Monday, July 14, 2008

Losing faith in your pastor

I have been noticing lately an unusually large increase in some of my visitors lately. I am able to track what brings people to my site and it is amazing how many people show up by doing a google search. Here are some of the searches that have brought people here...


how to know you need to change churches

i think god is telling me to change churches, how do i know?

what to do when you lose faith in your paster

i have been hurt by my church, what should i do?



Below is a copy of a post I did back in early May...



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?
*************************************************************************************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 12:36Know 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 if 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!!

4 comments:

michelle said...

good post... I remember it well... the only comment I have is about the Hawaiian shirt... I don't think it matters what one wears as long as the true Gospel is being preached. The early church leaders obviously didn't preach in a three piece suit, there was no such thing... the whole "dress code" thing can get a little legalistic, IMHO... When I am at "the refuge", which is the church for the homeless and poor, I wear shorts and a t-shirt... again, I say as long as the true Gospel is preached, that's all that matters... like Jesus said to the pharisees in Matthew 15 - 1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"

3Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, 'Honor your father and mother'[a] and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'[b] 5But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' 6he is not to 'honor his father[c]' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

:-)

pastorbrianculver said...

To me the shirt is not a big big deal. It has more to do with the "attitude" that comes along with wearing the shirt. I have no problem if people want to be casual, because you are right, robes were the usual attire back in the days of Jesus and the Disciples. Suits are a man-made tradition. My problem comes when people wear certain clothes for the sole purpose of being seen as acceptable to the world as opposed to going to church for the sole purpose of worshipping God! Those people who go out of their way to appear acceptable to the world, are many times, the same people who will dilute the gospel for the sake of being acceptable to the world. They do not want to offend anyone. We are never anywhere in the Bible told to dilute the gospel. In fact, we are told just the opposite!

Jeff Greathouse said...

PBC:

Have you seen this article yet ?

http://www.koco.com/news/16860079/detail.html

I would hope that some would lose faith in this pastor. This is just unbelievable. I can not think of anyway to rationale that ...

pastorbrianculver said...

Whoa! I just posted the article as soon as I saw it. Thanks Jeff! That is ridiculous that they would do that!