Need advice....confused about something my pastor shared with my husband and I....

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by doodlebug, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. doodlebug

    doodlebug
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    Our church has had a lot of serious problems in the last two years, the last being embezzlement. I finally thought we were getting somewhere, but all of the sudden, one of our friends who is our children's teacher for training union, is being singled out. This man has verbally told members of our church, including us, that he doesn't not support our pastor, and wants our pastor to leave. We told him we didn't agree with him, and chose never to discuss the issue again. This issue does not interfere with his teachings of our children. However, a particular group or clique in our church has singled this man out. One man in this clique came right out in the last business meeting and made it clear he has an open aught with this teacher. Our pastor's children are part of this clique, and one has made it known he has issues with this teacher too. So, I asked the pastor if I could meet with him last night along with my husband. I told him that we are being put in the middle of this situation, and now we feel we are going to be forced to choose sides. While we feel it's important for this teacher to support our pastor, we do not feel that the situation that is building is warranted. We feel that people are taking on others' aughts. Our pastor basically said that he is going to this teacher, and if the teacher refuses to work with him, and says he doesn't support him, he will ask the church to remove this man from his position. This will most definitely cause a split in the church. There are already sides because of the clique and their actions and beliefs. The main problem with our church is that we are SB, but our pastor, his family, and several members of this clique are all IFB. This is making a huge rift between the two groups. The IFB people at our church are very outspoken, bold, but also very rude. They don't think about other people's feelings, and they aren't even following what the Bible says. The SB people at our church are laid back, traditional, but very stubborn and think their way is the only way (they hate change!). Our pastor basically told us that if the church refuses to remove this man from his position, he will choose to leave. When I asked what exactly was the problem besides the fact that the teacher is verbally outspoken about not supporting the pastor, he replied that his grandchildren were supposed to be moving to that class, and he felt that they "would not come back alive". I believe our pastor has built a personal aught based on gossip and other rumors from this clique. His son is making open comments about the teacher leaving, or about fighting to get the teacher to leave. I'm confused. There have been a lot of other members of our church in positions (higher than a teacher, like deacon, ss director, etc), who have verbally attacked our pastor in person and in private, and they have never been removed. I feel that this is personal, and I don't know how to handle it. My husband and I are working very hard to build the youth ministry, and our pastor told us that if he leaves, the only thing that will happen is that "our fruits will be spoiled" by the people who support this teacher. He warned us that everything we are working towards is going to collapse if he leaves. I cannot be forced into making a choice between the two. I believe my pastor is a man of God, but I also believe he is allowing his children and their friends to influence his actions. Leaving the church is not an option at this point, as my husband does not believe God is calling us away yet. Any scripture or advice on how to handle this? I don't want these people to have power over me or my husband because of our positions or ministries. We just want to serve God and give 110%. We want to see souls saved. We want to be fruitful. Why does all of this stuff keep happening??
    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. Humblesmith

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    It keeps happening because we are all sinners, and we're surrounded by sinners. I, too, have been in the midst of church squabbles, and it is very painful thing.

    When all is said and done, if you don't want to leave, then my suggestion is to 1) realize what things you have control over, and what things you do not, 2) bathe everything in prayer, and 3) do the best job you can in your area of responsibility.

    I know this is very difficult, but if you're going to stay, then you simply cannot control what others are doing. If they fight and leave, then ultimately you can't stop them. There's really not much you can do, except not make it worse. When others bring up the problem, politely stop the conversation. Focus on the work, not the controversy. Do your best to do good work for the Lord, and keep your focus on the ministry, not the other ministry workers.
     
  3. mrossh

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    Doodlebug -

    The situation in your church is a sad one indeed. Over the last few years I have come to find out that pastors, and Christians alike don't generally handle conflicts Biblically or spiritually. They seem to have not been taught nor grasped the truth found inherent in Matthew 18 on how to deal with these type's of conflicting situations.

    May God grant you and yours strength and wisdom to deal with the situation your in.

    pastor ross
     
  4. TexasSky

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    Where is your deacon body?
    Someone, preferably the deacons, should sit both the teacher and the Pastor down and tell them that this stays out of the Sunday School class, and out of the pulpit, or they both need to leave.

    If they are divided over an issue, ~NOT~ the people involved, to the church.

    Settle it as a body of believers.
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    1.) Church conflict such as this rarely brings glory to God.

    2.) If the man cannot support the pastor, right or wrong, he needs to leave.

    3.) If the pastor does what the Bible says, and the man doesn't cooperate, and the church, knowing the pastor is doing what the Bible says, doesn't support the pastor, the pastor needs to leave because the church is not supportive of him, and what possible else can he do as pastor?

    4.) Prayer needs to be bathing everything.

    5.) As for me and my house, I would have to pray and see how it pans out.
     
  6. bapmom

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    doodle,

    be careful of making judgements such as there being others in the church who said bad things about the pastor and nothing was done to them. Basically, you really don't know that. The pastor very well could have spoken to them in private, they saw the error of their ways, and all was resolved quietly.
    This Sunday School teacher is obviously a different matter as he is keeping up with this attack on different fronts. He went to you and you guys shut him down, as you should have. But then he would have gone to others, and there are always people willing to take sides in an argument.

    Personally, from what you've said, Id not want my kids in that Sunday School teacher's class either. A church does not need someone who is willing to go around talking about the pastor like that, and ESPECIALLY not in a teaching position.
    To me, this is a major problem in "deacon-run" churches, when the pastor has to go get "permission" from them to do things. He ought to be able to have more direct control over such things as who is teaching in his church. He is the leader, not just the guy up there "yelling" at you every Sunday. [​IMG]

    Let me add, several times in your other post about your church you mentioned that you are afraid your pastor is willing to be led around by others. Id say the opposite is true of your pastor. He is frustrated exactly because he does not see church government the same way many in his church do. As an IFB he sees the pastoral position as one of leadership, a HUGE responsibility and not one to be taken lightly. He will be held responsible by God for the things that go on under his ministry, and if he is not able to actually lead because of the stubbornness of the people, than this will lead to great MAJOR frustration.

    Keep praying for him. And be prepared to do the right thing if a split is inevitable.
     
  7. PastorSBC1303

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    I find this hard to believe....every aspect of life, whether we realize it or not, impacts the teaching ministry.

    I personally would not have my children in this man's class.
     
  8. donnA

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    Seems neither wants to be biblical over their problems.
    I agree with the others, prayer, lots of prayer. Your church needs to get together for prayer no matter which side someone is on.
    Then everyone needs to learn they are o the Lord's side and these two need to straighten up.
    Seems they are making this a public thing then yea the deacons need to speak to both of them as they are disrupting the church. But I would think speak to them seperately at first, then try and bring them together to speak, and hopefully get something settled.
    If this man continues to do this to that pastor and his complaints are in reality unwarranted then yes he needs to leave. If on the other hand there really is a true complaint about the pastor(even if you don't know what it is right now) then it needs to be settled with the church.
    If this church continues with the we and they then your church is going to be pulled apart and along the way you will not be fruitful for Christ. Something has to give on this. Godly men wanting to serve the Lord with humbleness would want this settled even if one has to back down, and act as if he was wrong.
    Sems there needs to be a lot prayer and repenting and not just the two men.
    Al in all satan is having a hay day there and being allowed to.
     
  9. TexasSky

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    I have to agree with PastorSBC.

    Even if your Pastor is wrong - telling a Sunday School class of children that is the wrong way for an adult to behave. How can the children fix it?

    It is spreading gossip.
     
  10. doodlebug

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    Thank you so much for your help!

    Bapmom, I do know that people have done some horrible things to our pastor, as I and much of our congregation have witnessed it. Most of what I am speaking about are open verbal attacks (usually on the front porch of the church). Our pastor has shared with us a few situations, usually when he has to change something that involves our ministries because someone has "voiced concerns". And, more than once he has mentioned that our head deacon holds the pulse of the church...and he is very cautious about offending the head deacon. You see, our pastor lives in the church parsonage, with his wife, grown son, son's wife, and two grandbabys. The pastor said that he is afraid that if he offends someone or handles something in the wrong way, he would be out of a job, out of a house, and would lose the church family also. The head deacon holds a lot of weight where the pastor's job is concerned. If you read my other post about the embezzlement, the head deacon's sister-in-law was the one who stole. She lied to the church, and has never been held accountable by anyone. They paid back a small amount of money of which we had proof that she stole, however, she had this job for over 7 years. The head deacon refused to audit her further than 4 months. The pastor simply said that the head deacon "handled" the problem. There are people in our church who still do not know the entire truth. Our pastor has even shared with us that his own two deacons don't support him like they should. The visitation program isn't run by a deacon, as a matter of fact, they don't even participate! Talk about a lack of support....there are many people in our church who openly do not "support" our pastor in the ways they should. Our head deacon told me and my husband that he's been a deacon for 30 years in that church, and they have never enforced Matthew 18 (even though it's in the church's bylaws!). He and the other deacon refused to be our witnesses in the second step with several other families. They said they would pray about the situation, but nothing happened after that. Our pastor said there are others in the church who don't believe in enforcing Matthew 18 either.

    My husband went on visitation tonight, and had an opportunity to speak with the pastor. Our church only has two deacons and neither of them agree, so it always ends up in a tie. Our pastor realized this. He admitted to my husband that he shouldn't have said some of the things he said to us. The biggest problem at this point is the differences between IFB and SB. Our pastor has always been the leader in previous churches, and never had to get approval from the deacons. In our church, people are very traditional, stuck in their ways, and the deacons have always had a big say in all decisions. There is a big divide in our church, and people are threatening to leave, and our pastor is caught between two major groups. The divide starts with the pastor and deacons and splits all the way down through the congregation. There are some people who don't want to be on a side (like us) but are constantly being asked to choose. I refuse to choose a side. We are supposed to be a family! My husband and I have been trying to get people to join us at the altar to pray for our church, but no one seems to care!
    An example of more problems -- We have a revival coming up, and our pastor chose the speaker. A large portion of a particular group told the pastor they would boycott the revival because they aren't happy with the speaker. These are supposed to be our church's "mature" christians. Instead of our pastor standing his ground, he is going to allow the deacons to "help" him with choosing a new speaker. Our pastor stood in the pulpit a week ago and said that he truly believes that the original speaker is who God wants us to have. I say, if someone doesn't want to come, then don't come. They are the one who will miss out on God's blessings!!
    Our church needs some serious prayers. Please remember me and my husband and that we will keep our eyes on God, and remember the reason why we are staying, why we are working, and that we will trust God to protect the fruit we bear unless it's his will otherwise. Thank you.
     
  11. Roguelet

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    I hate to say it but from what you have said there is no solution other than a mircle for this church to stay together.

    It would seem impossible to have a healthy church when you have a Pastor who believes differently than his decons and visa versa. He is a IFB and they are SB. then you have those who want to follow the Pastor and those who want to follow the decons. A split seems inevitable :(

    I and i am sure others will be praying for your situation, but be prepared for the worse. Church spilts are very sad and distructive and I know they must grieve Gods heart so :(
     
  12. bapmom

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    I agree with Roguelet on this.

    But doodlebug, is your church actually an SB church? or is it independent? Pastor may have to just stand up and tell the people which way things will now be heading in the church. It could lead to a split, but it could also lead to lots of people sitting up and realizing whats really going on.

    I really see almost no solution except for a "reorganization" of the church entirely.
     
  13. Thankful

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    I know that you don't want to go through a church split and I am not sure how large your church is. You may have said and I missed it.

    I cannot understand a Southern Baptist Church employing an IFB pastor. From my observation, this would be the problem.

    However, a church split is not always bad.

    IN 1963, 100 members from the First Baptist Church in my town left to establish another church. Today, that church is as large as the First Baptist Church. Both churches are a blessing to this community. They eacg have two morning worship services and many outreach programs for the community.

    Our Lord is Good. He knew how this community was going to grow.
     
  14. Me4Him

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    Mt 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

    24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

    Seems to me, both Pastor/Teacher needs to work out their problem between "THEMSELVES", and leave it out of the church,

    but if one isn't satisfied, then bring it before the "DEACONS", if they can't satisfy both parties, the let the church "VOTE" on it, however the vote turns out, is how it will be, "right/wrong".

    Mt 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: (Themselves) if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

    16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses (deacons) every word may be established.

    17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: (vote) but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    The "CHURCH'S WELFARE" has priority over any "Personal welfare", and where the church welfare is not given priority, that person is "WRONG".

    Mt 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

    22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
     
  15. doodlebug

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    Thank you for all your responses. The problem is that there are church members who don't support Matthew 18 including our head deacon. They believe in following the first two steps, but not the last step of bringing the matter before the church. The pastor and deacons have actually refused to be witnesses for my husband and I on more than one occasion. The pastor says that he believes in what the Bible says, but felt that no part of Matthew 18 would work with the three families who have had issues with us. Basically, in the past, any issues we've had, we've had to turn over to God and there are families who haven't spoke to us in more than a year (we have never received an explanation why).
    I am very concerned for our pastor, and he has admitted to my husband that he has been listening far too much to others lately. He also has a problem with women in our church. He implied to my husband that I don't know my place, and that I am keeping my husband from being a deacon. I am good enough to be a teacher, girl's youth leader, secretary, etc, but not "right" to be a deacon's wife. I'm tired of trying to please everyone while doing work for God. I just want to serve God, and not all of these people in the church!
    I don't think there is anything else we can do except keep our distance from this mess, not choose sides, and pray, pray, pray.
    God is still on the throne, and I know that he will step in...in His time. Thanks again for your help.
     
  16. gb93433

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    That tell you all about its belief in scripture and trust in God. I know exactly what I would do with a church that doesn't believe scripture.

    What a thing for a disobedient pastor to tell someone they are keeping their husband from the disobedient deacon board. That is where my association would stop.
     
  17. bapmom

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    doodle,

    don't read too much into what your pastor said about you as your husband's wife. I have not mentioned my thoughts in this area since none of your issues have really pertained to it, but I have noticed things you've said, like YOU asked the pastor to meet with YOU and your husband.....
    Personally? Id say that was overstepping your bounds as the wife.

    This leaves an impression in a pastor's mind, whether inaccurate or not I could not say, not knowing you extremely well. You seem to be the more outspoken of the two, between you and your husband. Of course, that does not mean that you do not allow your hubby to be the head of your household, and Im not implying such. Just pointing out that perhaps in your zeal over these problems in the church, you have given your pastor a wrong impression as to what kind of lady you are.

    Let me reiterate, I know that these things going on in your church are really, truly bothering you.....and frankly, I agree with you. I think they SHOULD bother you, and I understand you are only trying to solve them. Your instincts about not choosing sides, I think are pretty good, as long as you support your pastor, which you said you do. Keep praying, but try not to be so outspoken in this.....especially when talking to the men.
    We ladies don't like to hear it, but its not our place to put the men of our church "in their place." But when things like this are going on and the men seem to be stymied, its so hard just to sit! I know! I can be pretty outspoken too, so I say this to you from the perspective of one who also does not like to hear it! [​IMG]

    Please don't be offended by what Ive written. I say this with no mean-spiritedness or ill-will intended. Just don't think that your pastor thinks of you as a "second-class citizen"....because I really don't think thats what he meant.

    Remember too, he's under a lot of pressure.
     
  18. SeriousOne

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    Unfortunately sounds like a lot of sour grapes. Whether we like it or not GOD has established the authority structure of the local church and the "elders" or "deacons" (as in the case with some Baptist Churches) have been placed in their positions by GOD (through human means.) If everyone would follow Matthew 18 (its a matter of obedience to the Word of GOD) we would have peace in our churches, but too often we are guilty of the sin of gossiping which will tear down any church. Seems to me that the best thing to do is stop all the gossiping and distance ourselves from anyone who will gossip. If one person allows GOD to change their heart and then makes it a priority to pray for the body of Christ and "think on that which is pure, and lovely, and of good report" [para.] it is a step in the right direction. I know full well, too many women don't know their place--I am a woman and I have learned that I have been guilty of talking to others when I should have only been talking to GOD and my husband. GOD is bigger than any problem and if everyone involved commits to humbling themselves before GOD and praying for others, HE is able to change even the most stubborn heart and if HE doesn't for the time being we are still better off if we are silent and obedient no matter what others may choose to do.
     
  19. Bible-boy

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    If the Sunday School teacher has a charge against the pastor (elder) the Bible is clear on how to handle it.
    So if the Sunday School teacher along with another witness or two have a charge against the pastor regarding some unrepentant sin in his life, or a charge that he teaches false doctrine, it should be heard before the church body according to Matthew 18:15-20. I can not see from the Scriptures where anything other than charges of unrepentant sin or teaching false doctrine can be leveled against a pastor (elder).

    If no one else besides the teacher can (or will) be a witness against the pastor regarding unrepentant sin or teaching false doctrine, then the issue should be dropped. If the teacher refuses to obey the Scripture and discontinue his accusations (or trouble making) he should be dealt with according to Matthew 18:15-20.

    Remember that each and every step of church discipline in Matthew 18:15-20 is designed to restore right relationship between sinning brothers and sisters, God, and the church body. The ultimate goal is reconciliation and restoration. Likewise, the final step of Matthew 18:17 where you would not allow the unrepentant brother or sister to take communion and treat them as "Gentile and a tax collector" (treat them as an unbeliever) is not the end of the situation. If church discipline goes to that point you and the church still have a responsibility to witness to the unbeliever, to win them to Christ, and to reconcile and restore the broken relationships.

    If I were in a church that refused to follow the teaching of Scripture regarding Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Timothy 5:19 it would pretty much signal to me that it was time for me to find a new place of worship.
     

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