful because I don't mean too be.
    My wife say's I'm not very good at expressing myself when I post in other groups so maybe I shouldn't of even brought this topic up.
    Craig
     
  18. Elk

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    Dear Craig,
    Of course, I am not there to see but what comes to my mind when I read your message, is that this Pastor is hurting or burned out or confused or something that we may not even possibly guess.
    But something seems to be wrong.
    It almost seems like this outing to sell fireworks, even if it was for a good cause, was some kind of diversion or distraction.
    Perhaps he needs encouragement.
    Perhaps instead of leaving, maybe the Lord is prompting you to do something. Perhaps start a collection envelope and maybe the church will give him a gift of it. Isn't tomorrow Pastor's Appreciation Day?
    The ladies in the church are making a money tree for the Pastor. Checks will be in envelopes attached to the tree.
    And I believe all Pastors nowadays need to be appreciated more than ever before. Expectations of them are so extremely high. I have heard of people leaving church because they moved the piano a foot, changed something, or said something, or something was said, or whatever.
    Locally, I have heard of the most lameist and ridiculous reasons why people have left the church.

    But what did Jesus say to do? We must go to the person and talk to them. One on one.
    Now just imagine in your case, you cannot conceive (nor can we) why your pastor elected to sell fireworks while services were supposed to be.
    But what if you talked to him and found out? What if he really told you from his heart why?
    Wouldn't that be better?

    And what if he told you something confidential?
    Would you encourage him?
    Or would you throw him out?

    It is so clear that we must encourage, restore, forgive, and we all need that.

    I always think about Jim Bakker and what happened to him when he got out of jail. Not too many people received him again, but Franklin Graham and a few others did. They loved him inspite of everything. And Jim Bakker was apparently a changed man.

    However, I'm not saying that anything secret could be the case, perhaps he is just burned out or needed a break. Some pastors can get discouraged because he sees no change in the people, and begins to wonder if he made any difference. Stuff like that is easy to get into. It is "going through the valley" times.
    Maybe he had nothing to offer the congregation.
    Does God give us a word all the time? Should we expect it from the Pastor? (all the time? Three plus times a week?)

    I would never abandon your pastor. Maybe you are the one who can put materials into his hand that will encourage him and give him the breakthrough he needs.

    I would pray about it and wait on the Lord to hear His Voice.

    These are very troubled times.
    I know of a case where Deacons voted out the sweetest Pastor that you can imagine. Why? I really don't know the details, except it sounds like they just wanted someone new, someone who can maybe boost the attendance up and what happened? The Pastor and his wife (literally) were out on the street curb (having lived at the church) wondering where to go next, for that very day in the service, they told them they were out of there.
    I can't imagine that kind of pain, especially since I know the couple, and they are the dearest people one can imagine.

    And you can imagine what happens then..., would a Pastor feel so encouraged and capable from then on? Or would they be a little more reserved or cautious or would they even put that much effort into things? I imagine that they would put up a few more fences, guard their heart better, take more breaks if they feel a valley coming on.

    If your pastor has been through a lot or taken advantage of or mistreated, he needs extra encouragement. Don't forget that in a small church they do a lot. They are expected to visit everyone in the hospitals, homes, do this and do that, funerals, marriages, counseling, phone contacts, phone counseling, board meetings, and oh, hear from God and prepare their sermons, drive around to all kinds of places, and many other things that people expect them to take care of, well, because they are the pastors...like straightening out conflicts and putting out fires, and bearing up to all the insults and complaints that they get.

    But there are the Pastors who really do have it all wrong, I believe.

    So, what does Jesus say to do? Look at the fruit.
    What are they producing?

    And what else are we supposed to do?
    Test the spirits.
    See if it is of the Lord.
     
  19. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Here are some thoughts:

    1. Did the pastor do this because he felt as if he needed the money to take care of his family's needs? Why wasn't the Church taking care of his family's needs?

    2. This one will probably be very unpopular, but, if you have talked one on one and with a witness and he is still in sin, perhaps you shouldn't be the one to leave. Perhaps, he needs to.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  20. USN2Pulpit

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    This is still not the reason you said you left the church in your first post. Please refer to your first post, where you told us you left because he sold fireworks on Sunday.

    If this pastor is truly living in sin as you think, perhaps he should go, not you. Do you find agreement with any of your fellow congregants on this matter?

    Like I said before, it doesn't seem like something I would do, but perhaps he is open to changing his way of thought, especially if he knows you're not the only one that feels this way.

    But as I said, your reason for quitting has changed since you started this post. I encourage you to stick it out instead of quitting. Make sure that if you're truly to leave, that you leave for the right reasons.
     

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