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Posts Tagged ‘God’s will’

Since leaving my former church ( a Purpose Driven/Missional/Spiritual Formation church) at least three pastors have been let go.   The stated reason for one was strictly financial.  Two have been let go because they are “not going in the same direction…and we should all be in the same boat.”  In the case of these two pastors, everyone was to trust the leadership on the decisions to let them go.  No one was supposed to talk about it because it might divide the church.   This is typical in this church, something happens and they must keep it all quiet.  If you talk about it you are being divisive.   The only statement on the forced resignations was that there was no moral failure of any kind, just they were going in different directions.

One of these pastors was a great comfort to my husband and to me when we were leaving our former church.  He prayed with us, listened to us, and encouraged us to communicate our concerns.   I believe he was one of the best leaders on the staff, and felt very comfortable (after a while) coming to him with questions about what the church was up to.  He actually acted when I spoke to him, even confronting a group the church was affiliated with that uses contemplative prayer WITH breathing exercises etc. just like meditation in eastern religions. 

I cannot speculate as to what these pastors did to cause them to be let go.  I have no clue and don’t expect to ever know.  The church leaders make these decisions and don’t think the people need to have explainations.  I just want to know, what is a justified reason for letting a pastor go? 

What gets me is that many people who have spoken about the forced resignations of these pastors is they claim, “It hurts to loose great pastors at our church but we just have to trust in God.”  Are they claiming God is at fault for the leadership decision?  Many are quoting scripture in their proclaimation that they will miss their dear brothers in Christ but believe God can be trusted.  It reminds me of when I had a miscarriage and people would say, “God has a plan, it’s a blessing in disguise because the baby was probably defective.”  This situation is different though in that the decisions being made are by men.  It’s not that God isn’t in control, but to label the actions of men as of God….well, sometimes men do something that he approves of…but there are many other times when they just flat out sin.  And it feels to me the leadership is using the “God card” to keep people from asking the right questions.  The ones making such statements are likely just putting their hands over their eyes…saying “God has a plan.”

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Had a guest pastor at church today.  He made some solid points, though I am still very careful when listening to anyone preach.  The sermon was on the story of Joseph in Genesis as well as Psalm 105.  It was about success in life, but not in the way many ministers measure success these days. 

 Success in a life brings glory to God, so it’s only success in God’s eyes that counts.  It really has to be Christ centered and is worked out by God.  He first stressed that in Joseph’s life trials tested his faith.  God brought these trial to his life, and he will bring them to our life in order to work His will. 

The many trials of Joseph were being first rejected by his brothers, betrayed by them, physically injured, enslaved, tempted, falsely accused, imprisoned, and forgotten.  We will also face many trials and we are, as James says, to count it all joy when we are tested and put through many trials. 

 Another thing that allows us to succeed in God’s eyes is that there is a Truth that supports our faith.  Genesis 37:5 states “the word of the Lord tested him.”  He was given a truth in his dreams, and his dreams came true.  The pastor spoke of a change that occured in Christ, (I think it was Hebrews 1) that God in various ways spoke to us by His Son.  Christ communicates by His word (recorded in the bible) and through the Holy Spirit. 

He also communicated that what we perceive or feel is not often true.  The only true thing is the word of God.  He quoted D. Martin Lloyd Jones saying “We spend too much time listening to ourselves and too little time talking to ourselves…”  I would argue we spend too little time in the bible and in prayer, but I do understand the point made.  He said we need to “talk to ourselves” and remind our selves the turths of God’s word.  Not exactly the same thing as contemplatives who go within themselves….

God is also bringing His people to Himself.  Jacob’s family meant their actions for evil, but God meant them for good.  He moves people back to Himself, and even did this with Joseph’s family.  God is also fixing our eyes on eternity to see beyond our trials.  He is working all this out for His glory.  Success is God’s glory, not numbers in the pews, not slick presentations, not money or fame. 

The above was a paraphrase from the visiting pastor, none of the work is mine…

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