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apothanein kerdos
Nov 2nd 2008, 11:43 PM
I'm putting this here because this is where it would eventually end up.

One of the most annoying things I encounter is when people complain about the Church, the local Church, and Christianity in general. Too often people say, "I don't go to church because I've been burned" or "I don't need a community to dictate my faith to me."

Too often we're sitting here complaining about the Church as a whole without realizing there is one common element in all our bad experiences with the Church: Ourselves.

What concerns me more, however, is that it is the true spirit of elitism when we take on this attitude of "I'm too good for the Church." When we constantly criticize and berate the bride of Christ without acknowledging that some of it is our fault (when speaking of the local church), we elevate ourselves above what God has instituted.

It's the attitude of, "I only need myself and the Holy Spirit." God created us to be in a community, not to be individuals or autonomous. In light of this, we have to keep in mind that for every criticism of the Church - even if valid - other criticisms could be leveled right back at us. Our job is to fix the flaws, not run away from them.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

moonglow
Nov 3rd 2008, 12:21 AM
I'm putting this here because this is where it would eventually end up.

One of the most annoying things I encounter is when people complain about the Church, the local Church, and Christianity in general. Too often people say, "I don't go to church because I've been burned" or "I don't need a community to dictate my faith to me."

Too often we're sitting here complaining about the Church as a whole without realizing there is one common element in all our bad experiences with the Church: Ourselves.

What concerns me more, however, is that it is the true spirit of elitism when we take on this attitude of "I'm too good for the Church." When we constantly criticize and berate the bride of Christ without acknowledging that some of it is our fault (when speaking of the local church), we elevate ourselves above what God has instituted.

It's the attitude of, "I only need myself and the Holy Spirit." God created us to be in a community, not to be individuals or autonomous. In light of this, we have to keep in mind that for every criticism of the Church - even if valid - other criticisms could be leveled right back at us. Our job is to fix the flaws, not run away from them.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

I have never felt anyone that stopped going to church did so because they thought they were perfect. Nor lack of trying to get things changed either...

Take me for instance...I stopped going for a number of reason...I am a single divorced mother of one son...I got hit on by an elder in the church who is married that flatly asked me if I would sleep with him....

All the married women shunned me...I was never invited to their get togethers, bible studies and so forth...

The pastor pretty much called me a hertic for not having the same end views as him...

Yet I hung in there! For a long, long time...

The final straw was when I tried to make a difference in the church by offering to do a children church for older children because my son and others his age were too young to understand the sermon...there is tons of material geared for their age. The other parents didn't want to do this and weren't nice about it either...

Before this church I tried several others...do you really want me to list the major twisting of scriptures I had a problem with? Who listens to a divorced woman in church as being correct (even though I am using scriptures) over the men ruling it?

I am tried of being treated like I have been treated in churches...but trying to change stone walls is well...like trying to change stone walls...I am tired of being hurt and certainly not supported. Its not that I am perfect...far from it. Church is suppose to be a safe place...its not...at least for me. Do I miss it...sure I do..maybe someday I will get the courage to try again. My son hates church...that was another reason I quit going. I didn't want him to start hating God because I forced him to attend a church where he also wasn't accepted. :cry:

I wouldn't assume so much as you have as reasons why Christians stop going. The church is sadly broken in many ways and unless you happen to be male...or at least married, they don't listen to you. Its wrong...but that is the way it goes. At least for me.

God bless

Ayala
Nov 3rd 2008, 12:25 AM
I'm putting this here because this is where it would eventually end up.

One of the most annoying things I encounter is when people complain about the Church, the local Church, and Christianity in general. Too often people say, "I don't go to church because I've been burned" or "I don't need a community to dictate my faith to me."

Too often we're sitting here complaining about the Church as a whole without realizing there is one common element in all our bad experiences with the Church: Ourselves.

What concerns me more, however, is that it is the true spirit of elitism when we take on this attitude of "I'm too good for the Church." When we constantly criticize and berate the bride of Christ without acknowledging that some of it is our fault (when speaking of the local church), we elevate ourselves above what God has instituted.

It's the attitude of, "I only need myself and the Holy Spirit." God created us to be in a community, not to be individuals or autonomous. In light of this, we have to keep in mind that for every criticism of the Church - even if valid - other criticisms could be leveled right back at us. Our job is to fix the flaws, not run away from them.

Does anyone else feel the same way?


Reps for you, guy.

I agree with your point, wholeheartedly.

holyrokker
Nov 3rd 2008, 12:28 AM
Well, there wouldn't be any problems if everyone else were just a smart as I am and agreed with me on everything.

Steve Taylor had a couple of songs on his EP back in 1984

from Bad Rap

Can't understand those Christians so
You type us all in stereo
They're hypocrites, they're such a bore
Well come on in, there's room for one more


And from Steeplechase

A change of habit
Used to go bar-hopping
You started church-shopping, did ya?
It's been a problem
Finding one to fit ya
You didn't feel good, did ya?
It's a steeplechase
Blame your failures on
Churches where you've gone
Steeplechase


Unfortunately, there are also MANY churches out there like the one Moonglow described.

apothanein kerdos
Nov 3rd 2008, 12:39 AM
I have never felt anyone that stopped going to church did so because they thought they were perfect. Nor lack of trying to get things changed either...

Take me for instance...I stopped going for a number of reason...I am a single divorced mother of one son...I got hit on by an elder in the church who is married that flatly asked me if I would sleep with him....

All the married women shunned me...I was never invited to their get togethers, bible studies and so forth...

The pastor pretty much called me a hertic for not having the same end views as him...

Yet I hung in there! For a long, long time...

The final straw was when I tried to make a difference in the church by offering to do a children church for older children because my son and others his age were too young to understand the sermon...there is tons of material geared for their age. The other parents didn't want to do this and weren't nice about it either...

Before this church I tried several others...do you really want me to list the major twisting of scriptures I had a problem with? Who listens to a divorced woman in church as being correct (even though I am using scriptures) over the men ruling it?

I am tried of being treated like I have been treated in churches...but trying to change stone walls is well...like trying to change stone walls...I am tired of being hurt and certainly not supported. Its not that I am perfect...far from it. Church is suppose to be a safe place...its not...at least for me. Do I miss it...sure I do..maybe someday I will get the courage to try again. My son hates church...that was another reason I quit going. I didn't want him to start hating God because I forced him to attend a church where he also wasn't accepted. :cry:

I wouldn't assume so much as you have as reasons why Christians stop going. The church is sadly broken in many ways and unless you happen to be male...or at least married, they don't listen to you. Its wrong...but that is the way it goes. At least for me.

God bless

I'm not talking about leaving a specific church or even having problems with local churches in a small town. I'm speaking of general attitudes, of people who absolutely refuse to attend to go to any church because of non-heresy related issues.

I mean, yes, if the church is teaching or practicing heresy (such as the one in your example - heresy is more than doctrine, it's also in our actions), I'd say at that point one must leave.

Instead, I am speaking of overall attitudes. People who approach churches with an inherently negative attitude and have nothing good to say of the Church as a whole.

You certainly don't fall into that category, so none of this was directed toward you or the position you find yourself in. Likewise, it's not wrong to criticize the Church as a whole - the problem is when we write it off or look at it with pure skepticism.

stillforgiven
Nov 3rd 2008, 12:55 AM
I'm putting this here because this is where it would eventually end up...

I can understand that many people will be guilty of all you accuse, but the broad generalization looks like judgment. You don't have the ability to see the hearts of people, and you shouldn't post as if you do.


I have never felt anyone that stopped going to church did so because they thought they were perfect. Nor lack of trying to get things changed either...

Take me for instance...I stopped going for a number of reason...I am a single divorced mother of one son...I got hit on by an elder in the church who is married that flatly asked me if I would sleep with him....

All the married women shunned me...I was never invited to their get togethers, bible studies and so forth...

The pastor pretty much called me a hertic for not having the same end views as him...

Yet I hung in there! For a long, long time...

The final straw was when I tried to make a difference in the church by offering to do a children church for older children because my son and others his age were too young to understand the sermon...there is tons of material geared for their age. The other parents didn't want to do this and weren't nice about it either...

Before this church I tried several others...do you really want me to list the major twisting of scriptures I had a problem with? Who listens to a divorced woman in church as being correct (even though I am using scriptures) over the men ruling it?

I am tried of being treated like I have been treated in churches...but trying to change stone walls is well...like trying to change stone walls...I am tired of being hurt and certainly not supported. Its not that I am perfect...far from it. Church is suppose to be a safe place...its not...at least for me. Do I miss it...sure I do..maybe someday I will get the courage to try again. My son hates church...that was another reason I quit going. I didn't want him to start hating God because I forced him to attend a church where he also wasn't accepted. :cry:

I wouldn't assume so much as you have as reasons why Christians stop going. The church is sadly broken in many ways and unless you happen to be male...or at least married, they don't listen to you. Its wrong...but that is the way it goes. At least for me.

God bless

Perhaps is because we're women, but I too have been approached for sex by the men, even sexually harassed at times. I've been shunned by the women because I'm not married with kids like they are, and ignored when I tried to participate in the open-discussion Bible study because I dared to ask questions that aren't part of the religion at hand. I can still see one woman's hateful face as I post this. After awhile, a person can't take anymore of this, esp from people who are supposed to love God.

I don't think I'm better than anyone. Just the opposite. I'm pretty much convinced that I'm not worthy of attending church, because I don't fit the bill. I feel that way a lot on this board too. Wonder why.

apothanein kerdos
Nov 3rd 2008, 01:00 AM
I can understand that many people will be guilty of all you accuse, but the broad generalization looks like judgment. You don't have the ability to see the hearts of people, and you shouldn't post as if you do.



Perhaps is because we're women, but I too have been approached for sex by the men, even sexually harassed at times. I've been shunned by the women because I'm not married with kids like they are, and ignored when I tried to participate in the open-discussion Bible study because I dared to ask questions that aren't part of the religion at hand. I can still see one woman's hateful face as I post this. After awhile, a person can't take anymore of this, esp from people who are supposed to love God.

I don't think I'm better than anyone. Just the opposite. I'm pretty much convinced that I'm not worthy of attending church, because I don't fit the bill. I feel that way a lot on this board too. Wonder why.


Does the Bible teach that we are to be in a community or not? That's my point - even if it's not an attitude of elitism, it still poses some problems for those who write off church all together. I think anyone who attends church will, at some point, have a negative experience. Is that, however, any reason to write off all churches for good, or to never trust another church again?

Also, how am I being judgmental when I'm simply looking at Scripture and at what people say and seeing that what people say doesn't match up with Scripture? (also, the "wonder why" comment does betray the viewpoint I was speaking of...)

Reynolds357
Nov 3rd 2008, 01:07 AM
I'm putting this here because this is where it would eventually end up.

One of the most annoying things I encounter is when people complain about the Church, the local Church, and Christianity in general. Too often people say, "I don't go to church because I've been burned" or "I don't need a community to dictate my faith to me."

Too often we're sitting here complaining about the Church as a whole without realizing there is one common element in all our bad experiences with the Church: Ourselves.

What concerns me more, however, is that it is the true spirit of elitism when we take on this attitude of "I'm too good for the Church." When we constantly criticize and berate the bride of Christ without acknowledging that some of it is our fault (when speaking of the local church), we elevate ourselves above what God has instituted.

It's the attitude of, "I only need myself and the Holy Spirit." God created us to be in a community, not to be individuals or autonomous. In light of this, we have to keep in mind that for every criticism of the Church - even if valid - other criticisms could be leveled right back at us. Our job is to fix the flaws, not run away from them.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

There are many times that the fault lies with the person. There are also genuine instances when people have been treated in a less than Christian way by a Church and it has left a bad taste in their mouth. I had an experience in a church a few years ago that had I been a new believer it would have given me a negative image of the Church in general. An associate pastor of the church went to the pastor of the church and told an outright lie about me. This was not a misunderstanding, it was a deliberate lie. The lie was told to cover up an error committed by this associate pastor that was being brought to light. As if the lie were not bad enough, the fact that the pastor refused to rebuke him for the lie when it came to light was unexcusable. Had this been my only experience with Church, I would probably have a very negative image of the Church myself. I think it is unfair to judge people who have a negative image of the Church. I think we should love them and show them the True Church.

apothanein kerdos
Nov 3rd 2008, 01:09 AM
So you're telling me that because we have a bad experience with a church, it's okay to project that negative image upon all churches or the Church in general?

So...if I have a bad experience with a black person or a Latino - even if it's with several different ones in different situations - is it okay for me to look negatively upon the races as a whole or to have problems with those races?

TrustingFollower
Nov 3rd 2008, 02:03 AM
So you're telling me that because we have a bad experience with a church, it's okay to project that negative image upon all churches or the Church in general?

So...if I have a bad experience with a black person or a Latino - even if it's with several different ones in different situations - is it okay for me to look negatively upon the races as a whole or to have problems with those races?
Let's not even go down this road with the discussion. This is a good topic and can be discussed with out getting into all the racial stuff.

I understand what you are saying though. I think the biggest problem I see is the lack of humility among believers. We all feel that we have this right or that right and we put our needs ahead of the needs of the body as a whole. Well when we went down in those baptismal waters we gave up our individual rights for the rights of Christ. We need to humble ourselves and look at the health of the body of Christ. Submit to Christ fully and do the work Christ has for us to do. That is why we are given spiritual gifts. The gifts are not for our benefit, but for the benefit of the entire church. They are not so we can boast as to how good we ourselves are, but rather so we can do the work of the body of Christ. So it all boils down to humbling ourselves and submitting to the will of God.

moonglow
Nov 3rd 2008, 02:12 AM
I'm not talking about leaving a specific church or even having problems with local churches in a small town. I'm speaking of general attitudes, of people who absolutely refuse to attend to go to any church because of non-heresy related issues.

I mean, yes, if the church is teaching or practicing heresy (such as the one in your example - heresy is more than doctrine, it's also in our actions), I'd say at that point one must leave.

Instead, I am speaking of overall attitudes. People who approach churches with an inherently negative attitude and have nothing good to say of the Church as a whole.

You certainly don't fall into that category, so none of this was directed toward you or the position you find yourself in. Likewise, it's not wrong to criticize the Church as a whole - the problem is when we write it off or look at it with pure skepticism.

Ok thank you for that.

I think the problems you are seeing with people doing this is due to extreme frustration. The church isn't above being judged by us. There are alot of false teachings going on...alot! There are also some truly wonderful churches out there too...the problem is we don't hear about them very much. The ones that get the most attention tend to be in the media more and talked about on the net more...so it can appear church corruption is widespread...maybe alot more then it really is. Jesus warns of us false teachers and false preaches...Paul warns us of false teaching...

But I realize this isn't what you are talking about. I just don't see much of what you are talking about though...not much at all.

God bless

moonglow
Nov 3rd 2008, 02:25 AM
I can understand that many people will be guilty of all you accuse, but the broad generalization looks like judgment. You don't have the ability to see the hearts of people, and you shouldn't post as if you do.



Perhaps is because we're women, but I too have been approached for sex by the men, even sexually harassed at times. I've been shunned by the women because I'm not married with kids like they are, and ignored when I tried to participate in the open-discussion Bible study because I dared to ask questions that aren't part of the religion at hand. I can still see one woman's hateful face as I post this. After awhile, a person can't take anymore of this, esp from people who are supposed to love God.

I don't think I'm better than anyone. Just the opposite. I'm pretty much convinced that I'm not worthy of attending church, because I don't fit the bill. I feel that way a lot on this board too. Wonder why.

I am sorry you have gone through that too...:( It hurts..:cry: Alot of the times I don't know if I fit in on here either...but I remember what the bible says, we are to please God and not men (people). So I am here because of Him. And I try to be a servant as Christ told us to be. So I don't worry too much about what people think..some like me, some don't...and that's ok. I just try to be useful in some way on here...if nothing else I hope my prayers on the prayer forum help those asking for prayers...they sure help me alot when I ask for prayers. :) Hang in there and remember what the bible says...we are aliens in a strange land. I don't think any of us will ever feel totally 'at home'...until we are...

God bless

karenoka27
Nov 3rd 2008, 02:32 AM
As I was reading the OP this verse came to mind:
Mark 3:24-(found in other places as well).."If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand."

I was thinking and praying about this today. Just in Rhode Island there have been more church splits in the last year than ever.
What is happening? We don't like the way things are run, or how saved people behave, so we either leave the church or stop going altogether, and we find ways to justify it. If the church is divided, what is that saying to the world that we are here to share the gospel too?
My mother has been going to the same Catholic church for years. I've been to a few different churches due to church splits. What is that saying to her?

I just recently had to leave another church. There was no way I could stay. I am so frustrated and the pastor told the congregation that I was nothing more than a church hopper. Yikes, that stings! So I could have said forget this, I'm not going to any more churches. (this was my 3rd. The first one the pastor was having numerous affairs with the ladies in the church, the 2nd one the Pastor left for another church, and this last one the Pastor, well I question much about him.)Anyway, I immediately put myself in another church. I sit quiet and I listen to the Word of God. I spoke to my Sunday school teacher and the Pastor's wife and told them that I just can't bring myself to become a member as of yet. They told me to sit and listen.

When we dont' go to church we are disobeying the very Word of God:
Hebrews 10:23-25-"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised, )And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Also, church is where we use the gifts that God gives us to edify one another. We really do need each other.:hug:

apothanein kerdos
Nov 3rd 2008, 02:38 AM
Let's not even go down this road with the discussion. This is a good topic and can be discussed with out getting into all the racial stuff.

You do see where I'm going with it though, correct?

Perhaps we should apply it to something so non-controversial, because I think this is a vital analogy (takes the same mentality and applies it to a different situation).

John is a Blopperton (a political party). John slaps Debbie. Debbie, baffled by this, walks down the street to a rally that turns out to be a Blopperton rally. There, everyone is cold to her and really ignores her. Sally, though a former Blopperton party member herself and knowing that the party's charter calls for all Blopperton's to be loving, still forms the belief that she doesn't want anything to do with Blopperton's.

How is that fair?

Likewise, with the Church, how is it fair to paint all churches and the institution itself under a bad light when a few churches have been bad apples. This is actually a logical fallacy (applying the particulars to the whole).


I understand what you are saying though. I think the biggest problem I see is the lack of humility among believers. We all feel that we have this right or that right and we put our needs ahead of the needs of the body as a whole. Well when we went down in those baptismal waters we gave up our individual rights for the rights of Christ. We need to humble ourselves and look at the health of the body of Christ. Submit to Christ fully and do the work Christ has for us to do. That is why we are given spiritual gifts. The gifts are not for our benefit, but for the benefit of the entire church. They are not so we can boast as to how good we ourselves are, but rather so we can do the work of the body of Christ. So it all boils down to humbling ourselves and submitting to the will of God.I think people forget this too often. Church isn't about what we want, it's about what we're called to do.



Ok thank you for that.

I think the problems you are seeing with people doing this is due to extreme frustration. The church isn't above being judged by us. There are alot of false teachings going on...alot! There are also some truly wonderful churches out there too...the problem is we don't hear about them very much. The ones that get the most attention tend to be in the media more and talked about on the net more...so it can appear church corruption is widespread...maybe alot more then it really is. Jesus warns of us false teachers and false preaches...Paul warns us of false teaching...

But I realize this isn't what you are talking about. I just don't see much of what you are talking about though...not much at all.It's one thing to be upset about false doctrine or the way people are acting. It's entirely another to take one instance and cast the entire Church in it.

For instance, I attended a church where the pastor was caught in a hot tub with a woman that wasn't his wife. The church attempted to overlook this because he had grown the church from 700 to 5,000. He was extremely narcissistic and did whatever he wanted (he wasn't even repentant for being caught - he said he was just friends with her). My family led the way in confronting this pastor and we suffered for it. I won't go into detail, but it caused quite a bit of harm. However, would it be fair for me to paint the entire Church as being just like this church I attended?

In all fairness, I did for a while and it was wrong of me to do so. I sometimes think we forget that when we attack the Church or paint her in a bad light, we are doing this to the Bride of Christ. Marred as she may be, ugly as she may be, she is still His bride. Of course we should keep her accountable, point out flaws where they may be (and there are a lot of them), but also keep in mind that we aren't much better as individuals.

Dani H
Nov 3rd 2008, 05:06 AM
If you have the same problem with many other people ... the issue is not with the other people.

moonglow
Nov 3rd 2008, 03:04 PM
As I was reading the OP this verse came to mind:
Mark 3:24-(found in other places as well).."If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand."

I was thinking and praying about this today. Just in Rhode Island there have been more church splits in the last year than ever.
What is happening? We don't like the way things are run, or how saved people behave, so we either leave the church or stop going altogether, and we find ways to justify it. If the church is divided, what is that saying to the world that we are here to share the gospel too?
My mother has been going to the same Catholic church for years. I've been to a few different churches due to church splits. What is that saying to her?

I just recently had to leave another church. There was no way I could stay. I am so frustrated and the pastor told the congregation that I was nothing more than a church hopper. Yikes, that stings! So I could have said forget this, I'm not going to any more churches. (this was my 3rd. The first one the pastor was having numerous affairs with the ladies in the church, the 2nd one the Pastor left for another church, and this last one the Pastor, well I question much about him.)Anyway, I immediately put myself in another church. I sit quiet and I listen to the Word of God. I spoke to my Sunday school teacher and the Pastor's wife and told them that I just can't bring myself to become a member as of yet. They told me to sit and listen.

When we dont' go to church we are disobeying the very Word of God:
Hebrews 10:23-25-"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised, )And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Also, church is where we use the gifts that God gives us to edify one another. We really do need each other.:hug:


See this saying we are disobeying the word of God by not going to corrupted churches really bothers me and makes me angry in fact. I don't want to take my son to a church that teaches falsely then have to undo that when we get home...I mean what is the point of that? Just to abide by this one verse? That is how bad it is around here. Of course I don't want to disobey God's Word but I also want to follow the rest of His Word in avoiding those false teachings....I guess I feel like when anyone put that verse out its like trying to guilt people into going to church. I realize church isn't about us...or at least that is what we are suppose to say or think but honestly we have to protect ourselves against false teachings and especially when it comes to our children that may not know what is correct and what isn't correct. So in that instance I have to put our well being first. Jesus didn't tolerant the false teachings going on with the religious leaders of His day...why should we just for the sake of attending a church?

I see nothing wrong with 'church hopping' to find a good bible based church...I mean why stay in a corrupted church just to avoid that label or to fulfill that verse? I think that would be wrong. Churches are slipping for reason! I see it as the separation of the sheeps and goats going on. Churches are allowing gay pastors in them now and other sins to be going on...so yes leave! For the sake of yourselves and your family. We know this will probably get worse before it gets better...

2 Thessalonians 2:2-4

2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Sounds like to me you had good reason for leaving those churches. I know many on here have some truly wonderful churches they attend and I envy them on that. If I could find a church like that..I certainly would have no problems attending.

I know more and more people are starting up home based churches and trying to get back to the type of churches they had in Paul's day ..tired of the corruption in many churches in certain areas.

God bless

moonglow
Nov 3rd 2008, 03:15 PM
You do see where I'm going with it though, correct?

Perhaps we should apply it to something so non-controversial, because I think this is a vital analogy (takes the same mentality and applies it to a different situation).

John is a Blopperton (a political party). John slaps Debbie. Debbie, baffled by this, walks down the street to a rally that turns out to be a Blopperton rally. There, everyone is cold to her and really ignores her. Sally, though a former Blopperton party member herself and knowing that the party's charter calls for all Blopperton's to be loving, still forms the belief that she doesn't want anything to do with Blopperton's.

How is that fair?

Likewise, with the Church, how is it fair to paint all churches and the institution itself under a bad light when a few churches have been bad apples. This is actually a logical fallacy (applying the particulars to the whole).

I think people forget this too often. Church isn't about what we want, it's about what we're called to do.


It's one thing to be upset about false doctrine or the way people are acting. It's entirely another to take one instance and cast the entire Church in it.

For instance, I attended a church where the pastor was caught in a hot tub with a woman that wasn't his wife. The church attempted to overlook this because he had grown the church from 700 to 5,000. He was extremely narcissistic and did whatever he wanted (he wasn't even repentant for being caught - he said he was just friends with her). My family led the way in confronting this pastor and we suffered for it. I won't go into detail, but it caused quite a bit of harm. However, would it be fair for me to paint the entire Church as being just like this church I attended?

In all fairness, I did for a while and it was wrong of me to do so. I sometimes think we forget that when we attack the Church or paint her in a bad light, we are doing this to the Bride of Christ. Marred as she may be, ugly as she may be, she is still His bride. Of course we should keep her accountable, point out flaws where they may be (and there are a lot of them), but also keep in mind that we aren't much better as individuals.

I think some people are so deeply wounded by something that has happened in a church, it can take years to get over and heal from. I wouldn't be so hard on them for that actually. The thing is..if someone of a certain political party slapped me...you bet I would be fearful of all those belonging to that same party for a long, long time! Why wouldn't I be? Why wouldn't I think they were all like that? It human nature to want to avoid being hurt. Especially if this is their only experience with a church...the wounding doesn't just go away..it leaves alot of mistrust. It might not be right or fair, but its a normal response.

I have a friend that years ago got involved in a cult like church...don't remember the name of it now but the wounding from that experience..her only experience with any church has lasted her a life time and her mistrust of any church runs so deeply now that I can't get her to believe me that most churches aren't like that and to try again. She talks about trying...but never does. :( It totally destroyed her faith. :cry: I am afraid she will die without truly knowing the Lord because of this.

God bless

Dragonfighter1
Nov 3rd 2008, 03:16 PM
I...:cry: Alot of the times I don't know if I fit in on here either....
Speaking humorously... You'd better fit in... with 27 billion bazzillion, gaschmillion posts to your name!

Dragonfighter1
Nov 3rd 2008, 03:26 PM
I have read all the posts. I think I see two sides to this and both are right!

We do tend to blame others and accept no criticism ourselves.

We are all hypocrites, its just some of us won't admit it.

When I hear people cutting the church I try to say, "Well church is full of hypocrites, whether they know it or not. It the hypocrites that don't even go that are the worst kind."

I know that is an over simplification, and in Moonglow and others situations there are circumstances that complicate what is already NOT a simple issue.

Nonetheless, I do think that unless you live in an area where there are few churches, it would be best to seek out another church-even if you didnt agree with all the doctrine (just dont jump into that issue while there... sort of like newbies coming to these boards and posting there "big Issue" before getting known).

If there are no other churches in the area, then perhaps these boards are the only practical alternative. But I think some will USE any excuses to justify not being involved. I am not speaking to those people as they aren't going to read these boards anyway:cool:.

Churches are full of sinners! Which is exactly where they need to be!

I am not a baptist, but I attend one and keep my mouth shut on what we differ on so I can fellowship in the spirit.

DF1
P.S. There does seem to be a mix up between spiritual fellowship and social fellowship...that is where sexual misconduct usually raises its ugly head.

Teke
Nov 3rd 2008, 04:20 PM
I'm putting this here because this is where it would eventually end up.

One of the most annoying things I encounter is when people complain about the Church, the local Church, and Christianity in general. Too often people say, "I don't go to church because I've been burned" or "I don't need a community to dictate my faith to me."

Too often we're sitting here complaining about the Church as a whole without realizing there is one common element in all our bad experiences with the Church: Ourselves.

What concerns me more, however, is that it is the true spirit of elitism when we take on this attitude of "I'm too good for the Church." When we constantly criticize and berate the bride of Christ without acknowledging that some of it is our fault (when speaking of the local church), we elevate ourselves above what God has instituted.

It's the attitude of, "I only need myself and the Holy Spirit." God created us to be in a community, not to be individuals or autonomous. In light of this, we have to keep in mind that for every criticism of the Church - even if valid - other criticisms could be leveled right back at us. Our job is to fix the flaws, not run away from them.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

While I see were your coming from on this. I wouldn't necessarily say that we need to fix anything. Because our judgment is faulty. Every experience is a teaching for us, a way in which God teaches us about ourselves, others and how we relate in light of those experiences.

Many times I have been misunderstood because of the manner I view "church" in. It is a view of family. The good with the bad and even if there is an argument or disagreement, at the end of the day we're still going to be family.
In that vein it has been my experience that most peoples response to church is the same as their response to family. For instance, if your not the type of person who is close to their family or feels such closeness, you likely won't feel it from the church, nor have any desire to. If your the type who can go without speaking to a family member for years or never, then that will carry over into your church experience.

The gathering of people called "church" is but more of our human experience and response to one another as well as God.

Speaking from a lot of church experience :D , it certainly can at times look like a circus to us. But I could say the same about pretty much everything in this world.
I can relate to Moonglow's single mom experience, and to others who have faced difficult persons in the church. Can also relate to the thought of wrong "doctrine" (whatever that means) in relation to our personal opinions.

The church, like our family, is a cross to bear. Everyday we live we will be part of the church if we are Christians, just as everyday we live we will still be part of the family we were born into. Nothing can change this.

It is our hearts that must change our minds. Somewhere along the way many of us had it put in our heads that we were bearing the cross that lead to Calvary. But in our heads we saw this as reaching the mount and being finished. We didn't look further to see ourselves hanging on a cross until we were dead.

If such a view doesn't change a persons heart and thinking, then I don't know what would. Picture yourself hanging on a cross watching all that goes on and being powerless to do anything about it. This is our lot. We are nailed to a cross until our death and God takes us down from it to be with Him. Once this concept is embraced, nothing else matters, except that we are in the place He put us. :saint:

moonglow
Nov 3rd 2008, 04:41 PM
Speaking humorously... You'd better fit in... with 27 billion bazzillion, gaschmillion posts to your name!

Yea, yea...yea...:rolleyes:


:lol:

IMINXTC
Nov 3rd 2008, 06:44 PM
Yea, yea...yea...:rolleyes:


:lol:

Your God-given gifts are needed by and given for the edification of the body. As a believer, I can only truly recognize and manifest my Spiritual identity in the context of the Body of Christ. While it remains that a believer may be forced to go it alone in some circumstances, fellowship is by far the best plan, and the one the Lord had prescribed.

Not speaking, per se, of the horrible conditions found so often today in so-called churches, I'm sure we all agree that the worst thing we are witnessing today is the wholesale abandoning of the physical church by millions.

"Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph 4:3

The bad guy moves in as the good guy moves out. (not trying to sound preachy nor to correct, but to encourage).

Scruffy Kid
Nov 3rd 2008, 08:02 PM
OK, moonglow, sorry to be so direct but I just have to say it.
:cry: Alot of the times I don't know if I fit in on here either...but I remember what the bible says, we are to please God and not men (people). So I am here because of Him. And I try to be a servant as Christ told us to be. ... I don't think any of us will ever feel totally 'at home'...until we are... God bless You are a tremendous contributor here -- not because of the number of posts but because of your solid godly common sense, your honesty about the struggles of the Christian life, your balanced perspective, your compassion for others in need, and your love for Jesus. These things shine through, and have been a huge joy and comfort to me and many other members through the years here.

Scruff

Dragonfighter1
Nov 3rd 2008, 08:04 PM
OK, moonglow, sorry to be so direct but I just have to say it. You are a tremendous contributor here -- not because of the number of posts but because of your solid godly common sense, your honesty about the struggles of the Christian life, your balanced perspective, your compassion for others in need, and your love for Jesus. These things shine through, and have been a huge joy and comfort to me and many other members through the years here.

Scruff
Oh come on you guys! SHe's gonna start growing wings at this rate!:rofl:

Poke her in the ribs...its much more fun anyway:o

teddyv
Nov 3rd 2008, 08:13 PM
From the OP, I think what we may be seeing is our North American culture reflected back at us. The me-first, highly individuallistic society that we have all grown up in and has shaped us in ways that we rarely are willing to see.

moonglow
Nov 3rd 2008, 09:37 PM
Your God-given gifts are needed by and given for the edification of the body. As a believer, I can only truly recognize and manifest my Spiritual identity in the context of the Body of Christ. While it remains that a believer may be forced to go it alone in some circumstances, fellowship is by far the best plan, and the one the Lord had prescribed.

Not speaking, per se, of the horrible conditions found so often today in so-called churches, I'm sure we all agree that the worst thing we are witnessing today is the wholesale abandoning of the physical church by millions.

"Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph 4:3

The bad guy moves in as the good guy moves out. (not trying to sound preachy nor to correct, but to encourage).




Scruffy Kid
God uses your servant efforts and good sense as you seek to serve Him!
OK, moonglow, sorry to be so direct but I just have to say it.


You are a tremendous contributor here -- not because of the number of posts but because of your solid godly common sense, your honesty about the struggles of the Christian life, your balanced perspective, your compassion for others in need, and your love for Jesus. These things shine through, and have been a huge joy and comfort to me and many other members through the years here.

Scruff

I thank you for that...brings tears to my eyes. I can't tell you all how much I WANT to be in a church and actually contribute...rather then be glared at...
I want to be a servant and at our last church, inspite of my disabilities I tried to go to every function and walk around the neighborhoods giving out information about our church. Shoot I wasn't above cleaning the toilets, donating T.P. and doing physical labor at all. Anyway I could help, I did the best I could.

You guys help heal some deep wounds though...thank you.


Dragonfighter1..and I am good at harassing certain members on the board...

wonder if that is listed among the spiritual gifts? :hmm:

:P

Dragonfighter1
Nov 3rd 2008, 09:53 PM
I
Dragonfighter1..and I am good at harassing certain members on the board...

wonder if that is listed among the spiritual gifts? :hmm:

:P
You keep harassing me girl!
My wife and I think you are awesome..
Oh and here's a stuck out tongue/raspberry back to you:P Thhpppttt!

apothanein kerdos
Nov 4th 2008, 04:18 PM
I think some people are so deeply wounded by something that has happened in a church, it can take years to get over and heal from. I wouldn't be so hard on them for that actually. The thing is..if someone of a certain political party slapped me...you bet I would be fearful of all those belonging to that same party for a long, long time! Why wouldn't I be? Why wouldn't I think they were all like that? It human nature to want to avoid being hurt. Especially if this is their only experience with a church...the wounding doesn't just go away..it leaves alot of mistrust. It might not be right or fair, but its a normal response.

A normal response it might be, but a wrong one nonetheless.

Again, what if Johnny is a Bleeboo - a new culture of people - and Johnny hits Sally? Is Sally justified in thinking ill of all Bleeboos?

The answer is, of course not. As Christians we are to be above holding grudges - we are to be above the normal response to things. Yes, we get hurt, but if we hold onto the hurt it shows two things: (1) We don't truly love the people that hurt us and (2) We haven't truly forgiven the people that hurt us. We can swear up and down that we do 1 and 2, but if we look ill upon the entire Church then we haven't loved and haven't forgiven.

That might be a hard pill to swallow, but it is the truth. For one, it's in Scripture so it's universal. Secondly, however, in my own anecdotal experience I've sworn off the Church numerous times, only to discover that the only reason I did so (regardless of how justified my anger was at my situation) is because I failed to properly love and forgive the ones that offended me.

That's what this thread boils down to - it isn't about church hopping at all. I could care less about that because often times it is a necessity. I'm talking about people who CONSTANTLY berate the Church, always criticize it, never have anything good to say, and avoid all churches because, in the person's mind, all churches are wrong. It's the people who say, "I don't need to go to church" or "all church is corrupt, therefore I avoid it." That's what I'm dealing with.

Scripture does expressly speak against such a viewpoint. For one, it's bitterness to act in such a way. Secondly, it ignores proper fellowship and can leave a Christian jaded, which stifles the Christian walk. That's the point I'm trying to get across.