I wasn't expecting these. I'll take a gander.
| 2005/8/29 20:58||Profile|
| Re: yr "tithing dilemma pressures"|
Hi Doug, i am yr bro-in-Christ from Singapore. just chanced upon yr msg (first time i'm in this web forum). Felt i needed to join in and reply you.First of all, the Bible says "we" are the church of Jesus Christ, "we" are the body of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head. The church of Jesus Christ is therefore us, not a building, not some renovation carpets, etc. We as believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit in which He indwells, not a building. Some years ago my pastor had this same pressure of building the church cus we were only about 140. He went about 'socialising' and doing all he can and felt so depressed cus nothing works. Then God told him to just preach the Bible correctly and diligently and then God will do the rest.He did that in repentance and now 7 yrs later we are a 13,000 strong church. What you hear from yr pastor affects yr growth in the Lord.Ask the Holy Spirit about what yr pastor is feeding you.
I noted that he went about 'having meetings' with u members about the area of tithing and change of giving patterns. But my question is : does he do the same about the problems his church members face, helping them solve their problems? After all, the title pastor actually means shepherd in greek. A pastor first calling is to care for his sheep, not expecting his sheep to 'care for his building first'. This is my concern for you and I pray the Lord will speak to you and put upon you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ and rise up far above yr present circumstances. I would like to recommend Kenneth E. Hagin to you. His books are really good and hv been a great source of revelation to me. God bless, Brother! :-)
| 2005/8/30 11:18||Profile|
For anyone that has been following this thread, we have asked to be relased from our membership oath/committment to the church. The pastor released me from my committment to tithe to this church...
So, we are no longer members at this church, but as I was telling my wife, "We are still saved, Christians and part of THE church... and that at midnight we will not turn into pumpkins because we are not members anymore."
What a journey I have been on but it is good to start a new journey here...
a Jesus freak
| 2005/8/31 13:54||Profile|
Doug... when we left the traditional church we had a lot of nervous fears... but it was liberating beyond anything we thought possible. Jesus was right when He said the truth would set us free.
Praise God for you and your wife.
| 2005/8/31 14:00|
| Re: Blessings to you|
So, we are no longer members at this church, but as I was telling my wife, "We are still saved, Christians and part of THE church...
I am both happy and sad with the news. I rejoice over your honesty with your pastor, and your willingness to sacrifice your membership for the sake of integrity. There is loss in this (approval of man, sense of belonging, priveleges to teach and lead, etc), but there is much more to gain. And I am joyful for you because of what's ahead spiritually. God will not abandon his own, he fellowships with them and brings believers together in his own ways.
On the other hand, I am sad that upholding "the rules" was more important to the pastor than preserving your membershp. What a loss to the church!
I wonder if your pastor "got it", if he felt deep conviction through the loss of your membership. I wonder if he will make measures to reverse the error. For doing things God's way would bring far greater blessing to the church than any tithe ever could.
| 2005/8/31 14:46||Profile|
Here is how the conversation went with my pastor.
He started by saying that he and the board/elders/deacons looked at the members giving habits and due to budget reasons they needed to plan and trust the members that they would give based on their committment to their membership agreement. Then he said, you have give since Jan, ---$ amount and he said, "Is this a tithe?", and I replied, "What are you asking me?" (I really think he as afraid to ask the question, Are you tithing?) , and then he said, ok, I have to drill down, Are you tithing? and I said, "no", and he said, "why?"...
I said (after a deacon asked me about my giving 5 months ago) that I was in a place of need and having to borrow money to place food on the table, etc. And then I told him that I spoke to another pastor who is on staff a few weeks ago that I was not tithing and the other pastor didn't confront me on it. So it was a sign of approval to not tithe as a member... and I also told him that I spoke to the pastor about 7 months ago that we have a finacial need, but beceause of work that needs to be done, they took the ALMS fund and gave it to a single guy who was out of work and needed the finances since we was working on the new church buildilng.
I am not too worried about the loss of privelidges in this church, because I know that God is working in my life and will lead me to the places He can use me in ministry. I am trusting Him. Loss of fellowship? That is their loss. I am saved and God is still able to use me, amen?
The church has an exclusive men's group that is only open to members and so I am automatically out of that group to fellowship with the men in the men's ministry which is fine to me. This give me more opportunity to minister to my family and also some Sat morning evanglism at a local farm market.
My pastor didn't emotionally blink when he knew we were not going to be members, it was very 'matter of fact, and his job as he told me to ask me about the tithing issue'.
I am trusting Him in all of this and looking to see the true brothers and sisters in Christ who see Koininia with us over the legalistic membership requirements.
a Jesus freak
| 2005/8/31 15:05||Profile|