I have a church question?
Recently I joined a new church. They seemed great in the beginning but recently things have been changing.
I joined the choir and the pastor told me that flip flops were not shoes and I needed to stand before the congregation in proper footwear. Then, he changed all the music to hymns. I told a friend I didn't like hymns and she told the pastor. Two days later I was called into his office to "discuss" it.
Recently I posted something on my facebook that a woman of the church didn't agree with. She sent me an email asking me to take it off. I told her that I should not have to change myself and be someone I am not to please the pharisees of the church. She told the pastor on me and he told her to let him handle it. I am now requested to return to his office on Tues. to discuss my problems.
A) The foot thing. I consider the church holy ground. I also consider it the Lords house. I do not wear my shoes in someone's house. The Lord does not care whether I have shoes on my feet, he himself walked barefoot. God told Moses in his presence we are standing on holy ground. End of story.
B) For him to keep "Handling it" goes against scripture. Mathew 18:15. This bothers me that he did this twice.
So now, I am at the point where this church seems to be run by a hypocritical leader. I have the meeting on Tuesday but I am unsure of what to tell him. I don't want to tell him he is wrong, but he is...
So, the question: Should I tell him he is wrong and leave the church, or should I stick it out and drop it?
- homechrchLv 61 decade agoBest Answer
Dear Samantha, be assured, your case is by no means unusual and you will need wisdom to know what to do about it, for in all things you need to know how to walk rightly in the Lord before your fellow men. However, under the pressure of seeming to be 'the only one in this situation' it's not easy.
Firstly, let me comment on some of your points. The first one about the flip flops - well, actually, I can see some rationale in both sides of the argument, so I wouldn't fall out on that one.
As regards the hymns - this is interesting, for, in my experience I have found that I had an issue with a church I belonged to singing exclusively choruses and the old hymns were few and far between. Now, a lot of the old hymns are - quite frankly - miserable dirges, but some of them are just glorious and, at that particular time, a great comfort to me. The new choruses I found, were more and more 'teaching' new and antibiblical ideas, and I got to the stage when I literally 'dried up' - I could no longer sing in church. Drastic, eh?
My opinion - without going any deeper into the matter - is that a good mixture is helpful to us all, actually, because we have old and young in the congregations and it all helps 'balance', with everyone giving a little to the other. So, I can well understand your unease, because singing hymns exclusively is just as bad as singing choruses exclusively, I reckon.
I personally have spent no end of time before pastors and elders 'discussing it' and I have to say it's not been pleasant, so I can empathize with you again. However, in the matter of Matthew 18:15, where you say the pastor went against scripture - well, in the case of going to your church friends, and then it going to the pastor, they did try to tackle you first themselves, before going the next 'up'.
However, I don't think this 'reporting' to the pastor is a good idea - you should have both agreed to differ and nobody should have made an issue of it, in my opinion. Apparently, you are in a church where they can't - or won't - sort out the least little thing among themselves without bringing in the 'heavies'.
What you are really telling me is that you are feeling uneasy in your spirit and - what's more - you are feeling 'monitored' and controlled - hey? You sense that church shouldn't be like that. I do agree with you, but the sad fact is, it is like that, in so many cases.
My experience of belonging to churches is exactly as you describe - everything was 'honeymoon' initially, then the bad things - and the bad feelings - started coming in. Let me say to you again, as I am receiving the reports with my 'ear to the ground', many, many believers (in ones and twos) are going through just what you are. I myself have 'been there, done that and got the tee-shirt' as they say!
This is a scripture that has really helped me lately, to see more clearly what 'church' should be:
Mt 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mt 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your servant (not 'minister' - that was put there to please King James, who was into 'top-down' authority).
Firstly 'Jesus called them unto him' - because he had something important he wanted to say to them - 'do not do this, do not take this for your church model'. What should they not do? 'exercise dominion' as the rulers of the Gentiles - as in the army, in government and in business - no IT SHALL NOT BE LIKE THAT WITH YOU.
So, what is Jesus saying? That those who 'would be great' must, in effect 'get down' before the saints and take the role of a servant, even as a slave. Get down at the saints' feet, so everyone is on one level. And what level is that? Grass roots level. As opposed to 'top-down' (pyramid structure) authority.
Having said that, I do hope you will be praying much before the Lord regarding your meeting on Tuesday with pastor. Actually, why don't you take a sympathetic friend with you (nobody's said you can't), just for moral support? You have a right to this, if you feel at all cowed by him, for if his 'authority' does this to you in any way, well I don't think this is what Jesus would have wanted. Honestly, do you?
If I were you, I would not be too brutally purist - yes, you can tell him honestly how you feel, but don't quit until you're good and ready. In other words, it has to the the Holy Ghost who takes you out, and not the pastor making it 'hot' for you. Who knows, you may yet have a little more time with them. Seek the Lord in-between so that, whatever happens, you may emerge with a clear conscience. And keep a cool head. Pastor will have a cool head, you can be sure of it, because he's used to dealing with 'problems' like you - they teach them in 'pastor school'!
You don't actually have to tell pastor he's wrong - just show him the evidence and let him 'read between the lines'. You tell him he's wrong when you know you're going to quit the church! In any case, he will 'get the message' and, if he's the controlling type (like pretty much all of them are), he'll surely 'keep tabs' on you from then on.
I think, from the picture you've given, that you have still a little further to go with this church, because you don't know enough of what it's all about. So, stay in control, and don't be forced out, just to make life easier for pastor and the rest. Keep on walking with the Lord, and learn from him, what he's saying and teaching you about this situation, and about the church in general.
Finally, let me say, if and whenever you do ever come to that point when you quit this church, pastor will be sure to say to you something like this : 'I'm sorry you feel you don't fit in with us here, and I do hope that you will find another church you can be happy in somewhere else'. Classic! The fact is, wherever you go, this is pretty-much bound to happen, sooner or later, in that other church too!
Be prepared for that and realise that it's the system that's at fault, because it's making 'church' something completely other than the Lord Jesus ever meant it to be. The Early Church was never like this - read the Acts and the Epistles - they were all 'brothers', there was no authoritarian structure AT ALL.
If you are really starting along the road that I have trod (and many more like me), then you will eventually see this. It's not easy, finding out what First Century Church was really like and replicating it, but there are some that're doing it, who have quit 'the system' forever. That's me - and maybe, one day, it'll be your path, too. If so, do not be fearful, for the Lord will lead you and keep you every step of the way.
- breyet_leyetLv 61 decade ago
First pray and ask God what you should do. My natural instinct would be go somewhere else. Maybe you are sent there to help them change. If pastor is of God, God will correct him if he is wrong. I agree with you, it should be more free flowing. That is why I like it mainly, just me and God. I would not like alot of rules either. They want you to conform. If that really is not who you are, you need to look for another church for yourself. Also evaluate and judge yourself. no one else judges you, other than God. Are their requests reasonable? Can you wear a sandal instead of a flip flop? Will pastor give you money to buy new sandals, shoes for choir if you need help and assistance? I would ignore the woman asking you to change your facebook, she is just a member of the church. What does God say? Did God send the woman to you, to correct you. What is your gut, heart telling you?
If you feel oppressed and can not freely worship and praise God thru song, go elsewhere. If you think you are right, and feel like battling. stay there, but they may ask you to leave the choir. Otherwise, just smile, listen and do your own thing. Good test, let others talk and not be annoyed by what they say, and don't respond negatively . Stay in love to be blessed. Don't gossip and bad mouth about it, regardless how you decide to handle this situation. This have spiritual growth and lessons all over it. God tests those he loves. So how are you going to handle it? Best to pray and ask Him, see what He says.
- ArenajayLv 41 decade ago
I would leave the church. It sounds more like a cult. Not all churches are "holy places" God said "come as you are" if the church is so formal that they dont allow flip flops well that's most churches but for them to try to restrict you outside of the church is uncalled for. You cannot worship or learn about God in a hostile environment. You need to be in a church where you can worship as you please and they sing good songs. You may want to look into a non denomynational church meaning they're not :baptist, catholic, methodist, lutheran etc they're just there to worship and not tell people off for wearing flip flops. If they're worn on your feet, they're shoes. It's a shame we have stuff like this getting in the way of the real reason for church.
- AndreaLv 44 years ago
A church that denies the Trinity or Deity of Christ is wrong All Churches in which the grace of Christ abides and works is in real (if partial and impaired) communion with the true Church of Christ I believe and profess that the Catholic Church is the Church that is the Mother Church and the ecclesial body in which the true Church most fully subsists and whose doctrine is the most complete and I believe that the closer a church is to the catholic in doctrine and morality and where the sacraments are valid is closer to recovering the fulness of being true Church but all Churches, since they are composed of people, must be constantly being reformed by Jesus, the way , the truth and the Life,and returned to the sources: the Bible, Apostolic Tradition, Natural Law/ Right Reason and , especially God's gracious gift of Grace in Jesus by the Spirit
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- SnowflakeLv 51 decade ago
If he keeps it up it'll drive you nuts...does he has a superior or perhaps another pastor in the area of the same denomination you could speak to about it.
I had a similar problem with a RC priest but it's sorted now...he just seemed to 'not like my face' at first and was really rude to me at every opportunity. Then I think he must have thought better of it...or realised how unchristian his behaviour was, because he's totally changed.
But I was only going through the rough time with him for a few weeks. If your pastor's like this all the time...I dunno...I think I'd go elsewhere because I'd not be looking forward to going to church any more.
- 1 decade ago
A) Some people, particularly the older generations, consider flip flops (like those ghastly rubber things) to be disrespectful for anything but the most casual occasions - like wearing slippers or something. As you stand in the choir, perhaps they are looking for something a little more... dressy?
B) You called a woman in the church a pharisee. Maybe you need to learn a little tact? It would have been one thing for you to tell her that you saw nothing wrong with what you posted, but for you to call her something so weighted, I can see why she took offense. The pastor may have asked to handle the situation because you said there were lots of pharisees in his congregation. Or, you know, maybe he wants to talk about not insulting people?
I think maybe you need to learn the difference between things worth fighting over and things worth letting go. Plus, it really doesn't hurt to ASK why something is a rule or a request before you assume you are the morally correct individual.
- 1 decade ago
Please clarify what was deemed inappropriate on you fb page. That might make it easier to determine if someone is just being a pharisee or not. Did you "join" this church as you said or did you just start attending this new church. I wouldn't go into his office and talk about how his way of "handling it" goes against scripture. Pretty weak argument if you ask me and misuse of scripture. Don't get me wrong, this guys control everything approach is pretty unnecessary and uncalled for, but there's no reason to try bringing the bible into this specific situation. And who says you have to go to this meeting anyway?
- 1 decade ago
If you believe what you have done is Truth then you must stand by it but if you have the smallest doubt be humble. Be humble in any case. Churches have become worldly and it is not the ordinary member who has taken them (churches) down this track but those in control. I am very weary of any pastor, minister etc and treat them as I would a viper. Harsh words yes but I have seen many a one led down the path of error by their 'smooth' words.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Of course there are many sides to every story, perhaps you are there for a purpose; to bring light and life and to kick against religious cows. I would pray about it, ask God to lead guide and direct you. Talk to God openly like your best friend. He will give you peace, just stay focused on Him, stay in His Word, you are not there for you; or people. you are there to worship and learn about God, holy living... Read Rick Joyners book, purpose driven life. It sounds like you are passionate about God and want to do what is right. I attend and nondenominational church and can be myself and worship and wear ripped jeans no one cares. Pray and seek God, if you leave leave peacefully. and God will bless you.
- AshLv 41 decade ago
May be you should change yourself.
You said you didn't like hymns, which shows you don't want to praise the Lord. God have made all things in well disciplined and well organized manner. Therefore, you should be disciplined and well organized in the church.
Sometimes, priests and servants of God make some annoying mistakes but we should ignore them because if you don't ignore them you might be a cause of making nonbelievers away from God.
Stick to the Church, try to change yourself.
I guess, you give very few moments to prayers.
May God bless you and your family and may lead you to salvation and may He make you good example for others.