| Church Problems|
I am kind of going through a weird time right now. The leadership at my "church" have decided to excommunicate a leader that has adopted calvinistic beliefs. I myself am not reformed, but I don't mind if people view things this way, as long as they are truly seeking God (as with any viewpoint). This person in particular is so incredibly knowledgable and is truly seeking after God. As of this point he is the only one being kicked out, and I do not know of the others that share his viewpoint. The best part is that he told me "It's not the lack of God's sovereignty being taught, but its the lack of God's Glory that bother him." This is about the 3rd time calvinists have been kicked out and there was another time with someone else who started thinking for himself.
To make things more complicated I gave him "Modern American Christianity" by Paul Washer, and of course since he reads his bible, he agreed with it. This particular sermon pretty much completely describes my "church" throughout the whole sermon. Then (sorry for making this so long) he asked me to burn him 20 copies of it for him to give to some of the leaders (not so smart, but needed). So I did and the night that the pastor talked to him about his calvinism and whatever else. He was able to give some out, Praise God!
And you have to know that I wouldn't particular mind getting kicked out because I don't really like the church, although my parents are way into it. I would like to go join the bible study and prayer meetings of one of the people that got kicked out (the non-calvinist, although accused of it) but his name is basically a bad word at this place as well as in my family who are involved in the leadership of the church. So in light of this already incredibly complex situation, I told the one currently getting kicked out that I did not mind if he mentioned my name with the CD.
I just want a reason to get out because God hasn't given me the courage to forsake my whole family and a some friends yet. And I think that this could be how God is showing me to stay. It is things like this that make me want to just move away to a random country and be missionary and forget everything, but I am pretty sure that this is not God's will at this moment.
My Dilemna is (if you haven't gotten it yet) Do I stay and most likely eventually get kicked out, unless revival breaks out there amongst many hard hearts. Or do I try to fit in with this group to get myself kicked out or some other way of leaving. It is strange because I feel as though the whole church is on my hands, although I don't think that it is actually the case. It's weird because I have a burden for it, but I want to leave SOOOOO bad. If any of you could just pray for me or give me any input, that would be great. Sorry about the long confusing story, I think that in a way I am just venting.
| 2006/10/19 21:02||Profile|
| Re: Church Problems|
Sorry I just realized I put this under Scriptures and Doctrine. It should probably be under Lounge.
| 2006/10/19 21:03||Profile|
| Re: Church Problems|
Quote: May I suggest that you carefully read Malachi 3:16-18. Take the time to fellowship with others who truly worship the Lord and allow God to lead you in His way and in His time.
My Dilemna is (if you haven't gotten it yet) Do I stay and most likely eventually get kicked out, unless revival breaks out there amongst many hard hearts. Or do I try to fit in with this group to get myself kicked out or some other way of leaving.
Grace and peace
| 2006/10/19 21:54||Profile|
Santa Cruz California
It seems that your church uses the Calvinist title with just about anyone they deem unworthy of the G.L. empire. It's not the first time.
| 2006/10/19 22:13||Profile|
Yeah it is pretty funny that if they don't know what to call it, they just think of the worst word in their mind they can: calvinist! It is completely ridiculous
| 2006/10/19 22:22||Profile|
| Re: Seek God's direction|
Wow! Jacob, you really are in a tough spot especially with your parents being so loyal to the powers-that-be a power that seems to use ungodly control, dominance, and who knows what else probably intimidation too.
This situation may very well be Gods platform for you his way of drawing you to himself, and weaning you from reliance on the religious institution Thankfully the church does not own you. Nor is it the mediator between God and you. Christ is your real Shepherd, your guide, your counselor. And he will indeed guide you. Wait on him. Get into your Bible, learn what you can. You can learn a lot on your own with the Spirits help.
I remember being in a situation from which I needed to be extricated. But I waited on God. He gave me a year warning. Then I waited for his leading. And while I did, I developed a relationship with him that I never had while I was too involved in the church.
Miraculouly, all responsibilities I had in the church finished up one after another, without me having to make it happen. All the roles that I had were replaced by others. God did a marvelous job of severing the ties. Finally, one day, in Gods perfect timing, he called me out. My first Sunday away felt weird. I had no place to go. In fact, if felt a bit scary, but I knew that God had called me. It was not the result of my own rational thinking, or even my desires.
You cant fix the mess. Yet Id say that you made a very clever move by distributing the Washer CDs. Far better that Washer points out the concerns than you.
I cannot tell you what to do, but I do know that Gods Spirit can guide you and teach you in all things.
You already know that there may be contradicting messages from you church and family. The challenge for you is this: Which voice do you follow?
Do not let the fear of man overrule God's voice.
| 2006/10/19 22:40||Profile|
Santa Cruz California
Brother I know which church you are speaking of, and I know the individual that was ousted from there before. My brother used to work there, and was threatened with the same treatment.
You must pray about this, but isn't the Monday night meeting a good place for prayer? Also why not just try to find some like minded brothers and sisters, and begin meeting with them. See what GOD does.
| 2006/10/20 0:23||Profile|
The leadership at my "church" have decided to excommunicate a leader that has adopted calvinistic beliefs
One of my pet peeves is how many dear Arminian brethren will credit arminism's conditional emphasis as being the incentive that keeps a Christian from sinning...as if any legal motivation that we can can remind ourselves of has the power to do that.
Another pet peeve is how many dear Calvinist brothers will credit Calvinism with giving them more peace and grace then the Arminian. As if grace begins with a prayer of faith...and not with God's everlasting covenant before the foundation of the Earth!
What is Arminianism or Calvinism without the Holy Spirit? And what are they once we are filled with the Holy Spirit? Theology can teach and point us towards a correct understanding of God...but these things can not give us a life-giving relationship with Him.
Is Jesus an Arminian? Is he a Calvinist? Isn't he free to be soverign and save whoever he chooses... and yet vindicated in his righteous judgements against all sinners? Why must we write lines of code that mechanize the living eternal spirit of God who was and has always been without beginning or end?!
Bless the Lord for free will! What a divine gift, given only to men and not to any other creature bound by instincts and nature,...yet bless the Lord for he is still Lord above the wills of other lords!
Some claim to specialize in the grace of God as if other Christians are missing the gospel! Yet what is our limited knowledge of grace, compared to the only truly free man in the Universe who used his unmatched liberty to leave his own glory and live among filthy hairy men... to lift them up to heaven?
Today many pastors want to be high priests of these mysteries over other men. They stand in the entranceway of salvation judging our sacrifice and submission...admitting some and rejecting others.
And yet there is only one priest...we know Him because he was also the only sacrifice. Only Jesus was both, and any theology that pretends to know Jesus will lead us to fearfully and humbly desire purity in His presence and happily find forgiveness in his heart.
Thou dost not move men like stones, but dost endue them with life, not to enable them to move without thee, but in submission to thee, the first mover.
O Lord I am astonished at the difference between my receivings and my deservings, between the state I am now in and my past gracelessness, between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit.
Who made me to differ but thee?
For I was no more ready to recieve Christ than were others. I could not have begun to love thee hadst thou not first loved me, or been willing unless thou hadst first made me so. O that such a crown should fit the head of such a sinner! Such joy for so vile a rebel!...
I know that my sufferings are the result of my sinning, but in heaven both shall cease.
a Puritan Prayer
| 2006/10/20 1:14||Profile|
| Re: Church Problems|
flee, dust your feet off, say "I love you all, and may God bless you all", and let it go.
Maybe you and this beleaguered pastor are friends?
If so, why don't you suggest that the two of you and any others of like mind, just get to meeting on Sundays and Wednesday's and begin to pray and cry out as the Spirit leads, and to go where the Holy Ghost leads...just a suggestion.
just another example of how religion kills and Jesus saves. Jacob, stick with Jesus, let the fleshlings play religion.
I been thru this, the Lord had me outta there before it even began. Praise His Name.
| 2006/10/20 2:08|
| Re: The Calv/Arm smokescreen|
What is Arminianism or Calvinism without the Holy Spirit?
Is Jesus an Arminian? Is he a Calvinist?
Compton, I wonder if the perpetual tension between the two polarities keeps the historic church from bending towards one side completely. I compare it to the balance of world powers. That, of course is under Gods sovereignty, and yet, the people are held responsible for which kingdom they surrender their allegiance to: God or the world.
Even on a personal level, the Calv/Arm point of tension forces me to examine what code I follow. To the extent that I fail to live by the Spirit I find myself wavering between spiritual passivity and reliance on myself, or maybe both at once.
Apart from the Spirit, this tension cannot be resolved. In the Spirit there is neither Greek nor Jew, Calvinist nor Armenian...
Having said that, I suspect that in Jacobs church, the Calvinist is merely a scapegoat someone to blame, perceived as the threat. I bet "Calvinism" is a smoke screen for abusive leadership, and sinful ambitions. Sounds like this church needs some threats to come against it for the sake of the Church (capitol C). No doubt God has divinely ordain that, or shall I say - predestined.
Jacob, The battle belongs to the Lord! Leave your sword at home. Stay out of the line of fire (so you won't get burned) and watch the hand of the Lord at work.
WARNING: it can get messy.
| 2006/10/20 7:56||Profile|