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Posts Tagged ‘leaving’

This comment comes up when we run into friends from church.  We’re honest, and we say we’ve left.  Usually that is followed by the awkward, “uhmmmm, can I ask why?”  I personally now have a faster answer that is not so…whispered.  I simply say, “the pastor’s sermons have gotten to the point where they are using strange new age terms.  Also, if you research what transformation, spiritual formation, and other terms they use mean you might find some things that aren’t Biblical involved.”  That says enough.  I usually get a blank stare.   One friend the other day said, “well, I’ll be listening carefully then.”  That’s the answer I hope for.  Not the “we’ll leave right away” but “I’ll pay attention.”  It’s much better not to follow someone blindly trusting, but to look and listen for yourself and see if the person is saying something correct and true.

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It’s amazing how relieved I feel, and yet how sad I feel.  I have been attending this church for eight years, and intended to raise our children in this church.  Stability is a big deal to me, as is loyalty.  We had invested ourselves into children’s ministry, prayer ministry, and men’s ministry.  I had a particular desire to help women with miscarriage, and possibly to try to mentor pregnant women and teens.  Missionary work appeals to both of us, and we were hoping to go on short term missions as well as take our children on service missions.  Our church appeared to offer many places to devote service to God.  It was our desire to really devote ourselves to God’s service.  We still desire this, but we cannot do it in a church that has been going New Age. 

I am sad also because people are falling for a lie.  I love these people.  It’s like watching a person become a drug addict.  Knowing they won’t listen, it’s hard to sit and just watch.  That is likely what sent my husband for the doors.

Sunday, we almost attended a different church, but I couldn’t do it yet.  I had to feel closure, know it was my last Sunday there.  My husband actually parked in a church parking lot, and I said, “no, I’m not ready today.”  He promptly turned it around and we went to the church of our membership.  We listened to the sermon, which was more of the same.  The pastor talked about Christ coursing through our veins, and also had a time of silence at the end of the service.  Besides this, his message was about story and how we are to write ourselves into God’s story, and how the God’s story is the greatest story or some such something.  I will look at sermon notes later to get a better idea. 

We did let an elder friend of ours know we are leaving.  “Ouch,” was his reply.  He asked why, and so I delved carefully.  I tried to explain that really, our pastors have been promoting a religion much like the New Age.  I found my explaination to be halted, awkward, and difficult.  He listened.  He also said he was torn.  Listening to me had him confused.  One particular pastor was his mentor.  I had to share that this pastor really seems to be leading the charge following after Rick Warren/Dallas Willard and more.  He said, “you know, we came to a decision that people were just sitting and getting comfortable in our church, especially seasoned, mature Christians.  The 40 Days of Purpose was our way to combat that.”  I told him I understood why, that people can get complacent.  Still, the message has been tainted.  I shared a few phrases I have heard the pastors say, and one in particular was “Jesus coursing through your veins.”  Conversation moved on after a while, though I kept trying to revisit.  The elder went on to life and to things he has been involved in for business etc.  We chit chatted, and did come back to church topics.  He said, “we’re not called to change the church,” and “you need to do what you feel you are called to do.”  He added that if we were “not comfortable with the preaching in church we should find another church.”  He offered some other places, asked where we thought of attending and made a few comments on these places.  Really, he sidestepped the issue, and told me to not confront this in church.  I was told to write a letter, wait three days and then re-read it.  Send the letter, but don’t meet with any pastors.

I decided to write the letter, but I also decided to meet with one pastor.  This meeting will be next week based on schedule.  I hope to share a book with this pastor.  I hope he will hear me and investigate for himself.

Along the way, one of my friends who knows about my online writings has read about this issue.  Since this is also her church, she is alarmed.  At first, she didn’t believe it was really happening at our church.  Now she realizes better.  Her goal now is to just hang out, see if anyone will hear some reason.  She’s also going to work in church ministry and try to keep it pure where she is.  She hopes to impact the church in a positive way with the truth.  This also has been making her physically ill.  That is how she’s oppressed spiritually, through physical illness.  Hopefully, she can be healthy enough to fight the good fight here. 

I did listen to the last sermon online yesterday.  The quote, “Jesus coursing through your veins” has been edited out of the audio.  It’s a clear edit becaue you can hear the beginning of a word that is cut off.  Seems rather weird to me.  Evidence that they will likely back off any weird New Age language just to keep from running people off too early. 

So, our next step is meeting with the one pastor, meeting then with our small group, and letting our group shepherds know.  We also have to inform the children’s minister we won’t be helping.  I have let the pastor know I’m not helping with prayer any longer as I had before. 

We still have friends in the church.  I can think of some I want to inform.  I have got to figure out how to proceed in a way God would want.  My husband is pretty much hoping not to have to talk about this much more.  What he wants is to find a church and be in a Bible study group that actually studies the Bible and NOT some topic or book as often suggested by our church pastors.

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