When to change churches?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by webdog, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. webdog

    webdog
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    I have been struggling with this lately. The church I have been at for 5 years has recently been doing some things I have issues with. First, when I first started attending, small groups were the backbone of the church. Serving was also highly stressed. Our pastor left, and with the new pastor came changes (even though we are an elder led church with 4 elders).

    First came our churches promotion of Cursillo type movements, Koinonia and Kairos being the two. I have serious issues with this, addressed the elders, met with them...and came away that my concerns were not valid, and I should "try it" before I condemn it. I'm not into para-church movements, as I feel they are heavy into new age.

    Next came a few teen pregnancies in our church. I know that this cannot be put onto the church, but it is concerning none the less.

    Next, our church has de-emphasized small groups. We used to start in Sept and run through May...now we start in mid Jan and run through mid May. This has happend because we started a Sunday evening whole church study format, which is fine...but I would have rather added that to the small group format we currently had. I can't see removing one discipleship tool in favor of another one that was garnering results.

    The whole church Sunday study is on Henry Blackaby's book Experiencing God...which raised red flags due to some of the content about God revealing things to us through experience and circumstances and not necessarily His Word. It seems like we are moving into an "experiencing", "feeling" type direction that I am not real comfortable with.

    What suggestions do you have?
     
    #1 webdog, Sep 23, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2009
  2. Revmitchell

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    I do not see anything based on what you have said that would cause me to move. But it may get my attention.
     
  3. Trotter

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    I know you have discussed some of this with the elders, but have you discussed it with God? He will be the One to let you know if you need to leave. I have left churches of my own accord when God wasn't telling me to leave and the results were not good, but when I have followed His leading it has always been for the very best.

    I will help you pray about this.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    I don't know about the small group names you mentioned, but Blackaby is not quite as "out there" as you seem to think he is. So I would agree with RevMitchell about this not being a biggie.

    But, if you don't have any real peace about the direction of the church and have brought your concerns to the elders, then you ought to leave.
     
  5. webdog

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    I don't think I said Blackaby was "out there", but there is evidence from his book he believes in further revelation beyond God's Word. He also puts circumstances on par with God's Word.
     
  6. webdog

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    Would you support the Cursillo movement in your church, just curious.
     
  7. Zenas

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    Webdog, it may be that you prefered church under your former pastor but that in and of itself is no reason you should leave. However, if there is another place where you believe you can be more effective it would be all right to leave. Joining a church is not like a marriage. You are free to leave any time you want to. I just don't see anything that should compel you to leave.

    As for Blackaby, I have been through Experiencing God twice and it is nothing at all like the Cursillo movement. It is totally scripturally based and, if you pay attention to what is being taught, your faith will increase. It is true that Blackaby tells us to be sensitive to circumstances to ascertain God's will. He also tells us to use prayer, the Bible and the Church. This is just common sense. You can't know from reading the Bible whether to start a prayer group in your home, to go on a mission trip to Brazil, to teach a particular Sunday School class or to do anything else that God calls people to do. And the only person I know of who claims to have had an audible conversation with God is Oral Roberts. So we have to be sensitive to what is happening around us, and factor it in with prayer and scripture if we are to know God's will for us at a particular time and place.
     
  8. webdog

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    Zenas, it has nothing to do with preferring church under my former pastor. It is the new focus on emotion, experience and circumstances that is making me uncomfortable, not to mention removing discipleship avenues that many have benefited from.
     
  9. TomVols

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    There are definitely changes going on in your church. However, I wouldn't put these under the punt category. Different format for Sun nite, diff format for the small groups. These are not deal killers.

    That said, I share some of the same reservations about Blackaby's study you do. He has adamantly denied these charges, yet the proof is right there. At this point, I don't know that I'd bolt. However, if down the road the church starts going into a "This is what God told me" and "God said to do _________" kind of mysticism, then that's different. You're certainly under no obligation to take the Blackaby study if you don't want, right?
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    I wouldn't allow it but your post was vague. What exactly has been going on that you would label this way?
     
  11. FlyForFun

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    I agree.

    Churches run into real problems when they start focusing on studies of books that are sorta about the Bible and God -- maybe.

    How about making use of every precious moment and avoid being roped in by The Next Big Deal?
     
  12. webdog

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    Our pastor is a former RC. He attended a Cursillo as a teen in the catholic church, and said it changed his life. He was saved in his early 20's, and was called to be a pastor. The Cursillo is a big part of what he does, and he introduced it to our church, to the point where members are being asked secretly to "candidate" (as long as there is no trials going on in your life...wouldn't want to take away from all of the love that is experienced on the weekend). I researched what Koinonia, Cursillo, Walk to Emmaus, etc. was all about and became alarmed that we were openly supporting it and encouraging our members to do this.
     
  13. Allan

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    Actaully brother, not only have read and done some of his workbooks and put it along side scripture, but I have personally met with, and had a few good and rather extended conversations with him. Not that this matters much, but trust me when I say that Mr. Blackaby does NOT believe in further revelation beyond God's word. He stresses that we use Gods word to 'validate' or 'invalidate' any experiences we may or may not have.

    He goes into a place that many other pastors don't necessarily disagree with but due to the relitive ease of it being taken to far, do not go there very often, if at all. That place deals with our experiences throughout life and everyday walk with the Lord. Not using them as the primary focal point but as something not to dismiss completely either.

    I personally would set a time to discuss indepth some of your reservations about some of the studies and direction the church seems to be taking. However not just with the pastor but one or more of the elders. Tell them what you are telling us, have verifiable points that cause you concern, and let them know this isn't so much about change as it is about understanding 'why' they are going this route.
    But that is me brother, I'm somewhat confrontational like that. :smilewinkgrin:
     
    #13 Allan, Sep 24, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2009
  14. Revmitchell

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    What form is the secret candidating taking?
     
  15. MNJacob

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    I was curious about how the crucillo connection was made to a Baptist Church.

    Crucillo, Tres Dias, and Walk to Emmaeus are basically the same thing. They are an outgrowth of a Charismatic Catholic discipleship program that dates back to shortly after WWII.

    They have almost identical programs, meditations and schedules. I have attended a Tres Dias weekend and considered it a tremendous experience. I will say this, if you are strongly cessationist in your view of spiritual sign gifts, this would be a real challenge to your paradigms. But, not withstanding that, they can be a tremendous aid to the development of an individuals discipleship.

    I personally am a huge fan of "Experiencing God". I don't believe that Blackaby or the materials in the program would ever violate the spirit of "sola scriptura".
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    Webby if what he says is true I would have to agree it may be time to leave.
     
  17. webdog

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    It is not advertised to the church...but someone who has been on the weekend excursion approaches someone who he thinks may fit the mold of a "candidate" (life is going good...no deaths in the family, no layoffs, etc.). One of our newer elders approached me about it, and red flags went up when he said "It's not a cult or anything". That made me do some digging, and what MNJacob has said is true, it was started by someone in the RC who was married to a Presby. The wanted a way for everyone to fellowship together. This is too ecumenical for my liking.

    Allan, I appreciate the post, but there are definitely some things in the book that allude to personal circumstances being on par with the Word. Some things do not sit right with me.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    The behavior is quite troubling. Since you have brought it to the elders and the Pastor the next move is a business meeting. don't do as some do and run around the church trying to get support for your side but be well prepared and simply ask for clarification. There is always room for the possibility that you have misunderstood something, but I see red flags as well.
     
  19. Benjamin

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    I “feel” for you and “feel” lead as a humble servant to try and offer you some comforting words. ;) Probably like you I’m not the kind that takes to big changes very easily but what I try to do is keep an open mind and while doing so will tactfully, and just as “openly” as those who climb right onto the boat, stop on the plank, ask questions and let my feelings and concerns also be known. Of course, always by consulting God’s words first, meaning scriptures not...whatever pops in my head... , which not only are my guide but my strength concerning truths in these matters, and this always after prayer in the matter for guidance which I do trust and believe God will provide.

    If I find things aren’t quite right in certain teachings I will find the scripture which made me “feel” that way, memorize them, meditate on them and use them while I “openly” let MY “feelings” be known. Fighting fire with fire? Sort of, except I fight fire with a fire shield and my sword while taking advantage of any positive warmth that comes from the efforts and desires of all those trying to get closer to God through change, that way I won’t be left standing out in the cold. That may mean stepping up and being a leader in the movement to give it some direction rather than sitting back and grunting at all the foolishness that comes from those who would let their feelings be their first and foremost guide instead of scripture.

    This being approached as a “candidate” thing is a bit weird and possibly troubling, BUT... OTOH, “Well, thank you very much, sure, I’ll take the reins.” Know what I mean? :cool:

    The way I look at it is that you don’t need a title in front of your name to be a strong influence and leader in the Body of Christ; you just need to stand on the truth (God’s Word) in love, and He will bless you either way whether you stay or find it more fruitful to go.

    1 Peter 3:12-17
    (12) For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
    (13) And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
    (14) But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
    (15) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
    (16) Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
    (17) For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

    I have the following hanging on my refrigerator:

    “In the majors conviction, on the minors tolerance, in the matter, Love.

    If I’m going to get fired up on something, let it be the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Amen”
     
  20. gb93433

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    Secret is a huge big red flag for me.
     

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