I spoke with one carefully selected pastor today. He was amazing. He first prayed, and asked God that I would speak in “truth” with “clarity” and “boldly.” I cried before I started, but got it together so that I could speak at all. He agreed with me that the “emergent” themes are popping up in our church. He agreed that the youth organization camp (YF) outside of our church is emergent and that the emergent is linked with the New Age. He also feels that our church pastors have historically been focused on Christ and are saved, but that they are trying to replace language with new language and it’s not just the language that’s the problem but the meaning behind it, and the focus. He believes this church’s focus is now just off enough that they are no longer focusing on Christ, on the Word of God, and it’s subtle, but it’s truly there. He says he’s spoken to pastors about his concerns. One pastor even brought a book from lighthouse trails research to him and asked him to read it. He said he did, but he’s also reading another book much more technical and looking at theology and emergent. I am facinated to hear this. He really almost begged us to stay, that we would share our concerns carefully in love. He did say he understands though if we really feel called to leave because our children are important. He was glad I came to him and am honest, and he feels our family is rooted in the faith and loosing families like ours is bad for our congregation. Many have already left, he’s spoken to them. He suggests before we make our final exit, we write to a few of the pastors and outline our struggle specifically, telling them truthfully what we are seeing and where the message has gotten off. He says to wait for their response. He says he prays they will admit their mistake, and that they will put their focus back on Christ, the gospel, and reaching people for Christ.
I feel for him, I really do. He says he is not “a warrior” in this church trying to be on a high horse and change them back. He does feel he’s welcome to speak the truth here (and I’ve never heard any of this stuff from him). This is very good to hear. He says he doesn’t feel he needs to leave and then he added, “yet.” He wants to stay in contact with us, and really is concerned with things I brought up, and made it clear he has seen it too. His hope is that the church will get off of man centered focus and back to focus on glorifying God.
I believe him. I don’t think he’s playing any games. He might be let go if he does push forward, and may have to find another job someday. However, it’s possible, maybe, the church will be brought back. Now we are back to square one, almost. Actually, my husband has released himself from the area of ministry he was involved in. He let the pastor of that area know we were leaving. Of course, if we do decide to stay, we will not hide anything at all. We will stay with the hope that our church does change back. We can still participate in missions, service, and arts worship. We just have to START with the focus on God. The works can flow from this. Oh, I believe there needs to be a humility, repentance, call for forgiveness, and then maybe a pruning, and then we’ll see what God will do. Of course, I only spoke with someone who “got” what I was saying. I think we’re going to come upon resistance like we’ve never seen if we really push forward. At least we’re not in any positions of power, we don’t have anything to loose. I am nobody. I am not worth anything. I am just a sinner who is saved by the mercy, grace, and faith given me by Christ Jesus. Period. That’s what I got.
So now it’s to prayer, and talk with my husband to see what we should do.