my current church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by CarolinaBaptist, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. CarolinaBaptist

    CarolinaBaptist
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    Up until a year ago my wife and I were members of a traditional Baptist church. Some things began to creep into the church that I was not happy about, such as a 40 days of purpose journey, and more importantly the introduction of an alternative contemporary worship service. The church suffered a split last October and half the congregation, including the pastor, planted a new church. For over a year now I have suffered through one praise band service after another. I am apalled at the casual approach many in our congregation take into a worship service, including dressing as if they were going to the beach instead of to church.Instead of feeling joyful at having worshipped my Lord and Saviour every Sunday, I leave the service irritated and critical. There are many women in the church that feel that it is o.k. for women to fill pastoral and elder/deacon positions in the church, regardless of what the Bible has to say about it. My wife and I have talked many times about this and even though she does not like the music, she is committed to staying because of family pressure-her family has always worshipped together and that is more important to her than some things she might not like about the church. I do not want to raise my children in this type of church, I want them to learn the great hymns of the faith and have a reverent attitude towards worship, which I do not feel they can get at this church. Part of me feels that I am compromising my convictions by staying and the other part of me feels that I should keep the family together on Sunday mornings. I have been praying about this matter constantly and would appreciate any advice or counsel any of you could give in this matter.
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    You are in between a rock and a hard place. I will pray for you. I have no advice to give.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. JamieinNH

    JamieinNH
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    Hello CarolinaBaptist,

    First of all, it's good to see people from my neck of the woods. I live in Manchester now, but am from North Carolina.

    As far as your concerns, I would say that some of your concerns sound valid to a point. What I mean is, if you're not getting what you need from the church, and if you think it would pull you away from Christ, then I would say go find another church.

    Now, that is not to say to "give up on them" easily. Express your concerns with the pastor. Pray to see why you have those concerns in the first place.

    I know my church back home, where my parents still go, is a "normal" small (120-130) people, and they do the routine stuff each Sunday. They have just started to focus on some facts that is hitting them, the average age for the members is 60. There are no youth in the church, and no "middle aged families" in the church. A natural progression will be that this church will dry up if they don't change.

    Now, my current church, also a SBC Baptist shurch here in Manchester, NH has a great following. They have a great mix of age groups from old old to babies. Single people, and families. It's a great job to go worship there.

    They also have done the 40 days of purpose. They have a flute, and guitar and on some songs, drums that accompany the music we sing. We start at 9:00am for Sunday School, and then at 10:15 we start a music period and sing song after song rejoicing to the Lord, and then at 11:00ish the sermons starts. It's nothing like my parents church, and yet I get so much from it.

    I just went home to visit my parents and went to church with them on Sunday, and honestly, I was looking at my clock. It's sad to say, but the music was nice, but it didn't fire up my spirit. The sermon was a good one, but I just didn't feel fired up ready to listen and receive what was going to be said.

    Some of your points are not valid I feel. There have been discussion about dress code at churches, and as of yet, I can't see in the Bible where there is a dress code. That is not to say we should wear our worst to church, but it certainly doesn't say in the Bible to wear our "Sunday best".

    So, trust me, I come from both worlds, a "simple" church and a "modern" church. I feel that the church has to change with the times. You as a member have to decide to change with it, help move it in the direction you think it should go, or move churches.

    I feel leaving with the family in disagreement would be a bad thing. That just asks for friction. I believe you're doing a good thing by staying to hold your family together. If it's not a fit for you and your family, the Lord will guide you away from this church.

    You said the church split, what happened to the other half that you didn't follow at the time of the split? How are they doing? Have you been to that church? Did you like it?

    I guess the bottom line is you have to trust in the Lord that he will guide you to the church you need to be at. Also, remember that just because we didn't grow up with it in our church, doesn't mean it shouldn't be in today's church.


    Jamie
     
  4. mhoward1999

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    I am in a similar boat. My husband and I have been attending this church for almost two years. I am trying to be the submissive wife, but it goes against everything in my human nature. (I am very much a type A. I like for things to be organized and planned out. My husband has been described as passive-aggressive. He is really laid back and a go with the flow, what happens, happens kind of guy. I don‘t like to be the boss, but I will take charge when I feel no one else is. I‘m afraid that is what happens all too often on our home. My husband is content to let me do that, but I don‘t want to be a controlling wife. I want HIM to be the leader in our home.) I read the book, Created to be His Help Meet, by Debi Pearl, (Which, by the way, is excellent. I agree with ALMOST everything in there...) and one of the concepts Debi teaches is that you should never talk in a bad way about the people in your church, especially the people in leadership, to your husband. (Her premise is that it will tear him down spiritually.) Ours is a very small church, probably about 30 to 40 people that attend. We do not have a pianist or organist,(or anyone who plays an instrument) so everything is sang to a CD. The song leader doesn't bother to learn the CDs, so the music portion of the service is usually a bust. That's one of the most important aspects of worship, in my opinion. They play the same two praise choruses every week. At first I liked the praises, but now I just feel like rolling my eyes. When something is done so repetitively and thoughtlessly, it becomes meaningless. Everything is very disorganized and chaotic. Half of the bulletin is the prayer requests. Some of which have remained unchanged for the entire time we have been there. There are ALWAYS mistakes in grammar and spelling in the bulletin. There is an older woman in the church that is constantly speaking out during the service. She doesn't care if it's time for announcements, the middle of singing, or the middle of the sermon. If something pops into her mind and she wants to say it, she does. To my knowledge she has never been reprimanded for this. Our pastor is a really nice man, but he is very quiet. I have no problems with him theologically, but he honestly isn't a good pastor or preacher. He is bi-vocational and works full time. I understand that he doesn't have time to keep up with the needs of his flock. There have been times that I have been in the hospital (or like, when my mother died- someone came over two weeks later) that not a soul in the entire church has called or come by. The pastor’s sermons are mediocre. You literally have to strain to hear what he is saying. He speaks so softly. We do have a sound system with microphones. He openly admits that he doesn't know what he is going to say when he steps to the pulpit. A prideful display of lack of preparation. The last straw for me is that they cancelled services on Christmas Day. I was shocked and appalled. I had a meltdown about 3 or 4 weeks ago while getting ready for church. It was one of those days where Satan was working hard to defeat our family, and he almost won. I was sitting on the toilet and rocking back and forth, sobbing. I broke down and told my husband how I felt. I do not feel that I can worship in that atmosphere. I want to go to a church where things are done decently, and in order. Where things are peaceful, and the sanctuary is treated with the respect due God's house. I said that I had no right to complain about anyone there, because I was no better for having a critical spirit. I do believe that what you get out of church is a direct result of what you put into it. I leave every service angry and more bitter with each passing week. That meltdown is the only time I have shared with my husband what I feel. He seems to have taken it as a hormonal meltdown and has not taken it seriously. He believes everything is back to normal. This is the church he was saved in 12 years ago. He attended there for about 3 years, and then moved on. We have been married for 6 years... I would love to hear any and all advice about what I should do (or not do).
     
  5. I'm4Given

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    Brother in Carolina, Pray for God's wisdom to take your family in the right direction and then as Head of Your Household, "Lead Your Family."

    Respectfully,

    John

    [ December 29, 2005, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: I'm4Given ]
     
  6. BruceB

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    Carolina Baptist, perhaps you could convince your wife to just try another church for a few Sundays in order to meet your needs (as opposed to meeting her families needs). I think you and your wife would find it a blessing. My daughter lives in Columbia and attends USC and attends Shandon Baptist Church (just off I-77 and near Ft. Jackson). I have been several times while visiting and they have a great (but big) church. Their youth ministries are wonderful, my daughter will leave here a day early to get back for Sunday School and Worship at Shandon. They do offer several services (traditional, contemporay, early). I have attended the traditional and found REV Dick Lincoln to be a terrific preacher of God's Word. Bruce
     
  7. mhoward1999

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    Jamie,
    I have to say, I strongly disagree with this statement. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God's word does not change.

    Now, that said, I know that nothing I view as "traditional" worship would have been viewed as traditional even 300 years ago. I would love to attend a church that followed the Biblical standards for a church as far as outlining what worship is pleasing to God. Songs would be taken directly from scripture, etc. I would even like to attend church where they build the sanctuary to meet the directions for building the temple in the Old Testament. Not being lagalistic. Really. I don't believe that is what God requires, but I think it would be excellent to experience it.
     
  8. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    People generally view their "preferences" as being Biblical.
     
  9. JamieinNH

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    Jamie,
    I have to say, I strongly disagree with this statement. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God's word does not change.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Well In that aspect you are correct, maybe I was misunderstood or didn't correctly set my point, I didn't mean that Jesus has or will change, nor the message we are to give &lt;Life through Christ, Study the Bible, and Spread his Word&gt;, however the method of delivery is what I was talking about.

    Just like many examples where we have made head way, Phone vers Paul Revier, Books vers scrolls, many "modern" things. Improvements. So my statement was to say that the method sometimes needed to change, not the "basis of the religion".


    I also would like to see that, visit that, but worship there every Sunday? No.

    Jamie
     
  10. PastorSBC1303

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    Carolina, you said you have been praying about this? What do you feel the Lord is laying on your heart to do?

    Once you have the answer to that question, then you need to follow the Lord. But make sure you are following the Lord and not your own personal will. You must find a way to seperate what you
    "want" from what the Lord is leading you to do.
     
  11. mhoward1999

    mhoward1999
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    Jamie, Thank you so much for the clarification. I see what you mean, now. -and agree.
     
  12. CarolinaBaptist

    CarolinaBaptist
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    Jamie,

    I appreciate your advice. One clarfiication from me is in order. Even though there is no "scriptural mode of dress" given in the Bible, I do believe there is the issue of reverence and respect involved. I believe we are to give our best to the Lord when we go and worship Him and tend to believe the way we dress(whatever our best may be) reflects our attitude. Would we go to dinner with the President of the United States dressed as if we just rolled out of bed? Of course not, and neither should we approach the God of the universe in this manner.

    Oh, and the other half of the church split remained and the congregation is mostly elderly with very few younger people. Basically, a small group of deacons wanted to make all of the decisions for the church and the pastor called them to the carpet.
     
  13. CarolinaBaptist

    CarolinaBaptist
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    Pastor,

    I pray about this daily and am patiently waiting for the answer. And while I am waiting, who better to talk with about the matter than my brothers and sisters in Christ.
     
  14. mhoward1999

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    Thank you for putting that so eloquently. I often say, "How you dress shows how you feel about where you are going." to explain my opinion about those who dress so casually and even immodestly for church. I like your explanation better!

    [ December 29, 2005, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: mhoward1999 ]
     
  15. PastorSBC1303

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    Thats great, and I commend you for doing that.

    I was not doubting you. But I have found in my ministry that many people seek advice on situations that they do not ever really take to the Lord in earnest prayer.

    Keep up the praying and I am sure the Lord will lead you in the right way.
     
  16. ccrobinson

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    CarolinaBaptist, I don't envy your position. I'm sure your struggle right now is determining what is your preference and what God's will is. You're trying to make sure that what you want is what God wants. I would advise you to get to a place where you are completely neutral about it and you're willing to either leave or stay and be content with that decision. Once you're in that position, you'll be able to know what God is telling you to do and have that decision be free from your own personal bias.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. mhoward1999

    mhoward1999
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    ccrobinson, That's quite a tall order. How do you achieve getting to a place where you are neutral about it when things are so bad? just pray for God to change your heart?
     
  18. CarolinaBaptist

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    ccrobinson,

    My main motivation here is to walk as the Lord leads me. Some things that I know about myself-I am old-fashioned, traditional, and very convicted about what I believe is and is not appropriate in a worship service. I have a tendency to be critical and have to rein this in on a daily basis. One thing I cannot be, however, is neutral.
     
  19. JamieinNH

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    I think we're together on this issue. Since I don't know the people in your church, and I didn't know you and your thoughts I just wanted to put out there that some people's "best" isn't what others would be called "best".

    We had a conversation about this on this board not long ago, and some people felt that you must wear a suit, and others like myself feel you must be clean and presentable. [​IMG] (Although I do wear a suit, I like wearing suits.)

    So, with your comments, I tend to agree with you, that you should be clean and wear what best is in your means.


    It's sad to see a church split over trouble, and not split because of planting another church. It does seem you went with the better of the two as you have told it.

    I wish you the best, and will pray for the Lord to help you on your path.

    Jamie
     
  20. IveyLeaguer

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    CarolinaBaptist,

    God Bless You. I can feel the weight of the problem and I am already praying for you.

    First, you are not alone, many thousands of others have experienced the same in recent years. It is, however, important to understand that in Purpose-Driven you are dealing with a very complex, but efficient system that relatively few people understand.

    The music and the 'no big deal' dress code are just two characteristics of something much broader - the loss of the fear and reverence of God and the destruction of time-tested traditions. It's not so much the music or dress in themselves, though those are issues, but the role they play in the greater thing - the breakdown of the fear of God and the "trembling" at His Word. This is a known result of most Purpose-Driven system churches and other Seeker churches around the country that for the most part present only one side of God's character (often blended with cultural influences) in order to attract large numbers of people.

    The reason for much of your irritation and the churning resistance you must feel in your spirit is you have witnessed, and are witnessing, the transformation of your church from a basis of "God-centered" to "human-centered". There's much more to it, of course, but somehow I suspect this idea will ring a bell with you.

    Unfortunately, most Christians in your situation who have used the proper channels and biblical evidence to express their concerns to church leadership have failed and it's likely you would fail, too. In 3 years, I have yet to hear of a single case where the church actually turned around. The prospect of success is just too powerful. In many cases, the Pastor is committed and few outside of senior staff understand what's going on. So that's probably not a good option for you, but God could lead you to try anyway. If so, He has His reasons.

    As others have said you should keep the matter before God as you are doing. As your brother I would add that staying in a church where you do not want your children to be in order to please your wife is not the right way to go. I would suggest you investigate the claims I have made here. You will be better able to make a decision and better armed for the inevitable warfare that is coming regardless of what you do. If God leads you that way, I will be glad to help you and point you toward some reliable information - just email me.

    I suppose it's possible that God could want you to stay there, for reasons He knows, but that direction would have to be VERY CLEAR, I would think, since you are responsible for the spiritual health of your family. One thing: if your church strictly follows the Purpose-Driven model and you insist on steadfastly holding to the scriptures and/or refuse to go along with the 'consensus' you will be labeled as a resister, someone who is unwilling to go along and do what's best for the group (God's will). Most resisters are asked to leave and there have been cases where longstanding members who refuse to compromise have been thrown out. Rick Warren calls them "blessed subtractions".

    Unlike some others who have discerned the Purpose-Driven Movement, I do not believe it is a fad that will soon die out. I believe it has legs and is not yet close to its pinnacle. So this is a critical junction for you and your family. May God bless you with wisdom and grace in this matter.

    Godspeed, Brother.
     

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