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My wife and I need prayers...

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:14 am
by claysmithr
I'm feeling a bit lost as God has led us OUT of our current church. We learned that the people who we thought were are friends actually weren't, they were just using a 'friendship to convert' methodology, and after we were established there, they wanted nothing to do with us. Thinking about it even causes us to sin again and again as we keep having to forgive them all over again.

Then there was a pastor who wanted us to house his brother who is in his 40's, which I said I would up until the point we were married. Well it's after our marriage and the pastor said he thought we "decided to keep him," and he also wanted us to feed him as if he were our child. We had to get another church member there to put pressure on him to finally get his brother to leave us both alone in the house. :(

The church itself feels like it was on eternal milk level and preached the Gospel to its own congregation every Sunday. They evangelize from the pulpit every week and rarely preach on holiness or holy living. The church also has a political power structure in it that mostly tends to itself and excludes those who are not in the 'in group.' Their last member meeting was essentially a pastor just saying, we don't molest kids, now give us money. He said if everyone tithed they would have enough money. I had tithed up to that point, and the message was kind of insulting to me :-/

There are even more issues with this Church which is why we decided to leave it, but the process leads me feeling a bit lost. There is another Church or two around the area that might be good, but we are between Churches. God has assured me that he has got my back, I just feel weird without a Church and wonder if other Churches will be the same thing over again or not. I don't feel like a real Christian sometimes without a Church, but I'm wondering if God would want us to have a house church in the future.

My wife also needs medications for a neurodivergent disorder and we need to pray that we can get those meds. Maybe this is why we are in the season we are in, to be able to just focus on ourselves for a bit.

Please pray for us that God's will be done in our lives! Thanks!

Re: My wife and I need prayers...

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:12 pm
by Philip
Clay, I'll pray for you! And please don't do what a lot of people do - and that is, they have a terrible experience with some church or Christian group and are so hurt, angered or psychologically traumatized by it that they abandon church altogether - which Scripture says we are NOT to do (Hebrews 10:25, Acts 2:42, Matthew 18:20).

There are a lot of really good fellowships that meet as a church - even if it's once a week in a coffee house. It might be a small group or a big one. Just visit around. Ask Christians you respect. Research churches nearby with Google Maps and then go to their websites - check their doctrinal beliefs. Are they top-down with just a pastor in control (bad!), or is it led by elders - hopefully ones that aren't in their positions forever. But when one realizes they are in a toxic church - and by that, I don't mean there are just a couple of people you find irritating (as amongst humans - even Christians - there'll always be one or two who need your Christian influence far more than you need (or can tolerate :lol:) theirs - well, in such a toxic or unScripturally led place, start looking for a place of light that honors and follows Christ and the teachings of Scripture. God will move you to a good place - but that's unlikely without YOU beginning to look first. Step out in faith - seek a place!

To add, for those who are fine with doing their Christianity without constant meeting with others to worship and learn - consider:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/women ... -test.html

Re: My wife and I need prayers...

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:41 am
by Philip
By the way, Clay, I have been right where you are, in a church that had many problems in people, leadership and direction. In fact, the devil just loves it when he can use the caused hurt, anger, irritation, or frustration to make a Christian withdraw from regularly meeting with a local body of believers - and because he also knows he can better oppress when he isolates us away from other Christians.

But it's often when the infection of negative things gets into the leadership - and particularly leadership that is entrenched and basically untouchable - that one should consider moving on. But always do so prayerfully, because SOMETIMES God has us somewhere that He wants US to help facilitate change towards a healthy church. But there are definitely times that is structurally prevented in how a church's leadership is set up - and so it's time to move on!

Re: My wife and I need prayers...

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:43 pm
by claysmithr
Thanks for the kind word Philip! We have two other Churches in mind, and both seem to have a government made of Elders and Deacons.

One Church seems to have people mostly in their 50's and up who are very friendly, it is easy to park there, good preaching, but no small home group meetings.

The other Church is in the city, more mixed age population, more difficult parking, hard to tell how friendly they are, but they have small groups and beautiful worship.

We don't want to go back to the original Church because the problems are both in leadership and their people who we feel hurt by, and we would be reliving those experiences every visit, and also serving seems limited by this Church as it seems the best serving positions are given to the 'in group.'

I'll post again later as a follow up if we come to a more concrete conclusion.

Thank you for the prayers! :)

Re: My wife and I need prayers...

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:07 am
by 1over137
Clay,
I will pray for you and your family.
Philip wrote many wise words here.
May you find a lovely church with lovely people there.

Re: My wife and I need prayers...

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:43 am
by Philip
Clay, churches with small community groups are often really good! It's in smaller group contexts where you really get to know people and grow together. I've been part of them for 30 years. So, even a large church that has healthy small groups can be quite personal and the members can and do build many comprehensive and deep friendships.

Re: My wife and I need prayers...

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:45 am
by 1over137
I am in a very small community. 20 adults plus kids. And yeah, you build friendships and so.

Re: My wife and I need prayers...

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:38 pm
by claysmithr
Thanks! It turns out they both have small groups! Will keep updated, there are a few things we need to take care of in our own lives ATM also, thanks!