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MetaCipher
Member



Joined: 2007/3/14
Posts: 11


 Church Problems

I have been going to a local church for about 2 years now; it's an Assembly of God church. I know practically everyone there (it's a smaller church), and I have been involved in the Youth Ministry for over a year. Since the beginning of 2007, I've had many troubling issues with the church that are driving me in different directions, and ultimately making me frustrated. Since I am married, and have a baby on the way, I am trying to make the best decisions for my family. Because of the issues I have with this church, I don't want me family to be put into confusion as well with the teachings and other various things found at this church. To name a few things that bother me:

1. I don't agree with their doctrine of tongues.

2. Since our congregation is growing, spirit of pride has come up. The pastor has said quite a number of times "Can I preach or what?" or other similar things. The elders have also said "Isn't our church great?"

3. There is a huge lack of biblical teaching in that place. People get their teaching 100% from the Pastor, and have no spirit of discernment.

4. In relation to #3 above, the church sometimes is treading grounds of "Word of Faith" teaching. The ideology that through faith God will give me what I want.

5. The Pastor teaches large abstractions from a few verses. Such as the idea of joy based upon a verse in a Psalm, and then the rest of the sermon is generalities and stories.

6. The Worship team acts like their on concert. They frequently add members to their band, and sing songs that are often found in concerts (like Hillsong United). The songs don't seem nearly as powerful as songs like "Amazing Grace." When I write this, the band has 13 members on stage, and more for backup. Our congregation is only about 100 people. It feels like most of the church is on stage!

7. In relation to #1 and tongues, this is hugely emphasized during worship, alter call, and prayer. I have brought questions to the Pastor before, but he acts as if I am ignorant and points me at Acts 2:4.

These things have been brewing in my spirit for a long time now. I feel like everyone at that Church doesn't know God's word, therefore doesn't know how to discern truth. This became especially obvious during a Sunday school class when the topic of the "floating Axe head" came up in a lesson. Only the Pastor's wife and I knew anything about that story. We were trying to figure out which prophet that was, but everyone else (about 10 other people) were literally clueless. This is one example of many.

I simply do not know if it is time to leave this church, or if I am simply being judgmental and need to let it go. I do know one thing, that I need to discern teachings to find the truth, and by that standard this Church doesn't match up well sometimes; in key areas.

Thank you for reading this, and I look forward to everyones response.

 2007/8/19 17:41Profile
freedbyjc
Member



Joined: 2004/7/29
Posts: 204
Jacksonville. Florida

 Re: Church Problems

First and foremost pray...

It sounds like you have solid proof that the assembly is turning away from the truth. You have tried to call them back but your calls are falling in deaf ears. From Matthew 17, as you have gone to the individuals, now is the time to go to the Elders with your observations. Document your observations -just like you did in this post- and add all of the scriptural or doctrinal or denomintional documentation you can. Present this to them and ask them to explain to you how what you are seeing aligns itself with the Word of God and the doctrines of the church.

If the ELDERS rebuff you or cannot enlighten you, then you have two options: Continue to be the clarion call of truth and work from within to return them to the truth or walk away and embrace a bible believing church in the area.

BUT do everything with a solid, continous and irrepessible cover of prayer.


_________________
bill schnippert

 2007/8/21 10:24Profile









 Re:

I agree w/ Freed... be in prayer. Seek to explain to the leaders what your issues are. Make sure you know and understand what you're talking about.

If they ignore you, and continue down the path they are headed, then you have no choice but to leave. Many Christians make the mistake of staying, foolishly thinking they will make a difference where error is being taught. There is another word for this... it's called "compromise".

Scripture never once indicates that we are to do that. We are called to seperate. Seperation is rarely preached these days, but it is God-ordained, and God commanded. Not as a way of being mean... but as a way of protecting your spiritual well-being, and that of your family. Especially your children.

And pray pray pray...

Krispy

 2007/8/21 10:45









 Re:

Quote:
. The Worship team acts like their on concert.



Ha-ha, I miss the good old days at my AOG fellowship of sensual and carnal worship followed by some feel good prophesy. Seriously though, I would be the first to tell you run from babylon, but as all have well spoken already, pray it over. The Lord kept us in one of these places for six months after we realized it was fraudulent before He told us that we were to leave.

The one thing that does bother me is that you through in that you didnt agree with them on tounges (which is 100% biblcal) as one of the reasons among other legitmate ones. Don't let lying signs and wonders cause you to lose faith in genuine signs and wonders.

In Christ - Jim

 2007/8/21 11:10









 Re:

Here's a great sermon I downloaded just yesterday that you should listen to... it's by Pastor Leo Giovenetti of Mission Valley Christian Fellowship in San Diego, CA.

It's called "How Do I Know When To Leave?"

http://www.mvcf.com/media/SunAM.asp

The date on the sermon is 08/05/07. Right now it's the 3rd sermon down from the top. (obviously it will change when they add a new sermon)

This is one of my favorite preachers.

Krispy

 2007/8/21 11:11









 Re:

Quote:
The one thing that does bother me is that you through in that you didnt agree with them on tounges (which is 100% biblcal) as one of the reasons among other legitmate ones. Don't let lying signs and wonders cause you to lose faith in genuine signs and wonders.



AOG teaches hardline Pentecostal doctrine of tongues being the initial evidence of being Baptised with the Holy Spirit... and if you havent spoken in tongues you havent been Baptised in the Holy Spirit.

This [b]is[/b] a false doctrine.

Krispy

 2007/8/21 11:13
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4501


 Re: Church Problems

Hi MetaCipher...

Hmmm...it sounds like we might have attended the SAME CHURCH!

:-(

Seriously, there are many Assembly of God churches which seem to be headed in that direction. However, let me make it clear: This problem is not confined to just the Assemblies of God. There are many churches from multiple denominations which are caught up into the same "happy church" quagmire. It just seems that the Assemblies of God, with their unique local "constitutional" setup, provides an opportunity for straying from the simple principles set up when the church began.

Many of these "modern" AG churches are caught into the church growth, seeker and/or health/wealth prosperity movements.

They mistake church population and congregational involvement for success.

They mistake visible manifestations (supposed miracles [like "holy laughter," gold dust, shaking, slayings of the spirit, etc...], organized or spontaneous dancing, worship "concerts," manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit, involvement by the congregation, etc...) as SIGNS of a "healthy" church. Because of this, the pastors often fail to notice the inner decay of the congregation.

These pastors also mistake "submission to authority" (the old "[i]You're under the umbrella of your pastor[/i]" rhetoric) for obedience to God. They force the congregation to adhere to their own sense of right and wrong, truth or lie. They fail to realize that the devil and "wolves" don't care about such "umbrellas."

They mistake "true spiritual liberty" as an excuse for the "anything goes" mentality of some of the congregation.

These type of churches replace sound Scriptual "teaching" that is meant to provoke with sound bites that are meant to unoffensively encourage the congregation.

The music is no longer measured by the depth of intimacy or sincerity, but by how well the congregation emotionally responds to the songs and music.

These modern churches are filled with programs, programs, programs. While there is nothing wrong with programs, most of them are designed to promote involvement rather than change lives (even though they claim that these are designed to "reach out").

Evangelism has changed from one-on-one interaction to mass, media-inspired events (such as dramas, plays, concerts, food giveaways, or visual spectacles). They trade promotion and advertising for inspired evangelism.

The pastors report that "multitudes" are saved, yet have a difficult time understanding why their churches don't grow by the same number.

These churches dismiss the discrepencies by simply claiming that they "don't care which church these people eventually attend." Yet true "follow up" shows that most of these people don't go to church at all -- and that many of them simply don't even take their "decisions" seriously.

The congregation is encouraged to "claim" the "blessings" that God "has for us." Yet this is typically confined to measures of health/wealth. They equate spiritual happiness and success with the temporary pleasures of this life. How often do you hear the pastor os such congregations remind the congregation that everything will one day burn with fire? How often do they preach against greed or lusting after the things of this world?

MetaCipher, I would encourage you to speak privately with your pastor. If he is sincere, he will understand and perhaps share many of your own concerns. In fact, there are some pastors who feel "trapped" into these sort of church setups. They are approved for their position, and then fall into the cycle of "seeker church" leader. They fear the repercussions from changing the status quo. As a result, the church proudly breaks "tradition" and continues along the same ant paths as most modern, seeker churches. While the newcomers and church hoppers are happy, the sincere and more mature believers tend to leave.

You are in my prayers.

:-)

*Edit:
- Unlike Krispy, I'm persuaded that tongues IS indeed the initial evidence of the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" (which I believe is a completely seperate experience from salvation). However, I don't enjoy the "forced" tongues mentality or how many modern AG churches are encouraged to publicly speak and pray in tongues (as if they can turn it on and off at will) during services. I'm pretty much convinced that the vast majority of such people really do not truly speak in tongues in the first place (*ducking as I look around for shooting darts).


_________________
Christopher

 2007/8/21 11:21Profile









 Re:

Quote:
AOG teaches hardline Pentecostal doctrine of tongues being the initial evidence of being Baptised with the Holy Spirit... and if you havent spoken in tongues you havent been Baptised in the Holy Spirit.



I apologize if that is the case, my local congregation did not teach that, they taught it as a secondary act of God. I would definately agree that is a false doctrine. It saddens me to think of how many people are speaking in tounges straight to hell because their hearts have never been converted by the love of Christ.
In Him - Jim

 2007/8/21 11:22
MetaCipher
Member



Joined: 2007/3/14
Posts: 11


 Re:

Thank you for everyone's response. Everyone has gotten my Church right on. Especially the lengthy (but good) post by "ccchhhrrriiisss."

Regarding tongues, I don't wish to start a hate/love thread or anything. All I have to say is, for myself I don't believe in tongues in the sense that AoG does, but I DO believe in tongues in the sense of foreign/unlearned languages. And for the benefit of AoG, they don't teach Baptism "with" the Holy Spirit is necessary for salvation, they teach Baptism "in" the Holy Spirit is, which is basically being saved. The Baptism "with" is, like someone mentioned, a secondary act and is the Baptism that involves tongues (Basically, they teach two baptisms; which is utterly ridiculous btw). I don't want to argue on this nor do I want other people to, I'd much rather look at the important issues.

KrispyKrittr, I'll listen to that sermon ASAP, as I am sure it will be beneficial.

I'll be praying over this. Once again, thanks everyone for your responses.

 2007/8/21 17:38Profile









 Re: Church Problems

MetaCipher,

Congratulations on being one of the few struggling to enter through the straight gate!

"...to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word... they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed... Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child..." (ISA 66:2-7)

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (MATT 7:13-14)

 2007/8/21 19:26





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