Saturday, October 06, 2007

There's No Place Like Home (church)
Part II

When I posted this a while back, I never planned on a "part 2". However, it would seem that this may have been thrust upon me. I hope not. I'd like nothing more than to know that I can trust my pastor and the greater share of those in our church to be interested, at least marginally, in obeying God's clear Word.

After all:
  • He didn't stutter.
  • He has equipped us to understand what he has said.
  • He commands us to obey Him.

Well, it would appear that my wife and I have stumbled upon another "church" that has a problem with one or more of the above points.

And it's getting to a point where we are running out of local churches.

The "big evangelism deal" that I thought was going to be, isn't. The meat of this issue is another couple of paragraphs down. However, to give you an idea of the flippancy our church has toward evangelism, one of our senior (founding) members simply took down our sign-up sheet for evangelism class and replaced it with an announcement for her son's birthday. Yeah. that rates right up there with evangelism...

That's ok. She's a founding member. Seniority...and of course we are a "union church" (sarcasm). This is the same person who, during prayer request time a few weeks ago, stated that she "is so thankful for a God Who is so loving He doesn't care if we flip off other drivers". Yes, you read that right. Now, this person did not say "I'm glad we have a loving God who understands our mistakes". No. This was more like "I'm so glad we have a loving God who doesn't mind if we use His Son's sacrifice as a cloak for sin". When confronted publicly, her response was "we're only human". As far as I know, nothing further was done.

One of our most biblically focused laypeople, who is strongly focused on evangelism and obedience to God's Word, was raked over the coals after daring to mention (from behind the pulpit) the need to examine one's self, especially as it relates to personal evangelism. "Take prayer requests and make announcements? Fine. Just don't put your finger on anything I don't like". What makes this worse is that he was "demoted" from speaking on it from behind the pulpit, even though the pastor, who approved what he did could have stood up for him. Can you say "Benedict Arnold"?

For a long time now, I've been hoping beyond hope that maybe, perhaps, hopefully, this pastor is just kind of riding the fence, waiting for some of us to help him stand against the tide. But Noooooo! Apparently not.

The lesson I'm learning is that the definition of he Gospel at this church will be defined by the highest bidder. The Gospel is up for sale. I'm just waiting for someone with more money to show up and say "hey, I think the biblical Gospel includes repentance and faith...and dump the seeker/emergent/PDC stuff". Then watch things get redefined. "Oh! I just discovered a new truth!...Let's do it this way!"

Ah, yes. Nothing like abusing God's Word for a buck or two, huh? I pity those who are hucksters of God's truth. I think it was Ian Paisley or Paris Reidhead who said "If Jesus were around today, he wouldn't cleanse the temple, He'd cleanse the pulpit."

For a while, I joked along with this guy who can't even seem to get my name right. No, I'm not exaggerating or kidding. But your name is important to you and when a pastor can't get it right -- after 5 or 6 months -- and doesn't seem to care to try, you have to wonder if he cares about you past your check. Personally, I'm fed up. The only thing that keeps me from really believing he does this on purpose is that he does it to other people. So, maybe it's a case of "Mentalus Synapsus Interruptus".

I've only shared a few things that have become real issues. And I don't care for a "Part III". At least, not now.

This is it. I've "Played the Field" for a church that even seems to maybe, possibly, faintly desire to do even the smallest of things God's way. But I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to write a book about it and perhaps use a title I found on a website such as "Faking It for Jesus". Perhaps the subtitle for the book could be "Learning to Master the Judas Kiss Among the Body of Christ". So, I have dibs on that title.

Who knows? I know I can write. And I think I can express my thoughts fairly well. Anyone interested in a copy if I write it?

And no, I'm not kidding. Much.

We know no shame.


danfromtn said...

That's really sad, Tim. I'm sorry to hear that there is no real church that meets near you. I hope there are a few Christians scattered within a few miles of you that could meet somewhere for fellowship once in a while ... or something. I know you must be very frustrated.

P.S. I might buy your book (if you're serious)

Tim Brown said...

Hi Dan:

Actually, I've been running into individuals who are equally frustrated and just don't meet anywhere (for now). Stupid me, I didn't write down their names.

Not sure what is going to happen at this point. There are 'at home' options (we have a basement in this home that would be perfect for meetings...and the basement issue was part of what I was praying about when were looking for a house here) but I'm just waiting to see what the Lord does.

Come to think of it, I think I remember who it was. Someone I did computer work for a week or so ago...Hmmm!

God will provide. Just look at what He has done for my wife and I over the past two weeks. He is faithful.