Questions About Church As-Is

My family and I just got back from spending a couple of weeks in Maryland.  It’s home for us in many ways, and it was fun to visit my family, friends  and my old church. I got to hug my young people and play catch-up with the happenings in their lives.  That’s the thing I miss most about ministry.  I love getting to know and spend time with my teenagers. They are great! Teens are very honest once you get to know them. I find them to be less pretentious than many adults and I’ve always loved that!

I’m still amazed by the conversation I had with thinkers on the east coast.  What amazes me is the number of people in the body of Christ who are asking the same questions.  For example, many are still asking about areas of pastoral authority and the proper place of the pastor and the church in the lives of believers.  Many have grown tired of the dogma and disdain for people apparent in so many churches today.

People all over the word are commenting that they are discontented with the church as it has become.  Many are fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ but are fully disconnected with the church organizations and fully disgusted by it.

Worse, some have left the faith all together and are back to seeking for something that makes sense to them.

The conversations over the last two weeks have centered around these questions: What can we do to make the church most reflective of Christ again?  How would you design church if you could?  What’s working, what isn’t working, and why?  I would really love your opinion and your feedback on these matters!

What are you thinking?

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28 thoughts on “Questions About Church As-Is

  1. We simply need to get back to the Bible. I’m crying as I write this because my heart is full and I see people coming to church and leaving the same way they came. I hear my Pastor use the pulpit for “brow beating” purposes. When people don’t line his pockets. When Jesus ministered in the Bible days, he didn’t take up collections or use scare tactics to get what He wanted done. You either recieved what He said or you didn’t – it was your choice, but today there are so many gimmicks to draw people to the church – not because of concern for their souls, but so one could say they have “this” many in their congregation – we are looking more and more like the world. How can people really take the church seriously if we look just like the world, if we’re acting just like the world. I get up and pray every morning for the unsaved – I have dreams a lot of times and I see young men and women and boys and girls and just people crying out, they’re looking and calling for help. I witness to as many as I can, whenever God avails me the honor to do so, but it still doesn’t seem like I’m doing enough for the Lord. Many times I see faces light up when I tell them that there is a better way, that there is hope in Jesus Christ and I want to invite them to come to church, but I sometimes hesitate because what will they hear and see when they get there? Our Pastor fussing because people didn’t give what he thought they should, making threats about not being blessed if they don’t do this or do that or beating up someone over the pulpit because they’ve made him mad. How we be used to change lives if our lives haven’t truly been changed? If we’re still bringing Santa Claus in our Christmas plays instead of uplifting the Birth of Christ. How can we tell a dying world that Jesus lives if He’s only seen when we come to church on Sundays and the rest of week – we’re perpetrators. Maybe I’m too whatever, but all I know is that it hurts sooo much because we come to church in our fancy clothes and we look good for each other. We stand and proclaim Christ before one another. We throw our heads back and think we’ve done something wonderful, but we’ve done nothing. We leave with the same ole problems, the same ole attitudes, we’ve once again walked by someone who we thought did us wrong and didn’t greet them with a holy hug and kiss and nothing has really been accomplished. I’m angry and I can’t stop crying. I feel bound and I want to be free. I feel useless and I want to be used by God to do His will. I can’t at this moment imagine a design for a church that would rightly reflect Christ because He’s been taken out of the equation for the most part. And for that I am truly ashamed. Please pray for me because my heart is grieving.

  2. My perfect church:

    1. We wouldn’t need are own SUPER CHURCH BUILDING.

    The local high school gym or rec center would do just fine.
    That way we could save money for the people who are HOMELESS, UNEMPLOYED, or UNABLE TO TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. (You know, its the very reason we need tithes. Read the Bible for more information.)

    2. NO denominations

    No AME, Catholic, baptist, or anything else. Any time you stamp a denomination on a church you may unwillingly exclude people. We don’t care what your family history of worship is just come and praise Jesus and his father.

    3. All music

    We all have different taste and we also need to know that their are other ways to praise him in song.
    So 1 week we would have a choir, next week we have a band. Then we could combine the two (not my favorite, but Kirk Franklin likes to do this a lot)

    4. Reduce the mega in mega-church

    If your pastor does your wedding, funeral, or other event, and has never met you before and may never see you again. THEN YOUR CHURCH IS TO BIG.
    To ask your pastor to be at your beck and call is a bit much, but if I see him at the local corner store he should at least know that I attend his church.
    Besides Pastors are human, they can get a case of the BIG HEAD with so many people coming to them.

    5. To prevent the big head.

    Instead of having one main pastor who leads EVERYTHING,
    lets spread the wealth a bit. We would have 3 or 4 pastors making decisions and counseling people. Their would be less stress on the pastor and more accountability and oversite for their actions.

    Thats my church hope you like it.

    OH yeah I forgot. Food would be served after every service.

  3. COP I love it!

    That’s so close to what’s in our hearts to do here in Dallas! It might just be 100%

    I have said many times, if you love everything about your church every time you come, then someone else hates everything about your church every time they come.

    And yeah, Food is a must! LOL

  4. Welcome Joannne (if this is bias, welcome back) to the family of thinkers.

    Joanne I hear your heart and many people struggle with what I’m about to suggest.

    Maybe you should find a healthy well balanced church to attend. Take some time to heal before you burn out sister.

    Kwesi

  5. COP,

    Amen, amen, amen!!! To everything you have said!

    And a SPECIAL amen to the food! Food is very important to me, I’m not joking even a little bit. The part that excites me the most about the work God is leading us to start here in Dallas is that it has to be held in our cafe. I like to feed people, and God put that in me for a reason.

    Joanne,

    I feel your pain, literally. I don’t even mean that as a cliche. I too have grieved over inviting people to church because I knew they needed Jesus, but dreaded how they would hear about money and dress codes. All we can do is be personally responsible to be lights in darkness.

    But it’s discouraging when the public face of the church is an embarassing one. And it’s the church’s own doing.

    Caught,

    I hope you don’t mind me taking it upon myself to address your commenters, but they are right on!

    Remember the guy you worked with at the Post Office who was on drugs whom you kept inviting to church? Remember that the one day he decided to come was the same day that the pastor decided to verbally abuse and berate the entire youth department for not being at church half an hour early? The same youth department that you and I had to drive around and pick up in our car because their parents didn’t want to get them there early, nor did the pastor volunteer to pick anyone up? And remember how everyone ended up walking out, including the drug-addicted visitor? Remember that he relapsed?

    Yeah, I’m still angry about it.

    Very angry.

    My perfect church design includes diversity, relevance, and stimulation. It should appeal to today’s unsaved person. It should incorporate all the artistic gifts — art, music, motion, dance, interpretation, acting. Anyone should feel welcome walking in. And it should be far more driven by the community than by the preferences of one or a few. The community should look to it as a safe haven, rather than a nuisance.

    We need better PR. And the substance to back it up.

  6. As long as there are the buildings, institutions, programs and all the man-made money catchers of Christianity there will be corruption.

    When we trust and depend on God as our Shepherd, Teacher, and Lord, when we trust Him to write His truth on each one of our hearts, and when we let Him be Lord of our lives and put all the religiosity aside and live in and by Him, then the church, the body of Christ, will be what it was meant to be. We will become the temple He desires, not one built of man but of His spirit. 1 Cor 3:16

    I am saying this because I think this is His future plan and I can’t wait.

    Rachel

  7. I’d like to take a shot at the question “What can we do to make the church more reflective of Christ again?” and my answer is simple – a one liner actually – WE need to reflect Christ. WE ARE THE CHURCH. And it goes back to the title of this weeks Re Thinking ‘Christians Personal Responsibility’. It is our responsibility to get into the word, it is our responsibility to pray and it is our responsibility to listen to the Holy Spirit. When we take up our responsibility and be obedient we will reflect Christ and it will not only be in our congregations but also in our communities, on our jobs, in the supermarket, whereever we are. Ok so I decided to elaborate on my one liner – forgive me.

    Joanne, I feel your pain. Two things I’d like to say to you:
    1:There’s a pastor who comes on the radio in my country (Trinidad) and he says things like “if you’re attending a church and you’re not growing leave, if you and the pastor have a different vision leave” so I have to agree with Kwesi on this one although I don’t like to do this but unless God is calling you to bring about some kind of change where you fellowship you should probably prayerfully look for somewhere else to go.
    2: You are feeling God’s heart and you have a sense of urgency, that’s from God, what you could probably do in addition to what you already are is ask the people you witness to if they would like to receive Christ right there and then and then pray that the Lord will lead them to a good church and if you know of a few make suggestions, but keep up the good work.
    Love you.

  8. Katrice,

    I love discussion and conversation, have at it. I remember, but I’m no longer angry. So much pain and hurt has been introduced into my life because of bad leadership in the church, yet so much joy as well. I agonize for seekers and babes in the faith and I remain in pain for those that remain stuck in abusive churches.

    Ray,

    I too look forward to church minus religion. I understand now why Jesus was so blatant with the religious, they are vicious and destructive.

    Ama,

    Welcome (back)

    I love it! We need to reflect Christ, this is so true. In the related post above: Rethinking the question, I address the fact that we are the church and it’s up to us to do what needs to be done personally.

    However, the small complication with this is that many of us now find ourselves as members of an organized group that identifies as the church.

    Isn’t it like government in a way? In a democracy or a republic the will of the people is said to be reflected. Many times we know this is not the case. A few make the polices and decisions for many.

    This is the problem as I see it in the Church today. Many of the individual believers in the organization have great intentions and act wonderfully, yet the few that have been empowered keep making decisions that do not reflect the heart of God or the people of God.

    There is nothing wrong with what you said, to be clear, I agree. I think that is but the first step. There has to be away that we hold the powers that be accountable to remain focused on the main thing. Not power, prestige, politics, possessions, or pious property but people.

    People are God’s greatest treasure and loving people (all) is our greatest responsibility and I’m not sure that is always the focus of the organizations we refer to as church. Something is broken and in need of a fix.

  9. I knew as I wrote my opinion that it was not addressing the whole picture, but what can we do as individuals – ordinary believers – for the church to reflect Christ beside pray? I think if one is a Pastor or in some type of leadership position they might be able to influence change but as someone in the congregation there is nothing you can do.

    Seeing that you are doing the foundation before you start your ministry I think you can have a church that reflects Christ but as for those churches that have been around for some time change can only come through prayer. If you think of another way from the church member point of view let me know.

  10. Been thinking of writing you this since I read one of your re-thinking articles and it’s simply looking ahead.

    I sense you have something against mega-churches (and one of your responders mentioned a pastor not even kowing who attend ‘his’ church – that’s sad), but what will you do if after all this Re-thinking you start your ministry and you get it right and you’re fulfilling the will of God and your church grows and Grows and GROWS? I know you won’t turn away people because you want to keep it cosy. I have a suggestion but I want you to consider starting to Pre-think if you have not already. And let me know what you’ll do. To all who may read this, what do you think should be done in a situation like this?

  11. Ama,

    I love the question; what can we do as individuals?

    We can Pray! You said that and I agree, we can’t stop there.

    We can study the word as to be educated about the will and heart of God!

    We can insist that People remain priority!

    We can speak up whenever things aren’t in line with scripture!

    We can learn what a healthy well balanced church is and attend one.

    We can volunteering to take the lead whenever improvement need to be, in outreach for example.

    We can refuse to have others Lord over our lives as in Matthew 23.

    We can remember the poor and depressed and do for them.

    We can hold leadership accountable for the stewardship of the funds of the church.

    Yes We Can! lol

    There is much we can and must do you see.

  12. What would I want the church to be?

    I would want a pastor who connected the young the old and everyone in between. Where the church a PART of the community not just a historic object which is placed there. I would like a church where I walk in the door no matter what type of service it is I feel the love of Christ like a sweet aroma filling the air. I wanta church where the pastor knows each and every name. Where the membrs are also active not just there. I want a church where the pator isn’t a theif stealing money ike they have in my church for the last 20 years. I want a church where we are a whole and we work together for a common goal directed towards Christ and it makes me an Christ like person. Finally a church where I love to claim….

    M.J.

  13. Ama,

    I really don’t have a problem with Mega churches. A couple of my mentor Pastors have churches that would qualify as Mega yet they won’t identify as such.

    My observations about the church have left me very disturbed about the rampant mismanagement of ministries.

    The things that disturb me most are false doctrine, false authority, a lack of love for all people, demonstrated by the lack of involvement in social change and community needs.

    The greed demonstrated on the part of too many in leadership roles in the church are outrageous!

    The lies and violations of the third commandment are reckless!

    Now, I live in Dallas TX, Mega churches are a dime a dozen here. Some have better reputations than others. Some do Mega things for their people and communities and well some just have mega buildings but meager influence and impact. That’s just the way it is.

    So for me it’s not the size of the church, it’s the direction of the church and the Christlikeness of the church that matters.

    The plan for continued intimacy for us, is to have community pastors and small groups. Remember we are also seriously looking at a network of home churches as an option.

  14. Some of the things you mentioned we could do would affect us personally and may not make the church look any different for someone visitiing for example because alot of the problems with churches today stem for the pastor. Can we really speak up when things aren’t in line with scripture without be chastised sometimes from the pulpit? I agree we can refuse to let people lord over us and we can find a church where things are done right. Who do we go to to insist that people remain priority, we who are not even in leadership position? I’m hearing what you’re saying and I agree to some extent but tell me how does Joanne for example do what you’re suggesting?

  15. Ama,

    No! we may be chastened from the pulpit, which even more lets us know that we are in an abusive church. We will be called and labeled trouble-makers and rebellious, however ever notable person in church history has been treated the same way. Think Luther, Calvin and most importantly Jesus!

    We go to the leadership, we make an appointment and speak out hearts to the pastor. Even if there is no immediate results, we have done our part and then we make choices from there.

    Here’s what Joanne recently sent me (I waited for her permission to share this)

    “We had Bible Study last night and I’m sorry to say the Pastor did not like being questioned, he simply said “We’ve discussed that and the matter is closed. If you don’t like the answers given here, you can always find another church;” and that’s when a couple others and myself boldly made the announcement of seeking God in whether this is the place for us. His response was to the other members and he said: “And here we have perfect examples of what sin and disobedience looks like.” We weren’t upset, we just quietly gathered our bibles, got up and left without disturbing anyone, but we are truly thankful that God has discerned the Spirit. It was kind of funny because when we all got outside, everybody at the same time, shouted HALLELUJAH, THANK YOU JESUS!!

    I feel better already. GOD TRULY IS A GOOD GOD!!!!”

    Ama, I’m not suggesting a revolution. I suggesting that we be responsible and not just sit around and know things are out of order and do nothing.

    We have to speak up!

  16. Praise God to everyone!

    I’ve been busy with 3 wonderful grans and am just now reading the site. If anything could take my mind away from my troubles it’s these beautiful children.

    Kwesi, Sir, I am already prayerfully seeking God in finding another church – I realize there are no perfect churches, for we are not perfect people – I just want the truth of the Word, not man’s opinion (you know we all have one :)). Psalm 118:8

    Katrice: God bless you my Sister. Right now my light is looking a little dim because of some bad experiences, BUT GOD!!! is yet able and I trust Him. I left “that” church, but not God -NEVER HIM!! I will keep in mind and prayerfully press to be personally responsible in becoming that “bright” light God has purposed me to be. I’m a 1st Soprano Soloist and God has also gifted me with exhortation and so I hear you Sis., I hear you.

    Cop: You’re alright! Be blessed.

    Ray0408: RIGHT ON – POWER BELONGS TO GOD!!!

    Ama: I am sooo rejoicing about your comment. This is exactly what the Spirit has led me to do and I have already begun doing exactly what you have suggested. GOD IS GOOD!!! Thank you for confirming what God has shown in the Spirit. May He richly bless your obedience.

    After prayer this morning, God gave Psalm 121 and I know in my heart “Family” that everything will be alright and that my soul knoweth right well.

  17. KWESI
    You’re right, we could make an appointment and talk – with tact and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
    That experience of Joanne’s that you shared is heart breaking and I’m sure it breaks Jesus’ heart too. What is going to happen to the rest of the congregation especially if they are not mature in Christ yet? We’ll have to pray for them and for that Pastor as well because He is not representing the Kingdom very well. Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear his side of the story?

    JOANNE
    Thanks for your kind words and I’m glad to hear that it was confirmation of what the Spirit led you to do.
    Keep rejoicing and keep your head lifted high. May the Lord keep and strengthen you.
    Love you.

  18. KWESI
    P.S. Concerning Joanne’s experience I don’t think Bible Study was the forum to make that kind of announcement though, but say what they got their deliverance, if you would call it that!

  19. Ama,
    Good morning and may God bless you and keep you my dear Sister. And may I comment on what you have written? Maybe Bible Study would not be the typical or appropriate place to make such an announcement, and maybe an appointment should have been made and done privately. But such could not and would not be the case for us in this particular situation. This church I feel and please know that I am not judging, I’m just speaking on what I have seen, heard and experienced, but as I was saying this church is not about Jesus, His Word, Will or Way. It’s about a man who thinks of himself as a god or God.
    If appropriateness had been presented, then I’m sure we would have acted accordingly.
    I know that God has set an order for us to follow in His Word. In I Tim. 3:15, Paul makes it very clear that there are right ways and wrong ways. The people of any church for the most part tend to reflect whatever the Leadership is. (Sometimes, it isn’t what you would expect of a “Christian.”) Some leaders (thank God not all) tend to be “posers” (things that have an appearance of looking good even though in reality they aren’t) and those who are truly spiritual will recognize this. And let me explain what I mean by spiritual – those who study and chew on the Word of God daily, not just on Bible Study nights and Sunday mornings, but those who are diligent in getting to know who God is. Jesus referred to “posers” of His day as “Whitewash Tombs.” This is still affecting our churches today. The Leadership looks good, it appears the church is reaching people, but sometimes it’s a facade. You know it’s a facade because they attend a couple of services and then you never see them again. (God forbide) “Whitewash” often disguises an inwardly decrepit, (if I may say) building. The appearance looks good enough, but underneath there has been a breakdown of basic biblical order, practice and authority.
    Such was the case of where we were. So let me ask you Ama, how could we do things decently and in order if there was no decent order practiced there in the first place?
    And I would absolutely say that I have been delivered. (From a false reprensentation of “church”) Our deliverance came not when we made the announcement, but when God gave us the strength and boldness to stand up for what is right. And my words to you were meant to honor God and how He showed Himself to be an able God and work through whom He so chooses and that was you Ama. I was rejoicing because God confirmed through you what He had spoken in the Spirit. (When I say in the Spirit – I was in prayer and God gave a word from His Word pertaining to my prayer.) He answered my prayer through what you spoke about witnessing. So yes, I can now rejoice a little more and yes, my head has been lifted a little higher, not in self, but in the faithfulness of my God.
    We can offer wonderful advice and we can also come to our own conclusions, but for one to say absolutely, one would have to walk in the shoes of the one “going through.” Would you not agree with this Ama? There is always a bigger picture, but we only see as far as we can look, BUT GOD, WHO IS, ever present everywhere at the same time, is greater than any situation and circumstance and for that I am truly grateful. I take one step at a time and I press daily that I may be what God has called me to be and Ama, I truly believe that He has greater things for ALL OF US to do in His vineyard and I, want to be available for Him to use me.
    Thank you for your honesty and please continue to pray for me as I will continue to pray for you also. Be blessed.

  20. P.S.
    Ama,
    As far as hearing his side of the story, I think, no, I KNOW you would be very impressed and maybe even drawn to him.
    Now I ask you this question: “How was Lucifer able to take so many angels with him when God kicked him out of heaven?”
    And I close with this: My grandmother would tell us sometimes that: “All that glitters ain’t gold.”
    Take care.

  21. Ama,

    Response to your July 17th comment. May I ask why you would think and I quote “as someone in the congregation, there is nothing you can do.” (and I’m assuming you’re speaking as far as being influential in the church)

    In my old church in Ohio, our Pastor had what was called an “Executive Board” where certain members would meet once a month to discuss important church matters. The Board would discuss the matters and then a “Family Meeting” would be held. If ANYONE (congregation definitely included in the Family meeting) did not agree they were asked to give their reasons why and because all were not in agreeance, whatever it was would be set aside until a later time or wouldn’t be done at all. The point I’m trying to make is “WE ALL” are the church and WE ALL in some way influence the church – not just Pastors or those in Leadership. Romans 12:4-8 speaks of the Body being many members in One Body with different offices and so on. Those family meetings not only kept everyone on one accord, but it also promoted understanding, peace and unity. And because God has given each of us an office whether it be up front as a Pastor or Leader or in the in the abiding shadow of the Almighty, as a member of the congregation, we all influence the church in some way. A vision is given by God to the Man of God and we can agree or disagree with that vision, but I believe “that” we have no say in that, but I guess I’m not understanding why you would come to the conclusion that you have to be a Pastor or in Leadership in the church to influence change. God gave us all AT LEAST one gift to be used for the edifying and perfecting of the Body. If the influence is only for and from Pastors and those in Leadership, what are the rest of us for? To give you an example from a biblical perspective, Mary was not a Pastor nor was she in Leadership, she was just a poor pheasant girl in what they called a “no-place” village, but she was used by God to be a compelling force on the events, behavior and beliefs of others, when she gave birth to the only begotten Son of God. I’m very interested in knowing more of your thoughts on where you think our place of influence IS in the Body of Christ?

  22. Response to July 17th comment. May I ask why you would think and I quote “as someone in the congregation, there is nothing you can do.” (and I’m assuming you’re speaking as far as being influential in the church)

    In my old church in Ohio, our Pastor had what was called an “Executive Board” where certain members would meet once a month to discuss important church matters. The Board would discuss the matters and then a “Family Meeting” would be held. If ANYONE (congregation definitely included in the Family meeting) did not agree they were asked to give their reasons why and because all were not in agreeance, whatever it was would be set aside until a later time or wouldn’t be done at all. The point I’m trying to make is “WE ALL” are the church and WE ALL in some way influence the church – not just Pastors or those in Leadership. Romans 12:4-8 speaks of the Body being many members in One Body with different offices and so on. Those family meetings not only kept everyone on one accord, but it also promoted understanding, peace and unity. And because God has given each of us an office whether it be up front as a Pastor or Leader or in the in the abiding shadow of the Almighty, as a member of the congregation, we all influence the church in some way. A vision is given by God to the Man of God and we can agree or disagree with that vision, but I believe “that” we have no say in that, but I guess I’m not understanding why you would come to the conclusion that you have to be a Pastor or in Leadership in the church to influence change. God gave us all AT LEAST one gift to be used for the edifying and perfecting of the Body. If the influence is only for and from Pastors and those in Leadership, what are the rest of us for? To give you an example from a biblical perspective, Mary was not a Pastor nor was she in Leadership, she was just a poor pheasant girl in what they called a “no-place” village, but she was used by God to be a compelling force on the events, behavior and beliefs of others, when she gave birth to the only begotten Son of God. I’m very interested in knowing more of your thoughts on where you think our place of influence IS in the Body of Christ?

  23. JOANNE

    I’m glad to hear about your church in Ohio but not all churches are like that, there is no forum in which issues can be addressed and if the Pastor has a vision it may be mentioned in a Sunday morning service. So that situation in Ohio is ideal. At the time of writing I was just thinking about Pastors – maybe like the one from the church you just left – who is not open to being questioned, foolishly I did not even think about my own pastor whom I would talk to about things I’m interested in seeing in the church and see positives come from it, so I did concede on that point, there is hope.

    As far as what our influence is in the body of Christ – that body is not located in a building we call church for as you rightly stated we are the church, so we will be able to influence others – if not collectively, individually. Also, we all have been placed on the earth for a purpose, so fulfilling that purpose will be influencing the Body I think.

    I’m going backward here, but my interest in hearing the pastors side of the story was with exactly what you said in mind because I know some people (pastors not excluded) have the ability to always make themselves look good or should I say justify their actions while pulling down others and could be very convincing so I apologize if it came across as suggesting y’all were in the wrong or disorderly or something, it certainly was not my intention.

    I understand some things have to be done on the spur of the moment and your situation was one of them (I’m referring to the Bible study), I just think it was appropriate for this situation and this situation only, so anyone who may be reading this would know that it is not the ideal situation – but then again they may already know – but this forum is for discussion right? You beautifully addressed it in your response and I don’t think I could add to what you said. Don’t know if you read what I wrote to Kwesi about your former church so I’ll ask you directly, what is going to happen to the people you left behind? From what you wrote it sounds like a cult not a church. Is that word too strong or am I completely wrong? I thank God though that you know Him for yourself and was able to discern right from wrong.

    One more thing, I apologize if it looked like I was trying to take God’s glory, who am I to do that?

    May God continue to bless you. Love you

  24. Ama,

    Good afternoon,

    You are absolutely right, the church in Ohio was very ideal and if I had to picture a perfect church, that would be it, and I think that’s because of the type of Pastor we had there. He was open to constructive criticism, honest and I believe was led by the Holy Spirit. When you stated that some have the ability to make themselves look good or justify their actions while pulling others down – I would say this is a very appropriated statement (in this situation). And truly, to have to stand in a Bible Study to suggest that maybe you’re in the wrong church really is not the appropriate place to do such a thing in a NORMAL situation, but when there is no order as I stated, you do what you have to do, when the opportunity has been presented to you. I have to admit though, I am in no way ashamed of what I did, God is not being honored in that church and I think if God spoke audibly, He might have said HALLELUJAH!! right along with us. We are certainly in prayer for those who are yet there and being wrongly mis-guided and I would like to believe that in time as they grow in the maturity and knowledge of Christ that they will come to discern the true Spirit of God and His Word also. And I have to say, we think there are a few more that will be leaving and soon. Proverbs 30: 5-6 says: “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar,” and Deuteronomy 4:2 says: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you,” and I think we all for the most part can understand why. Jeremiah 23:1 says: “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.” I have never experienced being in a cult, but I can say this, this church has the appearance of representing God, but if you sit there long enough, you will begin to hear what is being said between the lines and your spirit will be grieved and you’ll wonder why, then you’ll begin to seek God, making sure you are doing what you’re suppose to do and that’s when God will reveal why you are feelilng so heavy.
    Well, thank you Ama for your response and I value your rational view on this.
    Take care. Agape.

  25. Pingback: A years worth of conversation « SCREAM

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