Friday, May 9, 2008

When is it time to change churches?


Here are 16 questions that you have maybe asked yourself or others...

Is it okay to lie, cheat or steal?
When is it time to change churches?
Why should I change churches?
Is it biblical to change churches?

What about my church family?
Will I be setting a poor example to them if I leave?
What do I do about my volunteer work I do for them?
Would it be better for me to NOT change churches so that I could be around my loving friends?

Does it matter what Bible translation I use?
Is it better to listen to expository preaching or story based preaching?
Is it better to have a sermon series (7 weeks or longer) or a different sermon subject each week?
Do I need to have communion each week or once a month?

I was baptized in a Mormon church, do I need to be baptized again in a Christian church?
What should I do if I have been hurt by church?
Are jokes acceptable from behind the pulpit?
Is it acceptable for a pastor to wear Hawaiian shirts while preaching?

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Is it okay to lie, cheat or steal?

Sure, and while you are at it, go ahead and commit adultery, murder someone (hate), covet, dishonor your parents, blaspheme God's Holy Name, break the Sabbath, forget completely about God and bow down to a man-made god. Go ahead, do it! But realize this...

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Matt 12:36

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor 6:9-10

You see, we have the freedom to do whatever we want to do. But as Christians, we understand that what we do comes with a price. Unless we repent of our sins, we will not inherit the kingdom of God (heaven). Instead, for the unbeliever and the unrighteous person, hell awaits those who have not put their faith and trust in Jesus alone to save them. Without repentance and faith in Jesus, there is no salvation. (side note -- repentance here is not a "works" that is necessary for salvation. This is something that the Holy Spirit allows us to do when we put our faith and trust in Jesus completely! If a person has NOT repented of their sins,then they are not saved)

When is it time to change churches?

When the Holy Spirit convicts you to.

Why should I change churches?

Because the Holy Spirit has led you out of your current church. The "why" might have to do with several factors. Maybe you are being called to serve in a special ministry at another church. Maybe there is someone there that God has called you to at that very moment so that you can witness to them. The main reason from our human understanding is that the church you are currently attending is not preaching the whole Gospel message. If the Bible is not the authoritative Word of God in your church, then it is time to leave and find another church. If God's Word is changed to reflect the modern world and to make sin acceptable, then run, don't walk from that church! If you are not growing spiritually and are not being "fed" then you need to leave.

Is it Biblical to change churches?

We are to expose false teachings, false prophets and false leaders. If you are in a church that is spewing out false teachings, then you are to expose them for the sake of the other believers.

Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them.
Eph 5:11

What about my church family?

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. Heb 10:25

The assembling or gathering of ourselves for Christian communion in private and public, is an earnest of our being gathered together to Him at His appearing. Union is strength; continual assemblings together beget and foster love, and give good opportunities for "provoking to good works," by "exhorting one another." Now when the church does not provoke you to good works and does not exhort you, when the people in the church are bringing in sinful and sinfilled idea's and they are not being corrected by the pastor and the elders, then it is time to leave.

Will I be setting a poor example to them if I leave?

Actually, quite the opposite! If a true Christian is not willing to stand up for God's Word then what kind of faith is found in that church? It is a good example that we show others the importance of Holy Scripture and stand by God's Word as opposed to standing by Man.

What do I do about my volunteer work I do for them?

It is commendable that someone wants to serve God.  We should all be in service to Him within the church.  At what point do we hang on to our positions for the sake of hanging on as opposed to leaving and being fed God's Word so we can be edified to go out into the world reaching the lost for Christ?  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Just be sure that you are serving God and not serving your own self-interest.

Would it be better for me to NOT change churches so that I could be around my loving friends?

As mentioned earlier it is important to be "fed" God's Word.  It is important to be edified along with the body of believers.  It is important to be fed by a pastor/minister that exposits God's Word.  You can leave and still maintain your old friends.  Don't let loyalty to friends interfere with your desire to learn God's Word.  Not everyone is at the same maturity level in the Word, and that is okay.  Just don't let an unbeliever keep you down to their level.

Does it matter what Bible translation I use?

If you are a Mormon, you will want to find one that backs up the claims of Joseph Smith.  If you are a Catholic, you will want to find one that includes the Maccabee writings.  If you are a Christian, you will want to find one that does not distort the Word of God into less than the perfect Word of God!

Is it better to listen to expository preaching or story based teaching?

For me, I like expository preaching because I feel that learning the Whole Word of God, taken in context, is important for being edified.  At the same time, there are some people who learn best by hearing stories.  So long as the story is said in a way that is biblically accurate, the same effect will take place.  The person will learn and grow.  Unfortunately there are many story telling/joke telling pastors who have perverted the Word of God into something that it is not ~~ a soft gospel message.  We must remember that the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword!

For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Heb 4:12

Is it better to have a sermon series (7 weeks or longer) or a different sermon subject each week?

Which ever one the pastor feels led to preach ~~ so long as the Holy Spirit has led him to preach it.  The problem comes when the pastor takes the lazy way out and just copies someone else's sermon online.  For the pastor that tends to cheat by not doing an actual Bible study on his own, that man is not being led by the Holy Spirit and he should be removed from the pulpit!!  No if's, and's or but's about it. He should be removed if he has been found to have copied a sermon prepared by someone else.

Do I need to have communion each week or once a month?

It’s not the frequency that matters, but the heart attitude of those who participate. We should partake with reverence, love, and a deep sense of gratitude for the Lord Jesus, who was willing to die on the cross to take upon Himself our sins.

I was baptized in a Mormon church, do I need to be baptized again in a Christian church?

As for me, yes, I was baptized again.  I felt dirty coming out of the Mormon religion.  My baptism was not in Jesus of the Bible but in the Jesus created by Joseph Smith and who was the brother of Lucifer!  The Mormon Jesus can not save a person from ALL sins.  The Mormon Jesus was once just a man and only a man who became a god.  I wanted to make sure my baptism was a representation of the Jesus of the Bible!

What should I do if I have been hurt by church?

First off, realize that there is no perfect church that is led by men.  Also, realize that when the church hurts you, it was not God that was hurting you, it was man.  Do not lose your faith and walk away from God because of what man has done to you. When you have been hurt by church, be sure to keep your eye on Jesus and on the cross.

Are jokes acceptable from behind the pulpit?

Be ready to meet one of my "pet peeve's."  I am personally a joke teller and spent five years being a joke teller behind the pulpit.  I have sat in the sanctuary listening to pastor's tell their best jokes in an effort to make people laugh.  Humor can be used it that is your personality.  But when it becomes a chance to present yourself as a stand-up comedian, then it is inappropriate.  When people remember the joke more than the Scripture, then it is time to leave the ministry.  It amazes me how many LAZY pastor's are preaching from the behind the pulpit.  Leave the joke telling for after the service.  Let's use the sermon time to edify the body of believers so they can learn how to reach the lost out in the streets!

Is it acceptable for a pastor to wear a Hawaiian shirt while preaching?

I guess I would have to ask, "why is it necessary to wear that kind of shirt?"  It seems to have a lot to do with being found acceptable to the world.  When church becomes a place better suited for unbelievers than for believers, then church has failed to be effective. Church was never meant to be used for the unbelievers. NEVER!  That is not to say that unbelievers cannot come to church. Of course they can, they are welcome there.  But when the sermon is prepared in a way so as not to offend an unbeliever, then the Word of God has been softened and a Soft Gospel has been developed.  Church is for believers for the purpose of edification, worship, fellowship and to lift each other up for the sake of the gospel so we can all go into the world ready to preach the gospel to every creature!

When you have a question about church and don't know where to turn...
When you want to know what to do...
When you are frustrated at church...

Call on God!  There should be no confusion in the answer He gives you, it will be consistent with Scripture without compromise!

Have you had the above questions?
then the answer seems obvious...
it must be...
Time2ChangeChurches!!











6 comments:

Rhea said...

I had no idea that you were once a Mormon.....how did you come out of that??

pastorbrianculver said...

yep! I was a faithful Mormon for a little over 3 years. It took that long for me to see the "Light!" After a while I started questioning some of the theology of Joseph Smith and no one could give me an answer. At one point my heart rate went down to 26 beats per minute and stayed that way for 6 straight weeks. The Mormon elders came over and laid their hands on me and said, "In the name of Jesus and Joseph Smith, we heal you." Of course it never worked. Finally, after 6 weeks I was so scared I was going to die that I threw my Book of Mormon on the floor and cried out for Jesus to save me! I woke up the next day and my heart rate was back to 60 beats per minute. Been there ever since! Needless to say, I immediately left the mormon church!

Question of Identity said...

I think the most important thing that you have said here is that the time to change churches is when the Holy Spirit tells you to.

As for me I have struggled with God seemingly telling me to stay within the Church of England which has enormous flaws and time and time again (to my discomfort) I hear the Holy Spirit come back - 'Change the church from within'.

Jessie said...

Thanks for posting this :) I am going to reference to it in the future because there are some verses I was wondering about (more or less where they were since I couldn't seem to find them) that you have posted here.

Thanks again! Hope you are doing well :)

pastorbrianculver said...

thanks Jessie! I am doing well, just been very busy lately. I hope all is well for you and Jason!
God bless
Brian

Bob Rogers said...

Oh so helpful! Thanks pastor!