What to do next?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Tom Bryant, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    We have a man and wife who lead the worship in our praise and worship service who are very much into natural health and fitness. They believe that we ought to only eat like the Bible Adam and Eve were told in Genesis 1:29, vegetables and the like.

    I have no problem with that part of it. My problem is that they keep mentioning it in worship and use phrases like "This is how God wants all of us to eat."

    I have asked them 2 times to not talk about food in services. I have pointed them to Paul's statement about what we eat neither makes us superior or inferior.

    Well, it happened again this morning.

    I have an idea of what I will do, but before beginning I would like for you to weigh in. Please, I don't care to argue about food.

    The issue is I asked him not to mention it, but he has kept on. What should be my next step?
     
  2. JamieinNH

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    I would try to tell them that people have different food tastes and different understandings of the Bible and what is expected of them.

    Ask them to read Romans 14:2 and see if this helps. Just because someone believes in eating veggies and someone else believes in eating meat, that doesn't make either one of them right or wrong in the eyes of the Lord.

    Jamie
     
  3. Hope of Glory

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    God gave us meat to eat. If they choose not to, for whatever reasons they see fit, that's their business. But, to teach that that's how God wants us to eat is simply the teachings of men, much like teaching against beards, t-shirts, or anything else that men find offensive with no biblical basis.
     
  4. John of Japan

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    If these folks are on the "Hallelujah Diet," and I were the pastor, I would seriously be thinking about church discipline if they did not cease and desist! The reason for this is that this subject has the potential of splitting the church!
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    JoJ, I''m revealing my ignorance for all to see. What is the "Hallelujah Diet" and why might it split churches?
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Tom, it would be helpful to know if you are senior pastor; do you have ultimate responsibility for the worship service; did you recruit this couple or did you inherit them; do you have the authority to remove them?

    If you do have the power to fire, then that is your ultimate weapon. You might want to have a conversation with them along these lines:

    "You know, we have a situation here which can't continue. We have a pastor and the leader of the worship music at odds with each other. We have a music leader who has refused to comply with the wishes of his pastor. A pastor and the staff must not only share the pastor's vision of where he believes the Lord would take this church, but also how it gets there. I'm asking you one more time to stop your sermons on proper eating. If you do not stop I will be forced to remove you from the responsibility. Then I will have to explain to the congregation why I did it. Your friends will be angry. People could choose up sides. The conflict escalates and now we could have some big problems. Do you want to risk splitting this church over this issue? Is harmony between the pastor and the staff less important than getting your way? So which is it going to be?"

    This is not a major issue, but it could become one. You have a staff member who is not on the same page with you, and that's dangerous.
     
  7. Shiloh

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    I would announce that next Sunday we are going to have dinner on the grounds and the church will provide the hamburgs and hot dogs.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    The "Hallelujah Diet" is a vegan diet started by an IFB preacher who then quit preaching to spread the "gospel" of his diet. To be fair, I've not heard of a church being split by it yet, but the way things are set up it could certainly happen and probably has. The guy travels to churches and presents the program in them, and the Bible basis for the diet is so flimsy that in my mind it could easily become a problem.

    The main interpretation that the diet is based on is that Adam and Eve did not eat meat in the Garden of Eden, therefore our bodies do best without it. But this ignores the Fall of Man and the changes in our bodies due to it.

    Here is a quote from the website by Malkus, the founder (I don't know if this particular quote is still there. I accessed it a couple of years ago.):

    "When God created man, He placed him in a garden and told him his diet was to consist of raw fruits and vegetables. On this diet, man lived an average of 912 years without sickness! Following the flood, meat and cooked food were added to man's diet. As a result, sickness entered the human race and man's life span declined from an average of 912 years to 100 years by the time you get to the end of Genesis!”

    Kind of bizarre, to me. Not only are they vegans, they don't even believe in cooking vegetables! Eternal salad? No thanks! :tongue3:

    Bible facts ignored by the diet:

    (1) God ordained meat-eating in the Jewish sacrificial system.
    (2) Jesus miraculaously made bread and fish for thousands of people.
    (3) Jesus and His disciples ate meat at the Last Supper.
    (4) Jesus actually cooked and served fish to His disciples after His resurrection as recorded in John 21.
    (5) In the vision of the sheets in Acts 10, God specifically told Peter that all kinds of meat were clean.
     
    #8 John of Japan, Jun 25, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2006
  9. John of Japan

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  10. Tom Bryant

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Tom - I am the senior pastor. So I am responsible for the service.

    John - Thanks for the links. This is exactly the diet that he and his wife are talking about.

    Shiloh - I would add to the hamburgers, hot dogs, Ham and shell fish for the next dinner on the grounds!

    Most of your respnses are what I had planned to do next. One of the problems with some worship leaders is that they talk too much... Now I'm going to duck all the worship leaders responses:laugh:
     
  11. Paul1611

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    I would have to agree with John. I have heard of churches splitting over some silly things, and this sounds like a silly thing that could grow into a bigger silly thing, and cause some trouble in the church.
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Bro. Tom, I can tell you see this as a larger problem than some fad diet. You have a music leader who does not understand the kindof relationship he needs to have with the pastor.

    I have been a minister of music and/or choir director for 40-plus years now. With every new pastor, I've had the following conversation: "I want you to know that I work for you. Although the church voted to call me, it takes only one vote to get rid of me--yours. You're entitled to have a staff that is on the same page with you, and when you feel it's time for me to go, I'll be gone." On occasion I'll ask him directly, "am I doing what you want done?"

    I also am part of a unique situation--I am the chairman of the deacons as well. Same thing. He doesn't work for me; as a deacon, I work for him.

    We have some differences--I'm reformed, he's not. I'm post-trib, he's pre-trib. It would never occur to me to use his pulpit to promote my views.

    Your music leader is cruisin' for a "come to Jesus meeting."
     
  13. Tom Bryant

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    Bro Tom: You ever have a desire to move down to southwest florida? :laugh:

    Your attitude would make any pastor a better preacher!
     
  14. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Administer Biblical Discipline as outlines in Matthew 18.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  15. thjplgvp

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    I thought as I read this thread that I missed something so I went back and read it all again. Sure enough the pastors the boss, why would you begin church discipline when the pastor has the authority to deal with the situation?

    As a side note you might want to wait on the Lord to open a door of approach especially depending on your music director’s family, friends and connections within the church.

    Also you might want to preach expository through Leviticus and take particular care when teaching on the purposes for the sacrifices especially the blood and the meat as it is offered to and accepted by God. After all Jesus said unless you eat my body and drink my blood… not transubstantiation.
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Well said!:thumbs:
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    Bro. Tom, you are much too kind, and SW Florida is very appealing to me about the middle of January.

    John of Japan, thanks. I may sound hard-nosed about this, but this young (I suspect) music leader is me 30 years ago. What I have learned about the relationship between pastor and staff, and pastor and deacons didn't come at some weekend retreat. It came from my own stupid mistakes, which God used to knock some sense into my head. My pastor was much gentler with me than I deserved.

    At the same time, I learned that a pastor can be too gentle. We all hate conflict and hate confrontations, particularly between Christians, but Bro. Tom, the earlier you become Deputy Fife and "nip it, nip it in the bud," the better it will be.

    There also may be dynamics at work that require great wisdom to deal with this without damaging your working relationship with this staff member. You know your situation better than anybody else. But deal with this quickly.
     
  18. Bob Farnaby

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    Thanks for that question Tom, meant I didn't have to reveal my ignorance ....

    Regards
    Bob
     
  19. Bob Farnaby

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    OK, the obvious, pray about it, talk with him (and her) about it. Then it depends a bit on your church structure. Are they paid staff members? do they do it as volenteers? Do others lead worship? Do you have the power (poor word choice) to select who leads worship? Could you simply stop using them as worship leaders? Does a change need to involve others in your church leadership? Who in your chruch can help you resolve the problem?

    OK, more questions than answers, but I hope it helps, and will pray for you as you seek to resolve the issue.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  20. John of Japan

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    Bob, hopefully the diet hasn't gotten to Australia yet. You have so many good foods there! (We visited in 2002.) And what would you Aussies do without your barby? :thumbs:
     

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