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reformer
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Joined: 2007/6/25
Posts: 764


 Is taking a break from Church wrong?

Old subject of many debates on SI. After we left a church 7 months ago, that was seeker friendly purpose driven, we left. My conscience could not sit under this teaching any longer. My whole view on what church is and what I wish it could be like, was due to being on SI. It was a reformation that took place. God so much used SI to open my eyes.

This is the hard part...now there is a struggle in discerning with what I have been learning through SI, and reading "dead theologians". TO what the church looks like. I would think if many of these men would be around today, they would be floored and outraged!! Would the Lord call someone out of a fellowship for a season? I know this happened to Ray Comfort at onetime for about a year.

Would the Lord call someone out of a fellowship for a season? I know this happened to Ray Comfort at onetime for about a year.



Blessings
Mike

 2008/7/13 10:02Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Is taking a break from Church wrong?

Interesting timing brother ...

I hesitate greatly but you are describing myself and situation to a "T".

Quote:
Old subject of many debates on SI. With a new twist. After we left a church 7 months ago, that was seeker friendly purpose driven, we left. My conscience could not sit under this teaching any longer. My whole view on what church is and what I wish it could be like, was due to being on SI. It was a reformation that took place. God so much used SI to open my eyes.

This is the hard part...now there is a struggle in discerning with what I have been learning through SI, and reading "dead theologians". TO what the church looks like. I would think if many of these men would be around today, they would be floored and outraged!! Would the Lord call someone out of a fellowship for a season? I know this happened to Ray Comfort at onetime for about a year.




Just made mention in your other thread regarding David Wilkerson and this is redundant ... but the very message I linked was instrumental in my reasons for pulling out of the church as I knew it. To this date I have still not returned, I am "out of church" and I am really quite unsure just exactly where that puts me.

Though that particular message had been listened to half a dozen times prior and has nothing at all to do with the extraction, this line of yours summarises it completely; "[i]My conscience could not sit under this teaching any longer.[/i]" To back up a hair, first it was the realization of those things we were ... indoctrinated into under the whole sway of WOF and all that accompanies that. We shortly left that church, in fact I vowed never to again darken it's doors after they made a mockery of the terrible times shortly after 911. Interestingly, now that I notice it, both of these instances revolve around prayer. In the former, it was at a week day, special prayer meeting one or two days after the planes struck. I came after work broken and burdened over the entirety of it all, the madness, the sadness, the cruelty of the human condition ... so many things coursing through the thoughts. To cut the whole thing short, well that was the issue, it was cut short. Rather than allowing the mourning and mostly quiet, sobering aspects of prayer and petitioning unto God the scene changed dramatically with the Pastor 'sensing' they should carry on with what the preceding weeks subject matter was; Tongues.

From there my spirit was vexed as it turned into a mêlée of confusion and nonsense. Prompted to let go and 'open up your mind', to not 'quench the spirit' all of a sudden it was 30 people all speaking gibberish with no interpretation ... As bad as it was, as confused of spirit as I was, still I prayed and pointedly asked "Lord, if this is true, if you wish to speak through me than you will have to force open this mouth and do so, I will not go along nor fake my way through it." I was too much the coward to speak up, but my wife picked up on my body language and we had no small dispute over it all afterwards. The towers had fallen, thousands were dead, the eerie silence of sky's without planes and we were to just shift gears into speaking babble and be happy about it all. No. Never again. It was the end.

After a time, do not recall how long, a few months perhaps we went to another church, more subdued and the first time was to hear the father of the man who died after rushing the cockpit of the ill fated plane. It was an incredibly powerful expression and articulation, many tears .. it was more in his demeanor and disposition than anything that I recall him stating. We soon joined this church and even to this day, I harbor nothing but love ... However ...

It is still very modern and susceptible to the seeker\purpose constructs, it's the whole mixed bag of things difficult to pin down into specifics. Which year I forget now but at the turn of it, New Years Eve they had set up a 24 hour prayer meeting which I had signed up for. Had it in mind to fulfill that obligation and then stay in the church all night quietly praying alone in the seats. On the way there had popped in Wilkerson's message once again and by the time I had arrived the sense of a shared burden had only been increased, was already of the same mind prior, the whole reason for going in the first place. To my disappointment, there was but the two organizers and myself. They had typed out the 'prayer requests' that were of a very generic sort, pray for this, pray for that. Very rote. It was all too structured and for my part ... forced, my spirit was again vexed and confused, it was all I could think but that the problem was with me, not them. Whatever the case again that same sense of [i]My conscience could not sit under this ...[/i] any longer. It wasn't a matter of blame necessarily, again felt I was the problem even with my sensibilities telling me otherwise, something was just wrong and I couldn't partake of it. I knew then as I decided not to stay, I couldn't stay, that I would never again return. I have been out of regular church ever since.

As you mentioned it is due in large part to all that has been absorbed through SI. I pray that is never taken the wrong way, it is in a sense neither here nor there, it is neither proof nor advice of anything. It may be almost paradoxical if all these dead men, these great men of God, (for they are, more than 'were') great in their articulation and expression of being used by God for His set purposes, the paradox would be how much they emphasized belonging to a local body if taken in total, in generalities.

Ultimately it is what is being taught that I cannot any longer tolerate, it is not a certain 'flavor' nor a personal preference nor even the fact that this is all constituted and rightly in my estimation as "old" that keeps me out of modern constructs and latching unto the past as it were. Frankly, I just do not know where or what I am supposed to do church wise. It's been a couple of years now, it is not a sort of conviction but it is also not something that has left me alone either.

Have gone to hear Zac Poonen and while he lived, Art Katz who could hold one spellbound if I could borrow that phrase loosely, for hours at time, tremendous how 4 hours of preaching could leave one thinking, but you have only just begun!

But even Zac seemed out of place where I heard him, I am sorry it is a difficult thing to explain and I would spare the criticism for something more alarming, like this confusion in Florida presently. The gathering of the saints from our lot at the conference last year in Canton ... The wonderful chills run up my arms as I write ... here was the church and if I am biased, so be it. Such a collection of ... 'oddities', the head covered and the not so, even the reference made to the fact from a unknown brother was a tremendous moment. Faces to names that have long tarried here, that strange thing of knowing them well that it made such little difference, it is knowing them in spirit and truth if there ever was evidence of it. It was the peace of the sanctuary upon arrival and all the load of this busy life and responsibilities and heart break and family and finance and ... falling off like a load of bricks crashing to the floor. It was the brother who sat down beside me from New York (or New Jersey perhaps it was) somewhat perplexed over "Who organized these men together?" He was not very fond of a certain representative and speaker that was present, having some theological as well as practical issues with their ministry, but had come to hear Carter Conlon. That, in itself was telling and spelling of it all. Different ministries with perhaps different emphasis but at the [i]core[/i] ... true believers anyway you sliced it and all still of one mind. It was as challenging in reality as it is here daily, a variety of perspective from a core that is ... sound.

And if anything that lone word is what may summarize where I am personally. I am just as ready to go back as stay out. It is a very difficult time and much confusion abounds, in fact this whole Florida business has me quite vexed and I cannot shake it though I am already well past weary of it, it keeps coming back to haunt me and I have written pages of expression that I keep returning to try and ... the thrust of it is over [i]confusion[/i] and it is full of confusion itself! Somethings wrong.

Quote:
This is the hard part...now there is a struggle in discerning with what I have been learning through SI, and reading "dead theologians". TO what the church looks like. I would think if many of these men would be around today, they would be floored and outraged!!



Brother it gives new meaning to "turning over in their graves". So many of these men saw this on the horizon in their day, just the likes of Tozer and Ravenhill, only some 40 to 50 years ago. Their 'prophetic' insight is a far cry from the nonsense of crystal ball like pronouncements that pass off as prophecy in our day.

I don't know what all this is saying as answer to your question, can only be as forthcoming as I ought. Something sound, something with pathos, from the gut, with guts, with courage and adamancy in love, something from the core of our being ... Just give me reality and truth and honesty, otherwise I cannot bare it any longer, cannot bare the false things and the falsity of spirit.


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Mike Balog

 2008/7/13 11:49Profile
reformer
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Joined: 2007/6/25
Posts: 764


 Re:

Quote:
From there my spirit was vexed as it turned into a mêlée of confusion and nonsense. Prompted to let go and 'open up your mind', to not 'quench the spirit' all of a sudden it was 30 people all speaking gibberish with no interpretation ...



Do I know this to be so true for myself. In my past, how many prayer meetings have I been to, that I "felt" I was being "filled", but to leave later with much confusion and despair! how many times have I acted like such a fool, praying for someone, not the words to say, I would speak in tongues over them!! Shame and pride as I look back! How that must of confused that person and made them feel worse. Of course the Lord has taken me out of that environment and placed me on solid rock. I do find myself with ill feelings and old teachings. But God is faithful.

Quote:
It is still very modern and susceptible to the seeker\purpose constructs, it's the whole mixed bag of things difficult to pin down into specifics.


This seems to be the model of many churches. I hate to sound this way, trying not to be critical. Because who I am? I think it for me may come down to bad experiences. There seems to be a model in America to construct churches a certain way. We are creatures of habit and very opinionated in what we want and expect. I have to fault myself in many respects about church, what I want and what I expect. I do wish I kept a journal when I started to feel much grieve in church. I don't know what came first, I wasn't sitting in church and I asked myself what is wrong with this picture? I started to get mad, only because I couldn't understand what I was feeling. Was I wrong? Crazy? Is church just made up with pot lucks, motorcycle ministries, programs, events...I mean where do I need to buy my ticket! Then I reflected back to my flaky charismatic days, and then when I worked for a christian company, that turned out to be a cult, rejecting the trinity...telling us we should go there church. Eventually Nelson publishing dropped the book they were going to publish. Needless to say all this sort of hit me in the chest that one day! Was it possible to have a church in Act 2. They sold everything, they were one mind.

I then stumbled onto SI, and then I started to read and was floored! The I read Tozer's chapter about "The Loneliness of a Christian" Thats what I have been going through!! I then heard of countless of other men, that so influenced me. I no longer thought I was crazy...I wasn't alone.

I don't know what the Lord is doing in me, I have sought for the answer. I don't want to neglect church, because I love nothing more to being with brothers and sisters. I often get with my best friend, and we talk about scripture and the Lord! I love that! I love being around brothers in the Lord who are excited and love the truth.

I have heard from pastors preaching that if you are not in a church, you are probably lost. They use 1John as there text. And that at times can grieve me. Because I love the brethren.


Quote:
I am just as ready to go back as stay out. It is a very difficult time and much confusion abounds,

Yes me too! I want to go but then I don't.

Brother i will pray for you. It is awesome to know we serve such a Great God. Even though we are miles away...are spirits are joined through the Blood of Christ.

Love
mike

 2008/7/13 12:31Profile
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re: Is taking a break from Church wrong?

Quote:

Would the Lord call someone out of a fellowship for a season? I know this happened to Ray Comfort at onetime for about a year.



Blessings
Mike



Hey Brother,

Just reading the question you posted, the first thought was how do you take a break from church, because if we are a true believer we are the church. There is no way you can break away from something that you are. Jesus could not deny himself and neither can we if we are truly His.

But upon reading the rest of your post and seeing some of your heart and also having read some of your other posts I can see that reformer is a true believer who has a passion for Christ and His true Word.

My prayer is that God will lead you as you seek His Face to next phase in your spiritual walk.

That Christ will be your all and all. The scripture speaks loud and clear in the following verses.

Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

I believe brother that your heart will be continually before the Lord and He will show you what to do in keeping His Word even if (and you may already be doing this) inviting people (believers & non believers as of yet) in to your home for bible study and fellowship in the Lord.

I do believe God will lead you to others of like minded faith as yourself for fellowship whether at another place or at your place.

Here is a scripture that has been a great comfort to me and I hope for you as well.

Ps 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

 2008/7/13 22:26Profile
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 Re:

Brothers,

Perhaps its wrong to say but the condition of the church in America some churches might be good to take a break from. I find the hour on sunday sometimes the hardest time of the whole week. Living whole heartily for God and then on a sunday coming into a superficial atmosphere to play holiness and righteousness. This is in some churches brothers.

And yes amen we are the Church! going to church for one hour a week is good and profitable if the service acknowledges the fact that living for God all the week is the most important.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2008/7/13 22:41Profile
reformer
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Joined: 2007/6/25
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 Re:

Quote:
ut upon reading the rest of your post and seeing some of your heart and also having read some of your other posts I can see that reformer is a true believer who has a passion for Christ and His true Word.



I guess I should have better laid out the question. organized church. Knowing that we are the body....the Church made up of believers, you can't take a break from that. I think religion forces us to rush and find a "church" quickly. Granted there is know church that is perfect, because there is people like me! LOL I think we rush in just be in a place on Sunday Morning, because that what you are supposed to, especially me living in the bible belt. The churches are so large, that Sunday mornings they half the sheriff department or metro police directing traffic.

We are seeking out a fellowship, but I am trusting for the right place to serve. It's hard to see that it is church, when its more like a show. But, I am not going to allow myself to feel condemned because I didn't go, I know, especially in TN, that is part of your life. Sunday roles around your in church, as long as the football game isn't on! But thankfully some pastors let you out early enough to catch it! thats another thread!

Blessings' :-) :-)

 2008/7/14 7:02Profile
narrowpath
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Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1057
Germany NRW

 Re:

Quote:


I guess I should have better laid out the question. organized church.



Organized Church sounds like organized crime - lol 8-)

I went through the same process and found a fellowship where the truth is preached but there are still issues that I am not so comfortable with like women preaching, conducted worship and
lack of decipleship.

I wonder, is anyone of us in a fellowship that comes close to the pattern and principles laid out in the bible?

narrowpath

 2008/7/14 7:56Profile
reformer
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Joined: 2007/6/25
Posts: 764


 Re:

Quote:

narrowpath wrote:
Quote:


I guess I should have better laid out the question. organized church.



Organized Church sounds like organized crime - lol 8-)

I went through the same process and found a fellowship where the truth is preached but there are still issues that I am not so comfortable with like women preaching, conducted worship and
lack of decipleship.

I wonder, is anyone of us in a fellowship that comes close to the pattern and principles laid out in the bible?

narrowpath



Yeah, thats funny!!

We have been trying out a church for a couple of months. The preaching is great. But there is only a couple of classes for each service. They don't have many places to serve. No classes to lead. So it is hard to meet people. We have never had a hard time meeting people. we are both pretty out going. My wife really has a way of making people feel comfortable. But, then it could be me!! LOL

I can agree with discipleship...I would love to find a place where my wife and I could get mentored. There is not many Apostle Paul's out there for the Timothy's. You know. When someone is so hungry to grow and be discipled, its frustrating. I pretty much have been self taught in everything, much in error and times, but by God's grace, He has corrected me.

 2008/7/14 8:51Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Organized Church sounds like organized crime - lol



Yea... and the leaders of each wear 3-piece pin striped suits! Coincidence? You be the judge!

Krispy

 2008/7/14 9:01
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
Organized Church sounds like organized crime - lol



I'm chuckling and at the same time trying to tell myself, "hey, that's not funny." :-P

In all seriousness, I sometimes feel the men who go to seminary to become pastors often feel the same way about the organized part of church. It may be that it's alot like big government...everyone wants to see change, but they don't want to lose their livelihood in the process. They started out with good intentions but now that they are having questions, they find themselves without many options for alternative vocations to provide for their families. Also, they don't really have a clear vision what that change would look like.

I feel for many pastors in this economic and spiritual conflict.

MC



_________________
Mike Compton

 2008/7/14 9:19Profile





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